Today the Japanese students shared six different cultural arts. It was a great opportunity to experience fun, challenging, and beautiful arts.
First we watched a Rakuto performance where an actor sits on pillow and acts out an entire comedic play with two props: a fan, and towel. They might use the fan as a tootbrush, chopsticks, or pen and the towel as a book or paper.
They showed us lots of different ways of doing Cat's Cradle with string and of course many kinds of amazing origami.
The students did a demonstration of kendo, a martial art with sticks, and some karate poses. The we got to try all of these things as well as kendama where you try to catch a ball in a stick/cup (I'll bring some back so you can try) and we learned how to do beautiful calligraphy of our name in Japanese. It was great meeting people from all over the world and learning about the culture. I think we're all excited to go back to our homestay and eat some home cooked food.
Today we had a really busy day. First thing we had the Japanese tea ceremony. A tea master showed us how to make tea and then everyone got a chance. Then we toured the "oldest public school" in the world. It was a really beautiful building and interesting to imagine students having class in it 400 years ago.
The big event was orienteering which was really a three hour hike and competition to get the most stamps from different stations. It was a lot of fun but really tiring and sweaty.
The reward for finishing the course was getting to play smash the watermelon. Kind of like a pinata but hitting a watermelon instead. It was so cold and sweet!
Tonight we had a campfire where they kept adding logs and kerosene to make a very tall fire. A little scary but fun!