Class Ideas

Let's design a costume for a "gotochi" or "local" idol groups

Author:Yoko Nishimura-Parke

Topic/Goals:Connection、Self, Family, and Friends、Social Life、Take Action


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Students will read the article of Shimon-chu, a local idol group, and research Shimon-chu’s local area. Students will have an opportunity to reflect on their own local area and culture. Creative tasks include acting out an interview with Shimon-chu and designing a costume for a local idol group.


• Explore the culture of local idols in Japan.
• Research Ibaragi prefecture, the local area of Shimon-chu.
• Learn about onomatopoeia.
• Rediscover their own local area and culture through discussion and research.
• Design a costume for an imaginary idol group of their own local area, write an explanation in Japanese and present to the class.

Target Senior high school level or higher
Japanese Level Advanced
What to prepare


1. Questions to help students' comprehension
a) What kind activities does Shimonchu do?
b) What is the reason all three girls gave as to why they become idols?
c) When do they feel happy?
d) How does their "usual self" change when they perform as idols?
e) What do the Shimonchu members mean to each other?

2. Research and discussion points
f) Shimonchu is a group from Ibaraki prefecture. Check where Ibaraki prefecture is on a map. Research Ibaraki's places of interest and local specialities. Share your findings with your classmates.
g) Find examples of onomatopoeia in the handout. What do you think they mean? Do you have onomatopoeia in your language? Give examples of how you use them.
h) Imagine your local government office recruits members of an idol group to promote the area. What kind of activities would you suggest they do?
・ The things that can be promoted in your area, e.g., speciality products, well-known places, and so on.
・ Effective ways of promoting such products or places.
i) Additional question: Compare each pair. Discuss how くれるchanges the nuance of the sentence.
・ A1ファンが遠(とお)い所(ところ)から見に来てくれた時
・ A2ファンが遠(とお)い所(ところ)から見に来た時
・ B1ステージでファンが名前をよんでくれる時
・ B2ステージでファンが名前をよぶ時

3. Creative task 
j) In groups, act out an interview with Shimonchu members. First, create questions and write out the possible answers for each member, e.g., age, hobbies, and so on. Practice the interview and act it out in class.
k) Imagine your local government office recruits an idol group to promote the area. Design the costume for the members.
1. Visit 2017 Idol Select 10 ( and see the variety of costumes.
2. Note how the costumes affect the image of the group.
3. If you like, consider how you can reflect your local specialities and characteristics in your design.
4. Draw your design of the costume and write the description in Japanese.
5. Present in your class.

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