Rinka’s Fund

The Gilbert High Japanese Class Car Wash and Bake Sale event this past Friday was a big success – we raised over $1600 for Rinka in four hours! The students would like to sincerely thank everyone who participated, especially the Highland High School Japanese Class students who came out to help us wash cars, the Japanese community of the Valley who gathered from far and wide to lend their support, and the friends, family, faculty, and alumni of Gilbert Public Schools who helped spread the word through the community. Thank you all very much!

We’ll continue collecting donations and well-wishes for Rinka into the foreseeable future. We’ve updated our flyer (Click here to see new flyer JBAA Rinka’s Fund) to reflect the current information and addresses to which anyone may send donations and/or cards for Rinka Hirayama. Please feel free to print and post it! There are copies on-hand in room #1604 of Gilbert High for students and teachers to post in their rooms or pass along to friends and family.

Thank you again;  どうもありがとうございました。

Mutsumi Hazen and the Japanese Classes of Gilbert High School

ヘイゼン睦美 & ギルバート高校日本語クラス一同

Mutsumi Hazen
Japanese Teacher
Gilbert High School
(480) 497-0177(480) 497-0177 x250

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Support Japanese Orphan with Gilbert HS carwash

Gilbert High School’s Japanese classes have banded together to support Rinka Hirayama, the young Japanese national recently orphaned in a terrible accident in northern Arizona. It is likely that many of you have already heard the news surrounding Rinka, but for those who have not, a brief summary of the tragedy is included in the attached flyer.

School Carwash Flyer

Students have organized a car wash/bake sale to support Rinka and “show her the love and sympathy of the state of Arizona.” It will be held on Friday, April 18th (this Friday!) from 8:00am to 12:00pm at the Walgreens at the SE corner of Val Vista and Warner, close to the Denny’s restaurant. Come to support our cause, leave with a clean car and a treat! See the attached flyer for a map to the location.

We are also collecting donations and well-wishes in room 1604 of Gilbert High. If you do not have a student attending the school, we welcome your donations by mail. Please address checks to “JBAA” and send to:

Mutsumi Hazen

c/o Gilbert High School

1101 East Elliot Rd.

Gilbert, AZ 85234

Please help us spread the word and “Send Love to Rinka”.

Many thanks,

Mutsumi Hazen

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What’s for Lunch?

Bento, Bento Box and much more…

Cooking with Kathy Man

157,500 Yen Deluxe Sunlight Buried Golden Bento (日光埋蔵金弁当)

The reason why this bento is so expensive is not because of its food but the hand-crafted lacquered bento box.

Limited quantities of the tax-inclusive 157,500 yen (about US$1,514) bento are available for advanced booking in Japan.

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Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S124/R455, Piano: Harumi Hanafusa


李斯特 第一號鋼琴協奏曲
Liszt, Franz 
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S124/R455
1. » Allegro maestoso
2. » Quasi adagio
3. » Allegro marziale animato

Piano: Harumi Hanafusa
鋼琴: 花房晴美

Conductor: Heinz Wallberg
指揮: 華爾貝格

NHK Symphony

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Kura: Japanese Traditional Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 1



A tall kura in Shizuoka City

“Kura” (in japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditonal Japan, especially during the Edo Era, as most of buildings and urba/village structures were made of wood, fires were the bane of society by and large.
However well-protected a fire would consume a house or buildings and all its properties within minutes.
Hence a special building or warehouse was needed to protect goods and properties against such a catastrophe.
But erecting a storehouse solely made of concrete, stones and some metal cost a vast amount of silver and gold and only rich merchants and nobility could afford them. Even castles could not be built entirely of stone then.


Can you spot the small one in far distance? Discovered in Numazu City!

Except in Kyoto and other touristic regions, or unless designated as cultural properties, most large ones have been pulled down as…

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Japan is more affordable than we expected


A few years ago, when we were choosing which countries to visit on our round-the-world trip, we decided against visiting Japan.  We were sure that it would be over our modest budget. However, our friend, Stephen, was so enthusiastic about Japan, we decided just MAYBE we could travel simply in Japan.

Would it be possible?  We booked AirBnB apartments in Tokyo and Kyoto for much less than hotels would have cost and allowed us the use of kitchens and washer-dryers. Transportation costs were negligible because we walk almost everywhere. Food had been our biggest surprise. Modest Japanese-style meals cost less than we paid for equivalent meals in Washington, DC.  Sightseeing?  We spent very little.

We were surprised that our visit to the East Garden of the Imperial Palace was free and even more surprised that The National Museum of Modern Art was free (for seniors).  Another free activity should not…

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Parents/Student Trip Meeting Sept. 25, 2013 in Gilbert

Dear Parents/Students:

On Wednesday September 25, there will be an informational meeting for the Japan trip at Gilbert High School (1101 E. Elliot Rd. Gilbert 85234), Room #1604 (Japanese Japan Moves Forward In Aftermath Of Earthquake Despite Nuclear Fearsclassroom) from 6:30-8:00 PM. We kindly request that you enter through the cafeteria located off of the student parking lot. If you enter through the front office, the doors might be locked and the gates are closed at night. There will be signs as well as ushers to direct you.

Please note that Gilbert High School is located on Elliot Rd., between Val Vista Dr. and Lindsay Rd. The student parking lot is the entrance closest to Val Vista Dr., on the east side of school with the Tiger Electronic Message Board.

If you have any questions or concerns you can send me an email and we will address them at the meeting. Furthermore, if you are interested in going on the Japan Trip, please e-mail me stating that you are interested in receiving further information regarding the trip. Please contact me at hazensensei@gmail.com

Here is the link to view our trip!


Thank you for your time! Hope to see you all there!


Mutsumi Hazen, Japanese teacher

Gilbert High School

1101 E. Elliot Dr.

Gilbert, AZ 85234

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We traveled from Nagano to Gifu. 3 :  Shirakawa-go(village) 2

aquacompass 7

Wada’s house    

< Wada’s house    >

I introduce the inside of the architecture with A-frame, the four seasons and the living of the mountain village.




four seasons

< four seasons, this photo are the good will of http://blog.livedoor.jp/nagu0223/  >

A:  A rice planting in spring. It is reproducing old work.

B: A harvest of rice has finished, so it become a good time to see autumn leaves. We see Hakusan Mountains to the right side back.

C: being buried in snow in winter, people shut themselves up in their house.

D:  All villagers must put on a new roof of about two houses with some kind of grass together every year.


I observed the Wada’s house.    

This family served as a village mayor at Edo Period, and prospered by business of gun smoke.

The gun smoke that is materials of gunpowder was produced by fermenting some kind of grass under a floor.


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We’re not in Kentucky anymore – KFC Japan offering chicken-flavored rice balls


KT 4

Recently, the American expat staff here at RocketNews24 felt a twinge of shame when we heard that KFC’s Japanese division had leapfrogged its US counterpart by developing fried corn soup. The embarrassment we felt at being beaten in fried food innovation, something we’d always assumed America did better than anywhere else, was quickly replaced by simple joy when we tried some for ourselves and found out just how good it is.

Now, KFC Japan is showing they can do Japanese standards too, with their new chicken-flavored rice balls.

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