Kaiser High Hosts Cultural Exchange With Students From Japan

Kaiser High’s gymnasium was filled anticipation and excitement this morning as the school welcomed more than 300 students from Hokkaido Sapporo Intercultural & Technological High School (HSITHS). The visitors arrived for cultural exchange activities, which included musical performances, speeches and traditional Japanese dance demonstrations.

kaiser-elementary2Before the assembly started sophomore Noah Matsumoto said, “I’m looking forward to meeting the students from Hokkaido. I’m Japanese and have never been to Japan, so it’ll be interesting to have a chance to talk with them and learn about their culture and be able to teach them about ours.”

kaiser-elementary3The group comprised of 13 dignitaries from Hokkaido including Vice Governor Yoshihiro Yamaya who presented a gift to Principal Justin Mew and shared his goal of increasing educational opportunities between Hokkaido and Hawaii.

“Sharing music is a wonderful way to showcase any culture,” said Principal Mew. “We were honored to be able to make our visitors feel welcomed this morning by having our Kaiser High band play the Hokkaido school song to conclude the assembly. It was heartwarming to hear their song and our alma mater played with such pride in front of a packed gym.”

MCLC at Kaiser High.

MCLC at Kaiser High.

Following the assembly, students spread out in small groups throughout the campus to discuss a variety of topics such as Foreign Studies, Science, Engineering, and Global Business. The students also discussed pop culture.

“I was really excited to talk to the students from Hokkaido about fashion,” said sophomore Grailee Caldwell. “This was an incredible opportunity and experience because we were able to meet with them one-on-one and really get to talk about our similarities and differences, like our high school experiences.”

This morning’s cultural exchange was part of ongoing efforts to establish a Sister-State agreement between Hokkaido and Hawaii in 2017. It will be the fifth prefecture in Japan to establish a formal relationship with the State.

The Hokkaido students will be in Hawaii until Oct. 23. Their only school visit was with Kaiser High because of the school’s prestigious International Baccalaureate accreditation.

For more information about Kaiser High School, visit www.kaiserhighschoolhawaii.org. Information about the State of Hawaii’s current Sister-States is available at http://bit.ly/2ed14Sl.

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