Japan-in-a-Suitcase Programs

Aloha educators,

Thank you for expressing your interest in our Japan-in-a-Suitcase (JIAS) programs.  Please read below for more information about each program.

 

JIAS programs for the 2016-2017 school year are now closed.
Applications for the 2017-2018 school year will become available by Tuesday, July 25th, 2017.

 

Japan-in-a-Suitcase I
Kindergarten – Grade 1 (40 minutes)

Japan in a Suitcase (JIAS) I is a program designed to teach the concept of different perspectives to our very young students through easy to comprehend examples.  In JIAS I, we show enlarged photos of highways in Japan and the U.S. with people driving on opposite sides of the street to help students see things from a different point of view.  We then use puppets to demonstrate animal sounds in the two countries, and teach various gestures used in Japan.  All of these examples are simple and easy to understand.  It is important that they are also neutral; in other words, they are neither right nor wrong.  Following these examples, we explore with the students items in the suitcase.  Included are artifacts used by Japanese elementary school children, such as a school backpack (randoseru), indoor shoes (uwabaki), and textbooks. We end by teaching “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in Japanese.

 

Japan-in-a-Suitcase II
Grades 2 – 3 (45 minutes)

JIAS II is geared for students in grades 2 and 3.  Following introductions and greetings in Japanese, we show examples of McDonald’s restaurants in both countries as an example of something they are familiar with which may not be quite the same elsewhere.  Students then explore items from the suitcase that show aspects of Japanese elementary school life such as a timetable and school textbooks, as well as community aspects such as traditional clothing (yukata). Time permitting we teach the students the Japanese style of Jan Ken Po, and have them try it with their classmates.

 

Japan-in-a-Suitcase III
Grades 4 – 5 (60 minutes)

For students in grades 4 and 5, JIAS III uses more complex examples to teach and reinforce the concept of different perspectives learned in K-3.  Following introductions and greetings, we start by comparing a Japan-centered and a U.S.-centered world map.  We have students point out Japan on the two maps and ask them questions to help them see that Japan is in the center of the Japanese map but far off to the left on the American map.  We stress that it doesn’t mean one map is correct and the other is wrong; rather, that people see or depict things differently depending on where they are from.  Students then have an opportunity to explore various school items (calligraphy set, P.E. uniforms and more) in small groups.  Following this exploration period, each group presents their items to the class for further discussion.  We end with a slideshow on school life in Japan, which helps to reinforce what they have just learned.

 

Japan-in-a-Suitcase III
Grade 6 (60 minutes)

For students in grade 6, JIAS III uses more complex examples to teach and reinforce the concept of different perspectives learned in elementary school. A Japan-centered and a U.S.-centered world map is compared to show that people may see things differently depending on where they are from.  Students also have an opportunity to explore various school items used in Japanese schools (calligraphy set, P.E. uniforms, backpacks and textbooks and more) in small groups.  Following this exploration period, each group presents their items to the class for further discussion.  We end with a slideshow on school life in Japan, which helps to reinforce what they just have learned.

Japan-in-a-Suitcase Visits Lanai High and Elementary School on the island of Lanai

Volunteer Mrs. Noreen Kawachika teaches a 1st grad how to look at a picture from a new perspective

On Monday, March 7, 2016, the 350 students of Lanai High and Elementary School (LHES) enjoyed presentations of Japan-in-a-Suitcase (JIAS) by Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) staff member Becky Ebisu and Volunteers Karen Fuse and Noreen Kawachika. This was all made possible through the kind and generous grant from the Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation. This grant supports JASH’s Japan-in-a-Suitcase program yearly to continue the presentations which share Japanese school life with the children of Hawaii.Read More

Japan-in-a-Suitcase Visits King Kamehameha III Elementary in Lahaina

JIAS Volunteer Becky Ebisu teaches the students the lyrics to the song Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in Japanese

On August 27, 2015, second graders at King Kamehameha III Elementary School in Lahaina, Maui were treated to a presentation of the Japan in a Suitcase (JIAS) program thanks to a grant given by the Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation. Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) staff member Elizabeth Barrera and JIAS volunteer Becky Ebisu spent the day in Lahaina sharing JIAS with the second graders in the school, for a total of 136 students. Read More

Japan-in-a-Suitcase Visits Wailuku Elementary on the Island of Maui

JIAS Volunteer Geri Cheng shares the illusion poster with 1st graders at Wailuku Elementary. This visual prop helps teach the concept of different perspectives

On September 5, 2014, students at Wailuku Elementary were treated to a special presentation of the Japan in a Suitcase (JIAS) program thanks in large part to a grant given by the Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation. Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) staff members Elizabeth Barrera and Kathryn Murata along with JIAS volunteers Becky Ebisu and Geri Cheng spent the day on Maui sharing JIAS I and II with the first and second graders in the school. Together, the four of them gave a total of twelve JIAS presentations to nearly 250 students. Read More

Japan-in-a-Suitcase Visits Guam

A Tamuning Elementary student models the boy’s yukata

From May 27-28, 2014, two schools on the island of Guam, Tamuning Elementary and St. John’s School, were given a special presentation of Japan in a Suitcase (JIAS). Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) Volunteers Becky Ebisu and Noreen Kawachika spent one full day at each school presenting the JIAS program to every classroom. In the interest of promoting understanding of U.S. – Japan relations in Guam, JASH obtained a special grant funded by The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) which focused on promoting cultural understanding and education in schools which will in turn strengthen positive global relationships. Read More