Photo Credit Mrs. Nakasone

Kalani High Visit Koyo High School

January 27, 2016

Kalani High School students recently came back from their cultural visit to Koyo Senior High School in Hiroshima, Japan.  This sister school partnership continues to present opportunities for both schools to learn from each other while strengthening bonds of friendship, peace and tolerance between the United States and Japan. This program helps to solidify the relationship between schools as we continue to engage in correspondence and visits that promote a greater understanding of the cultures and social customs of both countries.

The Kalani Delegation (22 students), led by vice-principal Ann Nakasone and teacher Lisa Potterton stayed in the homes of Koyo students.  They visited classrooms and toured beautiful Hiroshima. On one of the days in Hiroshima, they visited the Hiroshima Peace Park and Miyajima Island.  They returned to Hawaii on Tuesday, November 24.

Kalani High School cherishes the special relationships that we share with Koyo Senior High School and we are proud to be a part of a program that helps to develop lifelong friendships and global perspectives in our communities.

Welcome Back Falcons!

Mrs. Lisa Potterton’s Interview

Q. How was your trip to Japan?

  1. I had a great time in Japan!  It was really nice to meet teachers and students from our sister school in Japan (Koyo High School).  I also had a lot of fun spending time with our Kalani Students and Mrs. Nakasone as well!

Q. What was your favorite part of Japan (in general)?

  1. If I have to pick one favorite part, it would most likely be the food!  🙂  I’m really going to miss all of the bakeries and convenience food!

Q. What was your favorite part of the Japan trip?

  1. My favorite part was creating connections/memories and bonding with Koyo High School teachers, staff administrators, etc. Everyone was so gracious and open!  We were eager to learn more about Japanese culture and they were eager to learn more about Hawaii!  I made a lot of new friends!

Q. What is one of the things that you learned from Japan?

  1. I actually lived in Japan before but there is always something new to learn!  Mrs. Nakasone’s family in Japan graciously took me to a town that I have never heard about:  Takehara City.  What is unique about this town is that they have preserved certain areas to still look like how it used to during the Edo period.  When we were walking through the area, I felt like we traveled back in time!

Q. If you could go back to the Japan trip what would you have changed and why?

  1. If I could have changed ONE thing?  I wish I had more time to shop!

Q. What is the biggest difference that you noticed about japan high schools and high schools in hawaii?

  1. There are MANY differences!  Where do I begin?  Here’s a list of major differences:  students stay in their classrooms (teachers move), school uniforms, students help clean classrooms, appearance is very strict in Japan: students have to wear their uniforms properly, no makeup, no dyeing hair, boys have to keep their hair short, there are inside shoes and outside shoes you have to change in and out of, there are greetings at the beginning and end of each class, seniors are NOT allowed to play sports because they have to study for college entrance exams, students stay at school pretty late (sometimes until 6-7pm), students are self-directed and run their own sports clubs/extracurricular activities, students are not allowed to have part-time jobs…. there’s more but that’s what I have for now!

Mrs. Ann Nakasone’s Interview:

Q. How was your trip to Japan?

  1. It was a very good trip.  We were able to see many of the teachers who visited before and learned a lot about Koyo and schools in Japan and Hiroshima.

Q. What was your favorite part of Japan (in general)?

  1. This was my first trip to Japan, so I was trying to take in all the experiences.  The best part was experiencing all the things I’ve heard so much about.  From the people, the food, the sites and shopping it was so much better than I imagined.

Q. What was your favorite part of the Japan trip?

  1. My favorite part of the trip, overall was seeing the Koyo and Kalani community members bond.  Even our group, which had students from different grades and interest groups at Kalani, became quite close.  Creating these memories with each other help our thinking to become global and strengthen our sister school relationship for years to come.

Q. What is one of the things that you learned from Japan?

  1. I think an important part we all learned from is having the students see the outcome of the atomic bomb and the peace park and how we can help our countries to grow in peaceful and productive ways.  This is something that impacted many of our families – here at Pearl Harbor and there in Hiroshima – and we need to learn from this history to keep it from repeating.

Q. If you could go back to the Japan trip what would you have changed and why?

  1. I don’t think I would change anything.  Koyo High gives us an agenda and we are able to see many aspects of the school while going out and seeing the city and learning about their culture.  It is a very balanced trip.  Maybe bring a wi-fi hot spot since it was difficult to get wi-fi.

Q. What is the biggest difference that you noticed about Japan high schools and high schools in hawaii?

  1. High schools in Japan have entrance exams.  The students there all must pass the exam to attend.  Also, third year students (our seniors) are not allowed to participate in sports or clubs since they are all studying for college entry exams.  Overall, the Koyo students are happy and eager to learn, much like our students here at Kalani!
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