KANSAI Close-up

[Columns]Love for Japan grows stronger

While studying Japanese religions, his love for Japan grew stronger and stronger. 'After graduation, I studied the Japanese language,' he said. In April 2000, Zelaya came to Japan as an assistant language teacher (ALT) at a junior high school in Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture. 'The school is Hiraizumi Junior High School, and local people call it 'Hirachu.'' Talking about Hiraizumi, the Chusonji Temple is imperative. 'Yes, it is a noted temple of the Tendai sect.' There was almost no foreigners in the city, and Zelaya spent his daily life surrounded by the Japanese language. He actively took part in local events and carried a portable shrine with only loincloth on in snow.
After his tenure ended, he passed a difficult international coordinator exam. Without hesitation, he chose Kansai as a place of assignment. 'I wanted to make sure with my own eyes about the temples and shrines in Kyoto and Nara I studied at my college.'
Kawachinagano City is quite eager about international exchanges. In July this year, the building of headquarters for that purpose 'KICCS' was completed. It is made up of the Citizens' Exchange Center and a library, and KIFA housed in KICCS holds various events.
In an event called 'Free Talking in English' in November, participants discussed about gestures and pantomime with Zelaya presiding over. It is comparative culture about gestures.