Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press


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Beyond the classroom: trip to Japan

Every year, the Japanese teacher Motoko Abe Sensei hosts a once in a lifetime chance to go on an international trip to Japan for Liberty students and their friends. 

Abe started doing this trip a little after she got to Liberty. 

“If I include covid years, it would be seven,” Abe said. 

At the beginning of the year, she announces the trip to get a headcount of who likes the idea of going. From then, Abe sends the students a canvas email with details.

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One important step in planning the trip is holding an informational meeting, where she talks about possible itinerary and the structure of the trip, like rooming or your travel group. 

“She gives us plenty of time to choose our roommates and group for the trip,” sophomore Corbin Honey said. Making the travel group can be easy as the trip is open to a variety of people, such as friends and parents. 

After the groups are finalized, students are able to choose their itinerary which can differ from group to group. Abe enjoys seeing her students grow and immerse themselves in Japanese culture. 

“I like that students are able to find new things,” Abe said.

Once the students get to Japan, they go to the hotel, settle down, and now it’s time to explore. There is the chance to explore the different cities of Japan such as Kyoto, Tokyo, or Nara, which is known for their deers. 

“It’s fun to see their reactions when they see what they’ve been researching online and learning in class,” Abe said. 

Abe and her students returned from their week in Japan on Sunday, April 14th at 8 p.m., and she showed up to teach bright and early the next day. 

Abe’s dedication to Japanese class at Liberty shows why she encourages students to take Japanese.

“If they’re interested in Japanese and Japanese culture, why not? It’s a good experience for them to expand their world and it’s very different from English,” Abe said. 

Abe has been teaching for a total of eighteen years, ten of which have been at Liberty. 

“I was teaching in a private school before but I switched because I wanted to teach more students,” Abe said, “I like helping people. It’s interesting to help people. Ever since I was in middle school I had helped people learn and study.” 

In her class, she gives a variety of ways for students to learn about Japanese culture. 

“She lets us make paper bentos and watch different Japanese animations to see the culture,” sophomore Lauren Kim said. 

As the only teacher in the Japanese department at Liberty, she manages all six periods herself. 

“I’m always connected with Issaquah and Skyline Japanese teachers and I just do my best to teach,” Abe said. 




About the Contributor
Alexis Phung
Alexis Phung, Staff Writer
Alexis Phung is a sophomore at Liberty High School. She is a staff writer on the Liberty Patriot Press, and will be playing Liberty tennis in the Spring. Alexis can be found at your nearest Safeway because she loves to eat.