American, Japanese students mix it up through music, martial arts

Matthew C. Perry Elementary School welcomed the Shunan International Children’s Club for a performance at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Feb. 12, 2018.

Over 60 students from Shunan City danced, sang, played instruments and demonstrated traditional martial arts for students from the M.C. Perry and Iwakuni Elementary Schools.

Mamoru Sasamura, director of the Shunan International Children’s Club, said that every year, Japanese children with the elementary, junior high and high school, have been deepening their friendship with the students from the M.C. Perry and Iwakuni Elementary Schools.

The event began with Chinatsu Moriwaki, Sae Matsumato and Hoyumi Kato, students from the Kisan Elementary School chorus club, and the Shinnanyo Senior High School Band, performing the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

Christopher Kimmey, a music teacher for M.C. Perry and Iwakuni Elementary Schools, said that events like these are important because the schools get to share each other’s cultures. The Shunan International Children’s Club spent a lot of time practicing for their performances, and they even spent their day off of work and school to travel to MCAS Iwakuni and perform for the elementary school students.

The audience lit up when the band started to play “Let It Go,” and the children sang along impromptu.

Sasamura said the Japanese children did their best, and the American children listened to the performance in a good manner. He added that “Let It Go” was the best song of choice, and in his eight years, he had never seen such a scene.

During the last performance, the chorus club and band asked the students of the M.C. Perry and Iwakuni Elementary Schools to join them in singing “It’s a Small World.”

“What I liked most about the event today was the student interaction. The students were able to respond and listen to the music, and they appreciated it,” said Kimmey. “You don’t have to know each other’s language, but through music we get to bond. “

DISCLAIMER: This article was originally published at the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System Hub ( The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

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