OIS strongly believes in having our students experience Japanese culture. Setsubun is celebrated in Japan every February 3 as a division between Daikon (greater cold) and Risshun (beginning of spring). The traditional Japanese calendar has 72 “microseasons” in a year and Daikon and Risshun are two of the 24 major subdivisions of this calendar.
Setsubun was previously thought of as sort of a New Year’s Eve, and so it is still today marked by a special ritual to cleanse away the bad spirits of the former year. The mamemaki ritual of throwing beans at the Oni representing bad spirits, cleanses the participants to they are good and healthy for the rest of the year.
The kindergarten students loved throwing beans and had a memorable experience because they were active and it was emotional. The IB philosophy of learning by doing is on display on an activity like this. OIS students learn the culture and language of Japan through their Japanese classes.
A delegation of OIS students and teachers marched in protest yesterday in downtown Osaka. Marches were taking place all over the world to protest the racist and sexist statements, policies and actions of US president Donald Trump. The goal of the marches were to raise awareness of women’s and minorities’ rights.
In a Japan Times article about the event in Osaka, OIS student Manon Raby was quoted,
Manon Raby, a student at an international high school in Osaka who participated in the event, said there wasn’t really a lot of talk among her Japanese friends publicly about Trump and the past year.
“People seem to talk politics around the dinner table, but not really participate in marches like this,” she said.
Our mission statement challenges us to “contribute to the global community”. The OIS teachers and students demonstrating activism certainly were fulfilling this goal. The mission statement of the IB is to create a better and more peaceful world. Peaceful activism and standing up for what they believe are necessary for democracy.
We plan to continue the conversation on women’s rights on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2018. We are planning events on this day, including a roundtable discussion and lessons raising awareness.