Japan International Society

Can you believe that we have more than 100 different societies (besides the sport clubs!)here at Essex?! Ranging from musical, to political, to cultural societies – they are a core element of student life, making it so easy to find like-minded people, to pick up your favourite hobby from home again, or to try something new!

In my first year I decided to join the Japan society. Unlike some might assume, it is not only tailored to Japanese students– actually, I barely knew any Japanese words, nor was I particularly into Anime, I was simply interested in Japanese culture. Three years later, I am part of the committee and can frankly say that joining the Japan society definitely enriched my student experience here!

lang class

The Japan society has loads going on, offering weekly language classes on two proficiency levels and a range of other fun activities throughout the year.

There is one language class for beginners and one for advanced Japanese learners, if you already know Hiragana and Katakana (the Japanese alphabets) and you love to be challenged, don’t be afraid to try joining the latter class! The lessons are held by Japanese students, who will not only teach you the language, but introduce you to typical Japanese traditions and festivals in a short presentation before the actual classes start. Those classes are also the perfect opportunity for any Japanese students who wish to gain some volunteering experience!

Besides language classes, our most frequent and popular events have been food sharing events! It is so beneficial having members from various cultural backgrounds, so we could not only try delicious Japanese dishes, but also get to know the cuisine from other countries!

Are you interested in learning how to roll your own sushi? Come, learn and eat! 🙂


And of course, we couldn’t miss having the occasional karaoke evening!


karaoke 2

Sometimes we went to Level Up to play some pool,…


…other times we organised game evenings,…

game evening

…or celebrated traditional Japanese festivals, such as Setsubun (Bean-Throwing-Festival).

bean throwing

japanese soc

Like other societies, we participated in the annual Winter Fayre, where we sold sushi (very xmassy indeed(!), but it’s just delicious all year around, so we have been sold out within less than two hours!)

One of my personal highlights is the annual BBQ the Japan society will hold in summer after exams by the lakes!


Overall I met Japanese people from different regions in Japan, making my list of to-go places there grow longer and longer; I also got to know people from all other parts the world, sharing the same interest in Japanese culture like me! I had the opportunity to get involved in volunteering events and to explore many aspects of Japanese culture, so if you are looking for a fun, outgoing an really active society, I can’t recommend joining the Japan society enough!


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