President - Dale DeVries Vice President - Erika Fleisner
Secretary - Nick Katzfey
Editor - Phillip Fischer
Illustrator - Nick Katzfey
I am Chie Kakigi. I came to Oshkosh in fall of 1996 and have been a member of Club Nippon since then. I came as an assistant of Dr. Fukuta and spent two years working with her and Club Nippon members. Three years ago, I decided to be a student again, and this semester I am going to graduate with a Masters of Science in Education. I have a lot of memories of Club Nippon that I would like to share.
First, I want to thank Heather Mc Fadden, who was a president of Club Nippon in 1996-1998. She helped me join this club and taught me a log of good (and bad) English. We enjoyed our trip to Yaohan Plaza (now Mitsuwa Marketplace) in CHicago. I remember the day when I saw my first Wisconsin snow fall. I presented flower arranging and Megumi Suizu presented Japanese Koto music. In 1998, I was a student member. The president was Miho Chikuhama who is one of my best friends and my former roommate. She handled the club meetings very well and made the meetings fun! THe members cooked Japanese foods together and had great party. I remember Aki, he was a Club Nippon Sushi chef who contributed this Club a lot especially for the Japan week. Amanda Ceelen and Todd Kohlman, were the co-presidents during 1999-2000 school year THey worked hard to organize meetings and events. Amanda is an organizer and Todd is an entertainer. It was a great combination. Kraoke Night was a great success in that year! Now, the president is Todd. It is his second year, and also his last year organizing our club. Yes, he is graduating!
We club members are having a good time together every other Monday,
and expecting to have fun during Japan week. Thanks to all the club
members with whom I spent time in cub with for supporting me, and sharing
your joy with me. I hope many people will continue to share great
experience together through the Club Nippon and build a good relationship
When Dr. Fumiko Fukuta first sent around the sign up sheet for the VOICE program in my Japanese class, I was unsure of exactly what it entailed and what signing up for it would mean for me. I signed the sheet, only thinking about how much fun it could be. I thought how I have always loves meeting new people, especially my ow age and from a different part of the world.
The first orientation meeting with Jenna Graff was what really taught me about what I would be doing. I learned exactly how to word phrases and handle certain situations with the Japanese students through her. A definite plus was also that in her meeting, I learned certain things about everyday Japanese culture, from how they heat on their homes to the way they show number amounts while counting on their fingers. We also received tools to teach the students, like a workbook with conversation topics and exercises, and a guideline book to help us along as well. The meeting was extremely helpful to my understanding of how to deal with the Japanese students in various possible situations.
THeir welcoming party was my first opportunity to meet the girls from Nagasaki. They had just arrived and we had some sandwiches while they intermingled and got introduced to their host families. THey stayed with the host families on the weekends, which is where they got the majority of their American cultural experiences! However, the best opportunity for them to use their English speaking skills was, of course, when we all met together for our hour-long individual meetings.
As interchagers, we could take the students to anywhere we wished to on campus, following their English class. We all used different methods to talk to them, but my personally favorite was through using pictures. We had a lot of fun topics some up through them. And it brought about a lot of questions on their part! They had pictures with them, too, usually, and we all had interesting things to talk about. As with the workbook usage, the exercise that stands out in my mind is the pages with animal sounds. I worked on these with a young lady named Meiko, and she found most of the American sounds to be really hilarious. It seemed like she was always trying to hold back a burst hysterical laughing! I feel that through our meetings, the Japanese students not only got to polish their English speaking skills, but they also learned about American college life first-hand. They seemed to have had a blast. They were always so eager to learn.
There were other activities I was involved in with the VOICE program, as well. We went to Cub Foods grocery store for an entire afternoon. They were having so much fun looking at all the interesting things we eat and use. They loved looking at the makeup section especially, but they also were fascinated by the greeting cards and candy. They bought a lot of bottled water and ramen, because they probably missed that. But what was cereal boxes. I must have taken five or more. But when you think bout it...cereal boxes DO kind of look ridiculous.
We also went to the Oshkosh Publish Museum. We spent bout an hour there. There was an exhibit on toys showing at the time, and they thought everything was "Kawai!" (cute). That was that dominant word of the day.
One of the evenings, we went to Koreana in Appleton for dinner. It was good food and a lot of fun. There were a lot of people there, including host families. Lots of pictures were taken and there were a ot of laughs. But the most striking thing about the evening wa when the rice serving came around. In unison, the exchange students shrieked with glee and quickly opened up the tiny containers to eat the food they missed the most. They had a taste of home while there that evening, and they had a great time.
During their stay, there were a few gatherings and a couple of parties I attended, but the most notable was the Farewell Banquet. THere were nice warm speeches given, pen pals made, and lots of tears. It was a good meal and a touching evening.
I am confident that they went back home with a memorable experience and better knowledge of the English language. All i all, the VOICE program is a wonderful experience for both the Japanese exchange students form Nagasaki and the student interchangers who have the pleasure to meet them
Welcoming Japanese Visitors
by Ken Cook
Early in March several Japanese college students visited Oshkosh. The visit was arranged and sponsored by the UW Oshkosh VOICE program. During the week these students, all women, lived in the residence halls, went to class, and visited several area places of interest. On the weekends the students stayed with host families in the Oshkosh area. My wife, Barbara, and I were privileged to host two of the students.
Our guests were Chigusa Nakamura and Maiko Takebe, who are from Nagasaki. Neither had been out of Japan before, so their experiences here were altogether new. While their English was not outstanding, and my Japanese even less so, we were able to communicate with few problems. We had a great time with Chigusa and Maiko; and I think they had a good time with us.
Having exchanged letters and pictures with our new Japanese friends prior to their trip to the US we knew a little about each other when we met at a reception on February 26. We were interested in what kinds of meals we should have while they were at our home, so we spent a lot of our first meeting talking about what foods they liked and disliked (two votes against milk).
They began their first weekend visit at our home on Friday, March 2. The first night was spent in familiarizing the women with our house and their living areas, and using English (I used the dictionary about as much as they did). They helped us prepare a stir fry for dinner (and we remembered about the milk).
We spent most of the first Saturday at the Fox River Mall, with lunch at McDonald's- a special request from Maiko, who worked part-time at MAKUDONARUDO (McDonald's) in Nagasaki. We had dinner at an Oshkosh restaurant; and everyone went to a jazz concert at the Grand Opera House. On Sunday we visited the EAA museum. The next Friday night we went to a noodle party at Chie Kakigi (Kakigi-sensei), my Japanese instructor. It was a great evening, with the opportunity for our guest to socialize with other UWO students. We had a Mexican meal on Saturday. We took the women to our church on Sunday.
On the second Sunday evening all of us attended a final dinner and graduation exercises at Reeve Union. Many of the students, including ours, participated in a program of music, games, when our "daughters" graduated. All four of us were sad when we had to say good-bye at the end of the evening.
We hope that our guests learned some things about American life and
language while making weekend visits to our home. The Cook family
certainly learned a lot from the visits, and in a most enjoyable way.
Chiegusa and Maiko added a lot to our lives and to our permanent memory.
We will certainly.