Two American JET participants working as an Assistant Language Teacher– Ms. Taylor Anderson (Ishinomaki City, From Virginia) and Mr. Montgomery Dickson (Rikuzen Takada City, From Alaska) – lost their lives during The Great East Earthquake in Japan. To commemorate their work, 32 U.S. high school students expected to become future generation of Americans in Japan-U.S. relations experienced various cultural exchange opportunities with Japanese high school students and received intensive Japanese language training. The Japan Foundation will continue this program for the next five years.
The Japan Foundation invited the 32 U.S. high school students from July 16 to July 29, 2011. During their stay, participants spent the majority of their time training at the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai (Osaka). They had the opportunity to participate in exchange sessions with students at a high school in Osaka as well as a high School in Iwate. They also experienced homestay, exchange sessions with JET Assistant Language Teachers and Coordinator for International Relations, and a trip to Kyoto and Kobe.
The family of the late Montgomery Dickson participated in the briefing session held in San Francisco on July 28, and the 32 high school students reported what they had experienced during the stay in Japan.
In addition, the 32 students made “Tourou” (Japanese lanterns) to commemorate the two JET teachers. The Tourou will be put into the lake together with other 10,000 Tourou at “Houkosai”, a firework festival held at Lake Yamanaka of Fuji Five Lakes on August 1 to commemorate the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake.