Lyon College Japanese Newsletter


Vol. 3 No. 1 


I am happy to present for the third year the Japanese newsletter from Lyon College.  This edition of the newsletter includes 9 compositions in Japanese written in fall 2004 by the students taking the first semester of Beginning Japanese or Intermediate Japanese.  Questions and comments regarding the newsletter or the Japanese program at Lyon College can be directed to:           

Mieko Uchida Peek

Instructor of Japanese Language and Literature


Table of Contents

Winners of the Japanese Composition Presentation

Japan Lecture Series

Community International Night

Nichols Trip to Japan in 2006   

Japanese New Year    

Traditional Kimono and Contemporary Fashion  


My Life by Sarah Barkley

My Daily Life by Sarah Dunkerson   

My Everyday Life by Jake Howard   

My Everyday Life by Ben Johnson   

My Everyday by Jessica Leasure   

Everyday Me by Eric Ramirez   

My Everyday Life by Eric Stewart

Video Games by Matt Bradley  

     The Four Seasons by Tristen Dean  


Winners of the Japanese Composition Presentation Held on Nov. 29, 2004

      Japanese 101

        First place: Jessica Leasure

        Second place: Sarah Dunkerson

        Third Place: Jakeb Howard

    Japanese 201

        First place: Matt Bradley, Tristen Dean


Certificates and prizes were presented to the winners.

Japan Lecture Series

The 2004-2005 Japan Lecture Series began on November 3 with a shakuhachi performance by Dr. Stan “Kakudo” Richardson from Baylor University. The performance was well attended and appreciated as the meditative sounds a bamboo flute filled the Bevens Music Room. While in Batesville, Dr. Richardson also visited Eagle Mountain Elementary School, West Elementary School and Batesville Junior High School, introducing more than 500 students a very old but mystical instrument from Japan. 

Our last lecture series guest of the year is Dr. Kinko Ito from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She will be on the Lyon campus on March 3 to talk about the  “The World of Japanese Comics.”  Her presentation will begin at 7:00 pm in the main lecture hall in the Derby Science Center.


The Japan Lecture Series is made possible by a grant from the Freeman Foundation.  Planning for next year’s lecture series will begin shortly, so please let Mieko Peek know what topics you would like to see discussed in the coming year. 


Community International Night


The seventh Community International Night took place at Lyon College on January 22nd.  Students of Japanese at Lyon College participated in the program for the third year.  They sang “Ue o Muite Aruko”, which became a million seller in 1960s. Back then, most Americans knew the song as “Sukiyaki Song.”  Lyon students also set up a table where adults and children could observe and experience Japanese crafts, calligraphy, and games.  Students of Japanese will participate in Community International Night again in 2006, which will be held at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville.  



Nichols Trip to Japan in 2006   


Planning is underway for a Nichols study trip to Japan in May 2006.  The trip will include visiting historical locations in Tokyo and Kyoto.  Participants will have many opportunities on this trip to gain real life experience in the use of the Japanese language.    The prerequisite for the trip is Japanese 102.


Japanese New Year

By Mieko U. Peek


I especially enjoy visiting Japan at the time of preparation for and celebration of the first day of the New Year.  Japanese celebrate this occasion in various ways, but most of them include Buddhist and Shinto traditions in their celebrations.  Many, for example, will visit a Buddhist temple and a Shinto shrine during the holiday season.  These practices reflect the fact that the belief system of most Japanese is a mix of Buddhism, Shintoism, and Confucianism.   


On the first day of the New Year, it is said that numerous kami (gods, 年神様) visit each household in Japan.  In order to appropriately receive the kami, Japanese clean their homes with great care at the end of the year.  They also decorate the entrance to their homes with shimekazari, a hanging decoration made of a straw rope, pine tree branches, e apricot flowers, rice cake, and/or tangerine oranges.  In addition to shimekazari, most businesses decorate their entrances with a large stock of bamboo and accenting pine branches.  The New Year season is also an occasion on which Japanese decorate their kamidana (a small family shrine kept in the home) with rice cakes, oranges, and sakaki plants.


On the evening prior to New Year’s Day, many Japanese go outside at midnight to listen to the ringing of local temple bells.  The bells are traditionally rung 108 times to announce and welcome the New Year. The sounds of the bells are said to purify the mind according to Buddhist tradition.  


On New Year’s Day, most Japanese dress up (many in kimono) and visit a local Shinto shrine and/or Buddhist temple to wish for a peaceful and healthy New Year. When entering the Shinto shrine, they pass through a large wooden gate called a torii.  Once through the torii, they cleanse their hands with water before entering into the inner area of the shrine.  In front of the main shrine building, they clap loudly twice to invoke the kami. They then bow twice, pray for a good year, and clap one more time.  These rituals are not observed at Buddhist temples as no kami reside on the temple grounds as in Shinto tradition.  Japanese do, however, use their visit to the grounds of a Buddhist temple to wish for a peaceful and healthy year.


When in Japan, I usually visit a local shrine on New Year’s Day and in early January visit a historic Buddhist temple in the Asakusa district of Tokyo.   

Traditional Kimono and Contemporary Fashion

By Mieko U. Peek


Whenever I visit Japan, I am intrigued by the latest fashion.  I am especially interested in the integration of the modern with the traditional.  I will provide a few examples.


In the latter half of the 1990s, for instance, many teenage Japanese girls were dressed like Raggedy Anne dolls or in the attire associated with saloon women in American cowboy movies. Later they added to this western attire in various forms material used for kimonos and/or kimono sashes.


In recent summers, young Japanese women increasingly wore the traditional yukata, a summer cotton kimono.  This renewed interest in the yukata was accompanied by the replacement of the traditional prints used for yukata with some very modern designs.  I also noted that this new generation of yukata was advertised as mosquito-proof.   


This past winter, I noticed more young women wearing kimono.  This trend is attributed to young women seeking alternatives to standard western clothing and concurrently discovering old kimono stored in their mothers’ and grandmothers’ closets.   Storekeepers noticed this trend and began carrying second hand kimono made of wool and silk for a very small fraction of the cost of new silk kimono.  At first, I was taken aback by this wearing of used kimono.  However, I concurrently found reassuring the rediscovery of the kimono by the current generation.  I suspect the mothers and grandmothers of these young women were also pleased by the current generations rediscovery of the kimono.


Thus, as you can surmise, I look forward to visiting Japan again and seeing the latest effort by young Japanese to sustain tradition without forgoing current fashions.










My Life

Sarah Barclay


I am a student at Lyon College. I am a first year student. My major is Psychology.

I wake up at eight. I don’t eat breakfast. I go to class at 9. I talk to my friends. I eat dinner. I read a book at the library at 7. I study history. I go to bed 11.

Last week I went home. I saw my mom. I bought a sweater. I wrote a letter. I read a book. I drank tea. I talked to my dad. I ate breakfast. I came back to College.








My Daily Life

Sarah Dunkerson


     I am an American.  I am a student at Lyon College.  I am a first year student.  I am eighteen years old.  My major is Japanese. 

     I get up a 7:30 am.  I usually go to school at nine o’clock.  I often eat lunch.  I sometimes eat a hamburger.  I usually drink water.  I play the piano.  I go to Japanese class at two o’clock.  I speak Japanese in class.  I study every night.  I usually listen to music.  Sometimes I watch a movie.  I return to my room at eleven o’clock.  I often go to sleep at twelve o’clock. 

 I went to Jonesboro last weekend.  I met Becky.  Becky and I went shopping at seven o’clock.  We bought jeans.  We went to Becky’s house.  Becky wrote a letter to her mother.  Becky and I ate dinner.  We ate pizza.  We drank sodas.  We didn’t see a movie.  We talked for three hours.  I returned home at two in the morning.  I went to sleep at five. 










My Everyday Life

Jakeb Howard


            How do you do? My name is Jake Howard. I am a student at Lyon College. I am a first year student. My major is English. I am eighteen years old. Nice to meet you.

            Everyday, I wake up at 7:00. At 7:30 I eat breakfast. Then, I go to school. At 8:00, I go to history class. At 9:00, I go to English class. I read a book. At 11:00, I go to music class. I listen to music. At 12:00, I eat lunch. I drink water. At 2:00, I go to Japanese class. I speak Japanese. At 3:00, I return home. I watch television. At 5:00, I study. At 11:00, I go to bed.

            Yesterday, I went to the department store. I bought a hat. At six, I went home. At one, I went to bed.

            Last week, I went to a friend’s house. We took pictures. Then, I went to a restaurant. Then, I went to a bookstore. I bought 5 books. I ate dinner.

            This is the end. Thank you very much.










My Everyday Life.

Ben Johnson


            I am a student at Lyon College.  I’m a freshman.  I’m 19 years old.  My major is Art.

            I drink coffee every day.  I sometimes eat breakfast.  I usually eat lunch at school.  I usually watch TV at around 10:00pm.  I often watch giant monster movies.  I go home on the weekends.  I get up early.  I often read.  I don’t watch sports much.  I sometimes speak Japanese.

            I went home last weekend.  Last Monday I ate a hamburger at a restaurant.  Last Tuesday I took photographs.  Last Wednesday I went to the bookstore.  Last Thursday I wrote a letter.  Last Friday I went shopping at a supermarket. I read a book last weekend.  I didn’t watch TV yesterday.

 I was a good high school student. 











My Everyday

 Jessica Leasure


 I am a Lyon College student.  I am now a junior.  My major is economics.  I am twenty years old. 

Everyday, I wake up at six o’clock.  At eight o’clock I go to school.  Everyday at twelve o’clock I eat lunch.  At two o’clock I go to Japanese class.  Sometimes at night I study Japanese in the library.  I study a lot.  I never drink alcohol on the weekends.  I go home on the weekends.  I often watch movies there.  Sometimes I go to Little Rock.

Last weekend I went to Little Rock.  I went shopping at the department store.  I bought a bag.  I also bought an umbrella.  I ate lunch at two o’clock.  The restaurant was inside the department store.  I ate fish.  I returned to Lyon College on Sunday.  I studied Japanese for about two hours.  I went to bed at twelve o’clock.

            This is the end.  Thank you.









Everyday Me

Eric Ramirez


I am an American.  I am nineteen years old.  I am a student at Lyon College.  I am a sophomore.  My major is English.

I wake up at 9:00 a.m. everyday.  I never eat breakfast.  At 10:00 a.m. I go to Lyon College.  At 3:00 I go home.  I usually go to work at 5:00.  I return home at 8:00.  I eat dinner at 8:30.  I do homework at 9:00.  I read a book at 11:00.  Sometimes I play videogames.  I go to bed at 1:00.

On Monday I studied English.  On Tuesday I went to the café and talked to a friend.  I also went to my News Writing class on Tuesday.  On Tuesday I watched TV sometimes.  On Wednesday I studied Japanese.  I usually listen to music.  On Thursday I did not study.  On Friday I bought books at the bookstore.  On the weekend I saw a movie.  I also met with a friend on Sunday.

This is the end.  Thank you.









My Everyday Life

Eric Stewart


I am a student at Lyon College. I’m a first year student. My major is English. I’m 18 years old.

I usually get up at 8:00. I eat breakfast every day. I sometimes drink coffee.

At about 9:00, I go to class. I usually listen to music. Sometimes I read a book. I speak Japanese every day. I usually return to my room around 5:00. I don’t watch much T.V. At around 11:00, I go to sleep.

            I used to live in Trumann. I understood my classes last week. I drank green tea last Friday. I didn’t play tennis last Wednesday. I got to see my friends last week. I didn’t get to see my mother. Yesterday, I wrote a letter to my mother. I took photos yesterday. I went to McDonald’s yesterday. I bought a Big Mac yesterday at McDonald’s.

This is the end. Thank you very much.












Video Games

Matt Bradley


            Because video games are fun, I like them.  Yesterday, I bought the new Final Fantasy game.  I also play the Dragon Ball games.  When I was young, I played Rokkumon games.  Out of all Game Boy games, Zoids is the most fun.

            Final Fantasy is my favorite video game because the game’s story is very interesting.

            Dragon Ball is also interesting.  But, because I have no job, I haven’t bought the new Dragon Ball game yet.

            Rokkumon is a little old, but it is fun.  The graphics aren’t good.  But the game is interesting.

            I usually dislike Gameboy games.  But I really like Zoids.  Because I liked the Zoids anime, I also enjoy the game.

            Seiken Densetsu is a fun game.  The company who made Final Fantasy also made Seiken Densetsu.  The graphics are very good.

            I really enjoy video games.  I play games everyday.  After college, I want to make video games.  I will work for a video game company and make fun games.











The Four Seasons

By Tristen Dean


Of all the seasons, I find spring to be the most beautiful. Everything is turning green during spring. At my home we have many apple trees. The cherry and apple flowers are blooming. Everyday it rains, but on some days it is cool and hot. My birthday is in April, which is a month of spring, so that is why I really like spring.

Spring is beautiful but summer is also beautiful. There is no homework during the so I read a lot of books.

Last summer I worked a lot of hours at the post office. I became tired, but I also made a lot of money. During the summer vacation I get to talk to my parents, which is one of the reasons why I like summer.

It is now fall. During fall there are many colors changing. The leaves of the trees are turning to red, yellow, gold and many other colors. I like to walk through the mountain trails and look at the colors during fall. During the fall I like to drive through the mountain roads. It is difficult but fun driving through these winding roads. And I am a skilled driver. There is a lot of homework during the fall, so I’m very busy.

Many people say that they don’t like winter, but I love the cold weather winter brings. In my Japanese Literature class we read the tale of the Yuki-Onna (Snow Woman). Peek sensei said that the Yuki-Onna frightened her. I found the story of the Yuki-Onna very interesting. Snow is pretty.  I love the white color of the snow. In Japan sometimes white is bad, but I think it is good.

I love all the seasons.