A fun night for High School students at the IPU New Zealand Omatsuri

On Friday evening, 25 May 2018, secondary school students from around the Manawatu and beyond enjoyed experiencing Japanese culture and food at the IPU New Zealand annual Omatsuri Festival held in the Recreation Centre.

Over 300 students and their teachers participated in traditional Japanese festival activities—including Taiko (Japanese drums) performances, games like balloon yoyos and fishing for toy fish. Visitors were also happy to taste the Japanese curry, noodles (Yakisoba), octopus balls (Takoyaki), fish shaped sweet pancakes (Taiyaki), yoghurt drink, and flavoured shaved ice made and served by IPU New Zealand students and staff.

The purpose of the festival is to give secondary school students an fun, immersive experience and a taste of what IPU New Zealand has to offer our students. The students interact with current IPU New Zealand students and find out about the learning pathways available both in New Zealand and Japan.


During the festival, Dr Kyoko Mikami, National Language Adviser of the Japanese Language for ILEP (Uniservices, University of Auckland) gave a talk to Japanese language teachers about learning Japanese through immersion.

Omatsuri finished with visitors eagerly joining in an IPU student-led Japanese folk dance, which had all the students roaring “Soran! Soran!’ along with the music. Vynie Tran, IPU New Zealand Recruitment Officer congratulated all the students and staff on their hard work preparing for and running the Omatsuri festival, saying it was a huge success owing to their great teamwork and enthusiasm.

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