Celebrating 18 Years with Oguni High School

Thomas Koon, Opinion Editor

Second-year students from Oguni High School in Japan came to Venice High School on Wednesday, Nov. 13, for their annual visit. The tradition was first organized 18 years ago by a travel agency that contacted Venice High for a possible cultural exchange with Oguni. 

Ms. Hiroko Nomachi, Venice High’s Japanese language teacher, said that she had each of her classes help prepare for this year’s event based on their Japanese level. 

Japanese 1 and 2 helped make welcome banners and helped with the entertainment presentation, said Ms. Nomachi. Level 3 was in charge of the pop music dances. Level 4 did the cultural exchange activities and campus tours, which included explaining each location of the school tour in Japanese.

The event began in the West Gym with introductory speeches, in which a Venice student gave a Japanese speech and an Oguni student gave an English speech. This year, Venice senior student Olivia Mariano and Oguni second-year student Takamitsu Kokubun spoke at the podium. 

Both schools’ principals, Mr. Gabriel Griego and Mr. Yoshimi Jinushi spoke to the students. 

“I hope that the knowledge and experience from these shared activities will last a lifetime,” said Principal Griego in his speech. 

After the speeches, students from both schools did dances together and shared snacks. Oguni students were taken on a tour of the campus. 

The visit concluded with pictures and the human tunnel tradition: Venice students linked their arms in a tunnel formation which the Oguni students entered their bus through.  

“It was a lot of fun, although I’m sad I won’t be able to do this next year,” said Taiten McKiver, senior.