Rakuya

By Cyrus Johnson

This past Saturday, some of my classmates, Ms. Sally, Eshita-sensei, and I went to eat at Rakuya, a Japanese restaurant near Dupont Circle. I didn’t even know there was a restaurant there, and I pass it a lot. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention. When I got a menu I was kinda expecting more on it, but they had some really good food. I ordered the Tokyo broth ramen with chicken and egg noodles, and most of my classmates and I got a bottle of Ramune. The portions were a lot bigger than I thought, and I couldn’t finish it. Luckily, Alexx said they’d take my leftovers, so it wasn’t wasted!

Is crossing you legs impolite?

By Alexx Thompson

Did you know in Japan there are many cultural taboos considered polite in America? Things such as pointing, walking on the wrong side of the road can be considered rude in Japan. One of these things is crossing your legs. Here it’s considered a polite thing to do, especially for those who wear skirts. It saves space, compared to when people sit with their legs slightly spread out, so people can sit in tight spaces. In Japan, crossing one’s legs is seen as disrespectful. It is because when you do this you show the bottom of your feet to guests, and since they have picked up dirt,  you are showing that dirt to your guests. This makes for very bad business relations.

It’s okay to cross your legs in a casual setting, but in business relations it’s seen as too casual and improper. It is preferable to sit in seiza, the traditional Japanese way of sitting where you sit upright and your legs are tucked underneath you. If you are sitting in a chair, then simply keep your legs together, rather than folding one over the other.

If you are ever in relations with Japanese people, always remember to receive and give business cards with both hands, give gifts after travels, and remember not to cross your legs!

Almost done for the year

Jazmin Angel-Guzman

On Saturday, we went to the Japanese restaurant Rakuya at Dupont Circle. It was the second to last official day of Japanese Plus. Initially, I was really sad and torn apart that we were about to end Japanese Plus I. But I remembered that I’m coming back for Japanese Plus II. Going to this luncheon made me see how special my class is. My Japanese Plus class consists of students from all over the city and different DC schools, making me meet new people.

I had a blast going out to eat with my class. I ordered egg noodles with shrimp tempura and for my drink, ramune. By the end, I was so full I had to wait a few minutes in order to walk! It was a nice way to close out the school year, but it was surreal that it was our last luncheon together as a class of 2019. I wish I could repeat the day again not only to eat food one more time but spend time with my class one last time.

A World of New Opportunities

By Alexx Thompson

Visiting the NAFSA conference this year really was a very eye-opening experience for me. NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. The NAFSA Annual Conference is a unique forum of attendees from many professional and geographic perspectives and backgrounds. It’s a large convention where you can interact with international businesses and colleges as well as gain information about the programs they offer. Five Japanese Plus students were the special guests of the American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) and NAFSA, along with other high school students from Maryland and Virginia.

When we first arrived at the hotel, on May 30, we were with the other students studying Japanese, and were introduced to the people behind the event. Getting to talk to them, as well as meeting the other students was really helpful for me to learn about what my next steps should be in going forward. Then we were led to the convention hall, where cute sakura trees surrounded the Japanese booths. There were many Japanese universities there and they were all really nice and willing to share their programs with us. Being introduced to more universities was very helpful for me, as I want to go to a Japanese university straight out of high school. I also got a chance to practice my Japanese with the people at each booth and I was really surprised to be able to understand the Japanese they spoke back to me. The only problem was sometimes I stumbled a bit and couldn’t format the sentences right in my head, so I said a few English sentences because I got nervous. Especially since I don’t really know much about college in English, so being able to understand the programs they offered in Japanese was very cool to me.

I also had the amazing opportunity to meet the vice president of Sophia University in Japan, and she was really sweet and wonderful. I really enjoyed talking to her and I’m really interested in applying to Sophia in the future. I want to be a translator as well as a polyglot, and immersion has always been the best tool for me.

Since the conference was an international one, it also brought my attention to studying abroad in other countries. I was really interested in the Korean universities, as I’m currently self-studying Korean, but I didn’t feel confident enough to talk to any of the representatives. I thought it really was amazing how I could go to so many colleges around the world. Not to mention programs I’d only seen online were there as well. I was able to talk with representatives from AFS, as I plan to study abroad in my senior year, and live in Japan for a semester or a year. It was really beneficial and was really cool to be able to see how many options I had. I loved the event and I really hope to go again if I ever have the chance.

Join us at our May 29th Final Presentation

Please join us for our

JAPANESE PLUS
YEAR-END STUDENT PRESENTATION

Our DC students will share some of what they’ve learned and experienced this school year
in our afterschool Japanese language, culture, and career exposure program.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
The Charles Sumner School
1201 17th Street, NW (17th & M) – near Farragut North metro stop 

5:30 – 6:30 pm: Student Exhibit and Reception
(an informal meet and greet, with light refreshents)

6:30 – 7:30 pm: Final Student Presentation
(seating is limited, so RSVPs required to guarantee a spot) 

Please contact me at sally@globalizedc.org to RSVP, or if you need further information.

How far we’ve come

By Lucca Bey

As the school year’s close is fast approaching, so does a period of reflection. With our final presentation for our Japanese I class closing in, it’s crazy to look back on how much progress we’ve made as a class so far. We learned over 90 different Japanese characters, excluding Kanji, learned over 120 different vocabulary words, and too many cultural aspects than I can count.

While we still are in the beginning of our Japanese journey, it’s important to look back on how far we’ve come in just a year. Whenever you study a language you begin to recognize it in places in your everyday life more than you thought could actually be possible. It truly gives you an entirely different perspective on little tidbits on the world around you. The connections that can be made from the basics of Japanese that we already know is amazing.

For example, just the other day I was browsing twitter and saw a post with Japanese. Now while no one in our class is completely fluent (yet), I wanted to give it a go. I didn’t go into the post expecting to understand any of it, yet surprisingly enough, I did! Well, kind of.

One doesn’t become fluent in a day, but the post had so many of some of the basics we learned in class, and some words I picked up along the way. Before I start droning on, as I tend to do, I’ll cut to the chase. The post was about a girl who was studying art, and how she had progressed from her first year to her third year. While I can’t say “progress” in Japanese, I do know the words “study,” “art,” general number counters, and how to say “year,” so all I needed to do was some light guess work to fill in the blanks!

It was a pleasant surprise that really made me reflect on how much we’ve managed to learn in such a short period of time, and I’m excited to show that off during our Capstone project on the 29th!

Seeking Japanese teachers for next year’s Japanese Plus program

Globalize DC is growing its Japanese language programs in the 2019-2020 school year!! Japanese Plus is our innovative afterschool Japanese language, culture, and career exposure program for DC public high school students citywide. Review this website for much more information about the program.

We are seeking one or two new dynamic part-time Japanese teachers to join our team. Interested? Download the job announcement here:

2019 Japanese Teacher Recruitment

We will fill the position as soon as we find the right candidate(s). Please share this announcement with anyone you think might be interested.

Any questions? Contact sally@globalizedc.org.