Japanese Culture Week

Japanese Culture Week is:

  • a school visit programme on the primary and secondary level in the UK
  • by a group of trained Japanese visitors with an experienced supervisor
  • to offer Japanese cultural sessions such as origami, calligraphy and “Karuta”, an educational card game
  • in March and September
  • with over 3000 children’s participation since 2011


Children fold a samurai hat called ‘kabuto’ with origami paper. Then they will fold a bigger kabuto to wear with a newspaper.


Children learn about Japanese writing and practice Japanese calligraphy. They will be able to write their name in Japanese.


Karuta is a traditional Japanese card game for education. Children learn a card theme such as geography and then play karuta.

Message from Director


Dear Headteacher,

Konnichiwa! I am writing to invite a British primary/secondary school to join ‘Japanese Culture Week’ by hosting a group of Japanese visitors for a few days at school in March or September.

This is a one-week, Japanese cultural sharing programme. Since 2011 thousand school children in the UK have enjoyed our programme. During the week, trained university students under my supervision will visit primary/secondary schools to offer Japanese cultural sessions such as origami(from Year 1), Calligraphy(from Year 5), ‘Karuta'(from Year 3). ‘Karuta’ is a traditional educational card game in Japan.

No fee is required to join the programme. Please provide us with teaching hours, stationary and, if possible, lunch.

Kindly let us know your interest. We look forward to working with you soon.

Best wishes

Mineo Kageya(Mr)
FROM JAPAN Institute

Words from Headteacher

It is an absolute pleasure to write a few words about the experiences we have had over the years with the institute “FROM JAPAN.”

Mineo Kageya has visited our school over the years; each time bringing with him well-prepared Japanese students and teachers brimful of enthusiasm.

The children have always enjoyed the activities, whether it was origami, calligraphy or Karuta; but the greatest benefit of all is simply the cultural exchange.

It is always such a pleasure to see the excitement on the children’s faces and for them to be able to ask questions to their Japanese guests about their way of life. It is the sort of cultural enrichment that books and videos just can’t quite provide. To have enthusiastic Japanese people (some in traditional dress for some of the time) talking with the children is invaluable.

I am sure that even if some of the details are forgotten by the children, the impression is remembered and the mind is opened! I will certainly always smile remembering our primary-aged children teaching our Japanese guests various dance moves in the playground at lunchtime amongst a great deal of laughter! The school cultures in Japan and the UK are clearly very different, and I am sure the Japanese guests also leave with great memories too.

Mineo is always extremely well-prepared and organised and is a pleasure to work with. I cannot really recommend this experience highly enough. It involves very little work for the UK schools, other than agreeing a timetable; and the rewards for the children (and adults) are extremely high. I would urge any school to try this experience.
Doug Brawley
(Retired Headteacher)

Words from teachers

Fantastic Knowledge and the children were all engaged. They did a fantastic job of supporting all children and were very organized. We would love to do this again. Thank you!”
Mrs Baldwin
Y6 Teacher
Queen’s Park Academy

Ladies were engaging, kind, friendly and the children throughly enjoyed making the Samurai hats. Thank you for teaching us some Japanese & wearing traditional dress.”
Y4 Teacher
Baden-Powell and St Peter’s Junior School

The students were very friendly and engaging – the children thoroughly enjoyed learning all about Japanese culture and how to do calligraphy. It was extremely well organized.”
Miss Pitkin
Y6 Teacher
St Mark’s CE Primary School

Engaging session with very clear instructions for calligraphy! Students kept checking that children understood tasks!”
Miss Mansbridge
Y5 Teacher
Bearwood Primary & Nursery School

“The children loved playing and making the Karuta card game. I liked the way they were doing literacy and art at the same time. The children were very proud of their pictures and poetic sentences.
Y5 Teacher
Bromstone Primary School

“The children had a lovely day making origami, drawing, singing and learning about Japanese culture. All the Japanese students were very friendly and taught the children well. This is the sort of thing the children will remember when they leave school. Thank you very much. ”
Year 4 Teacher
St. Nicholas at Wade CE Primary School

From Media

St Mark’s Primary School, Bournemouth (September 2023)