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Japanese Class 2018-19 information

Name: Kyoko French
Phone Number: 612-668-3030
Voice mail: 612-668-5188
Room Number: W322
Grade/Subject: 9th-12th/Japanese 1,2,3,4,College In the Schools,IB SL, and IB HL
Japanese Program Overview: Please Click Here
Japanese Program Calendar:   Please click here.
Japanese Culture Club attendance: Please click here
Introduction of Southwest in Japanese: Please click here
Useful Links:   Please click here.
Noah recieved a senior award
Google Form Survey:  Please click here

Google Drive file transfer instructions

As the year comes to an end some you may want to move their google documents to a personal account to use outside of MPS.  Please see link below. 
Google Drive file transfer instruction. 


Fully Funded 9-day study tour to Japan

Two of our National Japan Bowl participants were selected to participate in the “KAKEHASHI Project – The Bridge for Tomorrow" - funded by the government of Japan. This project will give them a fully funded nine-day study tour to Japan from July 16th to July 24th 2019. The following students are very excited to go on their dream trip.  Please congratulate them when you see them!
Haiku Winners


Josephine Spanier
Maura (Alex) Nafziger-White

Senior Awards Night

Noah Hunsicker was recognized by the Japanese Program.  It lasted more than tow hours!

Annual Nicolet Island Cherry Tree Festival

There was an Annual Nichlet Island Chery Tree Festival at Nicolet Island Park from 2 pm on Sunday, May 12th.   Harisen Daiko Drum Group show their performance. Nils and Tenzin Y were there.   I saw some students from Anothony Middle School this year.  Tenzin, thank you for helping to set this festival.


Japan Bowl at 4H
Japan Bowl at 4H

It was a wondrful prom night at the Nicollet Island Pavilion.  The students were dressed up and proud of their looks.  They were dancing together and enjoying one another.  The venue was lovely and was beautifully decorated.  The food was fantastic.  I had a wounderful time with you.


Haiku Contest Winners

Every year the emperor of Japan selects a theme for haiku poets. This year’s theme is “Go” which translates into "Word or words." Ibaraki, Minneapolis’ sister city in Japan, sponsors a haiku contest. Southwest High School was notified that they placed with eight winners in the citywide contest.

A presentation of awards was held on Sunday, April 28th, 2019 from 2 p.m. in the Pohlad Hall Auditorium at the Minneapolis Central Library downtown. The rest of the recipients are listed below. Please congratulate these talented students when you see them! 

Category C: Grades 9 – 12

1st Place:   Josephine Spanier
         Words like the snowflakes   Endlessly falling out of   The mouth and the sky
2nd Place:   Oliver Lee 
         Writing is a joy   As words dance across the page
Washington DC
Washington DC
  Poetry is made
3rd Place:   Nathan Wilson 
         Words let me be free   Free like a bird in a tree   Writing lets me fly
Honorable Mention: 
      Grace Lindquist 
         Written emotion   Through ink on eggshell sheets like   Shadows on fresh snow
      Matthew Feriancek
          I struggle to find   The words inside of my mind   To speak my own truth
      Eli Wikre 
          Words are powerful   They can create or destroy   Good and evil both
      Elizabeth Bieger
          Black and white pages   They come to life in my mind   Thoughts swirling like snow

The National Japan Bowl

The National Japan Bowl was held from April 11 at Washington DC.  The following students had a wonderful and eye-opening experience.
Japan Bowl
Japan Bowl
  You can see our pictures and videos by clicking the site below.    I hope you can enjoy them.
Josephine Spanier
Noah Hunsicker
Maura (Alex) Nafziger-White

Japanese Students Advance to the National Japan Bowl

The Japan Bowl is a national competition to test the ability

Superintendent's visit
Superintendent's visit
of high school students throughout America who are studying the Japanese language.  It is modeled on a quiz show format and aims to make the study of Japanese challenging and enjoyable.  The Upper Midwest Regional Competition was held at Normandale Community College on Saturday, February 16th, 2019.  There were three levels: level II, level III and level IV in this competition. The Southwest level IV-B team is now eligible to participate in the 2019 National Japan Bowl Competition, to be held Thursday-Saturday, April 11-13, 2019 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.  After the competition, students will participate in the SAKURA MATSURI (Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival) in Washington DC.  Please congratulate the finalists who represented Southwest at Regions this year: 

Level IV           Josephine Spanier, Noah Hunsicker, Maura (Alex) Nafziger-White

14 visitors from Kasugaoka High School

12 students and two teachers from our Sister School, Kasugaoka High School, from Osaka, Japan came to Minneapolis on Thursday, February 28th. About 500 hundred students watched and enjoyed their presentation.  Superintendent Graff came to give a welcome speech for our visitors from the sister school in Japan.  He watched
Host families and Visitors
their presentation during period 6 on Friday, March 1st. The visitors shadowed their host students. They did bookmaking with Mary and Werner and visited the University of Minnesota and Anthony Middle School. The Southwest Foundation supported this opportunity for visitors, IB students and host students to learn about Minnesota at the History Center in St Paul.  The visitors stayed with host families for a week . They had a wonderful time in Minneapolis. Please click here to see their pictures and videos.   The Southwest Journal published a nice article about Southwest too.  Please click the links below to see them.
Mayor Frey and Council Member Palmisano
Mayor Frey and Council Member Palmisano

J-Quiz 2019 --- Japanese language competition

On Saturday, February 16th, 16 Japanese students participated in the J-Quiz at Normandale Community College. This is a bi-state competition to test the ability of high school students in Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin who are studying the Japanese language. It is modeled on a quiz show format and aims to make the study of Japanese challenging and enjoyable. There were three levels: level II, level III and level IV in this competition. The Southwest level VI-A students got second place in their category, with 65 points. The first place winners bested them by only one point, with 66 points.
Please congratulate Level iV-A students! The finalists who represented Southwest at Regions this year were:
Level IV-A — Josephine Spanier, Noah Hunsicker, Maura (Alex) Nafziger-White
Please acknowledge these other participants who did a great job at Regions this year:
Level III-A — Andy Luc, Ella Pelican
Level II-A — Tenzin Chokyi, Tenzin Yangchen, Sylvia De Shazo
Level II-B —Isaac Faith Nahmad, Josephine Friesen, August Skilar
J-Quiz 2nd place
J-Quiz 2nd place
I-A —Ethan Peterson, Peter Lindholm
Level I-B —Eleanor Nelson, Kaltun Mohamed, Sofie Urberg-Carlson



Setsubun is the day preceding rishun which is the first day of spring according to the old Japanese calendar, or the so-called lunar calendar. On the day of Setsubun, there is the custom of throwing roasted soybeans out the door or window at a person wearing a demon's mask, while chanting "Good fortune is inside, and the devil is outside!" Period 2 students danced "ONI NO PANTSU". It is very cute! Click here to watch it.

Lauren Downham won J-Quiz T-shirt Contest 

Lauren Downham won the J-Quiz T-shirts design contest. It was fun to see everybody was wearing her T-shirt’s design this year. Congratulations, Lauren!
Lauren won the T-Shirt contest
Lauren won the T-Shirt contest
Year's Cards from Japan 
Kasugaoka High School has sent New Year's Cards for us.  Many card were very nice and we noticed that they spent a lot of time to draw them.  Everybody enjoyed his/her card.  Some students got their partners' email addresses.  We hope that this new year's card exchange will be a great opportunity to start communicating each other.  Southwest students who got their new year's cards from the visitors in March are looking forward to meeting them soon.  



J-Quiz participants
We sent our New Year's Cards to Kasugaoka 

Here are some new year's cards that Southwest students sent to Kasugaoka befor our winter break.  We were looking fowoard to getting new year's cards back from Kasugaoka High School.


Algorithm March with Japanese Culture Cluba students

Japanese Culture Club practiced the Algorithm March on Wednesday, December 19.  We tried to have some harmony, and  be like ninja.  After the march, we dissapered.  Click here to enjoy our Youtube video.  


Field trip to Sakura

We went to Sakura restaurant on Tuesday, Decmber 10th. We practiced a restautrant skit in class and one group from each class performed it at Sakura. Please click here to

New Years Cards from Kasugaoka
watch videos and see pictures.  There are 5 videos and 45 pictures.


Host a student from Japan for five nights?

Host a student from Japan for five nights?

The Japanese Program is looking for host families for Kasugaoka High School’s visit from February 28th, 2019. The visit is five nights.  Visitors will be in Minneapolis from Thursday, February 28th to Wednesday, March 6th. We would like to be able to host 12 students, one male and 11 females. They spend their last night in a hotel, prior to departure (night 6).  Optimally, the hosts would be able to offer their prospective guests a private room and bed. Because of transportation concerns for group meetings and events, families should also be in close proximity to Southwest High School. If you are in a situation to be able to offer such hospitality, please contact me by email at:


How will you lead with Japanese?

Please click here to watch a Youtube video and tell me how you will lead with Japanese!


New Year's Cards from Southwest
f; color: rgb(90, 64, 153); font-size: 20px; text-decoration: none;">Haiku Contest 2019

There is a Haiku Contest sponsored by the Minneapolis-Ibaraki Sister City Association (MISCA) and the Minneapolis Public Schools. Entries are divided into four categories: K-5, 6-8, 9-12 and Adult.  Please use the form attached.   Entries are due by Monday, December 10, 2018.  For entry forms click here.  The entries will be judged by the Board of Directors of MISCA, and the top 30 entries in each category will be sent to Ibaraki, Japan for final judging. Final results will be available in March, with an award ceremony to be held in April.   This year’s theme is “Go” which translates in English to "Word pr Words". Writing one haiku is your student’s homework.  Please encourage your students to write more than one haiku to participate in this contest.  If parents and gurdians are interested in entering a haiku, please write one and send it to me. I am happy to send your haiku to the committee.


J-Quiz T-Shirt design Contest

Field trip to Sakura
Field trip to Sakura
The design must be either in the form of an illustration and/or a phrase using Japanese characters and must be something to do with the Japanese language or culture. Students can use only one color for characters and / or drawing.  Please turn in your design by Monday, November 19th.

Onigiri Project

We did our Onigiri project after school today with Japanese Culture Club.  We published  our pictures to our Facebook individually.  The program will make a donation for each picture posted and school meals are delivered to children in need!   Many of participants liked our KONBU onigir!

Global Classmates for Japanese 4/IB SL and HL class

Kizuna Across Cultures(KAC)facilitates the online language and cultural exchange program Global Classmates for high school students studying Japanese in the U.S. and English in Japan. Taking place in their everyday classroom, students become classmates with their peers abroad and engage with each other through the exchange of messages, photos and videos on a variety of topics, all without needing to travel. The 6-month exchange is an innovative educational program, in which the students develop friendships, deepen understanding of each other’s
Onigiri Project 2018!
cultures, and naturally improve their language skills.  Our partner school is Tokoname High School in Aichi prefecture.  I hope we will have a chnace to visit this school during Japan trip.

Apply Rotary Exchange Program !

This meeting will be on Tuesday, October 16 after school in room W314.  
Violet Baker who was a sophomore used this program and went to Japan as a Rotary Exchange student. She left the US at the end of August and was placed with a high school in Nagasaki. She stayed almost year.  There will be a Rotary Youth Exchange meeting for parents and students soon. If you are interested in this program, please participate in this meeting. More information about Minneapolis Rotary and their sponsored programs is available at: OR Minneapolis Rotary Youth Exchange on Facebook. In addition to the school year exchange, Rotary has created a summer short term exchange (STEP). It looks very nice and is maybe an easier program for some. 

Annual Trip to Japan June 2018

7 students went to Japan from June 15th. They are having a wonderful time at Kasugaoka High School, touring and with host families. You can see our pictures
and comments by clicking the site below. Here is the link to see many pictures of the Trip to Japan 2018.  Please click here.  Tago sensei and Fumina came to out hotel first night in Japan.

Study Kanji the fun way using mnemonic pictures and games

New iPhone & Android App "KANJI Memory Hint1"[English version] released! Study Kanji the fun way using mnemonic pictures and games.
There are so many kanji that it is quite tough to remember them all or to keep studying them. 
The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai developed this in hopes that having fun while learning kanji with associative drawings as memory hints and practicing them over and over again through games will lead to a sense of satisfaction. 
"KANJI Memory Hint 1" is an app that lets you check whether you have learned a "kanji" in a game after you have studied it using associative drawings. 
We recommend it for Japanese language learners at the starting level.
You can download this app from the webpages below. [FREE]
Cooking Takoyaki
Cooking Takoyaki
For more information, see here.

Community clean up by Japanese Culture Club

Japanese Culture Club spent a cleaning up the area around Southwest HIgh School from 3:10 to 4:10 on Monday, May 21st.
You can see how much trash we picked up.
Students went to the Festival of Nations at the Rivercentre on May 3rd.  It was a collaboration with more than 80 ethnic groups which created a truly unique experience – one that celebrates cultural heritage and provides our
Global Classmates
community’s immigrants with a platform to express their stories through world-class performances, exhibits, ethnic cuisine, and personal connections.  Please send pictures that students took at the Revercentre.  I will add more pictures to the site.  Food was expensive, but delicious!  We appreciate chaperones' support!

IB Writing Assignment and Oral Test

IB individual Oral      Oral flipgrid code:  9176c4
IB Written
Japan Trip
Assignment :  
まゆみ先生のEmail アドレスはサイトにあります。

Field trip to Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Zen Box

Students enjoyed the Field trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts on February 13, 2018. After that they ate their lunch at Zen Box and explore Japanese food at the United Noddles. Enjoy the slide show.

Free trip to Japan during summer

Tago sensei and Fumina came to see us!
College Corporation is organizing a High School Essay Contest. The winner will receive a free trip to Japan, with a one-month homestay and language instruction at the Kyoto Japanese Language School during summer.  If you are interested in this contest, please open an email from me and see the document attached to send your essay. The deadline is February 1, 2018. Four students from Southwest won this contest in the past.

Japanese Language Day at the MN ZOO

Japanese students participated in the Japanese Day at the Minnesota Zoo on December 5, 2017.  25 presenters of Japanese CIS, 4 and 5 classes showed five animals at the assigned stations.  This year, we were assigned  Amur tiger, Moose, Sea turtles, Garden eels, and Sea star.  Students discovered fascinating facts about these and other Zoo animals, all in Japanese. Students can visit about 40 animal stations throughout the Zoo. Upper level language students use music, costumes, and props to interpret the animal exhibits. Students each received a "passport" which gets stamped after listening to the presenter at each station. All days are geared toward language students.
Clean-up by Japanese Culture Club

Zoo Day project material

Japanese classes are going to the Minnesota Zoo on Tuesday, December 5th.  Students are doing our Zoo Day project.  Our suggested internet website is provided.  Please click here to get to the site.

Omiyage Exchange for Japanese 4/IB SL and CIS class

Japanse 4/IB class and CIS/Japanese 3 class did OMIYAGE (presents) excahnge with Sappro keihoku shogyo High School.  We packed OMIYAGE in the middle October and sent our omiyage to Japan.  We got omiyage from Japan one week later.  It was very fun.  OMIYAGE is yummy!  Mia N.  made some sishi using the kit that she got from Keihoku.
Here is our youtube videos.  Please enjou watching them.
IB class is
Haiku Award
Haiku Award
opeing OMIYAGE

Ichigo Daifuku Making

Students in the Japanese Culture Club did cooking lesson and made ICHIGODAIFUKU on Wednesday, September 28th. Victoria made a nice one. We enjoyed eating ICHIGODAIFUKU. Yammy!
Stamp Test
The same URL is used for both Test Takers and Proctor/Results Viewing 
Here it is.
You can also get to that from here. On the right side towards the bottom. Second one from the bottom
Ink wash painting, also known as literati painting, is an East Asian type of brush painting of Chinese origin that uses black ink—the same as used in
Visitors and host families
East Asian calligraphy, in various concentrations.
58 students went to the Festival of Nations at the Rivercentre on May 5th. It was a collaboration with more than 80 ethnic groups which created a truly unique experience – one that celebrates cultural heritage and provides our community’s immigrants with a platform to express their stories through world-class performances, exhibits, ethnic cuisine, and personal connections. Please send pictures that students took at the Revercentre. I will add more pictures to the site.

Children's Day in Japan : KODOMO NO HI

Every May 5, it is Kodomo no Hi or "Children’s Day" in Japan. Families fly koinobori banners in the shape of a carp (a type of fish) for each child in their house. In Japanese folklore, the carp is a symbol of determination and vigor, overcoming all obstacles to swim upstream. Samurai warrior figurines and samurai kabuto helmets are also displayed in homes to inspire strength and bravery. Japanese Classes made kabuto heimets and wore them.



Kakizome (書き初め, literally "first writing") is a Japanese term for the
J-Quiz 2018
J-Quiz 2018
first calligraphy written at the beginning of a year, traditionally on January 2. raditionally, kakizome was performed using ink rubbed with the first water drawn from the well on New Year's Day. We did in class too. Here are Kakizome winners from each class. Click here to see pictures.three to five kakizome were chosen each classs.



Third Friday Breakfast

We set a presentation board in the Cofeteria and try to get some students for the Japanese Culture Club. Yoko, RIn, Megan, Maddie, and Grace, thank you for coming to volunteer!

Scholarship to the Condordia Japanese Language Village

Thanks to a grant from the United States-Japan Foundation (USJF), Concordia Language Villages is excited to announce 15 scholarships for two-week villagers attending Mori no Ike, the Japanese Language Village this summer. This scholarship program is for middle and high school students from the Midwest who express a strong desire to learn about Japanese language and culture in an immersion environment, surrounded by other young
people who are equally passionate about Japan.

There are three recipients of these scholarships at Southwest are below.
Mia Romsaas
Jibril Ilkuhor
Salma Mohamed 
I hope these students will have a nice experience at the village. Congratulations!

CIS Field Day

On Tuesday, February 23, the College in the Schools students of Southwest High School will join a Japanese language class at the University of Minnesota. Students must bring their textbooks and workbooks to the class. Before this class, we will eat Japanese bento lunch from the Obento-ya Restaurant in room 125 in Nolt Center around 11:00. After that they will attend a lecture by Prof. Marran in room 108 of the Folwell Hall.

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      My name is Kyoko French. I have been teaching Japanese since 1991 at Southwest High School. I am teaching all levels of Japanese classes. Students are able to take the IB test (as well as the AP test) at Southwest. I am looking forward to studying Japanese with students.
Zoo Day at MN Zoo
Zoo Day at MN Zoo
    In March, our sister school, Kasugaoka High School sends 12 students and two teachers to Minneapolis. We were able to establish many great relationships with communities and city governments for their continued support.  We enjoy their visit every year.
      Last June, 7 students went to Japan with me. They did sight seeing in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Shimane. They visited our sister school. 21 students from this school joined a field trip to Kyoto.  We had a fun time by communicating in Japanese and English.  There will be another trip to Japan in June for two weeks next summer. Students who are interested in the trip should watch for details. I send an email about this program through the portal.