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The student news site of Amador Valley High School


The student news site of Amador Valley High School


The student news site of Amador Valley High School


Amador’s Japanese class organizes annual Fall Festival

Ashlynn Suh
A group of students perform a Oendan dance, a traditional Japanese cheer.

On Friday, Dec. 1, Amador’s Japanese classes held their annual Japanese Bunkasai Festival on campus during periods 2, 3, and 4. The event brought Japanese traditions to Amador for a day of fun and festivities.

Preparation for the festival began weeks before Thanksgiving Break.

Students worked hard, using their class periods and after-school hours to execute the festival successfully. 

“Each group would meet up every single time we worked on the festival in class, and the groups would organize what they would do and how they would set things up. And then towards the day before the festival, all the other groups would go set up and decorate the MP. Whereas the food group went to the culinary class to prepare some food,” said Kiki Yasui (‘26). 

A large part of Japanese culture is its widely popular cuisine. Throughout the periods, students in charge of cooking continuously worked to make goods to sell for five dollars or less. 

“They’re selling a lot of food, like chocolate-covered strawberries, caramel apples, and mochi. They’re also selling onigiri and spam musubi. Yakitori, which is like fried chicken, and also Cup Noodles were also up for two dollars each,” said Vivian Li (‘26). 

The Japanese students use the festival to showcase their affinity for the culture and language. The festival serves as an opportunity for the students to use their skills in a creative and entertaining way.

“My Japanese students get really enthusiastic and energetic to make this festival successful, and that’s the most fun thing. They do some grammar practice, exercise[s], writing, [and] kanji. Those are difficult and challenging so I want to mix those fun activities and challenging work [into the festival],” said Japanese Language teacher Reiko Murphy. 

On top of hosting interactive games and karaoke, the students draw in an audience by cultivating cultural performances. There was karaoke, Oendan dance, and music.

“We have a program like dancing and singing, and we organize so they perform every hour. During the three hours, we continue the same activities. We try to sell the food during all three periods but most of the time, by period two or three we sell out everything out.” said Murphy.

Not only is the festival a fun celebration for everyone to enjoy, but the profits proceed to a greater cause.

“Schools in Japan love to have festivals in the fall that are fun. And this festival at Amador is also a charity for the Children’s Hospital in Oakland,” said Yasui (‘26). 

The festival was a success, and many students who came to visit expressed their appreciation for the hard work of the classes. 

“It’s really cool and culturally inviting. The students put a lot of effort into it and it [the food] tastes really good,” said Claire Yung (‘26).

Update: The festival raised $2619.00!

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  • The students in charge of cooking prepared food in the Staff Lounge during the festival’s three periods.

  • Students who completed every activity could turn in their stamp sheet for a cotton candy.

  • The calligraphy station taught students how to use an ink and brush set to write words in katakana and kanji.

  • A variety of food ranging from candied apples to spam musubis were sold outside of the Multi-Purpose Room.

  • At the origami station, students learned how to fold crafts such as paper cranes.

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