It’s not just a language…

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Mana Bryant, Nova Riveira, Hannah Gibo, Sensei Lisa Morisako, and Alexis Lovan pose at the sunflower patch.

  by Anna Peters

It’s that time of the year again, registration. This is the time where we are all thinking about what kind of classes to take for next year. One of the classes that you should keep in mind for taking next year is Japanese. Many people perceive Japanese as a difficult class; however, it actually isn’t. As long as you keep up and stay committed, you’ll actually find this class very enjoyable. Not only will this be an enjoyable class, but there will also be many benefits that come with taking this Japanese. First of all, you will stan

Sensei Morisako and Mauie Hoekstra model Japanese kimonos.

d out from everyone else because you know another language and a whole different writing system. In addition, if you’re Japanese, you can also learn more about your culture and roots. Furthermore, Japanese is very useful in Hawaii because of all the tourists. Sensei Lisa Morisako elaborates, “Many of my students are working part-time in Haleiwa and they tell me that they use it everyday to communicate with Japanese customers.” Having some basic Japanese knowledge would greatly enhance your ability to communicate with Japanese customers at work.

Sensei has various levels of Japanese ranging from Introduction to Japanese for eighth graders all the way up to Japanese 4, which is mainly offered to seniors. In Introduction to Japanese, Sensei Morisako teaches hiragana and Japanese culture and crafts. In Japanese 1, she teaches hiragana, katakana, Japanese culture, crafts, and a little bit of grammar. Introduction to kanji, word processing, and dialogues is what’s taught in Japanese 2. Japanese 3 consists of more kanji, grammar, culture, and kanji dictionary. Then, in Japanese 4, it is a continuation of the skills of Japanese 3.

Japanese 4 student Alexis Nguyen expresses, “I decided to take Japanese because I enjoy watching anime, Japanese movies, and one day hope to go to Japan, so I would want to understand what everyone’s saying. Overall, I’m just very interested in Japanese.” Alexis really enjoys the class because Sensei goes at a nice slow pace to ensure that everyone understands the material and doesn’t fall behind. “I also really like the mochi Sensei brings!” Alexis exclaims. She’s recently gotten a job at Aoki’s shave ice and with her knowledge of Japanese, she is able to easily interact with tourists to make sure that there is no

The fun times you could have if you take Japanese!

miscommunication on their orders. One of the beneficial aspects of Japanese is that you can form business partners or do business with people from Japan. Although Alexis doesn’t plan on going into business, she still feels that knowing Japanese is opening up a lot of opportunities for her. Alexis states enthusiastically, “I would definitely recommend taking Japanese to other students because Hawaii has a lot of Japanese tourists and there are a lot of benefits to taking Japanese.”

Mana Bryant, a former Japanese 3 student, states that she never actually wanted Japanese however, within the first week, she realized how fun and enjoyable the class was, so she decided to stick with it. Mana elaborates, “I just really enjoyed this class because I learned so much not only about the language, but also about the culture.” She expresses that she’s learned things that she never would’ve thought about learning, which she just finds very interesting. Japanese is much more than just a class at school for Mana, she proclaims that she uses it everyday in her life, especially since at Aoki’s shave ice. “It’s just so good to know basic numbers and phrases because it helps me out so much when I have to communicate with Japanese tourists,” she states. Mana would definitely recommend this class to other students because of all the benefits that come with taking this class.

Bushnell Martin, Mauie Hoekstra, and Alexis Lovan, practice their calligraphy.

Hannah Gibo, who is currently in Japanese 2, delightfully expresses, “I decided to take Japanese because I’m Japanese myself, so I wanted to learn more about my culture, it looks good for when I apply to college, and it’s proven to be very useful at my job.” Hannah really enjoys this class because of all the activities Sensei puts together and how interactive this class is. For example, they do activities called Kaiwa, where they partner up and speak phrases in Japanese to each other just as if they’re having a normal conversation. Hannah works at Haleiwa Ray’s Chicken and states, “A lot of tourists come, and knowing Japanese, I’m able to ask them simple questions like whether or not they want chopsticks or how’s their day.” She believes that by knowing Japanese, it can really help with business because you’ll be able to communicate effectively. Hannah elaborates, “I would recommend this class to others because it’s a good experience, you learn a lot in this class, it’s not as hard as people think it is, and it never gets boring because of how this class makes you really involved.”


By signing up for Japanese next year it is a decision you definitely won’t regret. From taking it to look good on your resume for when you apply to college to using it at your job, there are just so many benefits to taking Japanese. Although it may seem like it’s a difficult class, that’s only the perception. As long as you put in your 100% and stay committed, you’ll find this as a class you enjoy and look forward to. So, while registering for your classes for next year, be sure to keep Japanese in mind!

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