||For further details, see "Link( facebook & AIFA)"
Ayase's population was 83,167 according to the results of the national
population census taken in 2010, and more than 3,000 people from 46 countries
live in Ayase as of May 1, 2016.
AIFA( Ayase International Friendship Association ) was established in 1998 to promote mutual understanding between Ayase citizens and foreign residents through various events and activities and enrich our community by respecting one another's cultures and different values.
|About 40 people gathered at the Ayase community center hall, and enjoyed practicing Bon Dance as well as playing games, eating & drinking and chatting. This year many of foreign participants were young guys and the hall was filled with energetic atmosphere.|
|During the recess I talked to some guys and one guy told me Bon dance was harder than he had thought. Then another guy said he enjoyed dancing very much, because the teacher danced gracefully and slowly, so it was easy to follow her. New dance was quite energetic and enjoyable, and he liked it very much.|
enjoyed talking with those guys about the latest global phenomenon game, called 'Pokemon Go',
which is a location-based reality game as everyone knows. They showed me the gameplay screenshots of Pokemon Go and explained to me how to play the game. They said, late at night, they often go out onto Ayase streets, and try to locate, pursue, catch and
fight with the creatures called Pokemon, and usually meet a number of strangers walking in the same direction for the same purpose. They sometimes become friends and cooperate with each other to do the job. I enjoyed listening to their story.
displaying traditional yukata clothing
|helping a young guy wear 'yukata'|
bon-dance instructors, a volunteer high school boy, a young lady participant, & guys from the Philippines
|(plus) guys from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, an elementary school
three volunteer high school girls & staff
Following the AIFA chairman Akase's opening speech, there was a brief introduction of participants. Then bon dance lessons began.
| Look at this Guy! He put on a well-rehearsed performance!
Dancing movement looks smooth and perfect, really. But don't be worried.
You don't have to look like him. Participation in
Bon Dance Festival and enjoying it with your family or friends is more important than anything else.
| They practised typical traditional Tanko-bushi(Coal miner's song),
Ayase-ondo(folk song of Ayase for a dance), and new version,
Doraemon dance, etc.
Each dance consists of repeated actions such as harvesting the rice, carrying the rice on one's shoulder, scooping the mud,
which are all quite easy to remember, so people looked very relaxed and enjoying themselves.
| Toward the end of the lessons, something happened. The dancing people
suddenly became cheerful and active and there was a lot of laughter. I
knew the music and dancing style had changed from traditional ones to a
modern one. Later I heard from the head dancing instructor that this song
is a very old one released in 1985.
The title is 'Dancing Hero or Dancing colours (English title:Eat You Up)'. The singer is OGINOME Yoko. The instructor said,"You can see this video on YouTube."
|The instructor continued that this song had lately been taken up and dancing movements were designed. In Minokamo-city, Gifu prefecture, participants from adults to children love this music & dancing and enjoy dancing every summer. She added that this dance appeared last year at the summer festival in the Ryosei community in Ayase. I hope it'll soon spread all over Ayase! Then, I'd like to try this full-of-activity dance .|
|At an interval of the dance practice,
tea and light refreshments were served.
| Towards the end of the party, 'kendama', a traditional Japanese toy
Akase and Takahashi showed volunteer players how to play kendama.
Soon they learned the way. The photo below shows how skillful the man became in handling the kendama. What a proud and happy smile!
|about KENDAMA: Traditional kendama playing is very popular in Japan and enjoyed by people
of all ages. A
wooden ball is connected to the stick with a string of about 40cm long.
The ball has a small hole in one end. The stick has a point at one end and a cup at the other end. There are two more cups at both sides of the stick. Those three cups are of different sizes.
The basic play is to hold the stick and pull the ball upward using the string, and attempt to catch it in one of the three cups or to spear it with the point of the stick.
In Japan there're Kendama competitions, where people taking part compete the various tricks and performances with each other.
| 'play quoits'
When playing a game, how serious an expression young men always put on!
|'Gun' made of disposable wooden chopsticks & rubber bands・・・ That's cool, isn't it?|| Another game was introduced: handmade carnival shooting gallery.
What an idea!
This is quite safe and easy to use, but difficult to hit the target!
| The following are illustrations on 'Uchiwa or round papaer fan'
Both names look and sound brave and manly, but ’Kanji or Chinese characters' is used only as a phonetic symbol. So, if you show it to a Japanese, she or he may not be able to pronounce it as you wish. That's because Kanji was made an arbitrary selection, while usually it's pronounced differently depending on the case.
Every Japanese can pronounce it correctly because 'Hiragana' is written above.
It's hard to pronounce it correctly.
There are several readings for one Kanji.
| ”Say cheese.” I guess all of the participants had a lot of fun
to "Hiroko's group activities"
Kimchi Cooking Class
Date：Friday December 16, 2016
Place：Cooking Room, 1st floor
Ayase Community Center
Fees : ￥2,000
Date：Saturday November 27, 2016
Place：Audio-visual room, 3rd floor
Ayase Community Center
Indian Cooking Class
Date：Wednesday August 24, 2016
Fees : ￥2,500
Bon Dance Party
Date：Saturday August 6, 2016
Place：Ayase Community Center,