Youth Class – Fun Packed Last Class

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!

Summer Japanese Program for Youth – 2019

Let’s study Japanese and learn about the culture of Japan!

Come join us for a free Japanese program this summer. The program will be offered on four Sundays in July and August, and will be comprised of Japanese language lessons for the first hour and various cultural activities for the latter half. The language instruction will be led by Jennifer Swanson-sensei, who has been teaching the SJA Youth Class for the past year. No prior training? Do not worry. Want to improve your hiragana or kanji skills? No problem! Jennifer and a team of volunteers will provide personalized instruction according to each student’s abilities and levels.

Cultural activities include origami, tea ceremony, kendama and more!

Any youth from elementary to high school students are welcome to attend. Bring your love of learning Japanese and the culture. You can sign up for any session.

Register here.

Please note that children younger than 6 years old must be accompanied by a parent or an adult guardian throughout the sessions.

Adult Class – Final Presentations Well Done!

Adult Class students demonstrated their hard work on Sunday, May 12 by making self-introductions in Japanese and also sharing their favorite parts of Japan and cultural elements they cherish. Each student took a challenge of making a presentation with a 5 minute time limit, and incorporated key Japanese phrases they learned through this Winter/Spring program:

  • Communicate your name, occupation, age, where you live, basics about your own family, hobbies and what you do on your day off
  • Introduce your favorite topic related to Japan.
Yoshimi Yoshida sensei told the class that she was “very generous” with her rule of limiting the time to five minutes.
Jennifer Swanson sensei appeared as a special guest. She teaches the SJA Youth Class.

In recognition of their achievement, each student was awarded with a certificate by Karen Tripp sensei. They also learned how to receive a certificate properly: with BOTH hands and a BOW!


Bonus Gift!

Youth Class: Sakura saku ondo

Another fun class with Jennifer-sensei! We learned how to order at a restaurant and practiced Sakura Saku Ondo or a Japanese folk dance!

At restaurant. We learned how to order food and how many. Key phrases are:

  • 〇〇をください。(〇〇 o kudasai. = 〇〇, please.)
  • 〇〇と△△をください。(〇〇 to △△ o kudasai. = 〇〇 and △△, please.)
  • 1つ(Hitotsu)、2つ(Futatsu)、3つ(Mittsu)、4つ(Yottsu)、5つ(Itsutsu)…. 
  • ドーナッツを2つください。(Doonattsu o futatsu kudasai. = Two donuts, please.)

Order donuts with Erin. Check out how Erin orders her donuts

Just like cherry trees! Dancing Sakura saku ondo

桜咲く音頭 (Sakura Saku Ondo).  We also practiced Sakura Saku Ondo or Blooming Cherry Dance with Satoko-sensei. This will be a finale of the Japan Day on March 31. Do you want to dance like cherry blossoms? Check out the music video

Resources – Japanese e-Learning Minato : This is a free website offered by Japan Foundation and so much fun! Self-study courses range from Hiragana to Japanese in anime&manga! Sign up for the website, and you are ready to go. 

Youth Class Update: Learning Something New and Fun!

Youth Class learned about cultural event, “Hinamatsuri” and enjoyed practicing phrases from the popular long-run animation series. IMG_5239
☆What’s ひなまつり(Hinamatsuri)? It’s a Doll Festival (or Girl Festival) in Japan on March 3rd to pray for the happiness and growth of girls.
雛人形 (Hina ningyo = Hina dolls)・お内裏様 (Odairi-sama = the emperor)・ お雛様 (Ohina-sama = the empress)・ ひな壇 (Hinadan = Platform for Hina dolls)
サザエさん (Sazae-san) ひな祭りの人気者 (Hinamatsuri’s popular person)
◉Helpful links◉
☆Have you already checked this website? JF Japanese e-Learning Minato :
On this website, now you can take some Hiragana self-study course, Japanese in anime&manga self-study course, etc and it’s all free! All you need is just to sign up for the website.

Japan Day – March 31

First of its kind in Arlington County

“Japan Day” is a one-day culture event with hands-on experiences of Japanese arts, food and music. It features live performances and demonstrations such as Kendama, Origami, Karate, tea ceremonies, cosplay, and anime. Collaborating with local Japanese businesses, information booths showcase world-class technologies and engineering as well as Japanese culinary culture. Promoting Japanese language among high school students, it provides Japanese study help. The event also commemorates a newly formed sister school relationship between the Arlington Career Center and the Engei High School of Setagaya, Tokyo. The event is endorsed by the Embassy of Japan.

The event will feature live performances such as Okinawa Eisaa (drum and dance), jumbo calligraphy demonstrations, Kendama performances, and more!

We are also excited and honored to welcome representatives from Tokyo Engei High School to celebrate a newly formed sister-school relationship between the Arlington Career Center and Tokyo Metropolitan Engei High School.

Program & Activities

Event Location

Arlington Career Center

816 S. Walter Reed Dr., Arlington, VA 22204

Parking space is limited. Please consider carpooling or taking Metro Bus 10B, which runs on Sundays from Ballston Metro station. The bus stop is 1 minute away and the ride takes about 14 minutes.