Exploring Japanese culture: TV, online event to showcase ties between Guam & Japan Feb. 19-27

Photos courtesy of Japan Club of Guam
Photos courtesy of Japan Club of Guam

Exploring Japanese culture: TV, online event to showcase ties between Guam & Japan Feb. 19-27

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Guam

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have noticed that many Japanese tourists would flock to popular Guam tourist spots like Two Lovers Point, Plaza de España and Chamorro Village. This is because the short three-hour flight from Tokyo to Guam makes the island an ideal and relatively inexpensive overseas getaway.

In any given year, nearly one million Japanese tourists made their way to this corner of paradise and there is even a significant community of over 3,000 Japanese people registered as residents of the island as of January 2021.

The geographical proximity to Guam and its popularity amongst Japanese nationals, has led to unique opportunities for cultural exchange. In particular, Japanese food is a very common and trendy cuisine to have on the island. Akimatsuri, a traditional Japanese autumn festival held in November, is also one of the largest celebrations on Guam with over 30,000 participants every year.

As in most other places, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the tropical island and its vibrant tourism industry. For almost two years, Japanese cultural activities and events have been canceled or indefinitely postponed.

In an effort to revive and continue the tradition of Japanese heritage and cultural exchange, the Japan Club of Guam (JCG) and the Consulate-General of Japan in Agana are hosting the Japan Cultural Exploration in Guam 2022. The week-long television and online event coincides with the club’s 50-year anniversary.

From Feb. 19 through Feb. 27, viewers can tune into a 30-minute program airing on Fox Channel 6 and ABC Channel 7.

The programs will feature interviews with Japanese-Guamanians (Chamoru), interesting stories of historical Japanese-Guamanians, online discussions by Guam students on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, an exciting opportunity for the cultural exploration internationally through the Japanese language, and virtual experiences including tours of Japan’s four seasons and an online Akimatsuri Festival.

Visit the official website of the event, JCEG2022.com, for all programs and online exclusives like videos of traditional rakugo (comic storytelling) and wadaiko drum performances. The event’s Instagram will also have live broadcasts throughout the cultural exploration event.
This event is an opportunity for Guam and Japan to strengthen their bond while supporting the Japanese School of Guam students in keeping up tradition, Yu-ichiro Hirano of Japan Club of Guam explained. This has been a mission of the club since it was established in 1972.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to explore Japanese culture in the safety of your home!

Japan Cultural Exploration in Guam 2022

Period: Feb. 19 – 27
Portal site URL
A 30-minute TV program
- Channel 6 FOX: Feb. 19, 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.; Feb. 20, 4:30 p.m.; Feb. 22, 10 p.m.; Feb. 23, 10 p.m.; Feb. 24, 10 p.m.; Feb. 26, 1 p.m.; Feb. 27, 4:30 p.m.
- Channel 7 ABC: Feb. 19, 2:30 p.m.; Feb. 21, 4 p.m.; Feb. 23, 4 p.m.; Feb. 25, 4 p.m.; Feb. 26, 4 and 10 p.m.; Feb. 27, 10 p.m.
(Note: The program will be re-aired for Feb. 28 – Mar. 6 at midnight and 5 additional times. Check out the broadcasting schedule at the portal site)


Celebrating the arrival of fall at Akimatsuri

Akimatsuri, is a Japanese traditional festival to welcome the arrival of autumn. On the island, The Japan Club of Guam has hosted the celebration every year since 1970 at Ypao Beach Park on the third or fourth Saturday of November. The festivities were canceled in 2020 and 2021.

The festival offers a rare glimpse of Japanese culture by condensing a variety of seasonal activities such as bon odori dancing and mikoshi-carrying into a single event tailored to Guam. During the event, attendees can expect plenty of food and game booths, as well as a lot of entertainment on the main stage.

The event started when JCG wanted to create a place for their children to enjoy the activities and customs members enjoyed back home in Japan when they were children. Part of the proceeds go to Japanese School of Guam.


Japanese School of Guam offers taste of Japanese education system

Founded in 1989, the Japanese School of Guam is centered around the same curriculum and textbooks used in Japan’s public schools. The school is accredited by both the governments of Japan and Guam and teaches kids about the Japanese language, culture and good manners.

On Guam, knowing Japanese is considered as a great asset in the island’s tourism industry, as more than 900,000 Japanese tourists visit every year - more than 70 percent of all the visitors of the island. So, good language skills gained at the school can translate into good job opportunities later in life.

“Japan School of Guam is only the place in the island to experience and learn authentic Japanese culture,” says Kotaro Kimura, a spokesman of JCG. “As some troops of U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa are scheduling to relocate to Guam, I hope American military members will be aware of the value of the school and send their children to the school.”

The school’s supplementary program for students from preschool through ninth grade, offers a chance for local students to learn various Japanese subjects while they remain enrolled in their local Guam schools. During the supplementary school program, students prepare for the Japanese Language and Kanji Proficiency Examinations, as good marks on the exams help students when they take entrance exams for Japanese universities.

The school has also adapted its classrooms to adjust to the pandemic. Admissions to the school (both regular and supplementary school programs) are open throughout the year, but the new academic year begins in April just like in Japan.

Japanese School of Guam
Tel: 734-8024

Photos courtesy of Japanese School of Guam

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Okinawa
Stripes Korea

Related Content

Recommended Content

Around the Web