MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Whether perfecting a kanji stroke or the stickiness of a rice ball, students entering seventh to 12th grades here can soak in some Japanese culture this summer.

Longtime Edgren High School Japanese culture and language instructor Hirotoshi Mikami is teaching several noncredit Japanese courses in July and August and leading students on field trips throughout northern Japan.

Students should sign up for a class to learn about local language and customs, Mikami said.

“This is so they can be an international person in Japan and to promote friendship,” he said.

Classes will include Japanese cooking and calligraphy. Field trips range from cherry picking to an overnight home stay in a small Hokkaido fishing village.

All classes and activities are free, except for two field trips (see below). The sign-up deadline is July 5.

Three classes run from July 5 to Aug. 4:

Basic Japanese and abacus, 9-9:50 a.m. Monday-Friday.

Basic kanji and calligraphy, 10-10:50 a.m. Monday-Friday.

Intermediate Japanese language workshop and cooking, 11-11:50 a.m. Monday-Friday.

The field trips — which on some days overlap with classes — are free, unless otherwise noted:

Cherry picking, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 6. Cost: 800 yen (about $6.89); 500 yen (about $4.30) for students 12 and younger.

Towada Nishi High School Culture Festival, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 7.

Iwanai Sea Festival and home stay, July 8-10. The cost (for train fare) is 18,000 yen (about $150); 9,000 yen (about $75) for 12 and younger.

Miss Ogawara Lake Contest, 9 a.m. to noon July 23.

Hosting Japanese students, July 27-29.

Nebuta Festival and home-stay, Aug. 5-6.

Sign up in Edgren’s front office from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call DSN 226-4377 for more information.

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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