You may have never realized you could bond with a group of students over your love of Naruto, Pokemon, or Ghibli, but with a Japanese school club you can do precisely that.
When you think of all the common school clubs (glee, theater, science, AV), you may not ever think about a Japanese club. However, with the appreciation for Japanese culture spreading around the globe, it’s a great idea to add a Japanese club to your school.
Here we’ll give you some ideas for your own unique Japanese club, the benefits of establishing one, and some essential fundraising ideas to keep your club well-funded.
The Various Types of Japanese School Clubs
You may want to establish a Japanese club that discusses and tries to experience every aspect of Japanese culture, or you may want a more specific type of club. Try one or any combination of these club ideas below to start your own unique Japanese club.
- Anime Club: Anime, a style of animation that originated in Japan, has gained popularity across the globe. An anime club could watch different movies or shows and discuss them together at meetings. Your club could even practice drawing in the different anime styles to learn new art techniques.
- Manga Club: Manga, a Japanese style of graphic novel or comic book, has millions of different books your club could explore and read together. Fullmetal Alchemist anyone? Encourage club members to share their favorite mangas and discover new ones together.
- Video Game Club: Many game companies such as Sega and Nintendo originate in Japan. You could set up a group to play games from Japanese companies and discuss their distinct cultural details. (Time to show off all those skills you have in Zelda.)
- Japanese Language Club: こんにちは! Perhaps your club can help people learn the Japanese language. At each club meeting, you can practice your skills and learn new words and phrases. Encourage native Japanese-speaking students to join so they can share their knowledge and expertise with others. Now we can finally learn what Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto means.
- Japanese Community Club: Students of Japanese descent may want to meet people who can relate to their upbringing and cultural traditions. A Japanese club can be a place of refuge for these students where they can talk about shared cultural experiences and even use the Japanese language freely. Who’s up for a game of shogi?
- Japanese Food Club: Everyone loves a food club. I mean, who can say no to miso ramen or fresh sushi? Start a Japanese food club where you cook and try different foods at every meeting.
- Japanese Music Club: Your music club could listen to songs in Japanese—J-pop for life!—or look into more traditional music forms. If any of your members are musical, they could even learn to play Japanese songs on their instruments.
If you want to try a bit of everything, use any or all of these ideas at your club meetings. Not only will you learn a lot about Japan and its traditions, but we can guarantee you’ll never feel bored!
The Benefits of Having a Japanese School Club
Any school club can have a host of benefits for the students involved—just look at The Breakfast Club. A Japanese club can lead to some awesome benefits that help students grow socially and expand their knowledge of Japanese culture.
The Educational Benefits
Hey, this is happening at school, right? Impress the administration with these undeniable educational perks.
1. Promote Multiculturalism
As students learn more about the culture and entertainment styles produced in Japan, they can develop a respect and appreciation for different people and traditions. This may lead students to become more open and accepting.
2. Enhance Language Skills
As students learn new Japanese words and phrases, they’ll develop language skills. This could lead to better communication with Japanese speakers and help students communicate with others throughout their life.
3. Foster Creativity
We often learn new art by observing others, feeling inspired, and experimenting for ourselves. As students experience new art forms, their creativity will grow, encouraging them to develop their own forms of artistic expression.
4. Develop Helpful Life Skills
Any club requires teamwork and leadership among its members. As the members of the club plan meetings, activities, and fundraisers, they develop valuable life skills such as problem-solving, organizational abilities, and teamwork.
The Social and Emotional Benefits
Not all learning is the sort you can find in a textbook. Check out the ways your Japanese school club can help students become more socially and emotionally adjusted.
1. Create a Community
As students join the Japanese school club, they’ll get to be part of something bigger than themselves and build relationships with others in the club. This helps students develop a sense of belonging and community.
2. Encourage Cross-Cultural Connections
A Japanese school club celebrates Japan, and as it does, it encourages club members to embrace another culture, seeking understanding and friendship across ethnicities.
3. Boost Self-Confidence
Japanese school club membership can help students boost their confidence and self-esteem as they build friendships with people who have similar interests. Another bonus is if any student of Japanese descent joins the club, they may feel appreciated and celebrated, helping them develop greater confidence and feelings of self-worth.
4. Provide a Safe Space for Self-Expression
As the club explores different aspects of Japanese culture, students will find themselves in a safe place where they can connect with others and express their interests, thoughts, and feelings in a way they may not be able to do outside the club.
Fundraising Ideas for Japanese School Clubs
All clubs need to find ways to raise money and support their group. Luckily, with a Japanese or Anime club, there are three different fundraiser categories and many unique ways to fundraise so you can find donors quickly to help students celebrate their love of Japanese culture.
1. Organize Cultural Events and Performances
- Food Festival: Host a food festival where attendees can pay for different Japanese meals, drinks, or snacks your group has prepared. (You’ll probably need to brush up on your cooking skills first, though.) You can even ask local Japanese food vendors to donate their products to your cause.
- Cooking Workshop: Host a Japanese cooking class where people pay to learn how to make foods like sushi, ramen, or mochi. Not that we don’t think you’re a great chef or anything, but maybe you should find a local Japanese chef to teach the class?
- Anime Screening: Organize an anime screening with your group’s favorite show or movie and charge people for tickets and snacks. It’s kind of the best type of fundraiser because after counting the money, you get to sit back and enjoy a movie (even better if it’s Princess Mononoke).
- Manga Convention: Host a manga convention where people pay an entry fee to share their favorite mangas and discuss. Turn it into a mini anime/manga-con and encourage people to dress up.
- Language Classes: You’ll find many people interested in attending a Japanese language class, even with a nominal entry fee. Have a native Japanese speaker teach and help people learn more about their language. (How do you say “you’ve got this” in Japanese?)
- Cultural Workshops: Have a workshop night where people pay to learn more about popular Japanese practices like origami or calligraphy. You may end up with a handful of badly folded paper cranes, but hey, at least you’ll have fun!
- Traditional Tea Ceremony: A formal Japanese tea ceremony is a very serene event with specific rules and practices—so try not to trip! Host a traditional tea ceremony where attendees can participate in this fascinating facet of Japanese culture.
- Collaborate With Local Groups: Find a local group that performs traditional Japanese dances or theatre performances and see if they’ll help you with a fundraiser performance. After all, what’s better than an evening full of Noh or Kabuki?
- Host Fundraising Trips: If you have Japanese monuments, religious buildings, or restaurants in your area, organize a trip! Charge a fee and make sure you’ve studied and know your stuff. Did we mention you’re playing tour guide?
- Halloween Party and Cosplay Contest: Many people in the community create intricate cosplay costumes to celebrate their favorite anime-style characters. Host a party where you charge for admission and hand out prizes for the best costumes. To make it even more competitive, make sure your anime club members compete as well.
- Cosplay Workshop: As we said before, lots of people like to cosplay. Learn some essential cosplay tips like how to build foam armor, makeup tips, or some simple sewing skills. Then host a workshop where you can share these skills with paying attendees. Who knows, you may even finally finish that cosplay you’ve been working on for Comic-Con.
- Karaoke Event: Host a karaoke party with Japanese songs and lyrics. Charge people for entry and extra for snacks. You could even offer prizes to whoever does the best performance. Always remember: The more strobe and disco lights, the better.
- Anime Cafe: Set up a classroom during lunchtime or find a different location to turn into a cafe outside of school hours. Decorate your space to the nines with your group’s favorite anime colors and characters. We’re talking napkins, lamps, centerpieces—everything! Play music from the anime you chose and sell themed snacks.
- Climb Mount Fuji: Fuji-san stands 12,389 feet tall. Start a competition where people can sponsor club members to walk the entire 12,389 feet in a set amount of time. (Don’t worry—you can walk it locally and all on level ground.) If your club members reach the goal in time, their sponsors donate a financial reward.
- Scavenger Hunt: Create cardboard cutouts or print pictures of anime and manga characters and hide them at popular spots around your school or town. Let paying contestants enter and try to find and take a picture with all the images. The first teams to finish can win small prizes.
- Pokemon Trivia: Host a Pokemon-themed trivia event with an entry fee. Ask questions about the shows, names of Pokemon, evolutions, and anything else you think would stump people. (What does Bulbasaur evolve into? Anyone?) Have prizes ready for the winners.
2. Sell products
If you don’t want to organize an event (we get it, they can involve a ton of work!), MoneyDolly makes it easy to sell your own products through the MoneyDolly app. Your Japanese or anime club could sell things like:
- Merchandise brought back or purchased from Japan
- Customized club apparel
- Japanese food items your club has made or shipped from Japan
- Japanese language books to help people learn to speak Japanese
- Manga books
- Installments of a manga series your club works together to create
- Private Japanese lessons with a native Japanese speaker
One of the best ways to raise money quickly for a school club is to reach out to people directly through peer-to-peer fundraising and ask for cash donations. (Time to whip out those phones, people!) Reach out to your family and friends and ask them to support your club with a donation.
See how it works with MoneyDolly and how our simple peer-to-peer fundraising process can help your club reach your goals and get all the funds you need.
Choose MoneyDolly and Help Fund Your Japanese School Club
There are so many reasons your school should start a Japanese club. Not only will students benefit from it now and learn valuable life skills, but the cultural information they learn can benefit them throughout their entire lifetime.
Always remember that when you start a club, you need to have a plan for keeping it afloat. Using MoneyDolly as your guide through your fundraising efforts will ensure you have the money you need to do what you love and keep your club alive and its participants thriving.
When you decide it’s time to start your own Japanese club at your school and you need to raise some quick money to get it going, let MoneyDolly handle the fundraising side of things.