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1 posts from August 2014


Celebrating a Great Spring 2014 Semester

After a hectic few weeks of final exams, the CIEE Spring 2014 semester program officially came to an end on July 31. Over the past four months our students immersed themselves in Japanese culture and society by joining student clubs, spending time with host families, exploring the country on their own, and participating in CIEE activities and excursions. Here are just a few things that happened since our last post...

Taiko Drumming Workshop

On June 18, CIEE students participated in a taiko drumming workshop. In taiko, sound is combined with dynamic movements to create truly exhilarating performances. We learned some basic rhythms and by the end of the lesson were able to play a simple, upbeat song. Hitting the drum properly is a lot harder than it looks, and we were all quite sore the next day. At the end of the workshop the instructors kindly treated us to an incredible performance!  

Taiko 1
Learning some basic rhythms

Taiko 4
Students Shoko, Jessica, and Andre are actually members
of the taiko club at their home university! Before going home
they played a song and showed us some more cool techniques.

Taiko 3
Amazing performance by the instructors!


Wagashi Confectionary

On June 25 we had the privilege of learning how to make wagashi confectionaries from an experienced professional. Wagashi are delicate snacks made from rice, beans, and other natural ingredients, and are shaped into flowers that represent the seasons. These characteristics reflect the strong connection between nature and Japanese food and art. They are fun to make and very tasty, too!

Wagashi 1

Wagashi 2

Wagashi 5


End-of-Semester Celebration

We celebrated a successful semester with student presentations, prizes, and delicious food! During the first half, some brave volunteers stepped on stage to talk about their most memorable activities in Japan. Two groups presented on the taiko workshop and on their climb up Mt. Fuji, respectively. This was followed by a heartfelt thank you message to host families and a student made video presentation. Later that night we gave out prizes for a photo contest, as well as for the scavenger hunt that was held at the start of the semester.


Presentation on the taiko drumming workshop


Dr. Jensen posing with students after distributing prizes


Students eating and chatting with the dorm manager (left)

Our students have grown significantly over these past four months. We had an amazing group this semester, and while we are sad to see them go, we are also excited to see what the future has in store for them. Mina-san, ganbatte kudasai!


Check out more posts by our student bloggers!

Ildiko Kemp:

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Teresa Fong:

Tori Fukumitsu:

Tyler Pircio: