At present, there are a total of 13 students studying in the supplementary class for children, including 7 elementary school students in the first half and 6 junior high school students in the latter half. At this year’s presentation event on December 8th, we made nengajo (New Year card), which is a part of Japan’s traditional culture. A picture of next year’s zodiac, the tiger, was added to the new year’s greetings.

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The participants shared some of their thoughts about the event: “It is my first time, I really like it”, “It is difficult at first but it is fun”, “I always like drawing so it is fun”. We will present their works. We hope that next year will be a good year!!

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72nd Afternoon Tea
Welcome to Indonesia! The Land of Everlasting Summer
Date: 30 October 2021 (Sat), 12:30~2:00PM
Format: Zoom
Hosted by: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

AT72 00Guest Speaker: Ms. Shady Cecilia
Ms. Shady came to Japan in 2019and is currently enrolled in the doctoral course in environmental studies at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Her hobbies include swimming, music, and reading. She particularly likes listening to others and hearing their opinions. She loves Japanese breakfast foods such as rice, kinpira gobo (braised burdock root), miso soup, and grilled mackerel. She is taking Japanese language classes at Aoba International Lounge.

The72nd Afternoon Tea event, “Welcome to Indonesia! The Land of Everlasting Summer”, was held on October 31st (Sat). This Afternoon Tea was the first to be held online as a web event. Since it was the first of its kind, the preparation was challenging for the staff, but we are feeling relieved that it was conducted without an issue. There were 16 participants and12 staff present.

 Using pictures and maps of Indonesia, Ms. Shady was able to speak—in fluent Japanese—about 11 different categories such as geography, the history of the country, culture, food, clothing, and shelter, Indonesia’s relationship with Japan, and more. The materials she used were designed in a way that was easy to understand, and her explanations were easy to follow. It was a chance to learn a lot about Indonesia as a country, including the diversity found in its different cultures and ethnic groups. It was also very interesting to see that the Japanese and Indonesian languages share some similarities. Among the participants, there were individuals who visited Indonesia for business and for leisure. There were also those who gained a deeper interest in Indonesia and felt that they would like to visit someday. We are happy if the participants were able to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Indonesia. We would like to thank all the participants who attended. We hope that the next Afternoon Tea event can be held in person.

top 2Lecture in Plain English, No. 26

“YOKOHAMA ONLINE TOUR”

Date: 19 September 2021 (Sun), 2:00-4:00PM

Hosted by: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

Speaker: Mr. Mohammad Ali Bastami

This was the first “Lecture in Plain English” to be held as an online event. The speaker, Mr. Bastami, is from Iran. He is not only an English conversation teacher at the lounge, but also has experience working at the Islamic Museum of Art in Tehran, as an international conference coordinator for the Iranian Ministry of Culture, and as a Persian language announcer for NHK Radio Japan.

He has been in Japan for over 20 years, with a long time spent living in Yokohama. He was able to introduce well-known places such as Minato Mirai and Sankei-en, deeper spots such as Kogane-cho, interesting museums, and hole-in-the-wall cafes, ramen shops, and other spots that aren’t featured in tourist guidebooks using simple English, pictures, and videos.

The participants admired Mr. Bastami’s detailed knowledge of Yokohama’s sightseeing spots and history, expressed that there were several things about Yokohama that were new to them, and that the lecture was a good plan. It seems that everyone had a great time.

at202107 371st Afternoon Tea
“My Hometown Tula, Russia〜A place linked to Tolstoy〜”

Date: 17 July 2021 (Sat), 12:30-2:00pm (doors open at 12:15)
Location: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center, Room 5 (about 1 min. from Tana station on the Denentoshi Line)
Guest Speaker: Sanya (Real name: Mr. Kuznetcov Aleksandr)
Capacity: 15 participants (please make sure to wear a mask)
Application: starting 11 June 2021 (Fri) by telephone/e-mail (first come, first served)
Fee: 500 yen
Host: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge
※If coronavirus infections worsen around July, there is a possibility that the event may be postponed. We ask for your understanding.

Tula, located outside of Moscow, is famous for producing samovar (a Russian container used to boil water) and pryanik (a type of Russian gingerbread).

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Although events at the lounge continued to be cancelled throughout 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, a combined online/on-site event was held on February 27th, 2021 (Sat).

It was a bibliobattle using Japanese books for foreign residents living in Japan.

Foreign residents from 5 different countries including Russia, China, Iran, Indonesia, Senegal introduced their favorite Japanese books and explained their reasons for choosing them.

The 5 books chosen included “Totto-chan: The Little Girl at the Window” by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, “How Do You Live?” by Yoshino Genzaburo, Fuji TV’s “Tokyo Magnitude 8.0”, “Kitchen” by Banana Yoshimoto, and “Message to you ‘For you who will live this future world’”by Oussouby Sacko.

Japanese people are familiar with some of the works, but are not familiar with others. The 5 participants were able to show their interest in the books they chose by presenting details and their thoughts in fluent Japanese. Their presentations attracted participants both on-site and online to participate in a lively question and answer session.

Nowadays, time flies and there is little time to read for leisure. Elementary school students all the way up to university and even working adults read books for “function” (motivation from necessity), but find it difficult to make time to read their favorite books.

This bibliobattle was a good opportunity to think about “what to read” and “how to read” in a way that satisfies a “joy of reading” that is both cultural and for purposes other than function.

The champion was Ba Abu from Senegal. Congratulations!

There were 11 participants on-site and 17 online for a total of 28. Thank you all for participating.

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topics202002se jpnInternational Student Discussion
“Why did you choose Japan?”

Date: 2 February 2020 (Sun), 1:30-3:30PM (doors open at 1:00)
Panelists: 5 exchange students who are currently living in Japan
Location: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center, Room 5
Hosted by: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge
In cooperation with Yokohama International Student House

Five exchange students who are currently pursuing their studies in Japan participated as panelists in a discussion about their own countries, their impressions of Japan, their experiences living in Japan as foreigners and as students, differences in culture and customs, and many other topics. The students, who come from Australia, Italy, Turkey, Ireland, and America, studied Japanese in their respective countries before coming to Japan, so they were quite skilled at speaking the language.

The discussion involved questions that might be a sore spot for some people, including why Japanese university students have a lower sense of purpose, how some of the exchange students couldn’t imagine sleeping during lectures, and why the number of students who use the library is so low.

At the same time, they also discussed the greatness and reliability of Japanese transportation and how you could walk alone at night and feel safe, which was a major reason for some of the panelists to choose Japan as a place to study overseas.

As with all university students thinking about future plans and employment, there were some panelists with a very clear sense of purpose and those who were just taking advantage of the opportunities available to them in the present.

After the discussion, the exchange students had tea time with the participants and staff. There were still many questions that were asked by the participants to the five panelists.

Although a short time, it truly felt like an international exchange between people of all ages.

This event was held in cooperation with Yokohama International Student House.

topics201912se jpn

Languages of the World , Session No. 4 - 1 Day Course 『Polish』

 ・14 December 2019 (Sat), 14:00-16:00

 ・Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center, Meeting Room

Instructor: Ms. Bozena Machida

 

The 4th session of the Languages of the World series focused on Polish, the official language of Poland, a country which is now part of the EU and has seen remarkable growth after overcoming countless hardships throughout its history. The session was led by Ms. Bozena Machida, who has been living in Japan for a long time and is proficient in Japanese. She also appeared in one of our “Afternoon Tea” events back in 2013.

Ms. Bozena began by explaining where Poland is located and identifying the neighbouring countries, along with an explanation of the Polish alphabet, pronunciation, basic grammar, some easy greetings, and then encouraged participants to join in singing some well-known Polish folk songs.

Participants were also able to make name cards in Polish, but rather than changing the names phonetically into Polish, the names were translated using the meaning of the kanji, which made for some very fun name cards.

The first half of the lecture had many different patterns of the Polish language that caused the participants to feel overwhelmed because of the difficulty, but as the session went on, Ms. Bozena’s  creative and enthusiastic explanations helped participants have fun and understand a bit more about the language.

During the break, everyone enjoyed some Polish sweets.

The second half covered some World Heritage sites, famous historical buildings, and wonderful natural features in Poland, and participants had the chance to take a quiz about Poland.

The session was a little under 2 hours, but through Ms. Bozena’s creative and eager presentation and explanations, participants were able to take the first step in learning the Polish language and deepen their understanding about the country, which has definitely influenced some of them to want to visit Poland.

We would like to thank the Polish Tourism Board and the Polish Public Relations and Culture Center (established as a commemorative project for the 100 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and Poland) for their cooperation.

 

★  Click here to view upcoming events.

 

topics201909ye jpn

Lecture in plain English, No. 24

“Rediscovering Mexico – the land of many charms!”

 ・9 November 2019 (Sat), 14:00-16:00

 ・Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center, Meeting Room

Speaker: Mr. Alfredo Esquivel (also known as Alf to close friends)

Mr. Alfredo Esquivel was born and raised in Mexico and moved to Japan in 2014 to pursue doctoral studies at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, where he is currently specializing in DNA research.

Alf, who was born and raised in Mexico, started by talking about Mexico’s abundance of nature, history, culture, and introduced the ancient civilization and pyramids of Teotihuacan, the unusual festival “Day of the Dead”, and other facts about Mexico.

In the second half, he spoke about his grandfather who he lived with in Mexico City, and introduced the Catholic church’s beautiful decorative goblets, silverware, and chandeliers, which were created through traditional methods and metalwork techniques inherited during the 300 years of Spanish colonial rule.

He also talked about his grandfather’s favorite tequila, a national favorite, including the taste and how to make it, and an explanation of the type of tequila (it seems that Alf first tried it when he was 5 years old and found himself feeling dizzy).

Rather than focusing on the Mexico that we all know through travel information, we were able to rediscover the many charms that the country has to offer through Alf’s very interesting speech and experiences.

The simple and easy to follow English and occasional use of Japanese made the lecture very enjoyable to listen to.

 

★  Click here to view upcoming events.

 

On October 16th (Wed), a total of 36 members, which included students and volunteers, went to the Cup Noodle Museum located in Sakuragicho. The theme was centered around “seeing, touching, playing, eating, and having fun while learning” about the creation of cup noodles in an experience-based session at the museum.

The building itself is modern. After taking a picture with the mascot, we headed to the “my cup noodle factory” on the 3rd floor to create our own one-of-a-kind cup noodle.

First, you draw a picture on the cup. I began to do that, but I’m not exactly sure about what kind of design it turned out to be. One of the steps when assembling cup noodles is the way the cup is flipped over. Rather than putting the noodles directly into the upright cup, the cup is placed on the noodles. Using this method, the noodles will fit snuggly in the cup each and every time. There were 4 flavours to choose from, and even more toppings. The completed “my cup noodle” is sealed, packaged, and ready to be taken home.

I interviewed 3 people who participated for their thoughts on the experience. The first person’s toppings were cheese, green onion, and naruto, and said that the experience was fun. The second person, Osaki-san, who is Chinese, said: “My cup noodle has a curry-flavoured soup with shrimp, corn, cheese, and minced meat. It was a great experience and memory for me.” The third person was Geraldine Tsuyuki from America: “I have curry flavour with egg, meat, green onion... I forgot to choose the Hiyoko-chan naruto.”

We were able to go around and see various places, including “Momofuku Theatre”, which presented the life of Mr. Momofuku Ando, who is known as the father of instant ramen, through CG animation. Additional areas included a room that showed how instant ramen is packaged, as well as a small-scale research area. We learned a lot about the production of cup noodles and had a wonderful day at the museum!     Joshua Hikaru Fletcher (USA)

 

Tokyo Institute of Technology students from Indonesia played Angklung, an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Indonesia, on the stage of Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center Festival on November 23, 2019. 
 They played three songs, Kureyon-shinchan, Papua Ethnic Music, and Let it go (Ana and The queen of Frozen).
After the programed performance, Japanese audience had chance to practice Angklung and played “The song of Do-Re-Me” together.
Click the illistratio of song, you can watch a  Video clip of Angklung performance.
 
Kureyon-shinchan
ank2019kureyon
1:10
Papua Ethnic Music
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2:50
Let it go
ank2019ana
4:13
Practice of  "Do-Re-Mi"
ank2019doremi
2:00

 

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As  it rained, the final practice was  carriedout under the elevated railroad.

Every year, half of the students are new members. Some students study Angklung in Japan for the first time. 
Indonesian heritage is passed down to younger generation even in Japan. 

 

Japanese Speech Event for students attending Japanese classes was held at Yamauchi Chiku Center in Azamino.  2019.11.10
8 students from 5 different countries gave a speech.
An acapella group from Kokugakuin University performed as well.
 
Co-hosted with: Yokohama City Aoba Ward Office
                          Yokohama Yamauchi Chiku Center
 
 
You can view the video of the speeches if you click on the picture of the speakers. 
[China] Wang Fang (1 year in Japan)
“The Differences Between Growing Up in China and Japan”
In China, a majority of children are raised by mothers or a mother-in-law, and so children are adored and even spoiled. In Japan, children are generally raised by their parents, which means that children should do as much as they can by themselves. Kindergarten in China emphasizes skills like singing and English, while Japanese kindergartens emphasize independence and fitness. I think that there are many things to be learned from early childhood education.

On October 6th, the Thursday class went to the Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai.

There was a group of 9 students and family members, as well as 6 volunteers who participated.

They were able to draw on the instant noodle cups and customize their noodles and toppings to create a one-of-a-kind “my cup” of ramen.         2019.10.6

  

This is the reflection of one of the students who participated, Hu Yuxin (5th grade elementary student).

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 It was fun taking the train with Takahashi-sensei’s granddaughter. She was very cute. It was fun making ramen. Japanese ramen is delicious. That day was so fun. It was fun drawing on the cup. That day was a little tiring. The best part was eating the noodles. Our school went to listen to music before. It was near the Cup Noodles Museum. If there are any Chinese people who read my writing about these interesting parts of Japan and want to go, I’d like to take them next time.

Enokigaoka Elementary School, 5th grade, class 3 – Hu Yuxin 

 

 

 

 

 

Takahashi Sep28

70th Afternoon Tea

“The Charm of Beijing Opera and Mysterious Art of ‘Face-changing’”

Date: 26 October 2019 (Sat), 2–4PM

Location: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center, Room 5

Hosted by Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

The 70th afternoon tea event was held on October 26th (Sat) with special guest Ryuuken.

The event, titled “The Charm of Beijing Opera and Mysterious Art of ‘Face-changing’”, featured a lecture and performance. Ryuuken showed participants just how much one can change by applying the stage makeup, and also talked about the history of Beijing Opera, the roles taken, the nature of acting, the props used, and more in great detail. She also performed in the role of Yang Guifei.

Participants had the chance to take a commemorative photo with Ryuuken, who was dressed in the gorgeous costume of Yang Guifei.

“Face-changing”is a kind of traditional culture in China, and the methods behind it are said to be top secret. There was great applause and reactions from the participants when they witnessed it through the performance.

The event finished with rave reviews from participants, who left comments in the event survey such as“it was wonderful!””I forgot about the time!””I would love to see Beijing Opera!”

 

 

Takahashi Sep28Hosted by Yokohama Aoba International Lounge
Lecture in Plain English, No. 23

Mr. Takahashi’s English Conversation “Skill Up” Lecture No. 9
“Let’s Challenge English Subtitle Translation”

Lecturer: Mr. Motoharu Takahashi (from Toyo Eiwa University)
Date: 28 September 2019 (Sat), 2PM to 4PM
Location: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center
No. of Participants: 39

During this session of Mr. Takahashi’s English Conversation “Skill Up” Lecture series (No. 9), participants had the chance to translate Japanese from movies and TV into English. In the first half, they translated simple, everyday conversational phrases like “I knew it!” and “that really suits you,” and took part in conversation with each other.
After the break, participants selected some light material from Japanese variety programs and studied some points about translation into English.
Translation of conversation is not just word for word, but also takes into consideration the situation and feelings involved. They learned that it’s possible to express natural English expressions using simple vocabulary.
During this “Skill Up” session, participants were able to grasp some important points about translation and expressed that they had a great time. We received a lot of helpful feedback from them.
For the next session, we are planning to look at well-known English language songs to try to understand the emotions and meanings found in the lyrics.

★ Click here to check upcoming events.

AT1907000

69th Afternoon Tea
Egypt, Exploring an Eternal Mystery -The Past and Present of Egypt-
Date: 20 July 2019 (Sat), 2PM – 4PM
Location: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center, Room 5
Hosted by Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

Guest Speaker: Amal Refaat
Studied Japanese Language and Literature at Cairo University, came to Japan after graduation,
and completed graduate studies at Shinshu University in 2000. Became a research fellow at the
University of Tokyo from 2006 to 2008, and returned to Cairo University until 2017 as a full-time
lecturer for Japanese Language and Literature. Currently a visiting researcher at Doshisha
University.

The 69th Afternoon Tea event, titled “Egypt, Exploring an Eternal Mystery -The Past and Present
of Egypt-“, was held on Saturday, July 20th. The guest speaker was Amal Refaat. Amal spoke
about Egypt in fluent Japanese, covering a wide range of subjects such as nature, history, food,
traditional clothes, popular sports, cars, transportation, and more.

The participants of this event included people who had lived in Egypt or had traveled there, and
those who were planning to go there sometime in the future, which made for a very interested
and intent audience.

During the tea break, everyone had the chance to try a Middle Eastern sweet called baklava, as
well as hibiscus tea. Amal’s son was also in attendance.

During the question and answer session, there were a lot of questions, but Amal answered as
thoroughly as possible. Everyone gained a deeper sense of understanding and interest in Egypt.

Thank you to all of the people who participated.

Amal’s name seems to have the meaning of “hope” in Arabic. We hope that Amal can continue to
act as an important bridge between Japan and Egypt.

ENG TAKAHASHI July1

Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

Lecture in plain English, No. 22

Mr. Takahashi’s English Conversation “Skill Up” Lecture No. 8

“Talking about yourself in English ~How to give a self-introduction~”

Lecturer: Mr. Motoharu Takahashi (from Toyo Eiwa University)

Date: 6 July 2019 (Sat), 2PM to 4PM

Location: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center

Number of Participants: 42

What do we talk about the most when given the chance to speak in English? 

Perhaps it would be about ourselves?

During the 8th session in Mr. Takahashi’s English Conversation “Skill Up” Lecture series, titled “Talking about yourself in English ~How to give a self-introduction~”,  participants learned how to express certain things in English, how to continue a conversation, and also how to best promote themselves and leave a memorable impression on others when giving a self-introduction.

In the second part after the break, everyone watched a segment from an American TV audition program. The segment featured Japanese comedian Yuriyan Retriever. While watching, participants studied Yuriyan’s witty responses in English and her way of appealing to the audience. Her jokes were also explained, and Yuriyan’s ability to freely use English to take on a more global challenge further motivated the participants in their studies.

If you have a chance, please check out Yuriyan’s segment on YouTube.

Mr. Takahashi’s English Conversation “Skill Up” Lectures always touch upon important points in a fun, creative, and efficient way. We’re looking forward to seeing what kind of lecture is coming next.

Click here to check upcoming events.

11CIMG0804

First Panel Discussion

〜What do foreigners think about Japan?〜

Date: 15 June 2019 (Saturday), 2PM to 4PM

Location: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center, Meeting Rooms 2 & 3

Hosted by Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

We invited 7 foreign residents from 7 different countries to participate as panelists in a new kind of event. They took part in a discussion and voiced their opinions about Japan, including what they think about Japan, how it compares to their own countries, and more.
The panelists, who are fluent in Japanese, were joined by 33 other participants. The discussion focused on education, discipline, food, living environment, and other topics for a total of 7 themes which the panelists spoke about freely.
An example of one of the discussions: “Japan has a strong sense of Omotenashi (hospitality), but in the West African country of Senegal, ‘hospitality’is the norm. In fact, the name ‘Senegal’ means ‘hospitality’”. Many of the participants were surprised to hear this.
The panelists were able to ask each other questions, and also took questions from the participants about differences in customs and culture between Japan and their countries. This opened up a great discussion about a variety of topics.
The cultural exchange between panelists and participants continued into the break over tea, as well as after the event had officially ended, as participants had many lingering questions from the previous discussion. It was a great opportunity to experience cultural exchange.

child Jun1

6th International Exchange Event for Children

“Let’s Design a Kaleidoscope”

Date: 29 June 2019 (Saturday), 2:00PM to 3:30PM

Location: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center, Room 5

Hosted by Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

Instructor(s): Kumiko Nishikawa and Noriko Morooka (from St. Cecilia Women’s Junior College)

The 6th Cultural Exchange Event for Children, “Let’s Design a Kaleidoscope”, was held on Saturday, June 29th.

It was raining that day, but we had the pleasure of hosting 20 children, ranging from 3 years old to 5th grade elementary school students. We were also joined by a 5th grade student from China. The aim of the event was to let the children design their own kaleidoscope. The event was led by Kumiko Nishikawa and Noriko Morooka from from St. Cecilia Women’s Junior College.

The process started by drawing on a paper cylinder, and once complete, it was set on the kaleidoscope.

The children were free to create what they wanted, so each design was unique. Once reflected in the kaleidoscope, the designs look quite different, so the person viewing can constantly make new discoveries in their designs.

The children added the finishing touches to their one-of-a-kind kaleidoscopes by using stickers and decorative paper. Although there was a scheduled tea time, it was cut short because everyone was so interested in completing their creations.

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Yokohama Aoba International Lounge foreign language class hosted an event.

“The first recitation contest”
How about memorizing a speech by a famous person and presenting it to audience?

Date: March 13 (Sun), 2019 from 1:30pm to 3pm
Place: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center Room 5
Host: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

5 students from English class and Chinese class challenged at the first recitation contest to memorize a passage of a famous person’s speech and present in front of audience.
5 challengers chose passages of the 2013 Olympic invitation speeches by Ms Sato Maumi, Paralympian, and Ms. Christel Takigawa, a freelance announcer.

They all participated with gestures at their best and finished all sentences well, even though they should have been nervous. There was warm applause from the audience to their courage and challenge spirit.

After the tea time, two teachers of lounge English class gave their comments, which were very good advices for students studying English as the followings..
“Your challenge sprit was great. Very good speech.”
“English is one of communication skills. Please enhance your communication skill through many challenges.”

After the comments, 5 participants were awarded with certificates of commendation, prizes of participation and the most impressive speech award.
At the end, there was a surprise that there were “TOKYO” letters on the envelop a teacher took out of the pocket!!
Yes, this was as if the moment that 2020 Olympic game was decided to be held in Tokyo thanks to the wonderful Olympic invitation speeches by the five participants!!! 

The event of 31 people (including staffs) finished with flicker of excitement and big hand.