Kitchens Bring People Together

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The innovative chefs from the Esaka restaurant, Volare, gave an engaging workshop on Japanese-Italian fusion cooking. The workshop was another in our series of Culture & Cooking events. I find that working in the kitchen brings people together, as it is human nature to be involved in food preparation. People make connections with each other over food. Many international schools hold food fairs, but this is a more intimate and deeper experience. Last year we featured Russian, Afghanistani and Middle East (Saudi Arabian/Egyptian) cooking and culture nights.

 

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Head Chef Yuya Ishibashi demonstrates preparing Japanese Snapper

The team of chefs from Volare prepared four dishes. A beetroot risotto wrapped in shiso leaves, raw chicken breast marinated with konbu (kelp) and three types of mushrooms added, a veggie broth pasta and “aquapazza” a seafood and veggie stirfry. All the dishes were delicious, healthy and creative. Everyone was quite satisfied. I especially liked learning about kelp and how it can flavor many dishes.

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Osaka is a foodie paradise and it is good to highlight one of the hundreds of outstanding restaurants in the metropolitan area.

I would like to thank the OIS Parent Teacher Association for sponsoring the event. I also highly recommend Volare for a fabulous night out. All of their dishes are excellent and the service and attention to details, make for a guaranteed, amazing night on the town. Arigato gosaimasu to Kohei and Yuya!

 

 

 

 

 

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OIS Students Delight Audience at NHK Hall

 

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For the second year, OIS students provided some light-hearted moments in the performance October 2 at NHK Hall in downtown Osaka. Elementary and middle school students played the role of birds from around the world to help the water fairy clean the canals, rivers, and bays of Osaka in the Noh play, “The Fairy of the Water”. Noh is an ancient form of Japanese theatre and actors from the Yamamoto Noh Theatre company trained the students in the art form. The students even got the chance to speak, several of them boasting of the beautiful waterways of their home countries in their mother tongues.or the second year, OIS students provided some light-hearted moments in the performance October 2 at NHK Hall in downtown Osaka. Elementary and middle school students played the role of birds from around the world to help the water fairy clean the canals, rivers, and bays of Osaka in the Noh play, “The Fairy of the Water”. Noh is an ancient form of Japanese theatre and actors from the Yamamoto Noh Theatre company trained the students in the art form. The students even got the chance to speak, several of them boasting of the beautiful waterways of their home countries in their mother tongues.

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The play was backed by the Kansai Philharmonic, which played pieces of music with a water-theme, including Strauss’s The Blue Danube. The theme of the evening was East Meets West and that certainly was the case with European classical music juxtaposed with Noh theatre.

The students designed their own costumes, learned about makeup and dance and performed in front of a crowd of 1,400 people. The evening performance kicked off the Osaka Beyond 2020 campaign, sponsored by the Osaka city government. The goal is to promote international relations and the fine arts in anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympics.

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We appreciate the efforts of the Yamamoto Noh Theatre company, OIS parent Chizuko Bobrove and everyone at OIS that made the activity a success.

Elementary Soccer Teams Excel

 

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A happy bunch of student-athletes and coaches

The elementary students have been so enthusiastic about our soccer program. Yesterday 37 students participated in the Falcon Cup on Rokko Island. All of the teams won at least one game and one team in the senior division finished third out of 24 teams and another in the junior division won the championship.

The goals of the after-school sports program for grades 3-5 are as follows:

  1. Learn the fundamental techniques and team strategies to reach a high level of competency.
  2. Be active to improve cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
  3. Learn teamwork and being a positive, contributing member of a group.
  4. Laugh a lot and enjoy the experiences of a team sport.

 

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Coach Jones prepares the team for penalty kicks. 

 

I think we made strides in accomplishing all four goals so far this season. The games were moved inside due to the rain, but that did not deter from the fun. A special thanks to Canadian Academy athletic director Sim Cook for his organization and the school for hosting the event. There were over 30 futsal teams from 6 different schools, so it was a crazy day of kids running all over the place. I was especially proud of our students and it is good to see 12 girls playing on the teams. It is a goal of mine to increase the number of female athletes at our middle school and high school level and one way of doing that is to start them enjoying team sports in elementary school and hope it carries over to their later school years.

 

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Winners of the Junior Division

 

I also always say what is good for kids is good for adults and I think the coaches and parents enjoyed the day as much as the students. Gooooo Sabers!!!!!!

 

 

 

Taking Care of the Dormitory Students

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It is a special responsibility to run an international boarding program. We try to make the students feel at home and so from time to time, we hold events to give them a family experience. Last weekend we held a BBQ in the courtyard. Mr. Mecklem and Mr. Lewis were the master grillers, preparing perfectly done shrimp, beef and vegetables. Our dormitories have students from both schools, so we provide students with many opportunities to intermingle.

 

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Boarding students toured visited Katsuo Temple

On Sunday we led them on a hike up through the Minoh Quasi National Park to the Katsuo temple. It is quite a beautiful setting and lots of interesting things to see and do. The temple is known for its “winner’s luck” and pilgrims come when they are faced with challenges in their lives. A daruma doll is placed somewhere on the grounds when an obstacle is overcome or a goal achieved.

 

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Daruma are all over the temple grounds

 

 

Please contact the school if you are interested in learning more about our boarding program.

OIS National Merit Scholarship Finalists

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Congratulations to OIS seniors Nicole Yoo and Mark Yamamoto for being named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. Demonstrating their dedication to their studies, they are pictured above on a very rainy morning in homeroom, hustling to school despite the inclement conditions. Mark and Nicole completed the PSAT last October and received their certificates last week. Congratulations!

The National Merit Scholarship Program recognizes students for outstanding academic achievement on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). The top 0.5 % of the 1.5 million students from over 22,000 high schools are named semi-finalists. The program is only open to US citizens and the National Merit Scholarshipo Corporation is a privately funded, not-for-profit organization based in Evanston, Illinois, USA.

The PSAT assesses critical reading ability, mathematics problem-solving ability and writing ability, rather than existing knowledge. At the conclusion of the competition, a select group of finalists is chosen to receive university scholarships totaling over $35 million US dollars.

OIS administers the PSAT every October and students in grades 10 and 11 are eligible to sit the exam. For more information, please contact our learning support coordinator for more information.

 

 

New Faculty Tours Kwansei Gakuin University

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Last month Kwansei Gakuin Foundation Chancellor, Reverend Musubi Tabuchi hosted the new OIS faculty. The teachers toured the beautiful campus in Uegahara, a neighborhood that is part of the Nishinomiya suburb. Nishinomiya is between Osaka and Kobe and is famous as the home of Koshien Stadium and the professional baseball team, the Hanshin Tigers. Uegahara is 19 kilometers away from OIS.

Besides the tour, the teachers were treated to a sumptuous meal with a specifically crafted menu for the occasion. Chancellor Tabuchi explained the 128-year history of Kwansei Gakuin, which was founded by Methodist missionaries. The foundation still has a Christian ethos and is looking forward to a bright future with over 24,000 students, from doctoral students to pre-kindergarten students. The American architect designed the campus in a Spanish missionary style, and with the palm trees, it looks like California.

Mascots are popular in Japan and no tour would be complete without a visit with Honda, the mascot of the KG library. 本 hon is “book” in the Japanese language. Japan has the philosophy that mascots give institutions a human touch and encourages patrons to use their services. Honda sure makes me feel better about researching!

 

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Honda makes librarian patrons feel comfortable and ready to research!

It was a delightful evening and a nice way to welcome the new faculty to the KG foundation. In the words of Reverend Tabuchi, “We are Kwansei!”