74rd Afternoon Tea

This event was held successfully. Photos from that day can be viewed here.

 

 

Lecture in Plain English, No. 27
〜True Pioneers:Native Americans〜
topDate: 13 March 2022 (Sun), 1:30~3:30PM (Doors open at 1:15)
Location: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center, Room 5
Hosted by: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge
Guest Speaker: Mr. Michael Graff

Mr. Michael Graff has been in Japan for 18 years, majored in biology and cultural anthropology in university, and has devoted himself to research on ethnology. His research is based on the Native Americans of North and South America, with particular interest in the Indigenous peoples of his home state of Kansas. Mr. Michael Graff is also a teacher for the English classes offered at the lounge, and this was the first time he gave a lecture about Native Americans to us. The event was held during a quasi-state of emergency, with 24 participants and 6 staff in attendance. We stressed the need to sanitize, check temperatures, ventilate, and limit the number of people attending the event.

While we often imagine horses, bows and arrows, and “Indians” when we think of Native Americans, the reality is that they are spread all across the North and South American continents and exist with many different genetic identities. Moreover, we can also see how diversity came about by understanding that groups of Native Americans developed various lifestyles to adapt to different climates and natural features of the North and South American continents.

 

73rd Afternoon Tea
“Ms. Mariangela’s Italian Technique to Happiness”

AT73 00Date: 5 March 2022 (Sat), 12:30~2:00PM (Doors open at 12:15)
Location: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center, Rooms 2 and 3
Hosted by Yokohama Aoba International LoungeGuest Speaker: Ms. Mariangela Rago
Born in Brescia in Northern Italy, Ms. Mariangela is a graduate of the department of biology at the University of Milan. She married pianist Mr. Takahiro Seki and came to Japan. She is currently a lecturer at the Tokyo College of Music. She taught on NHK’s “Italian Language Course” (2009). She was awarded the title of honorary citizen by the city of Finale Ligure in Italy for spreading Italian culture (2014). She is currently expanding her Italian-themed courses all over Japan.

On Saturday, March 5th, we welcomed Ms. Mariangela, who talked about the “Italian Technique to Happiness”. Ms. Mariangela grew up in a home where both parents and her grandfather were educators, and so she talked about the essence of the education they cultivated.

 Online Japanese Speech Contest 2021.11.21 Videos

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we were unable to hold the speech contest last year, but it was held online this year.

There were 7 participants whose videos were taken in the lounge meeting room, while another 2 people participated online.

If you click on a presenter’s picture, it will become a Video.

shido.ph  Moderator
Sidhho Nuvjit [Canada] 4 years and 4 months in Japan 
 
 Student and English Instructor      0:39
 
 
 
pusupa.ph Hapsari Puspitaloka (Puspa) 【Indonesia】(7 years, 2 months in Japan)
4 customs in Indonesia that aren’t in Japan”      6:10

Indonesia and Japan are both Asian countries, but their cultures are a little different.

For example, when children or young people in Indonesia meet someone older than themselves, they take that person’s hand and draw it to their forehead. This gesture shows how valued older people are. 
 
  

Presentation Event in 2021      Supplementary Class for children

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.

buffer_7380274  child5  rimg0324

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
AT72 00Date: 30 October 2021 (Sat), 12:30~2:00PM
Format: Zoom
Hosted by: Yokohama Aoba International LoungeGuest 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.

 

Lecture in Plain English, No. 26

“YOKOHAMA ONLINE TOUR”

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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.

 

 71st Afternoon Tea
“My Hometown Tula, Russia〜A place linked to Tolstoy〜”

at202107 3Date: 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).

 

Foreigner Bibliobattle “Why did you choose that book?”

img 1044Although 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.

 

 International Student Discussion
“Why did you choose Japan?”

topics202002se jpnDate: 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.

 

Lounge 30th Anniversary Celebration
New Year Gathering 

2020 002Date: 12 January 2020 (Sun), 13:30~15:30
Aoba Cross-Cultural and Community Center, Rooms 2, and 3
Guest Performers: Mr. Masaru Yamakage (Tsugaru shamisen)
Ha Panhe, Lee Sangchul (Traditional Korean percussion instruments)

The 2020 New Year Gathering celebrated the 30th anniversary of the lounge, which happened in November 2019. Following the opening greetings given by chairperson Ms. Koike, the first half was filled with wonderful performances from our guest performers.
The first performance was by Mr. Masaru Yamakage, who put on beautiful performances of a variety of genres from folk to pop on the Tsugaru shamisen. Next was the team Hwarangdae, whose two members explained Pungmul (traditional Korean folk music), and then performed and danced to traditional Korean percussion instruments called janggu. The performances were a great way to welcome the New Year, and the audience loudly applauded the performers.

After that, we viewed a slideshow for “30 Years of the Lounge”, and there was a chance for visitors, guest performers, and staff to interact with each other. Some of the international participants wore their own traditional clothing, which made for a great event.

 

 

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

topics201912se jpn

 ・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.

 

 Lecture in plain English, No. 24

“Rediscovering Mexico – the land of many charms!”

topics201909ye jpn

 ・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.

 Trip to the Cup Noodle Museum in Yokohama     Extracurricular Lesson by Wednesday Class

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)

 

 Japanese Speech Event  2019.11.10  You can view the video of each speaker

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.

 We designed cup noodle packaging at the Cup Noodles Museum (Japanese Language Class, Thursday session)

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 

 

 

 

 

  

70th Afternoon Tea

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

Takahashi Sep28

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!”

 

Lecture in Plain English, No. 23

 Takahashi Sep28Hosted by Yokohama Aoba International Lounge
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.

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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.