Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Fall semester ended!

The Fall semster of 2012 has ended and be ready for the Spring 2013.
Final Tally of the Fall is:

Out of 41 students of GTS 1101:
A=14, B=7, C=11, D=2, F=6, and Incomplete=1
Well, 34 students out of 41 students survived somehow.  (83%)

Out of 11 students of 1102:
A=3, B=3, C=2, and D=3 all survived.

Out of 14 students of a 2201:
A=2, B=3, C=5, Satisfactory=1 and F=3  (79% survived)

Hoping those survivors to continue to be in class!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Huge Group Dinner atthe end of 2012!

Over 25 people showed up at the final JCC/GTS dinner tonight and enjoyed chatting, smiling, laughing photo taking, etc.

Japanese Culture Club officers, former students, curremmt students, future students, all those people came in.

I am hopiing this tradition will continue next year and more people would show up!

Next dinner will be in February (2/8/2013)!

Monday, December 3, 2012

JCC/GTS dinner is coming up!

Worldwide Japanese Language Proficiency Test has just passed yesterday at DePaul University in Chicago where GTS served as one of the head members of administration!  Some 400 Japanese learners tool this test!

The final JCC/GTS dinner is coming up this Friday (12/7) and I am looking forward to meeting many students and fellows.

I am still hoping to get more students registering newly offered Japanese 1100 class (Culture and Civilization of Japan) and also Spring Break Field Trip to Japan!!

Japanese 1101 (off-sequence course) in Spring has already 23 students registered and look good and I do expect two classes being filled by the beginning of the semester.

Summer Study Abroad is almost ready for getting all the applications and very likely to have many students going Japan with GTS in summer 2013!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

JLPT is coming up this Sunday!

Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) administered by American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) and the Japan Foundation (Japanese government) is coming up this Sunday (12/2/2012).

Hopefully we will have a good weather without snow!!   Many students could take a test as we expected.

December dinner will be held on Friday 12/7/2012 (next week), which is the Pearl Harbor Day!

Gradually filling up the classes in Spring semester.  I am truly hoping that more people join the Spring trip to Japan!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is almost the end of the semester and the end of the year 2012!  Though Japan does not specifically celebrate Thanksgiving, GTS does hope everyone be happily united with other family members to enjoy dinner!

After Thanksgiving, the first Sunday of December (12/2/2012) will be the day of JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) and GTS is one of the head teachers to proctor the test at DePaul University with its professors!

Friday (12/7/2012) will be the last JCC/GTS Dinner this year and GTS would like to see many fellows depite the fact that the final exam is coming up!

So far, Japanese 1101 in Spring seems to have enough students to hold two sections and I am quite happy about it.  I am hoping to get more participants for the Spring Trip (3/22-3/31)!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Time flies and flies!

Once getting into November, the end of the year seems to come very fast!  Indeed, 2 weeks have been passed in November and GTS is about to be heading to Philadelphia to attend the annual conference for ACTFL/AATJ (American Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages/American Association of Teachers of Japanese).

GTS is the leadership of AATJ-Community College SIG and also one of the board members of AATJ.  Mostly GTS is overlooking the students activities for Japanese learners of K-16 throughout the United States.

We have launched the Japanese National Honor Society for Community College Students this year and I am ready for inducting several next semester!

For COD classes, usual withdrawal from classes mounted and now 47 students are in 1101.  GTS is really hoping that all these 47 students would pass the course!

Friday, November 2, 2012

November 2012 Began!

Time flies!  Today (Friday 11/2/2012) is the JCC/GTS monthly dinner night!  Hoping to meet many friends!

Spring registration has been started and gradually filling some classes!  Spring trip does have already 2 paid students and very promissing to be realized.

Also really hope 45 remaining students in Japanese 1101 would survive through the end of the semester.  Students in 2201 are likely to come to 2202 or (2201 re-take). 

It seems that more than enough students are interested in summer study abroad program in Japan.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

JAPAN TRIPs in 2013 is ready to get students!

Annual Spring Trip is now accepting students and already one student signed up before actual Spring registration begins!  Hope to have many can go to Japan to enjoy Japan's Spring in beautiful Kyoto with a full bloom of cherry blossoms!  Some students of GTS Japanese language classes expressed their strong interest and I do hope they can actually go with GTS to Japan.

The trip will be 3/22/2013-3/31/2013!   The fee is $2,799 (including everything but lunch and dinner)
There will be a couple of meetings prior to the trip (2/28/2013, 3/14/2013 5:30pm-7:50pm).  Tuition for 3-semester hour for Humanities 1800 ($136x3=$408) is required.

COD Summer Study Abroad Japan program is also accepting application. This 5-week study abroad program conducted in Kyoto, Japan will change the life and perspective of students in many ways.

The trip will be 6/19/2013-7/26/2013!  The fee is $4,444 (including everything but lunch)
There will be the weekend orientation (5/18,19/2013) Tuition for 7-semester hour for Humanities and Japanese ($136x7=$952) is required.

Already a dozen students showed their strong interest so I hope they can make it!

Midtern Verification Passed and Shrank!

Midterm Verification of student progress has passed.  Though we began Japanese 1101 (Elementary I) with about 70 students this semester, which was just about 30% less than usual, only 50 students are now still regularly attending the class.  Another 5 students or so will probably end up withdrawing from the class before the end of the semester.  Japanese 1102 in the Spring semester will be held in the morning (1 class) and the night (1 class), which I barely expect to make it.

Japanese 1102 students will basically survive, which I am quite happy about it, and hopefully they can proceed into Japanese 2201 in the Spring semester (This is the FIRST time attempt to offer 2201 is Spring!).  With a few more 2201 possible students to come back in Spring, I do expect we can form the good class!

Exceptionally eager 15 students in Japanese 2201 this semester keep challenging themselves for higher level of Japanese proficiency and hopefully continue to 2202 in the Spring and I have no doubt that over a dozen students will come back to Japanese 2202, which is excellent!

I am looking forward to see the new statistic soon!


Friday, October 19, 2012

iPad, iPhone Application for Japanese Dictionary!

I have just gotten the letter from CJK Institute (Chinese,Japanese,Korean) about the very useful application for iPad and iPhone.  GTS does recommend this!

"Everyone using it agrees that it is a beautifully designed and faithful adaptation of the print
dictionary, while also taking advantage of the iPhone and iPad’s advanced features to make the dictionary even easier to use by learners. Users can search for characters by SKIP, by radical, by
“on” and “kun” readings, as well as by English meaning.

What’s more, unlike the print edition, users can opt to have Japanese readings displayed in either Romanized Japanese or kana.
You and your students should also be interested in another application our institute has developed -- the popular iPhone application “Japanese Sensei”, which allows learners to learn and review
nearly 10,000 of the most important Japanese words. In addition to example sentences for each word, the application features native Japanese audio, as well as quizzes that enable users to not just learn
new words and their usage, but to retain them as well.

More information about each application can be obtained from the following brochures:

We encourage you to let your students know about these two applications, and how they can be of benefit to their Japanese studies. Also, feel free to announce them on websites, newsletters, and bulletin boards."

Friday, October 12, 2012

JCC/GTS October Monthly dinner is tonight!

As GTS organized the workshop for Japanese Language Teachers in Illinois last weekend, our monthly dinner has been delayed to this week.

It seems that great many new JCC members may show up tonight with some Japanese native students as well!

I am looking forward to meeting all. 

By the way, GTS is now on one of the largest Japanese language newspaper in the US!
 Check it out!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Already Second week of October!

Time flies.  GTS was busy organizing professional development workshop for K-16 Japanese language teachers of the state of Illinois and successfully completed this Saturday with 35 participants not only our state but neighboring states as well.

It was the largest group in the Illinois in the history of our professional organization, Illinois Association of Teachers of Japanese.

Those Japanese language teachers belong to the follwoing institution.

Burr Elementary School
Clinton Middle School
Murray Language Academy
Andrew Jackson Language Academy
Whitney Young HIgh School
Northside College Preparatory School                     These are in Cicago Public Schools

Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA)
Oak Park River Forest High School
Streamwood High School (U-46)
New Trier High School in Willmette
Elk Grove High School
Lockport Township High School
Dooley Elementary School in Schaumburg
Spectrum Progessive School in Rockford

Oakton Community College
Waubonsee Community College
College of DuPage
Indiana University South Bend
Notre Dame University
Purdue University Calumet
Noth Central College
Northern Illinois University
DePaul University

Friday, September 28, 2012

Alpha Mu Gamma & JCC excursion to Morton Arboretum!

The first event of this year planned by Alpha Mu Gamma (Foreign Language Honor Society) was the excursion to Morton Arboretum near the college with corroboration from Japanese Culture Club today.

The event was so successful with over 15 participants including several language professors from COD!

Morton Salt has been so famous in super markets and we have first learned that this famous Morton Family is deeply related with the arboretum which was used to be their residence!

GTS brought 3-year old Rina with him, and coincidentally bumped into the field trip by SUMIRE Kindergarten (Japanese Kindergarten in our area) and met her friends as well!

It was the last Friday of the month but certainly good Friday! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Japanese 1100 'Civilization and Culture of Japan' will be offered Spring 2013!

GTS has just attended the marvelous information session about Global education Project called INMP and would like to participate this International (simulation) Negotiations Module Project!

Our Japanese 1100 class will act academically and professionally as "Japan" to discuss several common issues around world so that the critical thinking skill as well as social negotiation manner of each student must be trained and utilized.

It is GTS' sincere hope to have enough students to join this eye-opening opportunity to obtain and nourish 'trans-national competence' to wisely survive in this rapidly transforming world today!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Alpha Mu Gamma (Foreign Language Honor Society) got really active!

With a few leadership, COD Foreign Language Honor Society (Nu Alpha Chapter of Alpha Mu Gamma) has so many excited plans this year.

The first field trip is coming on Friday (9/28/2012) for the guided tour of Morton Arboretum nearby our Glen Ellyn Campus.

In October, there will be the field trip to Pilsen co-sponsored by Casa De Amigo!

Criteria for society induction is 2As from the same language classes and 3.0 overall GPA.

However, everyone can join the club as a member!

Japanese Culture Club re-launched!

Club management is always a challenge as everyone is graduated or transferring/leaving within the short time of period.

As usual, all the officers from the last semester left COD and JCC has just begun from the scratch with a few volunteering Japan fan this week.

Some are from other Asian countries, and some are from Japanese history class, and others are those who are starving for some excitement with Japan stuff!

GTS is just very glad to see quite a few showed up to re-establish and energize JCC.

First test has done for every class!

Begin with smaller number of students this year, but life goes on and a test comes to everyone regularly.  Every class went through its first lesson and the test was conducted.

The average of the test for Japanese 1101 is just about 80%, 1102 is 75%, 2201 is 70%.  These numbers show the test was just right for everyone.

Oh yes, I did, indeed, lost some students in 1101 but it is within my prediction.   Students are usually too nervous at the first test but gradually getting used to it and will feel just fine and I am sure they will enjoy class in their own way.

Japanese Culture Club is just ready to launch with new volunteering officers and GTS is just excited to see how the club this year will be developed.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September begins!

September began and the first dinner night will come to this coming Friday (9/7/2012) at usual place.  It has been the tough start this year as we have less students at the beginning of the semester for Japanese 1101.  But we will make it without any problems for sure.

The second year Japanese 2201, however, has been more promissing with 16 students.  First test for all the classes is coming up soon so all the classes will shape them up furthermore.

Japanese Culture Club officers transfered to other institutions so leadership is under recruitment!

Monday, August 27, 2012

A week has passed in the Semester!

This is already the second week of the semester and September is just around the corner.  After all, Japanese 1101 has 65 students (which is 35% fewer than usual).  Some of these seating deficit has been covered by a dozen of 1102 students and 15 students of 2201.

I am not sure of how many will survive in 1101 but certainly hoping many so that we can have 2 classes for 1102 in Spring!

As 1102 students are a few, 2201 in the Spring semester may not get that well but I will encourage those in 1102 to continue on next semester!

GTS finally got free from Waubonsee Community College as I found an ideal teacher from the area and it seems that the class over in WCC is moving well so far!

I want to have more Spring trip participants!  The trip will be on the last week of March 2013!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Fall Semester is about to begin but.....

While the beginning of the new academic year is just around the corner, I as a GTS got a bit disappointed at the enrollment for classes.

For the first time during past over 10 years, Japanese 1101 classes were not filled and rather barely survived as a running class.

Usually over 100 students register in Japanese 1101 but only less than 60 students registered in Japanese 1101 over 4 different classes.  I am glad that all classes have been somehow made it but
I wonder what caused it besides slow economy.

One of the reasons must be scheduling which was beyond my control.  One class was forced to move from 10am to 12noon due to the construction (lack of classrooms).  11am class has been filled in the good way as usual but 12noon class suffered.  I have to work on this next academic year!

Yet, unlike the usual year, Japanese 2201 has 16 students, a dozen of whom will probably continue to 2202 in Spring and I am quite happy about it.

Furthermore, Japanese 1102 has 13 students despite this class is in off sequence.  I am very confident in offering 1102 every fall and hopefully 2201 in Spring as a continuation!

It is just sad when looking at the low figure now.  I will make utmost effort!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mom of the student who went to study abroad with me wrote to me!

Mr. Satsutani,
I just wanted to thank you so much for taking all of the COD students to the Japan study abroad program.

My son spoke quite highly of you and really enjoyed his trip abroad. This was an opportunity of a lifetime. It was all made possible by your hard work.

He has learned how to speak Japanese quite well with this emersion program and most of all experience a true Japanese lifestyle. This is an education you just can’t receive in a classroom.

He has come home a wiser young man and I owe it all to this program. He is continuing back at COD this fall and then will be transferring to DeVry in January. He will then earn a business technology degree. Again, thank you so much for this wonderful program



Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fall Registration continues! Spread the words!!

As the Fall semester approaches students registering in Japanese is gradually increasing!
1101 classes currently have 34 students (max. 96), 1102 and 2201 have more available seats so far.
Unfortunately our global classroom learning community class Japanese 1100 has been cancelled due to the low enrollment:(

Already some have been asking about Japan trip in 2013 which is the 15th year anniversary event!  Our regular monthly dinner outing will resume in the first Friday of September (9/7)!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

2012 Summer Study Abroad successfully completed!

2012 Summer study abroad in Kyoto, Japan has now successfully completed and certainly I began planning on the next year's program as time flies.

The dates will be 6/19/2013-7/26/2013 during which Kyoto Gion Festival and Osaka Tenjin Festival be held!

As I always try changing something in program so that some repeaters could consider going back to Japan again, you and your friends may go with GTS.

Application will be ready at the beginning of the Fall Semester and the cost will be $4,444 (including airfare, group activities, etc) plus 7-credit hours tuition (about $950, tuition is always in-district one regardless of where you live).  You can survive well with extra pocket money ($500-1000 including your lunch money $5-10 a day)

So $6,000-6,500 will change your perspective and literally life. Believe GTS!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Commencement and the Party went well!

The Commencement and the Farewell party went well.  At the party, every student gave a speech as well as thank you letter reading to each host family who also attended the party.

Some students and host family got burst into tears for various complicated feelings.  The final project of each group was superb!  Good team work and good friendship worked well as a group.

After enjoying the final afternoon in Kyoto, everyone is heading back to the USA tomorrow!

Another good summer program has almost finished!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fireworks at Osaka Tenjin Festival greeted us for farewell!

2012 COD Summer Study Abroad will end with the commencement and the farewell party tomorrow. 
25th of the month is one of the most important festival for Tenmangu Shrines all over Japan. 

Kitano Tenmangu in front of Kyoto International Academy held its flea market every 25th of the month and we were lucky to have two 25th day in June and July. 

July 25th is the most important for all as Osaka Tenjin Festival gets tens of thousands of people from all over Japan.

Great Osaka Tenjin Festival Fireworks overwhelmed us with so many stall selling food and drinks to say welcome and good-bye at the same time for our trip this year!

One more important day is left!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dolphine Show under heavy shower!

Kyoto Aquarium opened this Spring for the first time and certainly we took advantage of visiting there anyways.

As soon as we got there it began raining.   We were fairly lucky to be inside during the heavy shower.

Dolphin show was held while raining quite heavily yet some audience enjoyed water spills by the dolphin fin.

Though we stayed rather short time of the period, hope everyone got some coolness!

Our final excursion will be the OSAKA Tenjin Festival tomorrow with night fireworks!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Kamigamo Shrine, Midorogaike, and GTS elementary school!

Under hot and humid weather, we went to KamigamoShrine which is famous for its Traditional Horse Race and Aoi Festival of May.  Everyone had a chance to walk into Myojin-River with bare foot, which gace some refreshing coolness!  We walk along the Myojin River to Sacred Kusunoki Tree which GTS saw everyday during his elementary school days.

Going through alleys we got to some public parks where GTS played a lot some 40 years ago.  Several GTS friends houses were still there and gave nostrgic sense to GTS.

It is very significant to almost finish with where GTS came from!

A few more days to go!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Making Own Cup Noodle in Osaka!!

We went to the Nisshin Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka where everyone can design own cup noodle as a souvenir!  Everyone had fun with making it and learning the history of the instant noodle which was invented here in Japan by Ando Momofuku.

Some may bring their own cup noodle back to the States, some may eat tonight, some may give as a gift!

We had a rain but not too bad as we were in the station or in the train or in the Museum.

Another great day.  This weekend is the final weekend for us this year!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Scripture Caligraphy at Daikakuji Temple!

Upper level class holding 4 students had a special presentation class this morning and GTS observed their progress as well as many other students native to KIA.

After having lunch, we went to Daikakuji temple by bus to participate real practice of scripture calligraphy of Han'nya Shingyo.  I hope their calligraphy session at school assited a bit for this activity!

After visiting the Daikakuji we did so called SAGANO STROLLING (さがのめぐり) to walk without much purpose or emptying our mind!

Some have lost in the middle but eventually we met up at the train station!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kurama Temple to Kifune Shrine!

100 degree hot summer began and only 8 students came with GTS to get to Mt. Kurama from which we could go over the mountain to Kifune Shrine.

Minamoto Yoshitsune in 13th century took the same route to flee from Kyoto.  It was breezy and cool in the mountain and hope 8 students felt good about concurring this Kurama temple-Yuki Shrine - Kifune Shrine route.

Mt. Kurama is famous for its Kurama Tengu Orga and Kifune Shrine holds the deity of water and loved couples!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gion Festival after the long weekend!

Gion Festival Float Marching (山鉾巡行) was carried out under the very hot and humid weather after 3-day weekend during which every student enjoyed him or herself individually. 

Last three nights beginning last Friday were Gion Festival Eve/Eve-eve/Eve-eve-eve nights on which major Kyoto central avenues and streets became so-called pedestrian heaven without auto-trafic and many street venders opened.

Those huge floats build without nail but only wood and rope turn 90 degrees each intersection with bamboo and water but without any steering wheel!

Kyoto summer peak has passed and Osaka will get its peak mid-next week with Osaka Tenjin Festival!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Phoenix Pavilion engulfed us!

Gion Festival weekend is approaching and before all floats of the festival attracted us, we visited the Phoenix Pavilion in Uji-city.  Everyone took 10 yen coin to make sure the Pavilion looked like the one on the coin!

In the Museum in the temple, they showed the graphic recovery of the original colorful pavilion on the short DVD.

On the way back to the station, we walk along the Uji river whose stream was very quick in this rainy season!

Three day weekend holidays hopefully entertained everyone!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Eikando Maze-like building and GTS mom!

Though raining quite heavily in the morning, by the time we began excursion, it was ceased and became rather breezy nice afternoon.

We got to Eikando-Zenrinji Temple where nice garden and maze-like main hall entertained us.  From the top of the Pagoda, you can see the entire Kyoto city wonderfully.

We visited Nanzen-ji temple after leaving Eikando to see the old water canal garden (Nanzen-in) from which we were able to pass in front of GTS condo via International Community House.  In front of the Condo, everyone had a chance to greet GTS mom!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lots of Racoon Dog Statues welcomed us!

Though the rain forecast was 80%, the weather cooperated with us by just giving us some shade without rain drops.

Perfect weather for climbing up the Tabukudani-yama, the 9th mountain out of 36 Kyoto eastern mountains.

The head monk who is my senior led all of us into the main hall (special treatment!!) and explained some significance about the temple.

Father of GTS sleeps in his earn placed in the Yasuragi-do in this temple complex.  Students suffered from long steep upward slop with 250 stair steps to get to the chilled towel on top!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another hot day in Heian Jingu Shrine!

Upon finishing lunch time, we were headed to Heian Jingu Shrine, yet we had to get off the bus due to the mechanical problem (better then Airplane mechanical problem) so we decided to walk a bit longer to get to Heian Jingu Shrine, which was established in late 1800s as a 1100 year anniversary for capital city of Japan!

We did have a light rain yet managed to get to Kyoto Handicraft Center for some quality shopping!  We will climb up eastern mountain tomorrow with slight rain!

Not as hot and humid as it should be, so we should be happy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monkeys enjoyed Human being us!

The weather was perfect today to climb up the Mt.Iwata where the monkey park was located.  Not really climbing but just a hard slope walking!  On top the mountain has a little barn from which we can feed monkeys outside the window!

Some monkeys were jumped into water to swim and others are holding a month-old baby monkey.  We were comforted by them and could forget all the stress we have been getting if any.

Hopefully GTS will come back with another group next year and see how they would grow up!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Osaka Castle in the rain!

It was actually the rainy day affecting us a bit more serious but we got to the Osaka Castle while stopping raining.
During the observation inside the castle main tower, the rain got heavier and heavier.

Somehow managed to and from the train station and the excursion was successfully ended.

Some got wet but seems not to bad!  Another rainy day tomorrow on Saturday but by the time
we climb up the monkey mountain on Monday, it should be clear!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Kimono Beauty Attracted us!

Though it was not raining too heavily, slight rain prevented us from walking up and down the mountain.  So our destination was Nishijin Textile Center where Kimono Beauty attracted our students.  Some shopped souvenirs before heading to Nijo Castle.

On our way to Nijo Castle was the Seimei Shrine from which Japanese official exorcism began in 11th century!

KIA Student ID and the special visitor's pass let everyone enter the Castle where squeaking floor entertained us!

Light rain is actually better for hot and humid Kyoto!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tenryu-ji Temple and Bamboo trail in July 4th!

The weather today was barely holding for us so it was actually good to do some hike!  After lunch in Kitano Hakubaicho Randen Train station area, the train took us to the Arashiyama Area.

We have been in the eastern part for a while and today was the first day to the western side of Kyoto city!

We walked in the main hall of the Tenryu-ji and its hilly garden, did a little hike through bamboo trail to the top of mountain from which we could view the nice Hozu river and Valley!

We walked down to another side of the mountain along the Oi River and went across the Togetsu (Crossing the moon) Bridge to get to the Arashiyama Park which is famous for its cherry blossoms in Spring!

Hankyu train brought us back to the central city area and it began raining a bit!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

1001 Mercy Buddha welcomed us in rain!

It was raining from the morning today.  We planned accordingly so that we don't have to walk in the rain too much.

After lunch in the school area, everyone took the bus to get to Hyakumanben (Kyoto University area) first where we transfer to another bus taking directly to Sanjusangendo Temple.

There is a new path in the temple to walk around the main hall building.  The rain stopped while visiting there so it was rather easy to get back home afterwards.

Hopefully the weather gets a bit better tomorrow!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Thousands of Torii Gates challenged us!

As rainy days seem to wait for us next few days, we decided to get to Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine from which we climb up a part of Higashiyama Mountain area to have a nice view of the city from the southeast.

After lunch in DemachiYanagi Station area, Keihan train took us to the Fushimi Inari Station!

Everyone successfully climb up the Inariyama Mountain through thousands of Torii gates.

We go across the mountain and went down to another side of the mountain where Tofukuji Temple is located.

It was a good hike under the sun!  Yes, hot and humid now in the upper 80s.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Finally Heat and Deer hit us!

Finally hot and humid weather hit us today.  City subway and Kintetsu Train protected us from the heat during the ride for about an hour, but as soon as we began walking...  sweat sweat sweat.....

Many Deer in the Nara Park welcomed us and some of us feed deer with deer cookies!

World Largest Wooden building was housing a giant Buddha statue and greeted us with smile.

About the dozen of our group lost GTS and eneded up going back to the Nara Station by themselves while GTS took the rest of the group to the Kasuga Grand Shrine and Sarusawa Pond where so many turtles enjoyed swimming!

We were reunited on the shopping street near the train station from which we were headed back to Kyoto!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Yasaka Shrine to Kiyomizu-temple!

Right after the class, we moved to Senbon Imadegawa around where everyone eat lunch.  The city bus 201 took us from there to Yasaka Shrine (Gion) directly and our hike began that Shrine. 

Behind the shrine is Maruyama Park which is famous for the Cherry Tree.  We walk from Maruyama Park to Kodai-ji Temple, two-year slope, three-year slope and then to Kiyomizu Temple and Jishu Shrine.

Very cloudy and I was afraid of having rain but we could manage without raining and with rather comfortably cool weather!

So far So good!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Silver Pavilion w/ Philosopher's Trail

After having lunch in the school area, we were headed to the Silver Pavilion, which isn't quite decorated with silver.  Most famous Kyoto Scholars studied in Kyoto University near the Silver Pavilion and philosophers did philosophise around this area.

It is the beginning point of the Philosopher's Trail where you might find fireflies at night!  Our walk was eneded in the middle of the trail but the spirit continued to walk along the path.

The Silver Pavilion was built by the Yoshimasa, the grandson of Yoshimitsu who built the Golden Pavilion we visied yesterday!

No rain, not too hut, it was another perfect day!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Phoenix on top of the Golden Pavilion smiles on us!

Cloudy weather during this rainy season is so far helping us!  We could walk quite a bit fairly comfortably as it is not as hot nd humid as usual! 

We ate lunch at the different college cafeteria before heading to the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji Temple). 

Golden Pavilion with its Phoenix on its rooftop was standing and shining under the sun!  Still at the beginning of the program and everyone seems to enjoy the new environment though some also seem to have so-called culture shock and make some effort to adjust themselves to the new culture!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Rock Garden Rocks!

Little rain in the morning stopped nicely before the afternoon excursion.  It is getting hotter and more humid without doubt.  Today is the monthly flea market day at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in front of the Language school and it was lively and busy all day long.

We avoided getting involved with it as another 25th day is coming in July before we return to the US and were heading to the Rock Garden.  Before getting to the Ryoanji temple (The Rock Garden) we had a lunch at the Ritsumeikan University Cafeteria.

After visiting the Rock Garden, many, indeed, returned to the flea market to explore more.  The weather is holding nice and some cool air refresh us from time to time.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tigers Won in front of us!

Our study abroad group went to the Koshien Stadium as spectators for the Ball Game, Tigers vs. Bay Stars. Bay Stars got a run in the first inning but Tigers veteran player, Kanemoto's three run Home run began shutting up the game!

Nice perfect weather for day game pleased us as well!  Students had a good chance to compare Japan and USA in the field of professional baseball!

By the time we begin next week schooling, everyone should normalize his or her routine life out of Jet Lag!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Weather Completely Recovered!

Though raining early in the morning by the time the class begins this morning, blue sky gradually got spread!  We went to Ritsumeikan University to have lunch at its one of several cafeterias!  It was cheap and good. 

Our students were having some trouble to get what they wanted but it was the lesson to get some food!  University is still in session so we saw a lot of students including many foreign students as well.

As weather got recovered, we will be heading to Koshien Ball Park to become one of the excited spectators for the day game of Tigers vs Bay Stars tomorrow!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

First day of the schooling went well!

We were lucky yesterday without rain but today wasn't.  Not heavy but light rain continued all day long as we are in the rainy season.

Everyone found his or her way from the host family to the Academy without fail.  After the placement test, the first class began with worry and expectation.

After school, we went to the center of the city, Shijo Kawaramachi Shinkyogoku (四条河原町、新京極) to see what the center of the city is like.

GTS truly hope that the rain will stop and the sun began show up soon, at least, by Saturday Professional Baseball game!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Study Abroad Japan 2012 BEGAN!

Everyone got together at about 5am at the departure gate for the first flight from Chicago to Minneapolis.  It left on time and arrived on time for the second flight heading to Seattle!  The connection of DELTA was more than perfect!  Our flight reached to the gate next to the gate for flight to Kansai, Japan.

Everyone was quite happy and we met many elementary school kids from Alaska heading Japan!
In comparison to the former flight (which was still Northwest), Delta seemed to make some improvement.

We got to Osaka Kansai International Airport on time and went through immigration and custom very quickly without any problems.  Personally last time we used Kansai Airport was 5 years ago but I am thinking to use it again in future.

Everyone got to Japanese School around 7:30pm and host families picked up assigned students right away.

Well, hope everyone makes it tomorrow morning!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

We will be on our way to Japan in 3 days!

The departure date is now approaching very quickly.  As GTS is returning to Chicago from Slat Lake City, UT working as a leadership of AP JAPANESE Scoring team, he will be leading 2012 Study Abroad Japan Group to Japan. in a couple of days.

Every preparation in Kyoto, including Schooling, Home-Staying, Daily Activity Prep, is ready to begin.  Every student should be excited to plunge into the new world!  We are hoping that the weather during the long flight is cooperative as well as during the entire program.

Stay tuned for daily event!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

June JCC/GTS Dinner went well with Rina!

The final GTS/JCC dinner night was held Yesterday with a dozen people and 3-year old Rina, GTS' daughter!  Due to the busy schedule of GTS, a couple of dinners last two months were skipped and finally we re-united with jokes, smiles, discussions, and talks.

As GTS will go to Salt Lake City, UT for AP Japanese Scoring next two weeks and to Japan for the following 6 weeks, our dinner will only resume in September 7th (Friday).

Hope everyone gets a nice summer time.  This blog page will be updated everyday during our summer program in Kyoto!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Study Abroad Orientation was successfully completed!

Last couple of days are the orientation weekend for students joining the 2012 Study Abroad Program in Kyoto, Japan.  Everyone had a chance to introduce himself or herself so that we could build the sense of one big family group!

Throughout the orientation everyone accelerated his or her excitedness to get to Japan for enhansement of the transcultural competence.

The weaker dollars and more expensive airplane fuel surchage challenge us but we will overcome these challenge and certainly get more precious educational experience with GTS!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Study Abroad Orientation this weekend!

Some 15 students will gather for 2012 COD Study Abroad Japan Program Orientation this weekend!  Another good group is formed and students will build the feeling and atmosphere of the team!

With this more expensive airfare climate and weaker dollar tendency, students will plan to maximize their experience being abroad and being in Japan.

GTS has alrfeady begun preparing the next couple of trips in March, 2013 and June 2013!

There is also the on-campus Japanese 1101 this summer taught by my friend, Miyuki Yamamoto, who is so excited to teach at COD!

JCC dinner will resume in two weeks on Friday June 1.  See you all!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Spring Semester Ended!

Finally the academic year 2011-2012 has ended.  How many survivors?  Well, 2202 students all survived as expected.  For 1102 (morning), 2 out of 14 failed.  For 1101, 6 out of 27 students (over 20%) failed unfortunately.  Probably Spring break (1 week) killed many students' study habit and they could not get back to the right track.

I still hope that survivors from 1102 would come back to 2201 and even those who failed come back to 1102 again to override!

Fall semester schedule is as follows:
1101 (11-12pm Mon thru Thu), (12-1pm Mon thru Thu),  (5-7pm Mon/Wed), (7-9pm Tue/Thu)

1102 (1-3pm Mon/Wed), (5-7pm Tue/Thu)

2201 (7-9pm Mon/Wed)

There will be Learning Community Japanese 1100 (with Political Science 2200) in Fall.
Students in 1100 will meet Japanese students in a Japanese college virtually real-time!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Spring Semester will end!

No time to having regular dinner night in this month again!  Hopefully we will resume in August!

Next week will be the final exam week and we will find out how many students exactly would survive.

Summer Study abroad preparation is under way and it seems to be one of the largest group in recent years! We are all excited to have some astounding experience.

The study abroad orientation weekend will be coming up in 5/19-20 when everyone gets to know with each other to build some sense of Group-ness.

There is a summer Japanese language class (1101) beginning 5/29 for 10 weeks and 4,5 students have registered.  As I am leading a trip to Japan, I cannot teach this class but good friend of mine will take good care of students do that those students can take the second semester Japanese (1102) in fall!!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

The end of the semester comes soon!

The Spring semester is almost over.  It seems that just about 10 to a dozen students can survive in 1101 and 1102 classes.  They shrank quite a bit.  Spring semester is always difficult because we have a spring break in between.  We will offer 1101 during the summer semester so that we hopefully have enough students for 1102 in fall!!

The study abroad group this year is fairly larger so it should be fun.  I have just attended the Board Meeting of American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ). There is an exciting news!  AATJ established the Japanese National Honor Society for Community College Chapter!!

Hope many COD students can join next year!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2 weeks passed and Kyoto in 2 months again!

GTS was in Washungton DC last week to attend the National Japan Bowl, which is the quiz competition for high schoolers. The competition was held along with Sakura Festival in which GTS met Mr. Fujisaki, Japanese Ambassador to the US. Next weekend, 4/27-28, GTS will attend the Board meeting of American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) held at the Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison. In 2 months, Summer Study abroad group will get to Kyoto, Japan. About 15 students will enjoy Japanese life for about 5 weeks. The end of the Spring semester is nearing and I began wondering about how many actually survive?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Heading back to Chicago!

Today is Sunday here and we are heading back to Chicago in sunny cherry blossoms weather. We experienced a variety of weather during this trip and had rather colder days yet will be greeted by full bloom farewell.

Now we are ready to have a time travel. Leaving Tokyo at around 7pm and reach Chicago at 4pm (will take minus 3 hours).

Hopefully the next Spring trip in 2013 can be realized as well!

Sakura in Full Bloom in Osaka Castle!

Full bloomed Cherry blossoms in Osaka Castle Park welcomed us finally right before leaving Japan for Chicago tomorrow! Walking through flowers and took train back to Kyoto.

On the way back to the city, we stopped at Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine to walk under 1000 Torii-gate to feel sacred atmosphere.

Everyone got used to the system in Kyoto, but now we have to go back to the States. Some say they will come back to Japan near future!

We will be heading back to the States, tomorrow!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Chilly Nara Day!

We have visited Nara by Kintetsu line to see my/our DEER and Giant Buddha in Todai-ji Temple. Some cherry was in full bloom yet some chilly rain gave us headache. From Giant Buddha, we proceeded to Todaiji February Hall, March Hall, and April Hall from which the entire Nara city was visible.

Walking through Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine and Mt. Wakakusa, we got to Kasuga Grand Shrine to meet several Miko (Female Shinto Assistant). From there about a mile of walk took us back to the shopping street and the Train Station from which we went back to Kyoto.

It was a bit chilly and rainy day but we made it well!

One more full day and we will be on our way back to Chicago!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

GTS mom showed up!

We have been suffering from funny weather. Sunny, rainy, cloudy, sunny...... We took a city bus to Nanzenji-temple where 700 years anniversary Buddhist ceremony for the second head monk! We were lucky to see it. Students learned how Kyoto got water from the Lake Biwa in the Lake Biwa Canal Museum (video in English!)

Upon leaving the museum students had a chance to meet GTS' mom and got some souvenirs from her. Then went to Heian jingu shrine. Many want to have a free exploring time so we dismissed in front of the Art Museum of Kyoto to which some visited in.

Tomorrow will be the Nara trip but the weather is unpredictable!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A bit chilly but sunny day returned!

On the contrary to the yesterday's horrible storm, it was fairly calm without raining today. We first got to Daikakuji Temple where everyone has an experience of Buddhist Calligraphy Drawing (写経).

Upon leaving Daikakuji, we went thorough alleies and path to get to Nison-in (二尊院)as well as Nonomiya Shrine (野々宮神社).

After lunch around the Randen Arashiyama Station, we went into Tenryuji (天龍寺). After crossing Togetsukyo Bridge (渡月橋), we headed to Hankyu station to go back to the hotel.

Weather was nice though a bit cold yet manageable.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Heavy Rain Storm mildly attacked us!

It seems that today is the first and last day of raining heavily. Yet we visited Nijo Castle to try walking on the squeeking floor and gardens. After taking a rest for a while in the castle, the city bus took us to the Silver Pavilion near which GTS was born a few decades ago.

Raining prevent us from walking along the philosopher's trail we went to Kyoto Handicraft Center for shopping as we can avoid heavy rain.

At night, we went to the Traditional Performance Show!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Golden Pavilion in Sunny Kyoto!

Really sunny day finally came and Cherry Blossoms are really thinking to bloom now. We began the day 2 with the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji temple) and the Rock Garden (Ryoan-ji temple) before having the lunch at the cafeteria of Ritsumeikan University which GTS was graduated from years ago.

Because it was the first day of the university, almost all the incoming freshmen there and it was a truly lively campus. After lunch we went to the Hirano Shrine which has just begun flower viewing event though the Sakura was not ready yet.

GTS greeted teachers at Kyoto International Academy (KIA) which is located between Hirano Shrine and Kitano Tenmangu Shrine where some plum flowers were still very attractive. KIA will take care of students in our summer study abroad trip in June-July.

On the way back to the Hotel, we stopped at Nishijin Textile Center where students enjoyed its Kimono Show as well as some souvenir shopping.

It was a very productive day!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Safe in Kyoto, Japan! First day (SUN)

2012 Spring COD field trip to Kyoto Japan arrived in Kyoto safely though we had some delay due to the harsh weather.

First day began with getting some cash at Citibank before heading to Yasaka Shrine! There was an actual Shinto Wedding ceremony.

Maruyama Park Cherry hasn't bloomed yet but at least we felt some energy when seeing people trying save some spots for the night party.

Through sannenzaka and ninenzaka we got to Kiyomizu temple then going down the bowl slope )chawan-zaka) to catch the bus to go to Sanjusangendo where 1001 kannon statutes welcomed us.

In the afternoon we took keihan train to get to Uji area to visit the Phoenix Pavilion before heading back to the central area of Kyoto!

It was a great day.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Leaving for Japan in the rainy day!

It has been raining with some thunder. Yet we are leaving. Unfortunately Kyoto seems to a lot cooler than Chicago this spring and the forcast say that there be several rainy days:( I hope that COD group bring the sunny day and meet with full bloom of Sakura.

We will taking off Chicago at 1pm with American Airline this time to get to Narita to catch JAL for Osaka. Though the weather Japan may not kind to us, we will maximize our experience with this one-time unique student group.

Summer study abroad plan has also begun!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Japan Symposium finished Successfully!

The biggest day ofthis semester, Japan Symposium was successfully ended with the great Taiko Drum performance and Asian fashion show on last Thursday!

The Opening Ceremony with our college president and Consul General of Japan at Chicago was attended by over 120 audience which was followed by sessions of Dr. Norma Field and Dr. Jason Jones. The afternoon movie viewing and discuaaion over the recent award winning film "Okuribito (Departure)" was well accepted as well.

Thank you for all those attendees as well as orgnaizing committee members of College of DuPage.

Spring field trip is coming up this weekend and this blog will become the report of the each day events!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Japan Symposium on Thursday 3/22/2012!

This is the week of Japan Symposium. The Tea ceremony will be held at Student Lounge of SSC at 1pm tomorrow on Tuesday! Ms. Akiko Sato will perform this ceremony as she did it for us last fall!

Actual Symposium will be on Thursday at SRC 2800 at the college began by greeting from our president and the Honorable Counsul General of Japan. Three speakers, Dr. Norma Field, Dr. Jason Jones, and Dr. Stanley Murashige will talk about various topics about Japan including recent Nuclear disaster, Horror cinema, Arts, etc.

Japanese Taiko Drum will conclude the event!

Spring Japan trip is coming up soon, too!!!! Amzing record-high temperature in Chicago!

Monday, March 12, 2012

JCC/GTS Dinner was flourished!

March dinner has just passed with about 20 participants including several new faces. On Sunday night I had a dinner with some JET alums to think back just one year ago, which is the day Tsunami attacked Japan.

The first class for the Spring Kyoto Trip was held and everyone introduced among others and all wished stronger dollars and full-bloom of Cherry Blossoms.

There will be American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) annual conference this week in Toronto, Canada and I will be presiding one session. I am looking forward to meeting several professional friends in rather warm Canada!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March began! Japan Symposium Returns!

The JCC/GTS monthly dinner will be on Friday 3/9/2012. I hope to see many spring-like faces there.

One of past students, Matt Bedford left for Gifu, Japan to teach English there. I am very happy to see his dream coming true after his graduation with many ups and downs from the college!!

Tha Japan Symposium will be held at COD SRC 2800 on Thursday (the whole day) 3/24/2012. Jason Jones (Univ. of Wisconsin at Milwaukee), Norma Field (Univ. of Chicago) and Andy Murashige (Art Institute of Chicago) will give the enthusiastic lectures. There will be Film viewing, Fashion Show, Taiko Drum and Japanese Dance are also coming to wrap up the event at night!

Hope to have you in the audience/spectators!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Middle of the Spring semster!

Time really flies! While Japanese 2202 shrank, newly added 1101 got quite a few students, the number of students taking Japanese this semester has grown and we have even decided to run a couple of Japanese 1102 in Fall semester!

Spring Field trip to Kyoto, Japan has 10 students in it and the timing for visiting there for SAKURA viewing seems to be Perfect according to the SAKURA front forecast which announced the SAKURA full bloom in Kyoto be 4/6/2012 which is in the middle of our trip!!!

Summer Study Abroad has already over 15 students and that is very exciting news!!

JET (Japanese government English teaching assistant program) Interview has begun and GTS will be a interviewer on 2/23-25!

The JCC dinner next month will be 3/9/2012!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February dinner went well!,

Wow! A month has passed since last update! Monthly dinner was filled with unusual members.

Spring semester classes are moving on without major problems except for too few students in 2202! Two from 2202 and four from 1102 are going to Japan with me this summer as well as three from Waubonsee community college and one from Harper community college.

Despite the fact that Japan is still sufffering from radiation fear, many can come with me and I feel very confident in what I am offering!

We have decided to offer summer 1101 class during my absence at the college and offer more classes in fall to the point that we are recruiting a new part-time teacher!

GTS is going to Miami, FL this weekend to participate in Japan seminar!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Late Happy New Year!

Late happy new year! This is the first day of the Spring semester 2012 and the first day of having siginificant amount of snow in Chicago area in this season!
I am glad to say that all the planned Spring semester classes are running including the Japan field trip class!
Japanese 1101 has over 40 students in 2 sections, and Japanese 1102 has over 30 students in two classes! Japanese 2202 (fourth semester class) has been shrunk a bit but about dozen students continues to learn. Spring Japan Trip class has over 10 students and we will certainly go to Kyoto for flower viewing in early April!

Regular JCC/GTS dinner will resume tomorrow though the second Friday of the month!