Monday, October 23, 2006

An Elementary Teacher goes to Japan

Congratulations to Marcia Greenwood, A+ Fellow and elementary school art teacher chosen to represent Oklahoma the year the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Taste of Japan Reflection/Celebration Day

A small group of adult facilitators, youth helpers and performers were at Sumo Japanese Restaurant at 2:00 p.m.. After a welcome by Justin, participants viewed a reflective PowerPoint and the Origami DVD. The Taste of Japan DVD was not ready by the celebration time. It was sent to JFMF later on.

The Taste of Japan Reflection/Celebration was honored by the presence of Mr. Lloyd Hardin, Consul General of Japan in Oklahoma and his lovely wife. Hardin San closed the affair explaining the importance of interpersonal relationship and seniority in the Japanese culture. Mr. Hardin also broaden the participants' understanding of the meaning of karaoke in the Japanese culture.

Thank you to everyone who attended and provided feedback for future cultural activities at Casady School! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Taste of Japan Celebration Date: Saturday, July 15

Justin'07, the new YAC Senior Chair, Houston'07 and June'07 sent thank you notes and invitations to the final Taste of Japan Celebration/Reflection to organizers and sponsors. If you participated, but did not get an invitation, forgive us. Please feel welcome. Here is the information:

For inspiring civic responsibility in youth.
For providing an environment for service-learning, learning and leadership.
For being an example.
For helping Casady students meet their potential.
For joining us to celebrate all that we can do together. The CASADY YAC, THANKS YOU and invites you to our Taste of Japan Celebration with Karaoke

When? Saturday, July 15 from 2-4 p.m.

Where? Sumo Japanese Steak House and Suchi Bar, 1803 S. Broadway in Edmond, between 19th Street and Broadway Extension

What? Sharing reflections and reports to the Japan Foundation and the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Programs. Looking at areas to improve, view Taste of Japan pictures, PowerPoint and DVD. Enjoy Karaoke, snacks and green tea .

Why? Complete stages of Service-Learning: Share learning and talk about next steps.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Evaluation Reports and Celebration

I am waiting for the Taste of Japan video to be edited and I will send my Taste of Japan reflection, expenditures details, and evaluation reports to the Japan Foundation, Center for Global Partnerships and the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund.

I am also waiting to hear from the Consul General of the Japanese Government in Oklahoma. I hope to request a meeting to set a schedule of workshops; funding provided by grants or donations to continue enhancing the OKC awareness of the Japanese culture.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

A Taste of Japan Experience: What was it?

Special "ARIGATO" to
Benefactor, Japan Foundation, Center for Global Partnership, grant
Please take a look at the article on Taste of Japan that appears on the CGP website. Here is the link:
Patron Super Cao Nguyen Market :

The Beginning: Participants enjoyed melodies performed by Casady's String Quartet as they entered Calvert where the opening of the Taste of Japan took place.
Jerad'08 and David'08 greeted the Taste of Japan participants with a PowerPoint, designed by Ye-geun'07. Jerad and David took participants through the Taste of Japan entertainment, workshops, schedule, and thanked speakers, guests, donors, and partners.
Thank you's
Jerad and David had a special thank you to Mr. George Tomek, former Oklahoma City anchor personality who helped them prepare for this occasion. They also gave a special "Arigato" to Dr. Robert Woolsey, former Casady Headmaster and Tozan Yumi Yogiku (Mrs. Mari Leslie) for the Japanese clothing and make-up they were wearing. Dr. Robert Woolsey also donated the Japanese kites flying over Primary, Lower, Middle, and Upper Division flag poles. The kites will be a resource for future multicultural weeks at Casady Schools. Dr. and Mrs. Robert Woolsey also donated several Japanese items for the silent auction and a wedding kimono coat that was displayed at the tea ceremony room. The coat will be part of a Casady permanent display in the future. Mr. Lloyd Hardin, incoming Honorary Consul General of Japan in Oklahoma City attended the Taste of Japan opening in an unofficial capacity. Jared and David thanked Mr. Hardin for his donation of a dinner for four at a local club for the silent auction to help fundraising efforts.

Jared and David also thanked Mrs. Etsuko Blackburn and her sales manager, Mrs. Boone for a donation of a percentage of the sales of Mrs. Etsuko art to cover Taste of Japan expenses. Special "Merci" was also given to Mr. Stdrovia Blackburn of Digital DK. LLC for the generous donation of his time and professional knowledge shared in the production of the beautiful Taste of Japan flyer and program.

Welcome Speeches
Jerad and David did a great job introducing the Taste of Japan speakers, Casady Headmaster, Mr. Charles Britton, and our former Oklahoma Governor, George Nigh.
Mr. Britton, Governor George Nigh and Mr. Lloyd Hardin, incoming Honorary Consul General of Japan in Oklahoma received Ikebana arrangements made by Mrs. Yukiko Burnett as a thank you for their presence and time at the Taste of Japan opening. Miss Elizabeth Larsen, Middle Division Director also received an Ikebana from Mrs. Burnett as a thank you for allowing the Taste of Japan to use her beautiful McClendon Middle School building for the workshops.
Opening Performances and Workshops

After Taste of Japan participants registered or picked-up pre-registration name tags and listened to opening remarks. Then Okii Taiko Drumming Performed. For some of the participants, it was the first time to see Taiko drums. Then participants went to their first scheduled workshop.
Sumi-e and Ikebana were 90-minute workshops. The Tea Ceremony and Kimono demonstration was a 45-minute workshop. The rest of workshops were 30-minutes long.
The workshops were facilitated by teams of Japanse experts in the field and Casady students as helpers. Here are pictures of Anisah'07 helping
the Sumi-e workshop whose instructor was Ms. Etsuko Blackburn.

Participants enjoyed the magic of Japan in workshops that lasted from 3:15-5:15 with 15- minute breaks when they could taste Mochi, donated and made by Mrs. Kimie Warm, Okii Taiko performer, wasabi and Japanese crackers donated by Super Cao Nguyen Market, and tea and water courtesy of the Casady Kitchen.
The food sampling and wasabi -Japanese crackers and tea breaks were possible thanks to the efficient and organized volunteered force from the Okii Taiko Group and members of the Oklahoma City University Japanese Student Society. Thank you Mrs. Kimie Warm and her Okii Taiko Crew and OCU students: Junko Tanaka, Ai Kuroda, Miki Matsumoto, Hishako Nagata, and Tersurou Hara.
If participants had a long break between sessions, they had the option of viewing Kabuki films, ongoing at Fee Theater. Thank you to Mrs. Etsuko Blackburn for allowing us to use her Kabuki DVD's. "Un Millon de Gracias" to Mr. Larry Bruce, Technology Director, for setting up all the equipment for entertainment and workshops in Fee Theater, Calvert, and McClendon buildings. and to Mr. Randy Fresonke and crew for the extra work they had to do to prepare and clean-up McClendon and Calvert before and after Taste of Japan.
16 workshops took place at the same time from 3:15-5:15. Participants evaluations said that they wanted longer workshops and the opportunity to see more. One even suggested a two day Taste of Japan
The End of Taste of Japan

At 5:30, participants returned to Calvert where Ikebana arrangenments, made at the Ikebana workshop, decorated the tables. The Ikebanas were for sale as part of the silent auction.

The Grand Finale

Jerad and David welcomed the participants back to Calvert and to the grand finale: Food sampling by Sumo Steak House and Suchi Bar (Gyoza, California rolls, teriyaki chiken, fried rice) and cold refreshing tea donated by Super Cao Nguyen Market were first in the program. Jerad and David had to do some quick problem-solving when the Japanese Bento-Obento boxes from Sumo restaurant were late to arrive. They did such a good job entertaining and changing the schedule of performances that only organizers were bothered by this unforseen difficulty. Special thank to Mrs. Geni Thomas Woodward, Casady Chef, who came to our rescue when Sumo forgot to bring eating utensils and napkins.
Fashion Show
Jared, David, and Junko Tanaka started the fashion show modeling their Yukatas. Jared and David explained the meanings of the Japanese garments as models parade by the Calvert stage. Thank you to Miss Yukiko Yokono for her guidance in the explanation of the garments being worn by Taste of Japan volunteers.
Happi Coats were modeled by Mrs. Lynn Taylor and Deepika'08. The happi coats were created by Tozan Yumi Yogiku for the final dance and workshop, Tanko Bushi. The Fashion show ended with a Kimonos Parade. Sarah'07 and Mary'09 started the parade followed by our official Japanese consultant, Ms Yukiko Yokono; and the creator of the Fashion Show idea, Mrs. Yukiko Burnett. Since time allowed it, every Taste of Japan participant wearing a Kimono was welcomed to join the parade of kimonos.
Japanese Classical Dances
The classical dance performance followed the Fashion Show. Botanzishi was performed by Tozan Yumi Yogiku and Yozakura Oshichi was performed by Tomomi Nakashima. the dancers transported participants to the world of geishas and their magical dance performances.
A Casady Surprise for the Japanese citizens in our audience
The Casady six grade chorus followed the dances with two enchanting songs in Japanese, Hotaru Kai and Sakura, Sakura. Students voices (Emily, Blane, John, Shelby, Allison, Khadik, Hilary, Chandler, Karalyn, Gabrielle, Rachel, and Megan) echoed in the audiences hearts under the direction of Casady's chorus Middle Division teacher, Mr. Karl Hedlund.
The food arrived and as it was being distributed, Yeguen'06, youth leader of the Taste of Japan took the opportunity to thank the audience. She also provided Mrs. Clay with a wonderful bouquet of flowers from the Ikebana workshop.
Tanko Bushi
Taste of Japan ended with an interactive folk dance, Tanko Bushi, led by Casady Middle School French Teacher and dance club sponsor Lynn Taylor, Deepika'08 and a group of Middle Division students dressed in happi coats designed for their dance by their Japanese sensei, Tozan Yumi Yugiko.
Thank you Casady Youth and Adult Advisory and Action Council (YAC) for undertaking such a huge project. We met our goal of helping develop awareness of the Japanese culture, alive and well in our city.

Friday, March 31, 2006

The Taste of Japan: Performances: Okii Taiko, Classical Dances, Songs, Tanko Bushi

Okii Taiko

Thank you to Dr. Tom Warm and the Okii Taiko Drummers for a great opening.

Information about Okii Taiko
Special thanks to Dr. Tom Warm, Okii Taiko, Director for the pictures

Okii Taiko was formed in 2002. They are called "Okii", because they are from Oklahoma, but also because in Japanese "okii" means "large" or "great". "Taiko" means "big drum", so "Okii Taiko" means "great, big drum". They are an amateur group, who perform for the joy of playing taiko drums. They give about 12 performances per year. They have given performances at many local venues, including the OK Art Museum, Tinker AFB, OCCC, OU, UCO, OCU, Rose State Univ., Governor's Mansion, Myriad Gardens, FAA, Will Rogers Park, plus local churches, libraries, retirement homes, and schools. Next month they will be performing at the 2006 Festival of the Arts on the Myriad Gardens Water Stage.
Japanese Classical Dances
Botanzishi: CelebrationTozan Yume Yugiko (Mrs. Mari Leslie)
Yosakura Ohichi: Cherry Blosson Tomo Nakashima

Special thanks to Ye-Geun for her pictures

The first dance performed at the Taste of Japan was Botanzishi or Celebration inspires us to imagine two cubs playing in a valley surrounded by majestic mountains. The valley is covered with beautiful flowers and butterflies. The scenery is simply breathtaking. Time passes by and the cubs become husband and wife and live happily ever after. Botanzishi is usually performed at weddings or after couples build a home. Tozan Yume Yugiku, performed Celebration.

The second dance performed at the Taste of Japan was Yosakura Oshichi, Cherry Blosson. This dance is based on a true story. It narrates the story of a girl named Oshichi whose house burned on a fire and her family had to stay at a temple where Oshichi falls in love with a young monk. Because of class differences, this love is prohibited. Oshichi becomes insane with love and burns her house again hoping to return to the temple. She is severely punished. Oshichi ends her days dreaming about the monk at parks covered with cherry blossoms. Yosakura Oshichi was performed by Miss Tomomi Nakashima performed

Six Grade Dazling Performance of Fire Fly and Sakura Sakura
Tanko Bushi
Coal Miners Folk Song
Tanko Bushi, the Coal Mining Dance is a folk dance from one of the coal mining regions of Japan, and is frequently danced during the Obon festival. In much the same way that a Hawai'ian hula dancer's movements tell a story, the movements of Tanko Bushi show what life is like as a Japanese coal miner. Casady students learned Tanko Bushi from Mrs. Leslie who also designed and made their happi coats for this memorable and interactive way of ending the Taste of Japan Experience. Tozan Yumi Yogiku deligted Taste of Japan participants when she sang this song as Mrs. Taylor, Deepika'08 and Middle Division students performed the dance and then asked for audience participation to end the Taste of Japan interactively.
Please find the music at :

Taste of Japan Scenes: Tea Ceremony and Kimono Demonstration

Mrs. Yumie Farringer, Miss Yukiko Yokono and several helpers from Tulsa conducted the kimono demonstration and tea ceremony workshop. Sarah'07 and Mary'09 modeled the Kimonos during the workshops and at the grand finale during the fashion show.

Here is Yukiko's reflection: I truly enjoyed the Taste of Japan and working with you. I could only see our tea ceremony and grand finale, but we had many audiences there and they seemed to enjoy and have learned a lot from the festival. Also this is our first time to do tea ceremony in Oklahoma City, we were so happy to expand our activities, and we could meet other Japanese communities there.
The assistants at the tea ceremony were big help. Mary and Sarah helped us more than we expected. They were thoughtful, patient and caring us in various ways. We were so happy to have such beautiful and kind ladies as assistants. Also we believe that they had a good opportunity to wear kimono and experience Japanese traditional culture. I hope that Casady School could have this wonderful international project yearly from now on. The Taste of Japan was first and very successful event for Casady, Oklahoma City (Oklahoma), Japanese communities and Japan, I believe.

Scenes from the Taste of Japan: Shuji

June'07, Mrs. Hideko Nakagawa and Mr. Hiroshi Watanabe made a great Shuji team. I saw young children proudly displaying their Japanese Calligraphy-Shuji on their T-shirts. It was nice to see how proud they were of what they had learned. Thank you Shuji team.