School Visits Program Brings Japanese Music to Students

About 80 San Diego-area young people enjoyed beautiful Japanese music and learned about Japan on June 8 through a special program featuring the Southern California Koto Ensemble led by performer and teacher Mrs. Yuki Easter.  The Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles and the San Diego-Yokohama Sister City Affiliation (SDYSCA) jointly arranged three hour-long school visits.

Many students from Doyle Elementary School, Crown Point Junior Music Academy, and San Diego High School’s Japanese Club heard the quintessentially Japanese sounds of koto strings for the first time.  Classic songs like Sakura Bukyoku and Kojo no Tsuki struck a chord, as evidenced by the rapt attention of many.

The Consulate General’s School Visits program aims to share basic facts about Japan, encourage language study, and stimulate increased awareness of the world.  On special occasions, the program introduces guest presenters or artists.  The SDYSCA – 65-years old this year – works to strengthen ties between cities, even developing partnerships between schools in San Diego and Yokohama.  

For the Consulate, the in-person school visits were its first since March, 2020, a two-year gap nonetheless filled by about 20 online presentations.  In May, the program also brought Japanese music to the ears of local students when Tsugaru Shamisen player Mike Penny of the Japan Foundation in Los Angeles shared with art students at Gage Middle School in Los Angeles. 

For more information about the Consulate General’s availability to visit your school virtually or in person in Southern California and Arizona, please contact us!