Japanese spring celebrations

AS Tasmania welcomes the start of a cold winter, Dominic College students have been vicariously enjoying the warm weather in Japan through their studies of special Japanese spring festivities.

Students have been researching the significance of sakura (cherry blossoms) and the act of hanami (flower viewing) for Japanese people.

They have also been singing songs to a traditional Japanese melody, “Sakura Sakura”, and have enjoyed hearing the unique sound of the koto, a traditional Japanese stringed instrument.

Students have also been learning about Children’s Day in Japan, which is held annually on 5 May and is signified by koinobori (carp streamers) that are displayed outside homes in Japan.

Dominic College principal Beth Gilligan said connecting students with the ancient and contemporary cultural practices of Japan was an excellent way to engage them in learning about their Japanese neighbours.

“Japanese is taught from kindergarten to year seven at Dominic College and students can choose to study Japanese as an elective from year eight,” she said.

“Students in year 10 are able to participate in a two-week cultural immersion to Japan visiting temples, schools, museums, and one of the highlights for students is their visit to Tokyo Disneyland.”

Ms Gilligan said she had been delighted by the college’s Japanese program led this year by new teacher Belinda Kumashiro.

“Mrs Kumashiro recently returned to Tasmania after 10 years in Japan and brings a wealth of knowledge to the college in Japanese studies,” she said.