Stu­dents put com­pe­ti­tion to the sword

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - Pic­ture: Jon Gell­weiler

Australind Se­nior High School stu­dents David Kai­tani and Fletcher Cor­nish brought art, language and learn­ing to­gether to win the Art Speaks Ja­panese com­pe­ti­tion. In­spired by a painting of a sa­mu­rai, the Year 10 stu­dents won the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion with their wooden katana in­scribed with Ja­panese writ­ing on the pom­mel.

AUSTRALIND Se­nior High School language and art stu­dents David Kai­tani and Fletcher Cor­nish have won first place in the na­tional Ja­pan Foun­da­tion Art Speaks Ja­panese Com­pe­ti­tion.

The two Year 10 stu­dents were suc­cess­ful in the ju­nior sec­ondary sec­tion for in­di­vid­ual or pairs cat­e­gory, com­pet­ing against Year 7 to Year 10 stu­dents from across Aus­tralia.

Stu­dents had to use art­work from the foun­da­tion’s Ja­panese Language Education Kit, on dis­play at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, as in­spi­ra­tion for their en­tries.

The en­tries were also re­quired to in­clude Ja­panese writ­ing.

The Australind stu­dents de­cided to make a wooden katana sword and dis­play stand in­spired by the painting The Death of At­sumori.

“It was about a young sa­mu­rai who was killed and we ex­plained our sword as the sword of At­sumori,” David said.

The stu­dents made the wooden sword at home and researched tra­di­tional Ja­panese wrap­ping tech­niques for the grip.

“It’s all wood ex­cept for the wrap which is some black shoelace fab­ric but we looked up the proper way to wrap a Ja­panese sword hilt,” David said.

To in­clude language in the work, Ja­panese kanji writ­ing, to mean strength or courage, was in­scribed on the pom­mel.

David said they de­cided to en­ter a sculp­ture as some­thing dif­fer­ent from the other en­tries which of­ten were paint­ings or draw­ings.

“Ev­ery­one else nor­mally does a draw­ing or a painting, so we thought ‘what can we do that’s com­pletely dif­fer­ent to what any­one else has done’,” he said.

Ja­panese teacher Kate Hop­kins said it was the first time the school had en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion.

“It’s a fan­tas­tic ef­fort and it’s re­ally good that they’ve got the re­sult that they de­serve from the work they put in,” she said.

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