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Cultural Activities

Cultural Activities

To engage students in the local community and to give them a better understanding of Japanese culture, JCMU arranges numerous activities with instructors, groups and demonstrators from the local community and universities in Hikone. JCMU students are able to experience many aspects of Japanese culture and life through these programs.

JCMU students' language and cultural understanding is further enhanced by their planned participation in other activities: long-term homestays, weekend homestays, excursions to important historical and cultural sites, and a wide variety of community-based activities and events both in and outside of the institution.

cultural presentations

Cultural Presentations

Cultural presentations include hands-on experiential activities (directed by local experts and practitioners) such as calligraphy, tea ceremony, Koto playing, flower arrangements, and so forth. Through these activities, conducted mostly in Japanese but easily understood even by beginning language students because of their kinetic qualities, students are able to experience the language directly in "non-threatening" situations.


elementary school visits

Elementary School Visits

Students go out in small groups to visit local elementary schools where they participate in activities like Dodge-ball, Fruit Basket and Jan-Ken-Pon. Additionally, the elementary students have the opportunity to engage JCMU participants in simple English conversations. These elementary school visits are an important part of building relationships between JCMU and Hikone and by promoting cultural exchange. Take a look at this video clip taken at a musical performance given in honor of JCMU's visit.


oral presentations

Oral Presentations

Students prepare and deliver a presentation in Japanese, demonstrating their language skills by incorporating what they have learned in class as well as what they have experienced from the previous weeks' activities. Local people with whom the students interacted during the program and the students' respective host families are invited to the presentations.



community interview

Community Citizen Interviews

Students look beyond the Japan Center as they interview the citizens of Hikone and other local communities, tourists at Hikone Castle, students at Shiga University and the University of Shiga Prefecture, members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce in Hikone and citizens of Shiga-cho on the other side of Lake Biwa. These activities promote the use of daily Japanese language and encourage students to communicate and build relationships with their local Japanese hosts.

language partner

Language Table & Language Partners

At the beginning of each term, students may sign up for the Language Partner Project, pairing them up with a Japanese student studying English at JCMU. Partners meet weekly and split time to learn both English and Japanese. Later in each term, JCMU invites a large group of local people to participate in "language table" where half the time is spent in Japanese and the other half in English.




Community Internships

Students have an opportunity to be involved in the local community with the JCMU community internships. While these internships are unpaid and not for credit, they give students insight on how the Japanese world works, a chance to make contacts within the community, look good on a resume and are fun. Community internships generally run once a week for four or more weeks. Examples include working at Hikone City Hall for International Affairs, local elementary/high schools, Biwako Broadcasting Company, etc.