Introducing Tamawan

Program Director’s Note: Working collectively, reflecting on the personalities and values of the group, our Japanese Tamago students have thoughtfully designed their own Japanese-style mascot for the program. Our student artist, Key’Mari Thompson, translated the concept into art. And so we are happy to have Key’Mari introduce Tamawan to our wider community. Kawaii!

By Key’Mari Thompson

Meet Tamawan, the official mascot of Japanese Tamago!

He is a scholarly dog who showcases the various different aspects and values of the class. Tamawan is a Shiba Inu, a very popular breed of dog in Japan, whose name combines “Tamago” and “wan-wan”, the Japanese onomatopoeia for dogs barking. His fur is red and white, representing the colors of both the DC flag and the Japanese flag, alongside symbolizing the cooperation and community between them. Since red is a very strong and passionate color, Tamawan’s fur shows off the strong dedication and passion that the students have for learning Japanese. He also sits inside of a cracked egg, not only representing the name “Tamago” in the literal sense, as Tamago means “egg” in Japanese, but it also shows off the open-minded attitude of the students necessary for language learning. As Tamawan himself is a student, he is excited to learn about the Japanese language, much like the students, and also like the alternative meaning of Tamago, apprentice. Much like an apprentice, Tamawan is always eager to grow and learn new skills.