Japanese New Year Celebration

By Chidera Obiwuma

On Sunday January 29, 2016 the Japanese students from Shikoku University invited some of the Japanese Plus students to go along with them to a Japanese festival. The festival was a Japanese New Year Celebration, and it was sponsored by the Japan Commerce Association of Washington, D.C.

I was one of those who went along and it was honestly a fun experience. At the festival I got to see and taste new things that I never knew about before. I got to try a melon flavored Japanese soda. It was tricky to open compared to American soda; however it was quite tasty. I also learned about a traditional Japanese game called Kendama. At the festival they had a competition amongst the kids to see who was the best skilled and there was also a presentation by two young men who participate in Kendama competitions around the world.

Afterwards, I got to have a little experience myself. Kendama is a traditional Japanese toy that has three cups, a spike, and a ball hanging by a string. The goal is to get the spike into the hole at the bottom of the ball and you can also use creative ways to do this. On my first try it was really difficult but I kept trying until I finally made the spike go in the ball. The game requires a lot of balance and precision. The trick is in the knees.

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