Hayward-Sado Program

Sado Visiting Mt. Eden January 2017

Sado Teacher with Sado Students Mt. Eden High School Library January 2017

Sado-Hayward Exchange Club

The Sado and Hayward High School Exchange Club was a fixture at Hayward High School from 1971 to 1983. It was started about 35 years ago when HHS History teacher Richard Schultz and Sado High School English Teacher, Yasuyuki Kikuchi met at the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. As friendship evolved, they agreed to promote East/West cultural understanding by starting a sister school program upon returning to their respective schools.

Sado Island is culturally more Japanese than most of Japan. Lying in the Sea of Japan, it was for centuries a place of exile for thousands of leaders and followers of lost causes, including a deposed emperor and a famous Buddhist religious figure. It is also the site of a famous gold mine, manned by exiled slave laborers, which produced gold for a longer period of time than any other mine in history. Temples that are centuries old dot the landscape. Stages for the earliest form of Japanese drama (Noh) are still kept in repair for repeat performances. Sado is home to the art of Taiko Drumming; a form of drumming that requires great physical strength and endurance.

The Sado-Hayward Exchange program had many facets: The schools exchanged yearbooks, artwork and student newspapers. Pen pal connections were established. Mr. Schultz accompanied the first group of five Hayward High School students to Sado Island in the summer of 1971 to begin a student-teacher exchange. They attended Sado High school and also taught English. The students reciprocated the wonderful hospitality they received on Sado by hosting their Japanese “sisters” and “brothers” in Hayward during the summer of 1972. This exchange continued for 11 more years and included 40 HHS students and seven HHS teachers with approximately the same number of Japanese students and teachers.

Involvement in the club was generally a three to four year commitment and for this reason was aimed at freshman. The first two years were devoted to learning about Japanese culture and customs, and earning money as a group to help defray the costs of the trip. Students took Japanese lessons, when available at night school or later from Cal State Hayward students from Japan. Fund raising activities included everything from selling curry rice at Hay Day to flea markets and candy sales. The fund raising succeeded in paying airfare for all participants. Students went to Sado Island in the summer between their Junior and senior years. The Japanese students, along with their American hosts, were enrolled in summer school at HHS and went on field trips to California points of interest. The seniors served as mentors to the younger group starting out.

What made the Sado Club truly special was not only the commitment and enthusiasm of the students involved, but also the involvement of the parents on both sides of the pacific. Some parents studied Japanese along with their children. A number of American parents visited Sado and were hosted in gracious Japanese style by the Sado parents. Also, Japanese parents, brothers and/or sisters have come to Hayward. The Sado Club was such positive experience in many of the student’s lives that it helped shape their futures. Several American students studied or majored in Japanese Language in college. Some American families are still in touch with their Japanese families after all these years. Many have made several trips back to Japan. There was even a marriage between a Hayward student and a Sado student who are currently living in Japan. The Sado-Hayward exchange program was a successful endeavor that touched many lives in profound ways.

Since 2014, the program has been operating from Hayward's Mt. Eden High School. Mt. Eden's Japanese teacher, Randy Seifert, manages the program with community, parental, and alumni support.

From left: Marlan Simpson, Makoto Hasegawa, Randy Seifert, and Dr. Wayne. (January 2017)

Sado Students Visit the Hayward Historical Museum (January 2017)

Mt. Eden students on a tour of SF with Sado students (March 2016).

Mt. Eden students on a tour of San Francisco with Sado students

(March 2016).