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Center Introduces Foreign Students to Japanese Culture

By: Jena Maddalino

Date Posted: 1999-11-19

The Cross-Cultural Communication Center (CCCC) was formed in 1991 with the primary objective of teaching Chinese and English. Shortly thereafter, the center began assisting returning second generation Japanese from South America to adapt to, and understand Japanese language and culture. Since its inception, the center has grown fast, and now annexes an accredited Japanese language school, which receives foreign students from around the world. Nestled between houses in a residential area of Ginowan City, the CCCC remains another hidden treasure of Okinawa.

When the CCCC first opened in 1991, the student body consisted mainly of adults returning to Okinawa from South America. Because Okinawa was considered a poor state, many Okinawans migrated to Peru, Argentina and Brazil in the early 1900’s to work in the field of industry. As the Japanese economy grew strong in the latter part of this century, the desire to return to Okinawa and Japan was strong for children and grandchildren with Japanese ancestry.

Eventually, the need to include more language classes grew, as children were returning to Okinawa with their parents. According to Akira Kosaka, a Japanese language instructor at the CCCC, “Japanese classes had to be expanded to accommodate younger children who were being placed into the Japanese School system and did not speak the language.”

Since 1993, programs have expanded widely. The school now sends students to China and the United States, cooperates with several foreign educational institutions and assists students from every continent now living in Japan.

The CCCC has also been working to help local municipalities conduct their training programs, through which they invite South American expatriates to give technical training to residents of Okinawa.

Currently, South American students, sponsored by Kitanakagusuku and Ginowan City, are attending classes. Every year, more than 10 local municipalities have exchange programs that allow students from Peru, Argentina and Brazil to come to Okinawa to learn both Japanese language and culture.

Despite its modest appearance, the CCCC is a strong force in the community, participating in local cultural events, such as calligraphy exhibition by foreign residents and Ikebana flower arrangements. The Center’s main mission remains to “cultivate young people who have the ability to work for the future of Asia and the global community”. According to center authorities, CCCC works with people of all ages, to develop an international awareness and understanding that transcends the barriers of race, nationality and language.

For more information about the CCCC, please contact Akira Kosaka at 098-893-6467.

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