Japanese Club Fundraises for Trip Abroad

Osaka, Japan

Osaka, Japan

Hanh Pham, Reporter

Radford High School’s Japanese Club President Charlene Agoot, junior, said that she hopes to see avid students engage in Japanese culture while simultaneously enjoying the learning process.

Working with the help of an experienced club advisor, Mark Kanetsuna is arranging an opportunity for members to visit Japan.

Mr. Kanetsuna smiling for the camera.
Japanese Club advisor Mark Kanetsuna is arranging an opportunity for club members to visit Japan in the summer of 2014.

is arranging an opportunity for Radford students to visit Japan.

Every year, the school caters to groups of Japanese students who visit Hawaii in order to experience an American education.

In 2014, the club wants to take it one step further by touring Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Tokyo. With a price tag of around $5000, members are trying to make it more affordable by planning fundraising events. Students still have a year to come up with the money, as the trip is set in the summer of 2014 over the course of 13 days.

Agoot also aspires to fulfill the wishes of future members of the club, which met for the first time on Sept. 4. Future meetings are taking place every first and third Wednesday of the month during lunchtime. The club will be celebrating traditional Japanese holidays, tasting food native to the Japanese, and experiencing Japanese culture are all on the agenda for the club.

Meanwhile, the club will be able to interact with any visiting Japanese student groups throughout the year. However, after experiencing the first wave of foreign visitors that occurred on Aug. 28, Agoot said “Radford students were sitting in one corner while the Japanese boys were in the opposite corner.”

Agoot said that in the future, she hopes the club will be more welcoming as the “Japanese kids are just like us, really. I hope this year’s Japanese Club flourishes with fun and education on the Japanese culture.”

A three-year member of the Japanese club, Kahlin Baughman, junior, said the club did various activities last year, including karaoke, Kawaii Kon, eating sushi, and participating in festivals and bon dances.

Although Agoot has never before functioned as an acting member of the Japanese club, Baughman has no qualms about joining again. In anticipation of club events this year, Baughman recognizes that the club’s activities may change with incoming members. “Whatever [Agoot] feels is right to do with the group of people we are given,” Baughman said, “every group is different.”

Agoot plans to create an ask box that allows club members to submit their input on future activities. A new member of the Japanese Club, Mikala Johnson, junior, said, “I would like to learn more about the Japanese culture and what it’s like to live there.”

Further opportunities await Radford students who wish to travel to Japan, as the Japan Wizards competition will be providing an all expense paid trip to those who are able to compete and win a trivia game. Allowing three participants at each Japanese level, the game will quiz competitors on a series of Japanese facts, and winning representatives will be sent to Japan. According to the Japan-America Society of Hawaii website, previous winners explored Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and other areas in the month of June depending on their Japanese level.

In order to increase Radford High School’s success, Kanetsuna will open study sessions in order to prepare competitors for the Japan Wizards Competition.

Kanetsuna encourages all students to take advantage of these opportunities.