The curriculum stopped and all things Japanese were embraced at a school that offered students an authentic feel for the Land of the Rising Sun.
Calligraphy, origami, sushi, Taiko drumming and even the odd phrase enlightened dozens of 11 and 12-year-olds at Crookhorn College of Technology at their second annual Japan Day.
Darcey Lovegrove, 12, says: ‘It was a great experience. I learned a bit of Japanese and spoke to Japanese people which was absolutely brilliant.
‘I’ve always wanted to find out more about the culture and I particularly enjoyed making sushi, which I’m going to make at home in future.
‘The day has inspired me to learn even more about Japan and if I’m lucky one day I’ll have the chance to visit the country.
‘It would be amazing to be able to speak the language fluently.’
Tom Radford, 12, says: ‘Japan Day was the best thing I’ve done at Crookhorn so far, it was so different to anything I’ve ever experienced at school.
‘My favourite activity was the Taiko drumming – I was surprised to find I really enjoyed the music.
‘I also wrote my name in Japanese, but I realise it would be a very difficult language to learn as there’s no likeness whatsoever to English.
‘It was good to mix with Japanese people, who are all so friendly and cheerful. I’m definitely curious to learn more.’
Jack Bishop, 11, adds: ‘Japan Day was full of fun activities and gave me lots of new experiences.
‘My favourite were the drums and calligraphy. I learned a lot more in that day than I could ever have from a text book, which is great!’
Pupils from Purbrook Juniors came along for the event, which hosted several Japanese groups and businesses including members of the Japan Society and popular restaurant Yo!Sushi.
Youngsters also raised £50 in donations for the Japan Tsunami Appeal.
James Isherwood, the school’s international co-ordinator, says: ‘It was a brilliant day and gave the students a real feel for the Japanese culture.
‘Of course I can teach them about Japan in the classroom, but nothing beats learning about it from Japanese people and getting hands-on experience through the workshops.
‘It’s a fascinating culture – so different to our own, from the food to the traditions and even the language.’