Monday, February 10, 2014

Spring 2014 Newsletter

1. Reinforced publicity of IAK activities

Since IAK was incorporated in 2012 we have strongly felt it necessary to enhance our communication network with members and feed information of IAK’s diversified activities and events as planned. Last October new organization of “Administrative Secretariat” attached to the Board was launched to comply with such situation and function accordingly as follows:
  1. To deliver information on corporate activities or any event related and interacted over divisional territory,
  2. To install the new column of “ Message from Administrative Secretariat(Admin.Sect.)” on Home-Page, and notify any upcoming event there and send such information to each member by e-mail, faxmile or telephone. This is not one-way message but bi-lateral communication means so as to exchange any response/question between recipients and Admin. Sect. ( or tel/fax 0267-454101) In fact, the notices of UK Day in November and End-year Party in December were dispatched to all members for their participation in them.
  3. Individual division such as Friendship Div. continues to upload its monthly event schedule on Home-Page and,
  4. Admin.Sect. will publish Newsletter every 4 months by hearing from members of their opinion, essay etc.

Finally we request and welcome the members to work for Admin. Sect. voluntarily to alleviate man-power shortage for the above arrangements.



Ten IAK members climbed Togakushiyama on Saturday, October 19. The challenge to that 20 meters also walk the steep ridge, known as "the path of Ali".

On Monday, November 4 four IAK members climbed Mount Myogi. The fog in Karuizawa was dense to start, but eventully burned off by the time we reached the summit. It was an enjoyable time.。

★Afternoon SpeakEasy
Tea parties were held on the 2nd and 4th Thursday in the afternoon at Komorebi-no-sato. Since the Fall season began, the theme of each meeting had a representative speaker share about their experience living in a foreign country. We learned about the culture of English hoi polloi, society and politics of Taiwan, the state of affairs in Shanghai, recent Russia, Thanksgiving in the US, and life in Germany. Participants asked questions and enjoyed engaging conversations related to the topics.

For people who can’t attend evening SpeakEasies, these afternoon gatherings are a great alternative. Our winter season topics are focused on future activities of IAK and we welcome you to share your opinions.

★UK Day
In the afternoon of Nov 17 Sun the event was held at Hotel Wellies. Mr. Chris Price, an IAK member who is an English man to live with his family in Karuizawa and to run the Hotel, made the presentation of the changes of UK in traditional concept and UK today by showing verbally and visually the following examples: Changing guards at Buckingham Palace vs football game, notorious British dishes vs todays cuisine influenced by multi-national cooking, integration and disintegration of immigration in UK society – lessons to Japan, quality journalism (BBC) vs the tabloids etc , followed by questions and answers. Later 44 attendees enjoyed tea party having homemade cakes, snacks and tea provided by the Prices.

★iPhone/iPad Seminar
On December 23, Mr. Garry Kline led a class for users of iPhone and iPad to learn tips for their practical use. There were 9 attendees and they met in the NakaKaruizawa Library on the 2nd floor training room. Additional classes will be held in the future, so please plan to join in the fun.

★Year-end Party

In the freezing evening covered with snow of Dec 21 Sat, members had annual gathering at Morishita-Bokuso. Before opening at 7 o’clock many attendees arrived around 6 o’clock. Shortly after snacks and beverages were served, music performance by members started: Hawaiian band with Hula dancing, Western Country music, Concerto of piano and cello, Japanese folk songs and Rock music band. It was really a great fun.

100 attendees drove back home after 3-hour enjoyment, in the star-lit and cold night, dreaming of white Christmas.

Member's activities outside IAK

International School of Asia, Karuizawa (ISAK): Corporate Member

ISAK will open its door to its first class of high school students in August, 2014. Located in Karuizawa (in Asama Terrace, part of the Sengataki resort area), ISAK is the first full-boarding international school in Japan to be approved by the Japanese government as a regular high school. The school is currently preparing to accept its first 50 students for grade 10. ISAK plans to welcome students from a diverse range of backgrounds, mainly from the Asia-Pacific region, with the mission of developing transformational leaders who will be the change-makers of the future.
An overview of the school is as follows.

1. Language of instruction:  English
2. Class size:  10-18 students per class
3. Starting Faculty: 7 highly experienced faculty members from around the world
4. Diploma: Japanese high school diploma and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma (ISAK is a candidate school for the IB Diploma Programme)
5. Fees: Tuition 2.5million yen (annual), room and board 1 million yen (annual)
6. Applicant information for academic year 2014:
ISAK will accept 50 students (boys and girls) who will have completed three years of middle school education as of August, 2014.
ISAK plans to accept 30% of its students from Japan and 70% from overseas.
ISAK will be offering financial assistance (full and partial scholarships) to up to 50% of the students, regardless of their nationality or country of residence.

For further information, visit ISAK’s website (

2nd potluck exchange meeting
Our 2nd potluck exchange meeting was held at the central Karuizawa community center auditorium on Saturday, January 25. Ten booth participants took part as cuisine providers on behalf of IAK. Though we had 4 fewer booth participants this year,  we collectively had 30 minutes more cooking time which led to a grand event that was very well received by the attendees. Thanks to everyone who participated.

★LULU Hawaiians

Four members of IAK also participate in LULU Hawaiians, a Hawaiian music and hula lovers group that formed 2 years ago. Their motto is have fun doing live music and dancing. They are welcoming anyone interested to participate to join in their bi-weekly practice sessions at LULU Hawaiians Cafe. Come to enjoy Hawaiian coffee and the Hawaiian mood. You can play, or listen and dance. Email Mr.Murata for details

Member-Submitted Articles

To Be, Or Not To Be A Driver
Safely driving a car is, I believe, very important for us to live in Karuizawa for convenience and independence. As an aging baby boomer representing over a quarter of the town population, I sometimes feel that driving is no longer a pleasure. In wondering what makes others decide to retire from driving, I found three remarkable foreign movies that showcase stereotypical aging drivers.
The “Le Salaire de la Peur” driver drives below the posted speed limit, typically only for errands. They don’t adjust to the flow of traffic, often follow too close or cut into the line abruptly. If this is you or someone you know, it’s a good time to discontinue driving.
The “Driving Miss Daisy” driver stops getting behind the steering wheel after countless close calls and property damage. Having a cooperative character and listening to advice from family members are essential.
The “Grey Dawn” driver believes driving is a fundamental human right. Safety takes a backseat to self-reliance. Frequent and objective evaluations of one’s driving capability is necessary to determine when it’s time to leave the driving to someone else.
With these examples in mind, where do we go from here? Technology may hold the key.
Non-Driver-Vehicles (NDVs) are being extensively tested on public roads by American companies while Japanese makers hope to implement Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) within the next five or six years. Am I willing to be a guinea pig for using a car with a blunder-proof assist system that drives itself, following behind other cars? Of course, car makers do not recommend being completely dependent on such a system. Progress is being made on the ability to detect road conditions, but propositions to accept NDVs are vague with regard to traffic laws and an intelligent road system. To enjoy this new technology we must be willing to try it out for ourselves.
So how about another approach, changing our lifestyle?
Without coming to a clear decision when to stop driving, how about simply enjoying being a passenger? Not being behind the wheel can slow down the aging process and improve our lifestyle. If self reliance and bringing solidarity to our community are important, we should be willing to embrace technology or change our habits. Let’s put the brakes on to driving ourselves and try to enjoy walking, or using public transportation. Perhaps one day, technology might make delays in travel a thing of the past.
(Shigeru Dozono)

★Situation of French Kindergarten and Elementary School
In France, they can not enter kindergarten unless a potty trained child.
 Kindergarten teacher think that“ it is not duty to change diapers”.
Doesn’t its to seems very strict??? On the other hand you see the lot of toys in the class room. They are even allowed to bring their favorite toys and pacifier for their afternoon nap.
Kindergarten and Elementary School are closed on Wednesday. And each School day is extended.
Lunch is specially provided for children who’s parents are working. As a general rule children are lunch at home.
As regulation, parents must always company their children back and forth to School. There for if they have lunch at home, they have to make 4 round trips in one day.
There fore when this happens, it is inevitable that traffic congestion occurs in the vicinity of the Schools. (Kobayashi Hiroko)

Editor's note

★IAK Membership Card

Have you received your Membership Card?

Those who do not receive your card yet or who received card but wrong spell, please contact IAK Administrative Secretariat

Any change of information please contact IAK as well.

(IAK Administrative Secretariat)