This year’s September provided a unique opportunity for several dozen WISH Residents early on a Saturday morning, when we were fortunate enough to have been expressly invited by Nakano Junior High School’s principal to attend their cultural festival.
Residents were separated into groups of five or six, and escorted through the school’s eight stories, packed with fun activities and booths, by Nakano Junior High Students. The festival featured everything from whimsical rubber band guns, ring tosses, and rock paper scissors, to highly educational exhibitions outlining the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and illustrative posters describing poverty in Africa. This balance between the enlightening and the playful ensured that attendees were simultaneously educated and entertained. And all of this is not to mention the food! Everything from western-style crepes, donuts, and chocolates, to locally flavored yakisoba and green tea were offered up to our groggy residents.
Subsequent to the gastronomic success and booth exploration, WISH residents participated in a Waseda International Student Session hosted by the principal, in which Junior High students interviewed Waseda attendees about Japan’s image abroad and foreigners preconceptions regarding their new university home.
Following a quick thank-you from the principal, students from Nakano Junior High hosted a quiz for the Waseda guests, handed out prizes, and called it a day! WISH residents then waddled the few short blocks back to the dorm full of delicious food, sadness that the short walk would not burn off the calories they consumed, and cultural experiences upon which to reflect.
School of Political Science and Economics 1st year Y.L.