Japanese exchange students delight crowd at Tuesday assembly

Japanese exchange students performed at a Tuesday afternoon assembly in the Henry Tift Fine Arts Auditorium.

There are 15 students and two chaperones visiting Stratford this week. They arrived Monday and are being hosted by families of Stratford students. They attend Sakurai High School in Kurobe, Japan.

Kurobe is a sister city of Macon. Kurobe is the international home of YKK. The Macon YKK plant, which manufactures zippers, is one of the largest employers in the area and was the first Japanese-owned factory.

At Tuesday’s assembly, a video was shown about their school at home in Japan. It featured classes, clubs and sports at their high school.

Following the video, the visiting students performed a traditional dance using fans and wearing traditional clothing.

Noah Hill, Charlie Giles, Lily Howe and Emily Sheridan were selected from the audience to try on their Japanese costumes  and to learn the dance.

Students also were allowed to come up on stage to attempts at using a Japanese toy called the Kendama. 

The Japanese students spent four days in Lexington, Ky., before arriving in Macon. They will extend their stay until the weekend to participate in the opening festivities of the Cherry Blossom Festival, which begins on Friday.