Gene's Japan Trip DVD

As part of a Sasakawa short-term fellowship in Japan, New Zealand teacher of Japanese Kosaku Kimura and his former Year 13 student Gene Devonshire, produced a unique DVD which is available to schools teaching Japanese. This resource comprises 22 clips in which Gene 'discovers' Japan.

What's included

To add value, we have produced an accompanying guide in booklet form to help teachers use the DVD and create worksheets to develop intercultural competence in their students. The clips vary in length from two minutes to 12 minutes and cover the following locations: supermarket, convenience store, capsule hotel, Japanese inn, house, game centre, shrine, sushi, elementary school, high school, transport, the Imperial Palace, Asakusa, Tokyo, Kyoto, Uzumasa movie village, Nara, Osaka, Kobe and Himeji, Kurashiki, and Hiroshima.

The guide offers suggestions for questions and activities for each clip which encourage an exploratory and reflective approach to 'culture'.

Gene's Japan trip guide booklet (1,135 KB)

Alternative digital format

To add further value, Michelle Lodge of Botany Downs Secondary College has converted all clips into unlisted Youtube links. If you are interested in using the digital version, please contact us. We will send the links to any school which has a copy of the DVD set. It is then possible, using Google docs, to embed the videos into the printable version of the booklet. 

Not sure how to use Google docs or Youtube? Sian Waite, Botany Downs Secondary College, has produced a user-friendly step-by-step guide.

Google Docs and Youtube guide (12,352 KB)

How to order

We have re-published this resource twice and now have 20 copies available for sale for $15.00. Please contact us to order your copy.

Kiwi Tsunami Documentary Video

Kiwi Tsunami is an entertaining documentary about Japanese-speaking Kiwis living in Japan. The subjects include TV karaoke stars, an IT multimillionaire, a shearer-showman, an equestrian trainer, an enterprising caterer, a (JET) office worker, a media wrangler (all of whom live in Japan) and a lawyer in New Zealand. Designed for ease of use in the classroom, each profile is presented with and without English subtitles so that students at all levels may benefit. Kiwi Tsunami shows how Japanese language opens doors via a collection of 'success stories'.

Heath Cozens, the creator of Kiwi Tsunami has worked in Japan for many years. He started out teaching English in Japan in 1995 then worked for three years as a part-time researcher/presenter for a radio show called ‘Kiwis in Kansai’. He has also translated and worked as an interpreter and production manager for other documentaries produced in Japan.

In 2010, then National Japanese Language Adviser Junko Tomooka worked with Heath Cozens to convert the video to DVD.

How to order

20 copies of the DVD and an accompanying booklet remain in stock. Please contact us to request a copy.

NZJNET: Email list for teachers of Japanese

NZJNET was set up in 2001 and has become a popular and powerful tool for information-sharing amongst teachers of Japanese. It is also used by the Sasakawa Programme Co-ordinator, and others, as the primary medium for advertising new opportunities, scholarships, grants and more for teachers and students.

To subscribe:
Send an e-mail to You will then get an email asking you to confirm that you want to join. Hit reply and send (no extra text is needed in this reply email).

To unsubscribe:
Scroll right to the bottom of any NZJNET message and click on 'unsubscribe'.

Japanese Sister Schools and Homestays DVD

Belinda Sydenham and her Baradene College students produced a 50 minute, 8 chapter DVD about their experiences as homestay students, and at their sister schools in Sapporo and Tokyo in May 2008. The DVD also includes footage of one of the students visiting a friend in a traditional Japanese rural village, and shows a day in the life of a student in a rural school.

How to order

20 copies remain in stock. Please contact us to request a copy.

Running school trips to Japan

Under contract to Sasakawa, Eric Lindblom of Opihi College maintains a website for teachers about running school trips to Japan.

Teachers who have received Sasakawa scholarships to assist with costs of their school trips to Japan, are asked to complete a questionnaire about their trip upon their return and to provide an example of an activity that they used successfully before, during or after the trip. This valuable advice and experience is used to keep the site up-to-date, along with other contributions from teachers.


Lesson kits

'What a Relief': teaching resources based on Japanese in the New Zealand Curriculum

At the beginning of 1999, 'What a Relief' kits were launched at Massey University's College of Education. The kits comprise three separate sets of stand-alone lessons with full instructions, worksheets, CDs and more. This resource follows the eight levels of the ‘Japanese in the NZ Curriculum (MinEd 1998) document and offers appropriate activities, worksheets and audio texts that follow these language learning progressions. They were designed originally for use by relief teachers with no background in Japanese but have also been used widely by regular Japanese language classroom teachers. The kits comprise 152 lessons. Please contact us to request free sample lessons or indexes of any set.

Prices (exclusive of GST):

Set 1: Levels Intro, 1 and 2: $59 (32 lessons) 
Set 2: Levels 3, 4, 5: $74 (56 lessons) 
Set 3: Levels 6, 7, 8: $59 (64 lessons) 

In 2007 the cassettes were converted to CDs. Teachers who already have the cassettes, and would like to upgrade to CDs, can purchase these separately at the following prices (all prices include postage and GST):

Set 1: (Levels Intro, 1 and 2): 2 CDs: $15
Set 2: (Levels 3, 4, 5): 4 CDs: $25
Set 3: (Levels 6, 7, 8): 2 CDs: $15

Or the full set for $50.

For more information about what's contained in the lesson kits please download the PDF index:

What a relief lesson indexes (543 KB)

Or download the order form below to get your lesson kit:

Relief kit order form (220 KB)

Intern guidelines

A number of primary, intermediate, secondary and area schools in New Zealand are making use of a Japanese intern/assistant to assist with the learning and teaching of Japanese, as well as to familiarise pupils with the culture and conventions of Japan.

These interns are secured via a range of agencies. They are young people, usually in their early 20s, who wish to improve their English and experience another country's way of life.

With the introduction of Japanese language into the curriculum in an increasing number of primary and intermediate schools, some schools see the intern as the natural teacher of this subject. The extent to which the intern is used in this capacity raises a number of issues.

In recognition of these issues, our management committee commissioned the writing of a booklet to offer guidelines to schools for the best use of their Japanese intern's time, consistent with established professional practice and current regulations. It is acknowledged that while hosting an intern can be extremely beneficial to a school, it can also be a lot of hard work. This booklet seeks to offer ways to maximise the benefits and keep the work manageable.

These guidelines are intended for all schools: primary, intermediate and secondary. They have been prepared both for classroom teachers of Japanese and senior management in the schools. The guidelines include a section of practical classroom activities.

Dr Adele Scott, Education Consultant, wrote the material in 2000. Adele has had many years experience in teaching Japanese at secondary schools and consulted widely both in New Zealand and Australia while researching for the booklet.

The term intern is used throughout these guidelines to refer to any Japanese native speaker helper in the classroom. In many cases the intern is an unpaid volunteer who is untrained and unqualified to teach Japanese. Some schools employ a native speaker assistant under a subsidised scheme. Many of the points mentioned in these guidelines are also relevant for schools employing paid assistants.

Booklets have been provided free of charge to all schools known to be teaching Japanese. Please contact us for further information, or download a copy of the guidelines below.

Intern guidelines (343 KB)

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