AHAN Nippon Kan Cultural Teachers Exchange with Higashi Naruse Village, Japan


June 28th -July 20th, 2016

Homma Kancho and AHAN Nippon Kan have had a cultural exchange program with the quaint and beautiful village of Higashi Naruse in northern Japan since 2005. Many AHAN Nippon Kan students have visited Higashi Naruse, some on 3 month extended visits. In return delegations and representatives from Higashi Naruse Village have visited AHAN Nippon Kan Headquarters in Denver, forming a strong relationship that has lasted over a decade.

Two teachers and Nippon Kan senior members, Roxanne Tutchton and Paige Eynon were sent by AHAN Nippon Kan to Japan for cultural discovery and idea exchange on international teaching methods successfully utilized in Naruse Village educational programs.

Below are a series of reports about their experiences.
Today we went on a tour of Higashinaruse village. We visited the history museum and learned about silk spinning and traditional hunters. We hiked to an ancient water fall (approximately 15000 years old), and we went to a traditional Japanese onnsen where we learned the Japanese word 熱い (atsui). Last we met chief priest Jikisai Muto, who loves the Beatles and has a great sense of humor.

Temple in Higashi Naruse Village

Temple in Higashi Naruse Village

Paige and Roxanne with 6th grade class at the Higashi Naruse elementary school and a visit to children’s center and played some games in English. Then we went to a couple of the waterfalls around Higashi Naruse. Last we observed some of the club activities at the junior high school.

Paige and Roxanne with school children in Higashi Naruse

Day 4 – Yesterday we went to the World Heritage site in Hiraizumi. We saw the golden shrine of the Fujiwara lords and a sutra reading service in Chuson-ji. Then we stopped in Genbekei and had some zip line dango, which might be my favorite thing ever! 

Seeing the sights –Roxanne and Paige

After teaching Art lessons to 4th-grade students and making English presentations to 7th, 8th and 9th-grade classes, Roxanne and Paige had a chance to study tea ceremony and flower pressing at the home of the Mayor of Higashi Naruse before heading home to Denver.

Learning the fine art of flower pressing

Once home, both Paige and Roxanne will hold meetings with local educators to discuss the findings of their educational exploratory experience in Higashi Naruse Village.

Well done Paige and Roxanne!