Authentic Japanese Summer Festival ‘Natsu matsuri’

Primary Vacation Care students enjoyed immersing themselves in Japanese Summer Festivals with singing, dancing, costumes and craft.

IGS Japanese Teacher Noriko Yamanaka introduced students to Japanese Summer Festivals ‘Natsu matsuri’ and ‘Tanabata’ (Star Festival) to give them an authentic cultural experiment.

Children learnt about various Japanese summer festival items such as a Japanese fan, also known as ‘Uchiwa’ a Japanese headband, known as ‘Hachimaki’ as well as a traditional outfit known as, ‘Yukata’ and ‘Happi’.

“Children enjoyed creating their own ‘Uchiwa’ using Kanji scripts. (祭 means ‘Festival’、夏 means ‘Summer’、涼 means ‘Cool’). Children also created their own Hachimaki (Headband) and participated in Japanese Taiko performance.”

Japanese Taiko performance group YuNiOn gave students an authentic Japanese experience.

“On the second and third day, I introduced the Japanese summer festival event ‘Tanabata’ (Star Festival). Children enjoyed story-telling about ‘Tanabata’ then created decorations with Origami. Children also created ‘Tanzaku’ using paper strips and they then wrote their wishes and hung them on real bamboo trees just like a real ‘Tanabata’ celebration in Japan,” Noriko said.

“Children enjoyed exploring Ostinato using various instruments, body percussion and movement. They also enjoyed trying on the Hachimaki and took photos in front of the bamboo tree.

Students also explored the Japanese Summer dance called “Bon odori’, which means Bon dance. Children enjoyed learning the traditional Bon dance routine and danced with well known ‘Tankou bushi’ music. Children created Japanese lantern called ‘Chouchin’.”