Author Archive: Aya Kobayashi

SMILE Vol. 17 October 20, 2018 (H30)

Fall is in full swing. It’s a Halloween season!

Halloween on October 31 has been showing excitement in Japan for the past few years. In Japan, “Halloween” may be reminded of Halloween costume and parade rather than the origin of Halloween. Halloween is an event that celebrates the harvest of autumn and kicks out evil spirits. When the spirit of the deceased visited the family members, they wore masks and dressed up to protect themselves from spirits and witches coming at the same time. From these practice, children nowadays are dressed up and started trick or treat.
In Japan, there is a similar event during the Bon, such as a “grave festival”, in which all residents in a region prepare the Bon festival, and families welcome the spirits of the ancestors and visit the grave.
It is also similar to the Setsubun, where we decorate holly leaves and sardines at the entrance of home to drive away the demons, and the Full Moon Night, where we celebrate the harvest and children walk with sweets. In Mexico, where I had worked before, there is a custom that they decorate the grave with a huge decoration, greet the deceased family members and friends, and have bright and fun time with the dead. Although religious meaning and historical background of the events in the fall season are different among countries, it seems to be common that they talk about memorable memories of their ancestors and appreciate the harvest in fall.
At Halloween, children in our neighborhood seem to come seeking treats. How do we prepare and welcome children? I’m very excited to have Halloween.

すまいる17号 平成30(2018)10月20日

深まる秋 『ハロウィン』に街が染まります!


SMILE Vol. 16 October 13, 2018 (H30)

“Fall is the season for art & culture” Let our children shine!

When I take a walk around my neighborhood, I spot red and yellow colors among the green leaves. The height of autumn is approaching. Pumpkins and Halloween ornaments at the entrance of houses are also adding beautiful colors to this season. At JLSP, from now through November, various events will be held by each schools/divisions and courses. Students will show off their study progress at those occasions.
Schedule of the events:
Kindergarten: 11/17/18 (Sat): “Birthday Celebration/Fall Music Concert”
Elementary School: 11/10/18 (Sat): “Fall Study Festival”
Middle School: 10/20/18 (Sat): “Fall Cultural Festival”
High School: 11/17/18 (Sat): “Ko-shien Debating Contest”
Keisho Course: 11/3/18 (Sat): “Autumn Culture Festival”
In the past, all schools/divisions and courses had gathered together and participated in one annual school play around this time of the year. However, last year, we started to have separate events by each schools/divisions and courses. It will be a good occasion for each of them to introduce Japanese culture and experience, or to present their studies that they have been working on. Moreover, this will be a great opportunity for students to improve how to express themselves, as well as for students to respect and learn from each other. You are welcome to observe any event. Please support your children in their preparation, and cheer for them. Details for the events are yet to be announced. Please pay attention to the correspondence from your children’s homeroom teachers.

すまいる16号 平成30(2018)10月13日


      学部・コース      日  時         内  容

幼 稚 部      11月17日(土)      「お誕生会・秋の音楽会」
小 学 部      11月10日(土)      「秋の学びの祭典」
中 学 部      10月20日(土)      「秋の文化祭」
高 等 部      11月17日(土)      「ディベート甲子園」
継承日本語コース 11月 3日(土)      「秋の文化まつり」



SMILE Vol. 15 October 6, 2018 (H30)

“Wondering why” and keeping your curiosity are important!

This year’s Nobel Prize winners for Physiology/Medicine were announced on October 1st. The recipients were Dr. Tasuku Honjo from Kyoto University, Japan and Dr. James Allison from MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas. The two of them independently discovered proteins that act as brakes of the immune system and found that pharmacologically blocking these molecules allows the immune system to fight cancer. The drug “Optivo”, which uses this mechanism, was first approved in Japan in 2014 and is now approved in over 60 countries to treat cancer.
In his interview, Dr. Honjo states that his motto in research is “Curiosity drives what I want to know”. In an interview performed 30 years ago, he stated that “by figuring out how biology works, I want to find ways to cure cancer and other incurable diseases”. Now, he has accomplished this dream by curing cancer using the immune system. He tells students aspirating to become scientists, “Observe with your own eyes. Think with your own brain. Don’t quit until you’re satisfied and never give up.”
Dr. Honjo’s words reinforce the importance of maintaining an inquisitive mind, keeping a positive attitude, and accomplishing tasks until satisfied. Regardless of age, I felt even more compelled to maintain my curiosity and inquiry, and listen to the insatiable curiosity of the students.

すまいる15号 平成30(2018)10月6日


10月1日、今年のノーベル医学生理学賞が発表され、京都大学の特別教授 本庶 佑(ほんじょ たすく)氏とアメリカテキサスMDアンダーソンがんセンターの教授 ジェームズ アリソン氏が受賞されました。