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Submitted by Virginie Marechal on 30/07/14 – 01:53

On this picture, from left to right : Yuko, Miki, Masuko et Atuko.


They are talking about the Japanese presentation in the RIDEF intercultural night, about the strong links between the Italian Freinet movement and the Japanese group, about their stay in Reggio...


"RIDEF Reggio has given us strength, we are happy to be here."

Translation French-Japanese by Masuko.

Good afternoon Ladies,

In the RIDEF intercultural night that took place on Sunday, the 27th of July, the Japanese performance has been very appreciated by the audience. How did you work together to prepare your presentation ?

First, we had decided to sing a song. Then, two, one in Japanese and one in Italian. As far as the Japanese song is concerned, we had to be familiar with it, so that everybody's here, coming from Japan, could know it. That's why we set our mind on a very famous song in Japan, related to homeland.

Then, we said to ourselves : "only songs, it's a bit sad, isnt'it ? ". Therefore, we took advantage of the presence among us of a very talented performer. We asked this artist to prepare a scene but under the condition that he should NOT try to make laugh, for the song is full of melancholy, speaking of a landscape gone for ever.

When the disaster happened in Northern Japan, we started to sing this song very often, because it expresses feelings of melancholy that we have suffered from all around our country. So, it is clear now that the Japanese presentation in the RIDEF night could not by funny.

However, as far as the second song is concerned, we wanted to sing in Italian, to express our friendship and gratitude for our Italian guests during the RIDEF. That's why it was a very happy song. And we were lucky to be able to rely on a very talented singer !


What are the connections between the Japanese group and the Italian Freinet movement ?

Our movement has been founded by Murata Eichi. He used to feel really close from the Italian Freinet pedagogical approach in Italy and he was keeping on saying that the MCE (Movimento di Cooperazione Educativa) is very interesting.

Indeed, since our arrival in Italy, we have already visited very interesting places such as Giancarlo Cavinato's or Leonardi Lenoetti's Schools, in Venice and Napoli... 

Finally, I would remind you that the Italian movement proposed Japan to the board of directors when our group applied for becoming a member of the FIMEM.

So, the Freinet partnership between Italy and Japan is old and strong. 


During the RIDEF, people were happy to experience body and/or creative workshops, prepared by Japanese members. What about this kind of workshops in Japanese schools ? 
In Japan, there are teachers and educators practicing Freinet pedagogy but there aren't "Freinet schools 100%" yet.

How did you choose your long workshops ? 

Atuko : As I don't speak foreign languages, I 've chosen a workshop where I thought I would'nt need to speak much : walk around the city. The language caused sometimes trouble but it's OK, it was not really a problem. 

And after all, I'm here in the RIDEF to experiment and face difficulties :)


According to you, how was your stay in Reggio during the RIDEF ? Which advice could you propose for the next RIDEF? 

The various places may be not so far from one another. Our hostel was very far away from Reggio Children Center. Meals were delicious. As far as communication is concerned, we regretted sometimes not to be able to follow discussions because of the languages. Perhaps could we ask for more English translations, for instance during the excursions ?

It's a long way from Japan to Reggio. Will you stay longer in Italy after the RIDEF ? 

 Yes, most of the Japanese people will go on travelling and visiting.

Do you find that the RIDEF 2014 has a positive impact ? 

Yes, the RIDEF has given us strenght. We are very happy to be here.  

Thanks a lot Masako, Yuko, Atako and Miki !