Medaka No Gakko

By Jodie Reyna

An excerpt from the
Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2011
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Since 1980, Parlier has been offering area residents a taste of Japan and a glimpse back in history at their family heritage. Each summer, for two weeks, a group of volunteer parents presents “Medaka No Gakko” Japanese cultural classes at the Parlier Buddhist Church. The classes are open to elementary school children of all nationalities and religions.

Translated, “Medaka No Gakko” means “school of little fish.” It is named after a Japanese song that asks “can you tell the difference between the teacher and the students?” The song answers, “no, because everyone’s having a good time.”

This year’s class has more than 40 students from Reedley, Parlier, Kingsburg, Fresno, Los Angeles, and even some from out-of-state.

As students get older, the classes gradually move away from being centered solely on the child to teaching what it means to interact with society. For the youngest children, the classes help children to explore their identities and for the older children, the classes focus more on how being Japanese-American affects their life. Students also learn about responsibility and about contributing to their community.
The classes run from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for two weeks and include Japanese language instruction that is taught by instructor Junko Ueno. In addition to language instruction, students also learn about traditional Japanese food, music, and crafts.

Some Japanese traditions that students learn include shaping bonsai trees, making plaster face masks, creating sun catchers that feature their family crest known as their “mon,” developing flags with their family crest that is framed with bamboo, and making origami.

The program is run by a non-profit group that relies heavily on parent participation. Although the program was first started by the Parlier Buddhist Church, it is now run independently from the church and is one of the few classes left of its kind in the Central Valley.
Medaka No Gakko Class

Upcoming Events

  4-Sun Sangha Gathering 10am
  4-Sun BEC Movie, Reedley 4pm
11-Sun Bishop & Lady Otani Service 10am
14-Wed Buddhist Discussion 7pm
15_Thu CCDC Meeting, Fowler 7pm
24- Visalia Obon

  1- Reedley Obon
  8- Fresno Obon
15- Fowler Obon
22- Parlier Obon


Sangha Gatherings

85th Anniversary

Pictures from the Anniversary Luncheon are online.

Go to :
Click on the Smugmug box at the left.
Select the Church anniversary box.

Others who took pictures are encouraged to upload theirs to this set so others can see them. Follow this link.... UPLOAD
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