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Journals from Kanto Gakuin University, Japan

2010-10-09 Haircuts and Field Day... Japanese Style!

to the finish lineHi Everyone!

Kelli is doing a wonderful job with journals, however I thought it would be fun to share my experience in Japan too.

As my title indicates I went out to get a haircut. I only needed to get my bangs cut so a Japanese friend suggested I go to the "cheaper" hair salons (similar to the United States' Great Clips) which are usually located close to large train stations. Through simple gestures I was able to easily explain to him I only wanted my bangs trimmed. It actually turned out to be a great experience. Just as in the United States, when you get your hair cut, it is you and your hairdresser so you end up talking a lot. I found out my hairdresser lived in San Francisco for about seven years and so he was rather fluent in English. However, I am proud to say almost the entire conversation was in Japanese. We mostly talked about my experience so far in Japan and he gave me some tips on where to go and what to do. So with 500 Yen I was able to get some great new bangs, Japanese practice, and 50% off my next haircut!

In the KGU exchange program, we live with a host family for the month of October. Last week we moved in with our host family and today was our first weekend with them! My host family took me to the " (undoukai) or roughly translated Neighborhood Field Day Event. The event was held at a local middle school campus where people in the town gather together to participate in field day games. There are teams according to what neighborhood you live in.

I did not expect to participate in any events, but everyone insisted I at least do the team ones. The first one I did was where as a team we pass a ball down a line and the last person grabs the ball and runs to a cone and comes back. The race ends once everyone gets a turn running. The other one was a tug o' war. After each event, no matter what place you get, you get a prize. I won my host mom a pack of garbage bags and a box of hondashi!

Everyone, no matter what age, gender, height, etc participated in this event. There was a race for everyone: There was one for toddlers, where they got into lines, a racing gun would be fired and they would run as fast as they could to the center of the field and grab a bag of treats and toys. The elementary students had a race where they had to get through different stations. At the first station they drank a small yogurt drink and then they pulled  


This is actually a rather large formal event. My host dad was one of the event staff members. They all had matching training suits and a cap with the words in English, "Community Sports Event: Yokohama" on it. He was very cool and looked very official and important! And almost every neighborhood team had a team flag. A grandfather proudly waved our team's flag throughout the entire event! I loved being able to take part in this event and especially loved how this was an event for everyone.

I am really loving Japan and looking forward going to sleep every night looking forward to the next day. I hope to write more entries so please check back again!


Cassie Kwon

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