Japanese Students Travel to St. Louis and Participate in a Japan Festival on the TOMODACHI St. Louis-Ishinomaki Friendship Program
Six middle and high school students from Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture traveled to St. Louis, Missouri for a cultural exchange on the TOMODACHI St. Louis Ishinomaki Friendship Program from September 1-10, 2015. Implemented by the Japan America Society of St. Louis and supported by the National Association of Japan America Societies (NAJAS), the students participated in a homestay, visited local schools where they delivered presentationsabout the recovery and reconstruction in Ishinomaki daily life in Japan/Ishinomaki,and participated in the Japan Festival.
During the Festival, the students participated in a panel discussion with students of the St. Louis Japanese Language School regarding the ongoing recovery and reconstruction efforts in Ishinomaki. The participants also students joined a choral music program, singing in Japanese, and enjoyed the festival dancing bon odori.
“To meet a stranger from the other side of Earth and discover a shared humanity that bridges vast geographic and cultural differences moved me, shaping me into a fresh being. For two persons from very different contexts to discover and explore a shared humanity – its contours and depths, its sufferings and joys, its confusions and insights, its hardships and hopes – means more than I can presently describe.”
– Host family