McIntosh students show big interest in Japanese club


High interest among students at McIntosh High to learn more about Japanese culture lead them to propose the creation of a new club at the school called the Japanese Culture Club.

Although student interest prompted the creation of the club, first-year membership has exceeded expectations, topping out at about 50 students.

“This was a much greater response to the club than we were anticipating. We have students from all ethnic backgrounds participating,” said Casey Kreitner, club sponsor and English to Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) teacher.

The club’s purpose is to provide students with opportunities to learn more about the Japanese culture through experiences with Japanese food, art, history, music, movies, anime, and more. Membership is open to students who already love Japanese culture, as well as students who are eager to learn more about it.

So far this year, club members have learned how to make origami, and cooked and tasted Japanese cuisine. Most recently, 22 members of the club, along with two teachers and a parent chaperone, took a field trip to JapanFest Atlanta at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth where students saw live performances of Japanese music and dance, martial arts demonstrations, and sampled authentic Japanese food.

“We saw Sumo wrestling and Samurai sword fighting. We visited kimono and origami displays. We heard children singing in Japanese. We also enjoyed the amine village, and listened to a lecture on a popular anime production studio. It was an amazing day,” said Kreitner.

Club members are in the process of planning future activities, and increasing membership for those who want to learn about Japanese culture, as well as students who want to share their culture with others.