John Muir Middle School Celebrates Seventh Japanese Cultural Day
Friday, September 20, 2019 was the seventh annual Japan Day at John Muir Middle School in Burbank. Sponsored by John Muir Booster Association, Japan Day proved to be another fun and meaningful day for the school and the Japanese island of Rebun. In two afternoon assemblies to the school, Muir science teacher Eric Blinder, who won a scholarship to tour Japan the summer 2019, shared with students what we can learn from Japanese culture and all international exchanges. He was followed by an amazing shamisen musical group. This is the instrument that wowed American audiences in the 2016 stop-action movie Kubo and the Two Strings. The day finished on Mustang Field with a Sister School Celebration with Rebun High School, including the unveiling of our new Sister School Flag, designed by Muir teacher Amy Prosser.
The two-week Rebun International Exchange Program is supervised by Akiko Agishi, president of Creative Enterprise International Inc & Japanese Language Scholarship Foundation (Aurora Foundation).
Muir’s Japan Day encompassed two objectives at Muir:
- Welcoming nine Japanese students and two teachers from Rebun, (Official Link) the northernmost island in Japan. This was the seventh year Muir hosted students from Rebun High School, with a current enrollment of only 24 students. The island’s fishing industry was negatively affected by rising sea temperatures, and this exchange program was created to encourage families to stay on the island by giving students the opportunity to learn abroad and take their knowledge and experience back to Rebun. Muir families also hosted the students in their homes for five nights before the Rebun group heads off to Monument Valley and Bryce Canyon. (The island of Rebun is a national park, so the Rebun group visits different US National Parks each year.)
- A cultural appreciation day for students of Muir.
A group of 27 students, parents, and Muir staff—including Dr. Miller—were scheduled to visit Japan and Rebun Island in June 2020. We look forward to traveling to Sapporo in the future to meet with the Governor of Hokkaido and the US Consulate to Japan.
The day is sponsored and funded by:
This was Rebun High School’s sixth visit to JMMS in collaboration with Rebun International Exchange Program, directed by Dr. Agishi, CEI.
CELEBRATION DATE TO BE DETERMINED