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ASP arriving

Posted by: skumano | February 10, 2016 Comments Off on ASP arriving |









Finally,  ASP students arrived to Willamette !


Make a lot of new ASP friends !

It’s good for ASPs and you guys !!



Eat lunch, dinner together !  Join to same organization !  Talk to ASPs !!!!!




Have a nice day :)





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New Semester !!

Posted by: skumano | January 20, 2016 Comments Off on New Semester !! |

A Happy New Year !!







This time, I introduce about new year things of Japan.

Ringing the Old Year Out

Japanese consider December 31 a very important day, and it’s not unusual for people to stay up all night on this occasion. Old customs related to the last day of the year continue in many regions of Japan, but one of the most popular, which started in the Edo period (1603–1868), is eating soba buckwheat noodles. People eat soba on December 31, either for dinner or as an evening snack, to wish for a life that’s as long as the long, skinny noodles they’re eating. Eating soba past midnight, however, is to be avoided as this is believed to bring bad luck.


As midnight nears, the air is filled with the deep sound of temple bells being rung. The bells are rung 108 times as the old year fades out and the new year comes in. One explanation for the bell-ringing is that this is done to forswear the 108 human desires. Some temples allow ordinary people to ring their bells. Try it if you have the opportunity.
First Sunrise, First Prayer for Good Fortune in the New Year

In Japan, sunrise on New Year’s Day is believed to have special supernatural powers, and praying to the first sunrise of the year has become a popular practice since the Meiji era (1868–1912). Even today, crowds gather on mountaintops or beaches with good views of the sunrise to pray for health and family wellbeing in the new year. Another custom still observed today is visiting a temple or shrine at New Year’s. Even people who do not ordinarily go to shrines or temples in everyday life go at New Year’s to pray for their health and their families’ happiness. Many young women take this opportunity to dress up in vividly colored kimono, a touch that adds to the festive atmosphere. When praying at a Shinto shrine, the usual way is to bow twice, clap hands twice, and then bow once more. At a Buddhist temple, one simply places the palms of the hands together in silent prayer, with no clapping.

A few days after Christmas, the entrances to many homes, stores and buildings in Japan are decorated with a pine and bamboo kadomatsu. This decoration is prepared to welcome the Shinto gods and derives from the Shinto belief that the god spirits reside in trees. Furthermore, the display of pine, which stays green even in winter, and bamboo, which grows quickly and is ramrod-straight, expresses the desire to obtain virtue and strength to overcome adversity.


Entrances to ordinary homes are decorated with a shimenawa braided straw rope. Like the kadomatsu, it signifies that the home has been purified in order to welcome the gods.

After the New Year’s Eve temple bells have sounded and the first temple or shrine visit of the new year is made, many people return home to eat the o-sechi traditional foods at a meal for the whole family. O-sechi foods were originally offerings to the Shinto gods, but they are also “lucky” foods intended to bring happiness to the family. Each of the ingredients has a special significance, and the foods are prepared so that they will keep over the entire New Year period, which lasts nearly a week (Preparing foods that will keep for a while was also, in the past, intended to reduce work for housewives).


Someday, you should come to Japan in new year !!!










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Japanese Movie Night

Posted by: skumano | November 2, 2015 Comments Off on Japanese Movie Night |


Movie Night is coming this Saturday !

Win a tour of the


Novemver 7th


Ford Hall  World Language Studio (Might be change the location if many people comes)


I’m looking forward to seeing you guys at that time !!!!





熊野 翔太郎(くまの しょうたろう)



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How to feel Japanese Culture

Posted by: skumano | October 19, 2015 Comments Off on How to feel Japanese Culture |








This time, I’ll give you information about how to feel Japanese Culture at Willamette.

Do you know JSSL (Japan Studies Student Leaders・日本研究学生リーダー)?

I think this organization is good for you :)



We are organization open to all students interested in Japan, with the purpose of organizing engaging academic activities centered around Japanese culture, society, and language for the Willamette, American Studies Program (ASP), and Salem communities.  JSSL creates a sense of community among members by ensuring that every member can particpate in all events with or without prior knowledge of Japan or Japanese culture.  We expend our educational interests with the support of Tokyo International University of America, the Japanese and Chinese Studies Departments, the Center for Asian Studies, and American Studies Program, acting as resource for Willamette students to broaden their understanding of Japan and the connections between Japan, the US, and the world.


You can join whenever you want.  They have a lot of event which is going to be fun for you.

Currently event


-Otsukimi Night(moon night)-




We made a rice dumplings called Tsukimi Dango in order to celebrate the beauty of the moon.

Tsukimi or Otsukimi, literally moon-viewing, also known as Jugoya, refers to Japanese festivals honoring the autumn moon, a version of the Mid-Autumn Festival.  The celebration of the full moon, a version of the Mid-Autumn Festival.  The cerebration of the full moon typically takes place on the 15th day of the eighth month of the traditional Japanese calendar; the waxing moon is celebrated on the 13th day of the ninth month.



-Nagashi Somen-



Nagashi Somen means Flowing Somen.

Somen is Japanese noodle made of wheat flour and salts, which is very thin and white.

Flowing Somen is called “Nagashi Somen” or Spemn Nagashi” on Japanese.

At Flowing Somen.  Somen are put in water flowing along a long bamboo gutter.

You catch the noodles with your chopsticks, dip them in a cool broth, and eat them.

Flowing Somen brings you fun and cools taste at party lunch in summer season.





JSSL has many event !! Must be fun !!

Why don’t you join us !!!




Shotaro Kumano





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Japanese Class & Tutoring

Posted by: skumano | September 29, 2015 Comments Off on Japanese Class & Tutoring |


How are you guys ?


What did you do last weekend?


And, I just want to say HAPPY TUESDAY !!


It’s already 1 month passed since new semester started.

I hope that your adventure is going well.


Japanese classes is also having great moments.

-Japanese Class, JAPN 331, 430  Reading & Grammar-










The classes are so much fun.

If you are interested in Japanese even a little bit, I recommend to have Japanese class !!

If you are already taking classes, let’s have splendid semester !!



And, if you have any problem, question for Japanese or want to practice Japanese,  come to my tutoring.


-Tutoring Shift-


Date : Every Monday and Thursday

Time : 3pm to 6pm

Place : Ford


You can talk, do Calligraphy, fold Origami, have a fun !!!!





熊野 翔太郎

Kumano Shotaro






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Japanese Coversation Class and be friend with ASP’s

Posted by: skumano | September 18, 2015 Comments Off on Japanese Coversation Class and be friend with ASP’s |



Happy Friday !! :)


Japanese class (331 level) had conversation class with ASP students.

It’s also good practice to speak English for ASP’s.


They talked about custom of Marriage and Valentine for both of each country in Japanese and English.





That was good moment !!

Moreover, to be friend with ASP(America Studies Program) students is good chance to speak Japanese.

They also want to be friend with Willamette Students so just don’t hesitate to talk with them !!!




Here is opportunity to make new friends!!

-Language Table-

Place : Every Wednesday

Time : 5-7pm

Place Gpudy




We are having a so much fun to practice Japanese.

Feel free to join us !!!!






P.S.   One more information.


-ASP students and I are going to perform dance today-

Feel “Cool Japan” !!


If you are free at that time, come to see our performance.





Shotaro Kumano


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Language Table

Posted by: skumano | September 10, 2015 Comments Off on Language Table |

Thank you for coming to language table !!

That was great moment and I’m glad you guys made a lot of new friends !!

People switched a lot and total over 30 people had fun with Language Table !!



Sorry about there was no enough seat …..



Next time, we should gather the tables and chair to have huge “Language Table”.

Let’s beat World Record !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! haha






If you missed this time, that’s ok !!

We are going to have in every week :)

Come to Goudy and just find us !!


Date : Every Wednesday

Time : 5-7pm

Place Goudy



Don’t miss it !!!!!!!








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-Calligraphy Club & Language Table-

Posted by: skumano | September 9, 2015 Comments Off on -Calligraphy Club & Language Table- |


Good moring :)

Happy Wednesday !!!


I have a announcement which is might be fun for you guys !


-Calligraphy Club-

-Date : Every Tuesday

-Time : 4-5pm

-Place : World Language Studio in Ford Hall

-Teachers : Keiko, Maiko, Mako, Nana


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Those picture are from yesterday !!  Thank you for coming and see you in next week !!

Also, we are still waiting for new members.

You have never tried calligraphy ??  It’s totally fine !!  It’s for just fun and feel Japanese culture.




-Language Table-

Date : Every Wednesday

Time : 5-7pm

Place : Goudy


We are going to have dinner together and practice Japanese !!

Don’t worry about anything !  It’s also just for fun :)

I basically focus on that to make a friend who speaks Japanese and studying Japanese or are interested in Japanese.

So, いっしょに ごはんを 食べましょう!!



↑ This is a sign for Language Table !!  I’ll put on the table so just find us !!  Or just call out my name !!!!!



Have good day !!  And, see you in dinner time !! :)





Shotaro Kumano


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こんにちは! Hello !

Posted by: skumano | September 4, 2015 Comments Off on こんにちは! Hello ! |

Hi !! Everyone !!


My name is Shotaro Kumano.

私の名前は熊野翔太郎(くまの しょうたろう)です。




I’m the new Japanese Language Assistant for this year.  You can call me whatever you want :)

You can call me “Shotaro”, “Kumano-san”, “Kuma-chan”.



In Japan, when talking about other people, one uses honorific titles.  These go after the person’s name.  The most common title is san.  It means all of “Mr”,”Mrs”, and “Ms.” Mr Tanaka is referred to as Tanaka-san, as is Mrs Tanaka, and their unmarried daughter.  Other common titles include sama, a more polite version of san, sensei, for teachers, kun and chan.  These titles are placed after the name.  These titles are not usually used with one’s own name.

Correct use of titles is considered very important in Japan.  Calling somebody by just their name, without adding a title, is called yobisute(呼び捨て),and is bad manners.

Although titles are usually added to people’s names, there are some exceptions.  They are not used when talking about a family member, or another member of one’s “in-group”, to someone from outside the group.  At work, Ms. Shimizu calls her boss “Tanaka san” when she talks to him, or about him to other people. But when she talks to a customer from outside their company, she calls him just “tanaka”.

San(さん)is the most common honorific title.  San is similar to “Mr”,”Ms.”,”Mrs”,and so on.  There is no kanji form for san, it’s written in hiragana.

Chan(ちゃん)is a form of san used to refer to children and female family members, close friends and lovers.  The change from san to chan is typical of a kind of “baby talk” in Japanese where “sh” sounds are turned into “ch”sounds, such  as chitchai for chiisai “small”.

BUT, Chan is also used for adults who are consideres to be kawaii(cute or loveable)or just for nickname. And it’s really common in Japan !!

Anyway, call me “Kuma-Chan” and so on !!




I studied at Toyko Internationl University and my major was International Relations.

I just graduated from Univerity this year.


I’m really looking forward to spending time with you guys 😉




I love to take a picture and to travel.  Those are my hobby.

11228921_726221720834052_5217377382156918128_o  10249711_500381110084782_7042069613787988335_n 1900452_513502978772595_3172756191460065354_o (1)

Also, I know I’m not good at but I like to dance , soccer , ping-pong !!



I’m happy to be here and please feel free to talk to me anytime !!

See you around guys :)


よろしく お願いします!!

(yoroshiku onegaishimasu)






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Posted by: nmatsuo | April 27, 2015 Comments Off on ありがとう! |

Thank you for coming to Movie Night last Friday!
I had a great time with you guys :)
Japanese Movie Club is always looking for new members.
Every month, we will pick a new theme, and show two or more movies relevant to that theme.
Please contact to Risa<rsuzuki> if you are interested in joining!


Today, I’d like to invite you to one more club.
That is the ‘English & Japanese Reading Exchange Club‘.

They come together once a week, and read a short story, article, recipe or something cool in Japanese and English, with the help of both the ASP students and Willamette students.

If you want to join or have some questions, you can ask Hailee<hvandiver> or Erin<etokutomi> anything :)



もうすぐ 4月 が おわり ます ね。
今週 の 水曜日 は 最後 の ランゲージテーブル です。
ぜひ 来て ください✴︎


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