New Programs and Workshops at Tonari Gumi!!

Starting in April, Tonari Gumi will be introducing a number of new programs and workshops.  In order to meet the needs of a wider number of participants, in 1 Coveraddition to new daytime programs, we will also have some programs taking place on evenings and on the weekends.  Unless otherwise indicated, the fee schedules are based on a 10 – 12 week term and differ based on age and membership in the following order:  Member (senior), Member (non-senior), Non-member (senior) and Non-member (non-senior).  Seniors are defined as those 60 years or older.   In addition to our wide variety of existing programs, the following new programs during the day on weekdays will be introduced:

  • Homebound Program:  led by Tonari Gumi staff, this program takes place weekly from April 7 to June 30, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm.  Designed for seniors who have difficulties in going out on their own or are in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s.  During the morning part of each session, there will be a light exercise program designed to each participant’s level.  Next, there will be a home-style Japanese lunch prepared by our volunteers.  While eating a wholesome lunch, seniors will have the chance to relax and socialize.  In the afternoon, seniors will be able to choose from among various activities such as karaoke, folk dance, craft making, some computer & tablet instruction, games, etc. based on heir own interests.  On days when the weather is nice, some outings and shopping excursions are also possible.  Cost is $10 per session (Japanese lunch included).  Please discuss with Tonari Gumi if transportation assistance is required.
  • Advanced Japanese Language Class:  taught by Takashi Sugawara, an experienced Japanese language instructor, on 10 Mondays between April 7 – June 23 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm.  This program is for those who already read and write hiragana and katakana and can conduct a conversation in Japanese.  In particular, this program is for those whose Japanese language studies have been interrupted, but who wish to continue.  This class is directed to those who have motivation to learn and wish to take this opportunity.  This is your chance to really speak and listen to Japanese.  For those wishing to further improve their Japanese writing skills, assistance will be provided.  Fees per term are $30/$45/$37/$55 based on age and Tonari Gumi membership.
  • Japanese Flower Arrangement (Ikenobo): taught by Rinko Horiuchi, a certified instructor, in Japanese, on 10 Tuesdays from April 15 – June 17, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm.  This class is designed for those new to flower arranging and will start from the basics.  In addition to the program fees, there will be a small cost for materials.  Details regarding vases, etc. to be used in the class will be communicated to participants.  Fees per term are $30/$45/$37/$55 based on age and membership.
  • Tablet Computer Workshop: taught by Izumi Tagawa, an experienced instructor, in Japanese in two sessions on Tuesdays: A – 6 sessions between April 8 – May 13 at 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm; B – 6 sessions between May 20 – June 24 at 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm.  The workshop will focus on introducing the use of tablet computers (where all you have to do is use your finger to push applications) to seniors to access the internet and send e-mails and photos.  Even if you don’t have your own tablet, you will be able to use some tablets available at Tonari Gumi.  Fees per session are $18/$27/$22/$33 based on age and membership.
  • Workshops on taking photos, using kimono materials to make new items, etc. are also available.IMG_0072

The following evening and weekend classes will also be offered starting in April to accommodate a wider audience of those who are busy during the day on weekdays.  Some examples are as follows:

  • Woodworking lessons: taught by Isao Nakasone, a professional Japanese woodworker, participants will create a small Japanese style chest over 10 Saturdays between April 5 – June 14 from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon.  Classes will take place in his workshop and the fee $750 includes all materials and use of his equipment.  Instruction will be mainly in Japanese, but guidance can also be provided in English.
  • Beginner Acting Workshop: taught by Yayoi Hirano, a professional Japanese dancer and actress, classes will be held on 10 Tuesdays from April 8 – June 10 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm.  Fees for the term are $200.
  • Childrens’ Mime Workshop: taught by Yayoi Hirano, professional Japanese dancer and actress, classes will be held on 3 Saturdays, April 26, May 10, May 24 from 10:00 – 11:30 am.  fees for the term are $50.
  • Digital SLR Camera Photo Lessons: taught by Koichi Saito, a professional photographer, to be held on 4 Tuesdays between May 6 – 27 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm.  $150 for the 4 sessions.
  • Needle Felting Workshop: taught by Yuki Nickolickhuk, professional craftsperson, in one session on Saturday, May 24 from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon.  $35 for the session, including materials.

Detailed information on all of the programs, activities and workshops that will be taking place at Tonari Gumi from April to June 2014 and full registration information can be accessed in Japanese and English from the following link: