Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Akita International University festival 09

Hubby and I went to see the festival of Akita International University (AIU) on 12th October. It was the second day of the two day festival organized by the students of the university, which was open to everyone. AIU is a public university located in Akita city. The university is unique in Japan for offering International Liberal Arts education entirely in English, and is on the cutting edge of Japanese higher education.
Me standing at the main entrance of AIU

We saw many international students from various countries inside the university campus. This made us feel that the university is ‘international’ in a real sense. It was nice to see the energy and enthusiasm of the students in organizing various events in the festival. On entering one of the campus buildings, we saw that the students had put in a lot of effort to decorate the corridors and the classrooms that were used for the purpose of the festival. There was a festive mood all around.
Hubby reading a poster in one of the campus building

Beautifully decorated entrance of a building

Me standing inside the building entrance

Hubby posing in a decorated corridor of the building

First we visited an exhibition of beautiful and unique photographs. The best shot photographs that were taken by the student members belonging to photo club of AIU were hung on the corridor. The idea of the display was exceptional.
Hubby standing in the corridor along with photographs of the photo club

Me standing in the corridor along with photographs of the photo club

Next we visited an exhibition of flower art arrangement called ikebana. The members of ikebana club had made a wonderful display of the arrangement of seasonal flowers. Ikebana arrangement looked beautiful, elegant, and graceful.
Ikebana arrangement

Ikebana arrangement

There were several exhibitions like Halloween cafe, calligraphy, tea ceremony, fair trade cafe, candle lamp shades, and many more. In addition, there were a few exhibitions about the culture and traditions of various countries like Philippines and Taiwan. There was also an exquisite exhibition on Okinawa, a beautiful island of Japan. Hubby and I enjoyed watching various exhibits of Okinawa that were on display.
Hubby standing next to Okinawa exhibition

Hubby seeing various exhibits of Okinawa

Hubby reading a poster about Okinawa

We also enjoyed a mini-concert by the students of AIU brass band club who gave a beautiful rendition of ‘Lupin the third jazz version’. The students performed at the concert with a lot of youthful energy. I compiled a video of the mini-concert.
Brass band club performing ‘Lupin the third jazz version’

Brass band club performing ‘Lupin the third jazz version’

A compiled video of AIU brass band club mini-concert

Later we went to another building inside the campus. The corridor of this building was also beautifully decorated. Fashion show was held in one of the rooms. It was fun to watch the university students themselves design the clothes and accessories worn by the models. The students have a lot of imagination and innovative ideas!
Hubby standing in a decorated corridor of another building in the campus

Me standing in a decorated corridor of the building

Fashion show held by the students

Many food stalls were set up along a small street inside the university campus. These food stalls offered food items from various countries. However, by the time we reached there almost all the interesting food items were sold out. So hubby and I went to the university cafeteria to have lunch. The cafeteria was also decorated for the festival and a few food stalls were put up by the students inside the cafeteria. We had curry rice for our lunch.
Street food stalls

Street food stalls

University cafeteria

Hubby having lunch in the cafeteria

After lunch we went to the ground located just next to the main entrance of the university. We saw that mochi making ceremony was being held that was organized by the festival staff. Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice pounded into paste and molded into shape. The traditional ceremony of rice pounding is known as Mochitsuki. I compiled a video of mochi making process.

A compiled video of mochi making

In the same ground of the campus, open air concert was held and we spent a lot of time enjoying the concert. AIU cheerleading team called Lupulus put up a wonderful performance of dance, jumps, cheers, and stunts. Next, a choir team sang a beautiful and heartwarming song. After that there was ‘moekko’ dance performed by a group of female student dancers. The dance was really very cute and I compiled a video of it. Many people in the audience danced enthusiastically along with the stage performers. Following this, there was an extremely funny dance performance put up by a men’s team called ADB48 who danced to the tune of a song of a famous Japanese girls group ‘Morning Musume’. The performance was very amusing, and hubby and I just could not stop laughing throughout the performance. Next there was a dance performance by AIU Yatose team. Yatose (also called Yasokoi) is a unique style of dance that combines traditional Japanese dance movements with modern music like rock. It was the first time that we saw Yatose dance, and we rather liked it. AIU brass band club again performed at this open air concert, and it was refreshing to hear them again. The final stage show that we saw was Tenjin Ayatori dance performance by AIU students. It is a brilliant traditional dance of Akita prefecture that is performed with sticks.
Cheerleading team Lupulus

Choir team

Moekko dance

A compiled video of moekko dance performance

ADB48 dance performance

Yatose dance

Brass band club performance

Tenjin Ayatori dance

The stage performances continued up to 8 pm. However, hubby had some office work and so we left the university at about 4 pm. We had a fun filled day at AIU festival. The festival reminded us of our own university days. Hmmm nazukashii (nostalgic)!

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