by Cristin Maldarella
Japanese Club is a new club at Tri-City Prep which had its first meeting on September 20, and will continue to have meetings every Thursday after school. This club is completely different from any other club at Tri-City Prep. At the first meeting, led by Cassidy Leo, the plans for the future of the club were discussed. Each meeting will be themed and each theme will be different. For example, the theme for September 27 will be origami, which is a form of art that uses paper to create different shapes.
In this new club, members will learn to cook a variety of different Japanese foods along with learning some basic Japanese phrases and greetings such as “good morning” and “see you next week.” In the first meeting, the first verse of a Japanese children’s song was learned. Although this song is a children’s song about snow, somehow Japanese students in previous years have turned it into an incantation where they rub their hands together chanting it. Is Japanese Club a cult? Probably. One of the reasons for singing in the club is because singing is not only fun and engaging, but it also helps with learning the Japanese accent. When people are focused on the tune of the song, they are less focused on how they are pronouncing words and people are able to have a better pronunciation of the words without even thinking about it. Learning some basic Japanese songs will help members of the Japanese Club with their pronunciation of the words in the language.
Another plan for the Japanese Club is attending Matsuri, a Japanese festival in Phoenix during the spring. At this festival, people are exposed to a number of different Japanese traditions. There will be martial arts, foods, cosplay, etc. Although not everything at Matsuri is entirely accurate to Japanese culture, much of it is, and it is a wonderful festival for anyone interested in learning about the Japanese culture.
One other thing that is planned for this club is going to different local Japanese restaurants and trying different traditional Japanese foods. In the first meeting, members enjoyed a cup of tea while all of these plans were discussed. It was planned that at each meeting, members would bring their own cup from home so that they can enjoy a cup of tea at every meeting. The significance of drinking tea together is that in Japan, green tea is one of the most consumed beverages, typically accompanying most meals.
Japanese Club will be a wonderful experience for any students interested in learning and experiencing Japanese culture. Members will be able to enjoy different traditional Japanese foods and will learn enough of the language to get by if they ever plan on visiting Japan. There will be plenty of opportunities to sing Japanese songs and watching Japanese movies, including Studio Ghibli, which is a well-known Japanese animation film studio. This club will be incredible for anyone who is interested in a fun club that teaches about a very fascinating culture.