Exchange Student Introduces Japanese Culture Seminar


Erin McKown, Administrator

Brookville launched its first Japanese Culture Seminar set on Thursdays during FLEX. The seminar was started by Japanese exchange student senior Ririho Sugawara. Wanting to expose her culture to Brookville, Sugawara created the seminar in collaboration with school librarian Ms. Brooksie Kramer. The seminar is set to have twelve different sessions. 

“Before I came to the states, I was thinking that American people knew Japan very well,” Sugawara said, detailing the  motive behind planning her seminar. “However, after I moved here and started school, I noticed many people don’t know much about Japan. Even if people knew about Japan, it was mostly just sushi or anime. I was so disappointed that because we have such a  great culture, and then, I started to think I want them know Japan more.”

The seminar is set to deliver different aspects of Japanese culture and traditions, such as teaching basic Japanese words and phrases, talking about Sugawara’s hometown of Yokohama, and letting participants try authentic Japanese food.

“Participants can try Japanese snacks and miso soup. They can also try on a yukata, which is  like kimono. Also, I’ll teach syodo, which is writing calligraphy with a brush. I also want them to be able to introduce by themselves in Japanese on the last meeting, so that is the goal.”

With over 26 participants signed up, the Japanese seminar has definitely piqued the interest of students such as sophomore Julianna Ferguson.

“I signed up for the Japanese seminar because I think culture is cool and interesting,” Ferguson said. “The language is unique looking and it’s a pretty language and I want to learn more.”

Like Ferguson, sophomore Lily Perdue also was interested in the seminar. Perdue, who has previously tried to learn Japanese, hopes the club will deliver more information on the culture.

“I like the culture because it’s so different and I like the exposure it’ll give Brookville students,” Perdue said. “I hope I’ll have new experiences and get to meet people with the same interest.”

“I think Brookville should be more open minded to other cultures and recognize them because Brookville has a lot of people from different cultures and backgrounds,” Ferguson said.