News & Activities

Member School Past Activities
Academic Year 2016 - 2017

San Diego Japanese School
Annual Summer Open House

We had our annual Summer Open House on June 24, 2017. Students had the opportunity to share what they have learned during the semester: they did self presentations, talked about the geography of Japan, sang Japanese songs, read poems and dialogues in Japanese. We also celebrated Sean graduating from high school and Cris sensei's 30 years as a Japanese language teacher. Afterwards we all had lunch together. Thanks to all the students and parents who participated.
(Courtesy of San Diego Japanese School Facebook)

ESGVJCC Gakuen Graduation 2017

2016-2017 Gakuen academic year was successfully completed on June 10, 2017. Together with students, their family members, the Board of Directors and the teachers, Gakuen recognized High School level graduates, Elementary level promotion, and those who exceled in academics.
Three High School level students completed the Japanese study while successfully managed their other commitments. Seven Elementary level students completed the requirements and were promoted to the Junior High level. One High School senior has completed three years of study and received a certification of completion from the Gakuen. She demonstrated an exceptional interest in Japanese language and culture and was a role model to her classmates. Gakuen also recognized students who received Achievement Awards and Perfect Attendance Awards.

Polaris Gakuin
CPR & AED Training

Vista Gakuen
Annual Summer Presentation

Vista Gakuen held its Annual Summer Presentation on June 9. Students from each class showed what they learned using songs, posters and skits. It was a great opportunity for students to show their skills to parents and peers. All the students made great improvements in their language skills and gained knowledge of Japanese culture during this school year. After the presentation, students, parents and staff enjoyed refreshments together.

San Fernando Valley Japanese Language Institute
Reading Contest

San Fernando Valley Japanese Language Institute holds Reading Contest every other year and it was held on June 3rd, which was our last day of school. Students really worked hard this year and it was very nice to see the students' smile in the end.

Orange Coast Gakuen Visits Aquarium of the Pacific

Learning at Orange Coast Gakuen (OCG) isn't just rote memorization. Gone are the days of boring reading books! OCG's solution to boring classes, .. interactive events like Harvest Festival where students use leadership and creativity to plan and run a business, make money, and reap the reward for their success with a school field trip.
On May 20, OCG visited Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach on an Ensoku (All School Field Trip) funded by Harvest Festival proceeds and OCG Parent Association. Students traveled from exhibit to exhibit in small groups learning about sea life, vanishing animals, marine conservation and much more. The entire school met up to view a movie presentation, enjoy lunch and take a kinen shashin (commemorative school photograph). The excursion was a big success and a fun, educational experience. For more info on OCG, visit

Orange Coast Gakuen
Speech Contest

On May 13, Orange Coast Gakuen held their Speech Contest. Students from various grade levels presented speeches they wrote on a variety of topics. Congratulations to all of the winners and participants for your amazing presentations!
The Speech Contest allow students a chance to communicate their opinion about a topic or issue they are concerned about by composing, memorizing and presenting their composition in Japanese to an audience of their peers, teachers and parents. We, at Orange Coast Gakuen, feel the ability to express opinions through public speaking is an important life skill that may not be addressed in public school. This skill will benefit our students to succeed in their chosen career path.

Oxnard Buddhist Temple Japanese Language School
A Happyoukai

OBT JLS students and parents had great time in Happyoukai on May 6.
The students did wonderful job in their performance!

Southeast Japanese School
Kodomonohi & Janken Competition

Southeast Japanese School celebrated Children’s Day on May 6th. Upper level students gave a presentation about the holiday. Koinobori (carp banners) and samurai armour were shown to represent children having strength while growing. Afterwards the students participated in a Janken competition where Maddox-kun won.
Students had a lot of fun playing together and celebrating it.

Kyodo System
Spring Events

A Singing Workshop

Gakuen students had a singing workshop with Grateful Crane Ensemble. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn and enjoy Japanese traditional song.

Sawtelle Gakuin
Career Forum

Sawtelle Gakuin conducted a career forum for the high school students. Our motivation was to give our 8th through 12th grade students a chance to listen, think, search and consider options for their futures.
A panel of experts provided insight and perspective based upon their experience in their respective fields.
The Panelists were
Dr Tritia Toyota: UCLA Adjunct Assistant Professor, Educational
Mr. Randy Sakamoto: Engineering, Technical
Mr. Ted Tanaka: Business Management, Business, Consulting
Mr. Peter Shimamoto: Attorney, Legal

San Diego Japanese School
Cherry Blossom Festival

On March 11, 2017 we performed at the Cherry Blossom Festival alongside students from Baja California State University. We sang, danced and did Radio Taiso. (Courtesy of San Diego Japanese School Facebook)

Polaris Gakuin
Graduation Ceremony

Polaris Gakuin held 2017 graduation ceremony on March 18, 2017. A boy on this picture graduated as 6th grade Elementary School. He studied very hard for six years. Polaris Gakuin has short spring break and he will enroll Junior High School as 7th grade from this April.
One student graduated as high school on March 18, 2017 went to Japan and he will enroll foreign exchange school in Japan studying to be professional aircraft pilot. He realized his dream by putting one big step for his great future.

Gakushu Happyo-kai by Gardena Buddhist Church Japanese School

The Daily & Saturday Divisions combined Gakushu Happyo-kai (Class Presentations) was held at the Gardena Buddhist Church Japanese Language School on March 25th. This Happyo-kai is one of the biggest events for our school. We hold a speech contest and Gakushu Happyo-kai alternately every other year.
The Happyo-kai started with the Shodo (Calligraphy) Performance by the Saturday division high school class. With powerful shamisen music of Yoshida brothers, students began writing Japanese words and phrases of the culture with small fude brushes on a large sheet of paper. They finished their shodo art by writing a word of bunka (culture) in large bold letters in the center of the paper with a 120 cm large fude brush. The students did a great job creating a beautiful shodo art piece. After the performance, each class presented various programs such as “Writing a composition for the first time”, “Let’s learn national frags in the world,” singing, a karuta game, and a skit. The event was concluded with Japanese traditional performance art of ninin-baori and origami demonstration making shuriken, Japanese darks and an oral presentation about its origin. Each class did a fantastic job on its presentation. It was wonderful to see teachers and students together make a sincere effort to put together such creative presentations. And the most of all, everyone had a blast!
Our new priest, Rev. Sekiya, board members of the church and school, and many parents joined the event, and had a wonderful time. We sincerely appreciate everyone’s support.

Orange Coast Gakuen
Bad Luck Out, Happiness In !!

Orange Coast Gakuen celebrated the New Year by having their annual Mochitsuki in January. All the students had a great time pounding Mochi and tasting it. Afterwards, each class studied about Japanese New Year at their grade level. JHL 3rd &4th grades made “Iwai-Bashi” and enjoyed Ozoni.
In February, the entire school enjoyed the presentation on “SETSUBUN” during the morning assembly. The Preschool through 4th grade classes participated in MAMEMAKI

Mirai Nihongo Gakuin Enjoyed the New Year

Students from Mirai Nihongo Gakuin enjoyed the New Year with a rousing performance by Pasadena’s Kodama Taiko. Students were also given the wonderful opportunity to join members of Kodama Taiko to pound mochi to the beat of taiko. The performance was followed by mochi making and eating! Thank you Kodama Taiko and to all the parents for their tremendous help.

Sawtelle Gakuen Cultural Festival

Venice Japanese Community Center’s Shinnen Enkai

Several students from Venice Gakuen recently performed “Oshogatsu” during the Venice Japanese Community Center’s Shinnen Enkai. They learned the song during their weekly class on Saturday mornings and enjoyed singing it for the guests. Each student also introduced themselves to the audience by speaking in Japanese and displayed an art and hiragana project they worked on during classtime.

Happy New Year from ESGVJCC-Gakuen!

Gakuen students enjoyed our annual tradition of Mochitsuki activities in December. Students and families also enjoyed the taste of this traditional food.

New Year Potluck Party at Southeast Gakuen

Southeast Japanese Language School hosted a New Year Potluck Party on January 21, 2017. Awards were given to 10 winners for their Nengajyo this year. The winners were chosen by the students of the school. Also, the students show cased popular dances from Japan, the Ninjya Dance, PPAP and the Levan Polkka.