Are you a sweet tooth and fancy about Japanese traditional delicate and appealing craftmanship? MAJS held a Japanese Wagashi (和菓子)workshop last week for our current students and we would like to share with your all the incredible highlights!
We are honoured to have a Wagashi professional instructor, Ms. Doris Wong, among our students to share the knowledge. The workshop kicked off with a quick run-through of Wagashi’s history and cultural significance, and then it was straight to the fun part – shaping and sculpting our very own Wagashi!
A huge thanks to Doris and all our participating students (Matthew, Timmy, Alice, Eunice, and others) for making this workshop a hit.
A brief background knowledge on Wagashi
Japan is renowned for its exquisite cuisine and food culture, which includes a wide range of desserts and sweets. Among the oldest and most traditional types of sweets in Japan is wagashi (和菓子), a form of confectionery that has been enjoyed for centuries. The origins of wagashi can be traced back to the Edo Period in Japan, which spanned from the 1600s to the mid-1860s. This confectionery holds great importance in Japanese culture and has evolved into an art form, with visually stunning and delicately crafted sweets that tantalize both the eyes and the taste buds. Wagashi also holds deep symbolic and cultural significance, which is why they are typically refined and not typically consumed in everyday casual settings.
Face-to-face summer exchange has been suspended for 3 threes and thanks to the re-opening of border, CUHK-MAJS has resumed the “actual” summer exchange and the one held at the end of May with Shinshu University was an absolute success! Our students were able to enjoy and experience Japanese culture on-site and the 2-day trip was full of eye-opening experiences and loads of laughter!
MAJS would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the support from student representatives and participations from our students!
Here’s the contents of photos in sequence:
1) Iconic group photo
2-3) Souvenir exchange – CUHK – Prof. Nakano(Ms.) and Shinshu University – Sengoku Senior Assistant Professor(Mr.)
4) Dinner @Aplico Plaza Hotel
5) In front of Matsumoto Castle
6) What a lovely souvenir! Kusama Yayoi’s exhibition @Matsumoto Museum of Art
7-8) Ishii Miso Brewery and a taste of local-made products
9) Nawate Street – featuring frog theme. Frog in Japanese is “Kaeru”, same pronunciation as the word “return” in Japanese. This resonates the meaning of “returning home safe”
10) Crafts Fair Matsumoto – Every year in May, craftsman from all over Japan will gather in Matsumoto and appeal to the audience of their crafted goods
Do you know where is Shinshu University?
It’s in Matsumoto-shi, Nagano Prefecture, about 3 hours train distance from Tokyo. This is definitely one of the beautiful backyard of Tokyo!
The online exchange covers 2 topics on Nature and Local attractions. Students shared their own cultures with each other and MAJS students are thrilled to visit Shinshu U next month too! 🥳🥳
Have you heard of a Japanese paper carve called “Erimono”? It is an unique Japanese paper carvings decorated on the square stage “Konawa”（神庭）, where the scared “Yokagura”( 夜神楽)* dance was performed. “Erimono” art piece represents good luck and has a variety of designs, such as the cosmic dual forces (yin and yang) ,the five elements, and the twelve Chinese zodiac signs.
MAJS is honoured to have Mr. Ueki, the Managing Director of Miyazaki Prefectural（宮崎県）Hong Kong Representative Office, as the “Erimono” instructor and shared with us the traditional culture, the myths, the art pieces , the food, and scenery from Miyazaki.
MAJS students enjoyed creating their own colourful paper carvings and were excited to learn more about Japanese culture outside classroom! 😊
*“Yokagura” , originated from Takachiho (高千穂) in Miyazaki prefecture, renowned as the birthplace of Japanese mythology, is a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property in Japan .
Mr. Ueki, Managing Director of the Miyazaki Prefectural HK Representative Office(Right) and Prof. Nakano (Left)
Erimono, the beautiful Japanese paper carving art
Shamisen is a traditional three-stringed instrument which is believed to be originated from Ryukyu Kingdom (Okinawa).
It can be served as an accompaniment to kabuki drama and narrative shows or played as a solo instrument.
In this activity, our Shamisen instructor, Mr. Kenneth Mak, who is currently a jun-natori （準名取）, has introduced the history of Tsugaru shamisen＜津軽三味線＞, which is deeply tied to the Tsugaru region of Aomori Prefecture.
MAJS students were thrilled to play Shamisen with great success! It was some rare and unforgettable experiences!
Japanese Origami is a Japanese traditional paper craft, and the term ‘origami’ refers to the art of folding paper to shape objects for entertainment purposes.
MAJS is honoured to invite an experienced Origami instructor – Ms. Misaki NAGAOKA, to host this workshop.
This is some precious and relaxing cultural experiences outside classrooms.
Our students learnt about the background knowledge of Origami and created their own beautiful and unique masterpieces!
Japanese Budo Festival is one of the programme events in “Japan Autumn Festival in Hong Kong – Rediscovering Nippon 2022”.
Thanks to one of our MA students, Mr. Alex Cheung, who possess in-depth knowledge in Japanese martial arts, has offered some free tickets exclusively for our fellow MA students to enjoy various Budo performances.
It was an exhilarating and valuable experience to our students!
Notes: There were 4 Japanese martial arts entities participating in the Budo Festival –
Mr. Alex Cheung (Middle) has kindly offered the entry tickets.
Little Karate experts from 「橋治會」preparing for the performance.
Here comes the first activity organized by MAJS student representatives!
A Campus Tour was held on 17th Sept 2022 especially for newly admitted year-one students.
Through this, they become acquainted with each other and the campus, thus contributing to their fulfilling study period.
Applause for our students’ effort to organize and run this tour!
The 2022 Orientation Meeting was held on 3 September 2022. Thank you for our students’ participation! Our Programme Director, Professor Lynne Nakano, has given a brief introduction of the MA programme and other points to note. We are very much delighted to meet with Year 1 new students, and are truly thankful to MAJS student representatives, alumni and current Year 2 students who has generously shared their study experiences.
This year, MAJS is celebrating our 10th Anniversary. It’s a pity that, due to continuing pandemic, we are not able to gather for any reception party.
In view of this, we have prepared a small gift to all participants on that day.
We hope students have benefited from the Orientation and would like the gift! ?
MAJS Programme Director: Prof. Lynne Nakano
A small gift to the participants