Japanese Culture Week 2008

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Japanese Culture Week 2008

The workshop was organised in order to promote Japanese culture among Kenyan children. The Japanese Culture and Information Department invited various Nairobi schools as follows :

St. Elizabeth Academy
Juja Preparatory School
Moi Educational Centre
Bellevue School
Serare School
Mountain View Academy
Riara Road Primary School
Makini School
NPC Academy
Juhudi Children Club

Altogether, ten primary schools (normal age range : 6 to 14 years old) attended the function.

The Bamboochas for their part attended as facilitators to their junior brother and sisters specifically as regards Introduction to Japanese Poetry -- Haiku. The following haijin (all Bamboochas) represented the Haiku Clubs of Nairobi :

Jedidah Nduku, James Njoka and Judith Muthengi (Form One)
Caren Cheptoo and Anne Wairimu (Form Two)
Martin Kamau (Form Three)
Raymond Otieno (Form Four)

They performed superbly well in all their presentations. They managed to inspire other children to write haiku and even invite them to their schools to teach them haiku! The haiku written by the ten schools have been sent to Wairua Sensei of the Japanese Cultural Centre for publishing on the website of the Embassy of Japan and in the Embassy Bulletin Magazine.

The following are the lecturers / facilitators who presented during the workshop :

Mr Kikuchi : Welcome
Mr Kimani: Juhudi Childrens Centre : Ice Breakers
Dr Jiro Nozaka : Origami
Mr Wairua : Video on Japanese Culture
Tamura Sensei : Karate
Mr Patrick Wafula : Japanese Poetry : Haiku
Mr Nakagome : Introduction to Japanese Language
Ms Onaka : Chinese Dance and Show
Dr Florence Munyiri : Kenyan Experience of Japanese Culture
Mr Gachie Kiruri : Kenyan Experience of Japan
Ms Irene : Children Folk Games

Programme for the week

The first day was one of the most exciting and memorable days in the lives of the members of the two-year-old Bahati Haiku Poetry Club (the “Bamboochas”). Following the invitation from the Japanese Embassy to attend their cultural week, the members were able to seize the opportunity with unsurpassed enthusiasm and attended the great culture exchange event which took place during the week of 25 February 2008.

Initially, I was the one who was invited to facilitate a haiku lesson, but after further discussion with the Embassy, I was allowed to bring along six haijin. So we deicided that each indivual should present a specific aspect of haiku poems. We had only 25 minutes at our disposal.

Raymond Otieno : Senryu (3min)
Jedidah Nduku : Kireji (3min)
James Njoka : The Structure of Haiku (3min)
Martin Kamau : Saijiki (3min)
Judith Muthengi : Saijiki (3min)
Caren Cheptoo : Haijin (3min)
Anne Wairimu : Kigo (3min)

After the haijin had presented, I took the opportunity -- about 10 minutes -- to lead the class through a haiku writing session. By the end of the haiku session, the children had written over 50 haiku poems, which we handed over to Kikuji san, the Director for the Information and Cultural Services. He said the best haiku will be published on the Embassy Website. The audience was a sizeable one comprising different ages and classes.

In each of the three haiku teaching sessions: (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), there was a different audience participating.

Text and photos © Patrick Wafula


Haiku from the Bamboochas participating

February morning --
in Japanese Embassy
watching music video

February morning --
learning Matsuo Basho’s

February morning --
Patrick sensei teaching

February morning --
walking towards Upper Hiill
to the Japanese Embassy

how good it is here --
a girl dancing Japanese

juice on the table
ready to drink --

February morning --
Jedidah haijin reading

~ Jedidah Nduku

a frog jumping
into the stillness
of an ancient pond

deep in the stream
the big fish lies motionless
facing the current

the garter snake
goes in and out of the grass
at the same time

ice scattered
everywhere --
winter Shikansen

brown leaves
fallen on the bare ground --
autumn season

Monday morning
walking past the blooming flowers --
Japanese Embassy

a beautiful lady
performing the Japanese acrobat
Japanese Embassy

February sun --
sweat drips down
my forehead

~ James Njoka

February dry wind --
trees swing east and west
leaves scatter

February morning --
pupils in Japanese Embassy
writing haiku

~ Anne Wairimu

Bamboochas admiring the exhibition at the Japanese Cultural Centre

Haiku from the children attending the
Introduction to Haiku lessons

February femine --
lions hunting
for antelopes

~ Khadija Kivuvani (Makini School)

February morning --
fresh air from my window
birds whistle in the trees

~ Michelle Wangechi (Makini School)

January evening --
wiping sweat
how tiring

~ Jane Wambui (Makini Middle School)

February morning --
going into Japanese Embassy
walking towards the video room

~ Brenda Muthoni (Makini School 5Blue)

February morning --
in the Japanese Embassy
so much to learn

January morning --
a lot of dust in the air
I breathe in

August evening --
shivering in cold
no food to eat

January morning
the sun

~ Suzane Akinyi (Makini School)

November morning --
rainy day
dripping wet

January morning --
New Year's Eve

~ Sveta Victoria (Makini School)

February sun --
I sweat and
loosen my tie

~ Joan Wateto

February heat --
in Mombasa
relaxing on the beach

~ Nicole Nduku (NPC Academy)

February morning --
birds whistle
from a tree

~ Stephani Joy (NPC Academy)

February morning --
I brush my shoes
but the dust keeps coming

~ Jude Sam Olang (NPC Academy)

February evening --
feeling the breeze
dry sweat on my forehead

~ Elizabeth Ndinda (NPC Academy)

February evening --
celebrating my birthday
the cool breeze

~ Said Salim (Makini School)

February evening --
celebrating my birthday
in a light dress

~ Diana Adhiambo (Makini School)

February morning --
watching a vulture eating
a dead animal

~ Tony Ochar (Makini School)

February evening --
waiting silently for
the dusty sunset

~ Valerie Wasilwa (Makini School)

February sun --
water flowing in the river
flowers blossom

~ Ashley Chebet (NPC Academy Nairobi)

February morning
at Japan Embassy --
learning my first haiku

~ author unknown

February famine --
dry leaves
no food

~ Sheila Mwende (NPC Academy)

February heat --
I loosen my tie
and rest under the tree

~ Sharleen Muoki (Makini School)

February morning --
leaves shedding
from a tree

~ Joshua Mwanga (Makini School)

February heat --
blazing sun
above my head

~ Marvel (Makini School)

February dust --
polluting the air
I breathe in

~ Joel Mutiso (Makini School)

February heat --
wiping sweat
from my face

~ Sandra Wekesa (Makini School)

February morning --
learning to count
in Japanese

~ Isah Ochieng (NPCA)

February morning --
learning numbers
in Japanese Embassy

~ Daniel Chege (NPCA)

February dust
landing in my
meat stew

~ David Ndambuki (NPCA)

February morning --
learning Japanese
language and culture

~ Allan Riunga (NPCA)

February dust --
moving in the air
as the bus drives away

~ Andrew Wanyoike (NPCA)

February morning --
clearing rubble from
post election fights

~ Daniel Ng'ang'a (NPCA)

February morning --
dusty shoes
being brushed

~ Japheth Mutie (NPCA)

Enjoying Bonsai trees

Enjoying temari balls and dolls


. Japan Culture Week 2012 .

Bamboocha's Visit to the Japanese Embassy 2011

. Visit to the Embassy

source : Photos from Caleb

Related words

***** The Haiku Clubs of Kenya since 2006

***** BAHATI Haiku Club, Nairobi


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