Once again, Fukushima Prefecture hosted 2 New Zealand
teachers of Japanese from September 24th to October 4th for the inaugural
Fukushima-New Zealand Exchange Programme, designed to build exchange
between schools in the 2 regions. This time marked the 10th year that
the exchange programme has been running, and Fukushima was pleased
to welcome Mr. Adam Burden, from Lynfield College in Auckland, and
Mrs. Anastacia Zvyagintseva (also known as Ana or Mrs. Z), from Orewa
College in Auckland.
New Zealand Programme Report
To View The Participnts
Here For The Trip Schedule
Excel Doc 38 KB)
■Japanese Cultural Experience
Prefecture Jichikaikan, Japanese Style Room
After Mrs. Nagashima gave a lecture on the way a
kimono is worn, how it is made, the various styles, and how to get
in to the spirit of wearing kimono, among many other things, and
the participants had a go at actually trying a kimono on for them
selves. Mrs. Nagashima was impressed with how well the kimono suited
both of them and was happy to have passed on a part of traditional
■Japanese Cultural Experience
Sourin Tea Ceremony Room
Teacher：Mrs. Tanno Sourin
Mrs. Tanno began by explaining things like the atmosphere
of the tea ceremony room and the traditional sweets and snacks,
while also teaching the correct procedure of tea drinking. The participants
then had a go at preparing the tea themselves and serving others.
Within the serene atmosphere, the participants both got a feel for
the spirit of the tea ceremony. The teacher was very happy to present
dried peas as one of the accompanying snacks, which she excitedly
informed everyone had been made in New Zealand, and was very pleased
to have found quite by accident, while out buying sweets and snacks
for the tea ceremony.
【Historical Cultural Component】
■The Aizu Samurai Training School
After viewing a video on the history of the Aizu
area and the school, the participants were shown through the grounds
by a guide. Both of the teachers were deeply interested in the style
and history of the school as they explored the buildings. The guide
explained about the style of teaching and the "10 Commandments"
of the school. Afterwards, during the experience of zazen (Buddhist
style of meditation) the guide explained the meaning behind such
things as the deep breathing techniques and style of sitting. The
participants were both able to experience traditional archery, and
wooden horse riding (used in preparation for teaching students how
to ride real horses), and felt it was a great experience that allowed
them touch the spirit of the traditional Japanese "Way of the
Warrior" in a way that nothing else can.
Next we called on Turaga Castle, a piece of history
representative of the Fukushima area, and toured inside the castle
and the old grounds where the living quarters and tea ceremony houses
were situated. Both of the participants were deeply interested in
the guide's explanations of the history of the castle and the lifestyles
of the people who lived there hundreds of years ago.
■Japanese Cultural Experience（Clay Pottery）［Ryumonyaki］
Next we visited Aizu's fired clay producer, Aizu
Hongo area's famous Ryumonyaki、and experienced producing clay works.
After listening to the professional potter's explanation、the participants
used the spinning platform to create cups and bowls. At first, the
difficulty of producing a convincing shape was too great, but after
some help from the professional potter, both participants were able
to remember some of the techniques and each produced wonderful clay
■Kounan Prefectural Highschool
［Meeting with the Dean
・ Explanation of the School］
First we greeted the dean in the Principal's office, and after Mr.
Masaki had explained about the values and history of the school、we
were showed an introductory video of the school that the students
had made themselves. Both of the New Zealand teachers were very
impressed with the level of the students' ability in being able
to make such a high quality film.
［2nd Period ・ Viewing School
Mr. Masaki acting as a guide showed us around the school's facilities,
including a specially designed library that spans 3 floors of the
school with its high, vaulted ceiling(without floor structures passing
through it, essentially creating a large void in the center of the
school building), and a laboratory and training room designed to
teach students how to care for the elderly, including how to bathe
them etc… which is a rare facility among highschools. Both participants
appeared particularly impressed with the forward thinking attitude
of the school and the advanced technology it offered its students.
［3rd Period ・ 4th Period
・ Observing Lessons］
We were able to observe lessons such as computer lessons where students
create music and art, and also an English lesson. During 4th period
we observed a calligraphy class, and the two New Zealand teachers
were able to take part, trying out calligraphy for themselves. Both
participants enjoyed this opportunity to experience another aspect
of Japanese culture and produced some wonderful works of their own.
［Lunch with the Students］
The participants enjoyed having lunch in the principal's office
with some students from the students' association, while talking
with them about numerous topics. The students were very forward
with their opinions and the discussion bounded from one topic to
the next, becoming an experience that allowed both the participants
and the students to understand eachother more fully, encouraging
the bridging of the cultural divide.
［5th Period ・ 6th Period Lecture on New
The participants each gave a lecture on New Zealand to the entire
lot of 1st year students. Adam used a power point presentation to
introduce New Zealand, and explain the traditional Maori dance,
"the Haka", which he then performed, to the great delight
of the students, and then proceeded to teach them the words and
the moves so they could all perform it together. The students, who
saw the "Haka" for the first time in real life all appeared
very surprised at the level of noise and feeling needed to perform
the dance. The Haka proved so exciting that one of the students
jumped on stage and danced with Adam in front of the rest of the
students. Ana challenged the students with a quiz on New Zealand、and
introduced her own school and aspects of New Zealand culture. The
students participated in the quiz enthusiastically, and greatly
deepened their knowledge while competing against eachother and fully
enjoying themselves. It was a great experience that encouraged a
lot of exciting exchange.
［After School ・ Club Viewing］
After viewing the gym where judo was being practiced, both participants
were invited to take part in the Ikebana club's activities, and
enjoyed arranging flowers together with other club members. After
receiving some instruction from the club's teacher, both Adam and
Ana were able to create wonderful flower arrangements. After this
we visited the Principal's office again, and the participants spoke
with the dean Mr. Masaki, the supervisor Mr. Sanjo, and Mr. Kohashi
about possible future exchanges, expressing their opinions to eachother.
■Naganuma Prefectural Highschool
［Greeting the Principal
・ Explanation of the School］
After arriving at the school, we greeted the Principal Mrs. Iwasawa
and the supervising teachers, then received a run down on the school
and its facitlities.
［3rd Period ・ Viewing Lessons］
We viewed a physical education lesson, OA (Office Automation) computer
class, and historical Japanese language lesson. In the computer
room, both participants were invited to have a go on the computers,
and enjoyed typing up a piece of writing while racing the clock.
［4th Period ・ Lecture on New
Adam presented a lecture on New Zealand, using power point, to the
3rd year, Room B students. After this he demonstrated the Haka,
and got the students to join him in dancing it, much to the students'
delight. It was enjoyed so much that the rumour spread like wild
fire all over the school and he was obliged to perform it again,
for other students.
［Lunch with the Students］
We enjoyed lunch with some students while having plenty of discussion.
Thanks to the students' warm-hearted hospitality, the discussion
was a very peaceful and productive affair.
［5th Period ・ Viewing Lessons］
We viewed the chemistry, art, and food design lessons. During the
chemistry lesson both participants were very interested in the experiment
that was being carried out, involving liquid nitrogen. They were
invited to take part, and thoroughly enjoyed freezing various props
such as balloons (which promptly shrank to nothing as the oxygen
inside them condensed and froze), and rubber balls (which the teacher
encouraged students to smash on the ground). The art class also
proved fascinating as students created pictures using different
concentrations of dots (a technique rarely seen in New Zealand).
Finally, during food design, we viewed students creating Kenchin
soup and Chinese cabbage salad with seasame. The students kindly
prepared some for both the participants, and presented it as a gift.
［6th Period ・ Lecture on
Ana introduced New Zealand, using power point, to the students of
1st year, Class C. After this she carried out a quiz on New Zealand,
and the students, highly motivated by a prize of New Zealand sweets,
participated enthusiastically, while also deepening their knowledge
on New Zealand.
［After School ・ Club Viewing］
After meeting with the Principal and the dean to discuss future
possible exchanges, both participants were then invited to the Tea
Ceremony club, and took part in the club activities, trying out
their skills they had acquired during the cultural experience. They
were served tea by one of the club members, and were even instructed
further on Tea Ceremony ettiquate by the Principal, who had joined
in the club activities.
（Friday） ・ 2007/09/30 （Sunday）
Both Adam and Ana stayed with the same host family, who lived in
a large house with their elderly parents and 3 young children, in
a small village called Tenei, high up in the mountains of Fukushima
During their homestay the family held a welcome party, to welcome
them in to the family. They were also invited to the area's pre-school
field day, which became a great experience for them to interact
with the local people.
Also, Tenei Village's Yumoto Intermediate Kendo club invited them
to join in its weekend activities, and both Adam and Ana were taken
for a tour around places such as British Hills (a high-class English
training center and hotel) and Regina Forrest (a spa resort) by
a teacher from Yumoto Intermediate.
We visited a place known as Ouchijuku, high up in
the mountains of Fukushima. It is a small town with traditional
houses, shops, inns, and a temple kept in excellent condition since
the Edo Period (also known as the Samurai period spanning from the
early 1600s to the late 1800s). It was an inn town that served many
samurai and travelers as they moved from one major town to another
along the main route through Fukushima. It is now one of the major
tourist attractions of this prefecture. Both participants viewed
the historical buildings with fascination as they wandered through
the main street. Adam stopped at one of the inns that was serving
soba (Japanese noodles) and enjoyed a dish of "negi ippon soba"
(noodles flavoured with one stick of spring onion), while Ana enjoyed
some traditional snacks being sold along the roadside, including
miso dango (mashed rice that has been shaped in to balls and boiled,
then flavoured with soy bean paste), and roasted chestnuts.
■Traditional Japanese Inn
Then it was back to Tenei village, to stay at a
traditional Japanese Inn called Yuguchiya, situated at the source
of the Yumoto hot springs. The participants enjoyed staying in this
traditional style building with a thatched roof like those from
Ouchijuku, while also enjoying the untouched natural hot springs
straight from its source, full of skin improving minerals, and traditional
Japanese meals such as spit-roasted fish, and many other local delicacies,
served at a low table surrounding the roasting pit in the center
of the floor.
■Tenei Village's Yumoto
［1st Period ・ Calling on
Yumoto Primary School］
We were guided to Yumoto Primary, situated next to Yumoto hot springs
by the dean Mr. Usui, and were able to observe the 1st and 2nd year
students' 1st period lesson. We were then all invited to play a
game of "fruit basket" (an adaptation of one of the many
switching seats games, where someone calls out a fruit, and everyone
who has a certain kind of fruit on their little hand out card has
to run to and sit down on another seat before someone else gets
it - leaving one hapless person in the middle to call out the next
fruit). It was a very enjoyable exchange for everyone involved.
［2nd Period ・ Meeting the
After arriving at Yumoto Intermediate, and proceeding to the entrance,
we were greeted with a beautiful handmade banner that the students
had meticulously created and written personal messages on. After
this we were invited to the Principal's office where we met the
Principal Mr. Ogawa. We were greeted once again by handmade national
flags that decorated the table. Both Adam and Ana were very moved
by such a warm welcome.
［3rd Period ・ 4th Period
・ Viewing Lessons］
We were able to view many lessons, including English, historical
Japanese language, calligraphy, and music. During the English lesson
both the participants were invited to participate in the practice
dialogues being carried out by groups of students in front of the
class. Both participants were also invited to take part in the calligraphy
class, and enjoyed creating further masterpieces to add to their
growing collection. During the music lesson, the entire school gathered
together and performed a song that they had sung during a choir
competition. Both Adam and Ana seemed very impressed, and moved.
［School Lunch with
the Students and Teaching Staff］
During lunch time we were invited to have lunch with the entire
school and teaching staff. Lunch was prepared and served with the
help of those students on duty. Both the participants enjoyed exchanging
opinions and talking with the students while enjoying their nutritious
school lunch, complete with a glass of milk!
［5th Period ・ 6th Period ・ Lecture on New
The entire school and all the teachers, including the Principal,
gathered to watch the presentations. Adam and Ana both introduced
many different aspects of New Zealand using their power point presentations.
Adam then introduced a Maori greeting called the "hongi"
and the Maori dance - the Haka! All the students and even the teachers
took part in practicing the Haka together, everyone thoroughly enjoying
Ana then carried out her quiz to deepen the students'
knowledge of New Zealand, but now the teaching staff, who were thoroughly
worked up after the Haka, were eager to participate also, and it
turned in to a contest between students' and teachers' groups, fiercely
competing for the highly coveted prize of some New Zealand sweets
and other exciting goodies.
［After School Meeting with the Principal
・ Students' Yosakoi Performance］
Both participants discussed possible future exchanges with the Principal
and the dean who were both very enthusiastic about the prospect.
The students then performed a traditional Japanese dance called
"Yosakoi" in the school gym. Both Adam and Ana saw the
amount of effort that each and every student had put in to welcoming
them so warmly, and were deeply moved by the experience.
■Japanese Cultural Experience（Ikebana/Flower
Place： Fukushima Prefecture
Teacher： Mrs. Masako Ono
Mrs. Ono, from the Ogasawara School of Ikebana,
gave both of the participants a lecture on the history of Ikebana,
along with a description of the basic principles behind the practice
of Ikebana, then got them both to have a try for themselves.
Both Adam and Ana created their wonderful works of art while taking
advice from Mrs. Ono about how to make the flowers and leaves bend
at a more natural angle, the importance of the way each piece faces
eachother and the intersections it creates, and how to capture a
miniature slice of real nature in a vase. The end result was some
beautifully impressive displays that Mrs. Ono was impressed to have
been able to teach them in such a short time.
■Meeting with the Senior
Place： Prefectural Office, West
During the afternoon we made a visit to the Prefectural
Office to visit the Senior Policy Administrator. He was kindly filling
in for the Governor who had unfortunately been unable to attend
the meeting. The Administrator, Mr. Fujiwara, asked both of the
participants about their impressions of Fukushima, and was answered
with the enthusiastic response "It's a place full of beautiful
natural sights, and I was able to experience such hospitality here,
the like of which I've never had before". Mr. Fujiwara then
expressed his desire for Adam and Ana to act as a bridge of international
understanding between New Zealand and Fukushima Prefecture. After
the meeting had been concluded, Adam and Ana were presented with
an International Relations Goodwill Badge in memory of the occasion.
■Koriyama City's Daiyon
［Meeting the Principal］
After arriving at the school, we were seated in the Principal's
office and greeted by the Principal and the supervising teachers.
The school and its facilities were also described to us.
［2nd Period ・ 3rd Period ・ Viewing the
We were able to view such lessons as Home Economics, Wood Technology,
Physical Education, Music, and Science. Both of the participants
seemed particularly impressed with the level of skill students demonstrated
during the woodwork and home economics lessons.
［4th Period ・ Lecture on New Zealand］
Adam presented his lecture on New Zealand in front of the entire
lot of first year students. All of the students listened enthusiastically
as Adam presented on New Zealand, and joined in the Haka dance with
［5th Period ・ Lecture on
Ana then gave her presentation on New Zealand in front of all the
2nd year students. After introducing various aspects of New Zealand
using power point, she carried out a quiz, allowing the students
to deepen their knowledge of New Zealand in an informative, yet
［6th Period ・ Viewing Lessons］
We visited many different classes, but because the mid term exams
were just around the corner, many of the classes were explaining
about the procedures and study points relevant to the coming exams.
However, both of the participants found this a particularly interesting
point, and wandered around taking in copious amounts of information.
Then in the final class we visited, Adam's Haka had again become
particularly famous, and he was obliged to perform it once more
on request of the students, who reacted with awe and surprise at
the power of the dance and at the amount of noise he could make.
［After School Meeting with
Students & Teachers］
Students who had been selected from each year level meet with both
Adam and Ana in the Principal's office, and came prepared with questions,
to facilitate discussion between everyone. They even came so prepared
we carried out the meeting in English. Both of the participants
were very impressed with amount of effort the students had gone
to in their preparations.