Japanese extends beyond just language at Kindlehill with beautiful stories, songs, artwork and ceremony to accompany lessons. In High School, the students engage with pen pals in a Tokyo Steiner school. They connect not only by the language but by the exchange of their personal world and culture. We have welcomed High School students and their teachers from Japan. They have stayed with lovely families from Kindlehill where they experienced family and school life in the Blue Mountains.
One memorable visit was the lesson in which we held a World Cafe with students from Year 6 to Year 10, together with visiting Nagasaki students. At the World Cafe, we discussed how countries should ban nuclear weapons by focusing on the effect that the atomic bomb had on Nagasaki and Japan. What a wonderful collaboration with youth from Nagasaki, hearing their opinions and stories about nuclear war.
High School students are also involved in the annual Hiroshima Peace Day Ceremony, celebrating friendship and peace in the world. The ceremony gives students an opportunity to extend their hearts and builds a friendship bridge with their verses, songs, Japanese traditional Tanka poetry, Shakuhachi music and tea ceremony.
Sayoko completed a Bachelor of Education at Tokyo Gakugei University and is a qualified language teacher with over 30 years of teaching Japanese from 3-year-olds to adults. She also completed a one-year course on Steiner education and Anthroposophy prior to teaching at Glenaeon Steiner School in North Sydney. Sayoko joined Kindlehill in 2013 as a Japanese teacher.
“Learning another language opens up our windows to understand and accept cultural, religious, historical and personal uniqueness, which is urgently needed for the healing of Earth and humanity”.