Johnston Elem. students learn Japanese Origami

Ms. Nanaka Okamura, the Japanese Outreach Initiative Coordinator for the Department of World Languages at Western Carolina University (WCU), paid a visit to Johnston Elementary (JES) to teach students about Japanese culture and origami.

After a short lesson detailing the life of students in Japan, she showed the class how to make Kabuto(兜), origami samurai helmets usually made by boys for Children’s Day (こどもの日), a national holiday in Japan that takes place on May 5 to celebrate childhood. If made from a large piece of paper such as a newspaper, the hats can be worn.

“I am excited that I am able to connect with other institutions and organizations within our mountain community to provide unique learning experiences for our students,” said Byron Guaman (referred to as Mr. B), art teacher at Johnston Elementary.

Students were excited to learn about Japanese school life, such as how students bow before every class. They all made a unique Kabuto, with some help from Ms. Okamura and Mr. B.

“I hope that our students' artistic and cultural curiosity amplifies as they continue in their journey of becoming artistically literate global citizens,” said Mr. B.