International Participants Enjoy Japanese Culture While Wearing Yukata

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Date & Time: Sunday, June 25, 10:30am–4:30 pm
Place: Tsuzuki Minka-en (Folk House Garden)
Visitors: 29 participants: 6 from China, 4 each from Myanmar, Thailand and Taiwan, 2 each from Indonesia and Mongolia, 1 each from Germany, Austria, Egypt, Hungary, Italy, Malaysia and Viet Nam
Attendants: 20 KSGG members
Languages used: English and Japanese

KSGG hosts a yukata party every year, and the 9th event was held in June. As the staff shared their roles appropriately and made the schedule very well, the party went off smoothly. Although it rained heavily from the morning, 29 international students arrived at the fork house one after another. Then the staff started to dress them in a yukata (cotton kimono). The students took pictures of them in a yukata each other, which was a pleasant scene. We listened to the music played on the koto (Japanese harp), and the shakuhachi (bamboo flute) sitting on floor cushions in the formal seiza ( sitting straight) position. Since they weren’t used to doing it, they felt their legs numb and couldn’t stand up. Also some of them smiled wryly because their legs got pins and needles. We sang a Japanese song titled Sakura-Sakura ( cherry blossom) in chorus all together. When it stopped raining around noon, we went out to the garden, where the hydrangea bloomed beautifully. We took commemorative photos and wrote our wishes on tanzaku (strips of colored paper) to attach to branches of bamboo for the Star Festival. When they tried playing the koto and the shakuhachi, they seemed to be very attracted by the tones of the instruments. All the visitors appreciated that they could experience the precious Japanese cultures such as wearing yukata, playing the koto and the shakuhachi, and seeing jiutamai, dance with country songs of Kyoto and Osaka regions. They left for home in the rain which began to fall again.