SJA offers origami workshops periodically for young learners and grown-ups alike interested in learning origami paper folding, an art form and one of the oldest parts of Japanese culture. We strive to provide easy-to-follow instructions to create simple yet adorable models anyone can enjoy. Our instructors are trained and certified under the Taro’s Origami Studio Artist Basic Certification Course.
Our workshops focus on basic folding techniques that will provide a lifelong skill to transform a piece of square paper into intricate sculptures. Incorporating elements of Japanese tradition, our workshops touch upon the importance of proper posture, mindful breathing and respect. Simple Japanese vocabulary, such as the names of models we create, are also introduced.
Past Workshops and Program History
Summer Youth Program – 2019
Origami and Paper Art – After school enrichment program at ATS (Arlington Traditional Elementary School)
Summer Origami Workshops (virtual) – 2020
Fall Origami Workshops (virtual) – ongoing
Summer Origami Workshop
We learned a lot and had great fun making origami this summer! Through a total of six sessions from July to August, students learned basic skills such as book fold and diagonal fold, as well as more challenging techniques such as petal fold and inside reverse fold. What do those terms mean really? It means that students can now have a skillset to make a samurai helmet, a paper balloon, a crane and Pikachu with ease.
At our workshop, we always start with steps to help us get ready for folding paper. We make sure that our hands are clean (no sticky fingers or covered with Cheetos powder). Sit properly in front of a flat surface without clutter. Have a long spine, relaxed shoulders and neck, we take a deep belly breath in and out. Now are ready.
The easy-to-follow instructions from Michiko and Seiko helped all students at different skill levels create adorable origami models. The workshops also introduced Japanese names and pronunciation for each model. The instructors enjoyed being together with SJA students and having the fun of folding origami as much as kids did or better.
Fall Origami Workshop
Fall workshops are on the third Sundays at 5:00 p.m. starting in October. Please register first and we will send you a Zoom link. The workshop will be suited for students of any age from kindergarteners to retirees looking for a new hobby. A great opportunity for a family activity as well. All skill levels are welcome.
October 18 November 15 December 20
Halloween origami Jack O’lantern and more Thanksgiving Turkey and Pumpkin Cool 3D Spinning Top
Are you interested in taking the AP Japanese exam this year? The exam date will be on May 5, 2021. But the exam registration deadline is in the early November (varies by schools). If you wonder; whether you should take it or not, how to prepare, or what materials to use, please join us for this seminar. A teacher who teachers AP Japanese will provide information and answer your questions on the Zoom session.
Bring your questions to the webinar for a live Q&A session.
What You’ll Learn:
– Overview and history of AP Exam – Exam Structure and Content – Scores and College credit
Mr. Koji Otani Japanese Teacher Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Mr. Otani began teaching in the Japanese immersion program at Floris Elementary School, then was named lead teacher. In 2006, he joined the staff at TJHSST, where he teaches Japanese 1, 2, 3, Advanced Placement, and 5.
As a professional educator, Mr. Otani has been a member of the SAT Japanese Exam Development Committee, an instructor in the Virginia Governor’s Japanese Language Academy, an Advanced Placement (AP) reader for the AP Japanese and Culture exam, co-chair of the AP Japanese and Culture Development Committee, an advisor to the Japanese Language Education Advocacy and Resource Network, a judge and evaluator of George Washington University’s J-Live Talk speech contest, and a member of the Junior Japan Bowl Development Committee.
He has written articles and given lectures, presentations, and reports related to teaching the Japanese language.
Session Times: Sep 12 (8-9pm) Oct 10th (8-9pm) Nov 14th (7-8 pm) Dec 12th (7-8pm)
All Saturday evenings
Are you interested in Japan? Are you studying Japanese or want to communicate with Japanese students in Tokyo?
We’ll have a Language and culture Exchange with Setagaya, Tokyo, by Zoom. You can practice Japanese and help Japanese students to practice English. It’s a monthly event, and you can choose which date to register. Come for once or all four. It’s really flexible and each session is independently conclusive, so you do not have to worry about missing a session. We start a new session each month. It’s free!
Please sign up from the link below by two days before the session you would like to participate. We’ll provide you the zoom link.
What You’ll experience:
– Practice conversational Japanese (beginners welcome) – Learn local info – Chance to get connected and make new friends
Setagaya is one of the most populated districts in Tokyo, and the second largest in the capital, yet it is also one of the quietest and most peaceful. Near the bustling neighborhoods of Harajuku and Shibuya, Setagaya is a haven of peace. It’s mainly a residential area, and a great place to take a walk to discover the charm of Japanese houses. At the heart of this district, trendy Shimo-Kitazawa remains an island of artistic expression.
You can also discover Kinuta Park, which is particularly beautiful during the seasons of hanami and koyo. If you’re traveling with children, Hanegi Park has one of the largest children’s playgrounds in Tokyo. And don’t miss Todoroki Keikoku, central Tokyo’s most unconventional green space, a forest-like park located in a ravine formed in the Yazawa riverbed. It isn’t far from Gotoku-ji temple, where the famous maneki-neko was born.
We are excited to offer online workshops during this summer. As in-person events will be limited for the foreseeable future, we would like to explore digital media to engage our community of young students and adults who love to learn about Japan and the language. All workshops are free but some requires a prior registration as a number of participants/audiences is limited. Please review the information below and make plans to join our casual, fun, and friendly activities for everyone.
Hiragana & Katakana Mini Tutorials
Grab a “quick bite” of Japanese
During these 15 minute Facebook Live mini lessons, the instructor and SJA board member, Satoko Best, will show you how to write the Japanese alphabet with the correct stroke order and the essence of calligraphy. These classes are appropriate for beginners.
WHAT: 15 minutes quick lunch time tutorial WHEN: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 12:30PM -12:45PM June 16 – July 2, 2020 LEVEL: Beginner WHERE: Facebook Live
Classes are already underway, but you can watch the recordings from the prior classes on SJA’s Facebook page and join us for these additional classes:
June 23-25 – 6/23: Writing Japanese Katakana from ア行、カ行、サ行 (a-i-u-e-o, ka-ki-ku-ke-ko, sa-shi-su-se-so) – 6/24: Writing Japanese Katakana from タ行、ナ行、ハ行 (ta-chi-tsu-te-to, na-ni-nu-ne-no, ha-hi-fu-he-ho) – 6/25: Writing Japanese Katakana from マ行、ヤ行、ラ行、ワ行 (ma-mi-mu-me-mo, ya-yu-yo, ra-ri-ru-re-ro, wa-wo-n)
June 30-July 2 – 6/30: Writing Japanese Hiragana Dakuon が行、ざ行、だ行、ば行(ga-gi-gu-ge-go,za-zi-zu-ze-zo,da-zi-zu-ze-zo,ba-bi-bu-be-bo) – 7/1: Writing Japanese Katakana Dakuon カ行、ザ行、ダ行、バ行( ga-gi-gu-ge-go,za-zi-zu-ze-zo,da-zi-zu-ze-zo,ba-bi-bu-be-bo) – 7/2: Writing Japanese Hiragana & Katakana ぱ行＆パ行(pa-pi-pu-pe-po), youon(ex. kya-kyu-kyo), sokuon (small letter tsu)
Basic Japanese Class for Adults
Do you want to learn basic Japanese and brush up conversation skills?
Join our Zoom Basic Japanese Class over the summer for adults. You’ll learn how to say “I like something”, ” I eat/drink something”, and “What time is it?” etc. It’s free, but the slots are limited. Also, please sign up at least 24 hours before each class starts, so that we can send the Zoom link to you in time. If you haven’t used Zoom before, when you sign up for the class please mention that in the Comment Box. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s Make Origami Together! Learn basic folding skills to make simple animals to Pikachu
Come join us to learn the simple pleasure of origami crafts via online workshop (30 minutes) at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays in July and August. The first few sessions focus on basic folding skills and we aim at making crane and Pokemon characters at later workshops. It is free but a prior registration is required for a limited number of students. After registration, we will send you a zoom link.
WHAT: 30 minutes origami crafts WHEN: 4 pm on Wednesdays from July 8 to August 12 LEVEL: Anyone (Beginner) WHERE: Zoom – Prior Registration Required
Session 1 (July 8): Simple Animals – Basic Folding Skills Session 2 (July 15): Flying Objects – Airplanes and such Session 3 (July 22): Samurai Hat Session 4 (July 29): Playful Things Session 5 (August 5): Origami Everyone Admires – Crane (you need to make water-bomb) Session 6 (August 12): Bonus Session – Pikachu and Evee (Session 5 is required or if you can make crane yourself)
Virtual Cultural Exchanges
Want to meet and talk to students and families in Japan? Two great ways for our middle and high school students to connect with students in Japan!
Online “Home Stay” with Japanese Middle School Students Hello, middle school students in Arlington! Do you want to make a trip to Japan but can’t? Join us for a Zoom chat with Japanese middle school students in Setagaya, Japan. Setagaya is a Host Town for Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2021. We’d like to connect students from both locations to experience a mini online homestay. What would you like to know or talk about concerning Japan? Please let us know. Japanese students want to chat in English, but if you know some Japanese, you can practice it, too. You can sign up for both days, 7/18 & 8/1, if you want. It’s free!
WHAT: 40 minutes zoom chat with Students in Japan WHEN: July 18 and August 1 LEVEL: Middle School Students WHERE: Zoom Link – Prior Registration Required
Zoom chat with Japanese University Students for High School Students Want to know about Japanese college? Want to chat with Japanese students in Japan? Tsukuba University in Japan is willing to do both (August 5th & 6th). One day is chatting with Japanese college students. If you know some Japanese, they’ll help you to practice it. Another day is an open house of bachelor Degree Program offered in English (science/engineer), where you can learn more about Tsukuba University, which has produced three Nobel Laureates and offers various degree programs in English, including International Social Science, International Medical Science, Global Issues, and Interdisciplinary Engineering.
WHAT: 40 minutes zoom chat with College Students in Japan and college information session WHEN: August 5 and 6 LEVEL: High School Students Media: Zoom Link – Prior Registration Required
Participation is free but space is limited. High School students in Arlington, VA, please sign up by June 30th. After that, we’ll open it up to the other High School students in the DC Metro area. Please sign up at this page.
Tea Ceremony Demonstration
Find beauty behind the ancient art of Tea Ceremony
Join to watch tea ceremony on Facebook Live every Sunday at 3pm. The tea ceremony live has been broadcasted since April and the response has been overwhelming! People from all over the world have joined. Some make their own cup of tea at home and enjoy watching on Facebook, while others have made their own matcha after the broadcast has ended.
Lockdown is hard for many reasons, but you will find beauty and tranquility through the Omotesenkeexperience.
WHAT: 60 minutes tea ceremony demonstration WHEN: Every Sunday at 3:00 pm LEVEL: Anyone WHERE: Facebook Live
Intro to Zazen & Japanese Zen Buddhism
Take Deep Breath and Calm Your Mind
Kanzenchi (Peter Pocock–delrayzen.org) will lead a class through online demonstration of zazen (half-lotus, Burmese, seiza or sitting on a chair) plus some introduction to Japanese Zen Buddhism (our lineage is from Shunryu Suzuki, who was in Calm your mind in the heat of summer! On Sunday, July 26, from 4-5 pm, SJA Board Member, John McLaughlin, and Del Ray Zen Buddhist priest Peter Pocock, will provide a brief introduction to Japanese Zen Buddhism as practiced by our Soto-shu lineage, as well as to Zazen. After some warm-up exercises, participants will have various sitting positions demonstrated, such as full and half-Lotus, seiza, Burmese-style, and sitting in a chair. Then, everyone will experience a brief sitting (5-10 minutes) followed by a chant in Japanese and English. After a Q&A session, participants are welcome to stay for a longer sitting of 15-20 minutes. Whether you already have experience with Zazen or not, you’re welcome to join us on Wednesday evening and Saturday morning sittings through a zoom link at delrayzen.org
WHAT: 60 minutes: lecture, guided sitting meditation practice, Q&A, and additional sitting (optional) WHEN: Sunday, July 26 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm LEVEL: Anyone WHERE: Zoom link
Learn about undergraduate degrees in English at one of the top national universities in Japan!
The Future Global Leadership (FGL) program at Tohoku University offers three outstanding undergraduate degree courses that are taught in English:
Advanced Molecular Chemistry (AMC)
International Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (IMAC-U)
Applied Marine Biology (AMB)
All three courses provide curriculum that help students to build a solid foundation in the fundamentals of their chosen fields and to encounter the very latest cutting-edge research. High quality academics combined with horizon-expanding cultural experiences make FGL an excellent choice for students who hope to become international leaders during their academic careers and beyond.
The presentation will be broadcasted live via Zoom online conference site when registered online. Specific information on date and time will be made available shortly. If you are interested in receiving further information, please contact email@example.com.
Website for Tohoku University:
Website for Future Global Leadership Program-undergraduate courses:
Date&Time for Online Information Session: Postponed to further notice. Presentation& Q&A in Japanese Presentation & Q&A in English
Looking for a unique holiday gift for someone special? Or would like to show appreciation toward a classroom teacher, a piano instructor, or staff/attendant at your condominium? How about some beautiful handmade origami crane earrings or a washi-decorated holiday greeting card? SJA’s handmade origami crafts will be for sale at the Holiday Bazaar at Washington-Liberty High School on Saturday, December 7. This annual bazaar will showcase a wide variety of craftsmanship and local talent in the community, ranging from knitwear to handmade jewelry to pottery. You will enjoy just visiting the event, but we would like you to stop by our table! All proceeds go toward supporting SJA programs and activities. Come find something unique for holiday gifts and support SJA at the same time!!
Origami crane earrings
Washi-decorated greeting cards
Origami ornaments and handmade Christmas tree shape ornaments
Presentation by University of Tsukuba at Washington-Liberty HS on 11/25
SJA hosts the second Japanese University Presentation on Monday November 25th at Washington-Liberty High School in Arlington.
University of Tsukuba, which has produced three Nobel Laureates, offers various degree programs in English, including International Social Science, International Medical Science, Global Issues, and Interdisciplinary Engineering. The university also launched the Japan-Expert Program in such areas as Agricultural Science, Healthcare, Art and Design, and Japanese Language. The admitted students will go through intensive six months of Japanese language study before diving into their selected fields.
The average admission fees for National Universities in Japan are about $2,800 and the tuition is about $5,400 per an academic year. The presentation includes the most recent policy trend and changes in Japan’s higher education concerning National Universities. The first part of presentation will be provided in Japanese and the second half in English. The event is free but the pre-registration is required.
Date: Monday, November 25 Time: 7:00-9:00 pm Location: Washington-Liberty High School (1st floor Little Theater) 7:00-7:45 pm Presentation/ Q&A in Japanese 8:00-8:45 pm Presentation/ Q&A in English 8:45-9:00 pm Closing
Parking Information Use school parking lot or nearest free street parking. If you park your car at the school parking lot, the nearest entrance is No. 5 door. Main entrance is No. 1. Little Theater is located at the middle of the first floor.
Learn about the Okayama University′s Discovery Program for Global Learners (a four year undergraduate program where the majority of courses are offered in English). A presentation by Associate Professor Takayuki Yoshioka of Discovery Program takes place on September 3rd at the Central Library with two 30 minutes-sessions; Japanese presentation from 7:45-8:15 pm and English from 8:15-8:45 pm. It’s free but registration is required in as seating is limited. *The registration closed for this event.
Date: Tuesday, September 3rd Time: 7:30-9 pm Location: Arlington Central Library (2nd floor Bluemont meeting room) It’s min walk from Virginia Square GMU Metro station.7:30-7:45 pm Check in 7:45-8:15 pm Presentation/ Q&A in Japanese 8:15-8:45 pm Presentation/ Q&A in English 8:45-9:00 pm Closing
Thank you everyone who volunteered, stopped by and shared your time and talent with us during Arlington County Fair this year. The SJA booth attracted many community members interested in the Japanese culture and the language. All the supporters and volunteers helped our booth lively and to be a wonderful display of SJA program offerings.
About score of American and Japanese students gathered at the Arlington Central Library Auditorium on July 30 for enriching cultural exchange experience. The evening program kicked off with “tanzaku” making using an elaborate washi paper kit brought by the Nagano student reporter delegation. Followed by fun games and “show and tell” of artistic skills presentation, the evening ended in high energy with the Macarena dance.
Read about what those Japanese students thought and perceived during their trip to Washington, D.C. and New York. The articles by the junior reporters published in the Shinano Mainichi Shimbun. Click here.