When Ayane Hida from The University of Findlay visited our classes in January, she taught us about the importance of characters in Japanese culture. Many prefectures in Japan are known for their characters and these are used to increase tourism, sales, and create a sense of pride and unity within the community. All of our students used a pencil to draw up their own character ideas for Marysville and MHS/ECHS. There was a common theme of lions, turtles, and of course, corn. We narrowed it down to three designs. We picked them because they were similar in shape, simple, and had the cute factor.
Eve Hawley, Rachel Clarridge, and Aaron Schoby designed these 3.
This was the digitalized result:
Archie the tortoise is for Early College High School because they have a pet tortoise. It is also wearing a bandanna with gears, which symbolize the STEM school engineering focus.
Monarch the lion is for Marysville High School because our mascot is a monarch, a strong lion and leader. (Our version is so much cuter!)
The one in the middle, Corn-chan is just super cute and all the students in Marysville thought that corn was a symbol in our town.
We plan to utilize these characters as symbols of Marysville Japanese and sell shirts with them on it, as well as promote them during our culture events, honor society, etc.
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I am a high school Japanese teacher developing my own comprehensive and communicative Japanese program in Marysville, Ohio.