JIS students share Japanese experience

JERUDONG International School (jis) students who participated in the week-long ‘Japan Experience’ programme – which focussed on the Japanese Language and culture – showcased what they had learnt during a closing ceremony yesterday.

Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Motohiko Kato attended as the guest of honour.

The Japan Experience is one of a broad range of options offered by the school as part of its annual Enrichment Week Programme held at the end of the school year.

Students presented a slideshow summarising what they had done throughout the week and performed a rendition of popular Japanese song Sukiyaki prior to receiving their certificates.

Japan Experience Programme Leader Andrew McCulloch said his motivation to run the programme stemmed from participation in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme 16 years ago, which he describes as a highly-valuable and truly life-changing.

The programme was led by JIS teachers and supported by Japanese Embassy in Brunei Darussalam officials, namely Deputy Chief of Mission Hiroshi Abe, Second Secretary Hiroki Akasaka and Second Secretary Mai Ogawa.

Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Motohiko Kato in a group photo. – RAHWANI ZAHARI

Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Motohiko Kato in a group photo. – RAHWANI ZAHARI

On the second day of the programme, embassy officials arranged for the Brunei Judo Federation – led by Muhammad Ali-Rashid bin Haji Mohammad Alipah – to conduct a hands-on workshop at the school. The students found it both captivating and highly enjoyable.

Following the Judo workshop, the students were invited to the Japanese ambassador’s official residence, where they were taught the traditional method of making sushi by Yamane, the Ambassador’s personal chef, with detailed explanations provided by Ogawa.

During the closing ceremony, students gained an insight on Japan’s energy policy courtesy of the Japanese Ambassador who delivered a highly informative and engaging lecture titled Energy Policy and Eco Policy in Japan.

In his closing remarks, JIS Principal Barnaby Sandow noted that the final week of the academic year provided students with a fantastic opportunity to learn outside the classroom. He acknowledged the excellent work done by the Japanese Embassy to help the school realise this goal, noting in particular the comprehensive range of topics covered in the ambassador’s lecture, which included explanations on advances in Japan’s sophisticated waste management and recycling systems (such as using gold recycled from old mobile phones to make the gold medals for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics), Japan’s increasing use of renewable sources of energy (such as geothermal power generation), and the Hydrogenation Project in Brunei, which will produce ‘zero emission’ hydrogen fuel used to power motor vehicles in Japan.

The ceremony concluded with the Japanese Ambassador leading the students in ‘tejime,’ a Japanese custom of ceremonial rhythmic hand clapping, often performed at the end of a special event to bring the occasion to a harmonious, lively close.

Tejime signifies fulfilment, realisation, and completion, a fitting end to a week spent delving into the richness of Japanese language and culture.

Following his lecture, the ambassador, who has a deep interest in environmental issues, toured the JIS Outdoor Discovery Centre (ODC) with Sandow. There he saw a team of dedicated students working to improve the interactive learning facility, which is set in a specially designated area.

Borneo Bulletin | James Kon | July 6, 2018