The last class of SJA Winter/Spring Youth Program ended in a high note packed with fun activities of traditional Japanese games and a recap of basic phrases in Japanese. Students were introduced to centuries-old card game,”karuta (かるた),” board game, “sugoroku (すごろく),” and how to play paper/scissors/paper or “jan-ken-pon (じゃん、けん、ぽん)” and more. Through these hands-on activities, students enhanced their appreciation and understanding of vocabularies and rules of how to play those games. In addition, they enjoyed savory Japanese snacks to celebrate their journey of studying with SJA for the past four months.

じゃん、けん、ぽん!(Jan Ken Pon!) Who is the winner?!?

Savory treat included “butter mochi” with coconut toppings hand made by student family and onigiri by a volunteer. They were absolutely delicious and definitely crowd-pleaser, serving as a wonderful introduction to rich Japanese food culture.

Karuta are Japanese playing cards. Playing cards were introduced to Japan by the Portuguese traders during the mid-16th century. These early decks were used for trick-taking games. Karuta, as it exists today, is the hybrid descendent of 12th century clam shells and 16th century Portuguese sailors. Karuta fully evolved from a foreign Portuguese import into a distinct Japanese custom, combining traditional kai-awase gameplay with the European paper card medium. Now there are numerous variety of karuta ranging from Tonarino Totoro theme, Hello Kitty designs to traditional poems.

Sugoroku is a Japanese board game which has become a tradition for kids to play during the New Year’s Day. The history of Sugoroku can be traced back to the 12th century. There are many variety of sugoroku with popular anime-themes, educational and fun-filled rules.

In Recognition of Students’ Hard Work and Love of Learning…

Each student received a certificate of achievement from Jennifer-sensei. Prior to the presentation, they learned a proper manner to receive a certificate. They mastered it so well and quickly. We are so proud of you!

See you all at SJA Youth Summer Program!

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