Saturday, March 9, 2013

Lantern making and project planning

Students were asked the night before to create drawings and messages on individual sheets of paper prior to coming to the lantern creation ceremony.

After hearing the story shared by the local teenager, the team participated in creating a giant lantern in honor of the second anniversary of the tsunami that will happen in two days.  Each of the four schools that participated in the activity at a local warehouse created one panel that will contribute to a giant lantern that will be featured in a ceremony later in the week.

Students decide how each individual paper should be placed on their panel.

After creating the lanterns, the band played for a handful of locals. However, with tight quarters in the warehouse, the band had to compromise space by warming up on the bus and playing outside in the wind.

After the chaos of tuning in the bus, the band played three songs outside of the warehouse. With the wind blowing, some of the students' music sheets flew off of their music stands. Despite the weather, the band was able to overcome the difficulties and was able to play without being flustered by the surprises.

Afterwards, the team returned to Sendai City, where they worked on debriefing workshops. As participants on the Kizuna Project, they have a responsibility to create and execute an Action Plan to explain their experiences and knowledge from their time in Japan.  

"We're here to be a primary source for the tsunami," said senior Kurt Scheiber. "Many Americans in our generation will not have the experience of seeing Japan this soon after the tsunami, so we'll be one  of the few people who have."

"The word kizuna can't be translated to English," said senior Catherine Patton. "They named this project for a reason. One thing we want our audiences (who see our presentation) to experience is the meaning of kizuna.  We've forgotten it in our culture and they want us to think about the bond that all of humanity shares."

"Our purpose is to let audiences (who see our presentation) know that Japan is moving forward," said senior Ryan Dinneen.  

After the debriefing session, the group decided that their experiences thus far on the trip fall under the following themes:
  • Locals' sincere desire to be heard and not forgotten
  • Bravery and strength of communities
  • Value of youth and the future of communities
  • Japan is currently more recovered than destroyed
  • Kizuna should be universally remembered

It was decided that students will tackle small group and individual projects to help spread the stories that they have heard, the experiences they have had, and the knowledge they have collected while in Japan.

After these projects have been created they will be linked under this blog, which will serve as an "umbrella" to host the projects as well as serve as a primary resource for the experience while in Japan. The team then spent the next three hours brainstorming the details of their projects, including creating storyboards for movies, generating a list of media contacts, and planning a kizuna themed week back at LHS. 

"We've been invited to participate on this project and experience the victims' stories. The question is, what do you do after it happens?" said Principal Amy Oaks. "Mr. Emmons and I believe that we (the group) have the capacity to do much more than just a powerpoint or a song."


  1. My day start with the Kizuna project blog ^o^. "kizuna" "Kibou" and Arigatou.

  2. This is great! I love that "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" rendition! Many of these kids have played in the wind and warmed up on the bus before at marching band competitions.
    Will you get to see the finished lantern? I hope so!