Friday, June 29, 2007

CHESS '07 - Evening Two - dancing

CHESS '07 - Evening Two - dancing - 4.jpg
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

Here are some more pics from CHESS - we had a Disco for the kids on the 2nd night. First, our man Ewan taught everyone to Scottish Dance, and then DJ Cleve had the whole crowd moving from 7:30 to 9pm.

Click on this pic to see more from that evening.

This dance, which we have every year at CHESS, is easily one of the highlights of the camp. Japanese kids in High School don't have school dances, so this is often the first time many of them have been to a social, free form dance.

On the third day I asked a girl if she enjoyed the dance the night before and she got a little emotional and then said "Yes - it was the first time I've ever been to a dance." One ALT friend told me that one girl told her it was the first time she'd ever danced - period.

And we have fun, playing a bunch of goofy hits from the 50s to the 80s, like "The Twist" and "Stayin' Alive" and of course "The Macarena" and since most JETs are in their early to mid 20s, they can get out on the dance floor and shake it with the best of them. And the kids just follow our lead since many have never danced with other young people before - so if you come over to a circle of kids and start doing some moves, they all just join in and start to copy you - it's pretty hilarious. But great fun!

I was able to assemble about 200 pics from the first two days of camp and show them on the big screen in the background while the music played - running the slideshow off my trusty little iPod.

OK - one more day of pics to go and then CHESS 2007 will be but a memory. :)


Body Kanji - part one

Two words - Body Kanji - I think that says it all.
Ok, maybe not, but you can read a description of this organized madness and see part two as well at my You Tube site.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

CHESS 2007 - Day One

CHESS 2007 - Day One - 46.jpg
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

Pics from Day One of CHESS 2007 are on my site.

Day 1 was Monday, June 11th. We arrived at the Sanbe Youth Center around Noon, and had opening ceremonies and group introductions and we also did our workshop (mine was trivia) one time.

Pictured here is Lena, Tyler, Adam, Eric and Ewan - the leaders of the Sports Workshop in the gym.

Click on this pic to see more pics from the first day, including a few group shots and the obiligatory lunch/cafeteria shots. :)

Day Two and Day Three will be posted soon!


Janken for fish! Shogakusei battle for my lunch!

I shot two short vids while I was having lunch with my 4th graders at Taisha Sho. In this one you can see some of the kids play "janken" for my fish - I don't eat any seafood, so what I can't eat is highly sought after by the hungry kids.

The other vid is rather sedate, but you do get a good shot of my lunch tray and the fish in question... :)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Taisha HS band & chorus kids

Taisha HS band & chorus kids
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

Last Sunday I went over to Izumo to see my school's brass band perform. As I sometimes do, I got the times mixed up. Japan uses military time, so the concert was from 15:00 to 17:00. I saw that on the piece of paper and my brain thought - "oh, the concert is from 5pm to 7pm." D'oh! Anyway, I got to the concert hall at about 4:45pm, just in time to see my kids perform at 5pm. They were the 2nd to last school to perform, so I missed the rest of the performances. Which is a shame, cuz I found out that my recent graduates, who now play with their High School band performed earlier in the day.

But after the concert was over and I snapped a bunch of pictures of my kids (click on this pic to see many more from that day), I went back into the hall and got to chat with my older kids, who are now ichi nen sei at Taisha High School.

It was great seeing them again! It's funny how they all look a little older in their HS blazers. Pictured here are Shiho, Rina and Hiromi in the top row and Yuki, Erina and Saki in the bottom row. Rina and Erina where in my Chorus club, so perhaps the Taisha HS chorus performed as well, or maybe they just volunteered to be ushers at the event.

It's sad how much you lose touch with the kids that graduate. Most you'll never see again - they move on to High School and unless you happen to run into them at a local store you won't ever have a chance to see how they're getting on. But I made more of an effort this past year to try and stay connected to my recent graduates - I exchange emails with a few of them - including Saki and Yuki here, and I have home addresses for a few of them to send them New Year's cards, etc. I rememebered it was Hiromi's birthday the day before this concert, so when I saw here and said "Omedetou Tanjoubi" (Happy Birthday) she was really surprised and happy.

Anyway - it was a fun, altho brief, concert and I got some good pics.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

CHESS 2007 - Scottish dancing

CHESS = Camp for High school English Students of Shimane, and has nothing to do with the game using rooks, queens and knights.

Here is a short video of the Japanese kids being taught how to Scottish dance by Izumo's own resident Scotsman - Ewan!

I'll post more about CHESS and I have tons of pics to post.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Pics from my week

recess at Yokan Sho - 12.jpg
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

Hey Gang,

I just uploaded a few pics I shot over the course of this past week. I also included some shots I took last week while I was in Kobe. Like an idiot, I forgot to take any pictures of my workshop - but I did get some nifty shots of Kobe from the 30th floor of our hotel. As an RCA, I got a meal voucher for the somewhat swank restaurant on the 30th floor, so I didn't have to eat breakfast with all the other ALTs on Tuesday morning, and those shots were taken at about 9am.

So click here and you can see some pics from me at recess with the kids at one of my elementary schools that go with the videos I posted below. And some shots of my 9th graders at Taisha Chu chillin' between classes and two shots of my newest class of 1st graders at Taisha Sho.


Saturday, June 09, 2007


This is a movie I'm really looking forward to. It's based on a book by Neil Gaiman, one of my all-time favorite authors.

The trailer looks fantastic, so I have high hopes for the film. Not sure when it opens in Japan, but I'll definitely be one of the first to see it.

Here is the trailer:

Stardust Trailer

Add to My Profile | More Videos


Friday, June 08, 2007

Chatting with Shogakusei - at recess pt1

had some fun at recess at one of my smaller elementary schools on Wednesday. I let my kids use my camera and got some fun videos out of it - this is pt 1 of 3 - you can see the rest on my YouTube site.


PS - what color would you call the shirt I'm wearing? it's an ongoing debate... :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Human curling - how not to do it

27 seconds of wackiness from an event in nearby Hirata with a bunch of 6th graders about to become 7th graders. Way to try Hannah!!