Exploring Japanese Culture at Central Kitsap High School

The Japanese Culture Club offers an easy and fun way to be able to explore Japanese culture in our community


Dani Crossen

Members of the Japanese Culture Club making their own mochi

by Dani Crossen, Reporter

Japanese Culture Club is a place at Central Kitsap High School where students gather to learn about Japanese language and culture. The club is held every Tuesday after school until 3:30 p.m. in Mr. Oishi’s room (3216). 

Originally, The Japanese Culture Club was founded the same year as the COVID pandemic by graduated senior Chris Lee, who passed down the club so it could continue to grow through its incoming students.

The President of the club is Keith Sager who has been the president for one year, the Vice President is Roger Shi who has been vice president for 2 years, and the Secretary is Marisa Oishi who has been secretary for 2 years.

Students do not have to be in the Japanese language class to join the Japanese Culture Club. There are no limitations to joining except your own. The club welcomes anyone who has any interest in joining and would like to increase their membership.

Mr. Oishi explaining how to make Mochi to the club (Dani Crossen)

There are “no requirements” to joining, Shi said. “You can be anyone from the escaped convict to the valedictorian.”

The club has expectations and goals that they have been working hard to meet. Their most widespread goal for the club is to help educate the community about and share Japanese culture.

“[We aim] to teach about Japanese culture,” Shi explained. “Japanese food is a big one.”

Beyond the activities and education the Japanese Culture Club provides, it can also prepare students seeking to travel abroad.

“This club is really important to me because I want to be an exchange in Japan my junior year,” said freshman Ailina Miller. “It’s helping me learn a lot of things, like food, what people do, how they dress.”

Additionally, the club aims to maintain a positive environment and have fun.

Shi loves that “there’s good food and we watch Studio Ghibli movies sometimes…it’s a good community.”

Furthermore, the club members expressed that they want to improve on having more engaging hands-on activities that are focused on learning in a more school-type style. 

“We always love more people who love to meet more people and are interested in Japanese culture,” Marisa Oishi said. “It’s a fun club. We eat mochi.” 

In one meeting, the club worked together to make mochi for a fun food project. They went over the instructions, watched a demonstration, then went right into making their own mochi. This activity not only showed one of the foods people eat in Japan but also was a great group bonding experience for the club.

All three of Shi’s mochis after they were made (Dani Crossen)

If you’re in the class, the club is a fun extra space to learn a little more about Japanese customs and language. 

“We aim to educate people about Japanese culture,” Shi emphasized.

The Japanese Culture Club at Central High School come together every Tuesday between 2:45 to 3:30 in Mr. Oishi’s room (3216). In their meetings they come together to learn about what life is like in Japan while also being able to experience it through the projects that they assign.