Japanese classes hold Fall Festival with snacks, performances, and activities


Aileen Hu

The Japanese Fall Festival, complete with different foods, activities, and performances, took place on Dec. 2 in the multi-purpose room.

On Friday, Dec. 2, Amador’s Japanese classes put together their annual Fall Bunkasai Festival in the multi-purpose room. Complete with food, games, and performances, students could visit and enjoy the event throughout third and fourth period.

“We’ve been doing the Fall Festival for eleven years now. At the beginning, we had a smaller festival, a fundraising event. On top of that, we wanted to introduce Japanese culture to other students. Every year, students would come up with new ideas, giving the event more variety,” said Rieko Murphy, Japanese language teacher.

From the brainstorming to the creating, the festival was a large-scale event. Japanese classes had to begin planning for it early on in the school year to ensure everything went smoothly. 

“Our class started preparing for the Fall Festival in early fall, October, maybe. We mainly prepared by making posters, dividing up what to bring, and choosing a leader to manage the preparations. We would also plan what food to make, like fruit sandwiches, okonomiyaki, spam musubi, and of course, mochi,” said Suah Oh (‘24).

After spending nearly a whole semester preparing, the Japanese classes’ anticipation only rose as the event neared.

Students could try folding different origami patterns or learn how to write calligraphy with brushes and ink.

“I was looking forward to running one of the stands. I’d heard that the cotton candy stand would be incredibly popular, and making cotton candy seemed really fun. But the dancing and cheering was also going to be great, so there was a lot to look forward to,” said Alan Deng (‘24).

The festival steadily grew over the years, but the pandemic had caused the most dramatic changes. The difference between this year’s and last year’s event are noticeable in more than one way.

“Last year’s fall festival was smaller and wasn’t all that organized. This year, the event was way larger, and more periods collaborated with each other. And there’re less Covid restrictions, so we could share food around school and put a bunch of people inside the MPR. It was just more fun with more people,” said Deng.

Having started as a small fundraising event, the fall festival has come to be a yearly tradition at Amador. And each year, the Japanese classes look forward to making the event even better than the last.

“The most important thing for me is seeing my students truly enjoy the experiences and seeing Japanese culture, both from preparing for the festival and participating in it. And of course I want people to visit, and we all want to show that appreciation when they come.” said Murphy.


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  • This year’s festival was a collaboration between all Japanese classes. Students squeezed in whatever time they could to help finish the preparations.

  • Before the festival took place, the Japanese classes began bringing in donations to go with the money they would raise at the event.

  • Several games were set up for the festival, with prizes waiting at the end of each activity.

  • Parent volunteers helped run the festival’s many food stands, from making yakitori to selling mochi.

  • Sarah Le (’24) and Erika Pettersson (’24) welcome students to the 3rd period Fall Festival.

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