This is the first newsletter gSAKURAh from Japan. Ifd like to inform you about the Chujo familyfs hereabouts and to introduce Japan from my point of view.
In this issue, Ifll tell you about Takeshifs school.
Takeshi, our 16-year-old son, and I arrived at Narita International
Airport on April 1,1999. Our first impression of Japan was of sakura, cherry
blossoms, which were in full bloom and whose delicate fragile pink petals
were falling, blown by the wind. We came back to our house in Chiba Prefecture.
The Narita Airport is in Chiba. ePrefecturef equals estatef administratively,
and ecountyf in size. Schools start in April. Thatfs why we came back
to Japan in April. Yoshi, my husband, was still in New York working for
Shibuya Makuhari High School
Takeshi passed the entrance examination to Shibuya Makuhari High School,
the top-notch private school in Chiba on Jan f99. There are three grades
from 10th to 12th. It's co-ed and there are 9 classes and 360 students
in the 10th grade. 27 of these students spent a few years abroad like Takeshi
and they are in three classes. Mr. Reardon teaches them English 4 periods
a week, using American high school textbooks. Students also can study foreign
languages such as French, German, Spanish, and Chinese. Takeshi is studying
Mr. Tamura, the principal of this school and four other high schools and a college, is one of the leading educators in Japan. He is a philosopher and an educator who has a clear vision on the future of Japan. He cares about his school and students and he listens carefully to parentsf opinions. Yoshi and I are very happy about Takeshi's school and we are sure that Takeshi made the best choice for him.
Mr. Wakai is an English teacher and Takeshifs homeroom teacher. In Japanese school, a homeroom teacher plays both the roles of a guidance counselor and an advisor. He is a cinema critic and tries to go to movie theaters 365 times a year. He is unique.
Though the returnees often have difficulties adjusting themselves to
the Japanese school environment, thanks to this schoolfs comfortable atmosphere,
Takeshi instantly made three bright friends, Kento and Masaru, who had
been in London, and Hidehito, who has never gone abroad. Takeshi has been
as happy as ever in his school. Kento is a good shogi, Japanese chess,
player and they play shogi during their lunch break. Takeshi is getting
better and better, and now he often beats Yoshi. Takeshi and his
friends belong to the tennis club. They had a sleepover in our tiny four-and-a-half-mat-room
at the end of last year. They had a ball.
One more friend is Chako, a lovely Shiba Dog. eChaf means brown and eKof is a suffix meaning egirl.f Takeshi is responsible for taking care of her. He walks Chako every morning and evening. Chako turns around three times before she poops.
I have a lot of things to write to you about here such as my problems
with readjustment, my teaching job at Chiba University, a wonderful trip
to Kyoto, Nara and Hakone with Wendy, my familyfs f99 summer trip to
Alaska, and so on. Yoshi came back to Japan in October and now we have
started house hunting. So I can tell you about housing conditions in Japan.
Ifll write about some of these topics in the next gSakura.h