Saturday, June 4, 2011

Japanese Writing, Haiku, and Culture

Grass Sandals: The Travels of BashoSunshine has been learning a lot about different cultures this year for Social Studies.  This week, she had to read a beautiful book titled Grass Sandals, The Travels of Basho.  It was written by Dawnine Spivak and illustrated by DEMI.  I'm always excited to share Japanese culture with them, being I lived there for a bit.

The book is based on a Japanese poet named Matsuo Basho who lived in seventeenth-century Japan. Grass Sandals shares his adventures as he travels though ancient Japan.  My daughter enjoyed the Japanese writing throughout the book and the haiku poetry.  The details in the illustrations drew me in and I like how the pages look like authentic grass paper.

For one of her assignments, she had to write three sentences and include Japanese writing (kanji) instead of words in each of her sentences. Here is what she came up with...                                                                                     
      
1.THE CHILD RAN IN THE RAIN.


 2.THE RIVER WAS ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN.


3.THERE IS ONE PERSON WHO CAN WALK ON FIRE.




Sunshine also learned about a young girl named Sadako from Hiroshima who became ill after the atom bomb. Although she read a very sad article, it was very inspiring.  After reading about how she made 1,000 paper cranes before she had died, we attempted to make our own paper crane.  We failed immensely, so if you have any advice on origami, I'd appreciated it! We didn't read this book yet (below), but it looks wonderful.  I'm looking forward to reading it.













Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (PMC) (Puffin Modern Classics)









More Resources for our Creative and Curious Kids!
Quick Kanji (Very cute site- click on animated picture and it shows you how to write it in Japanese- also pronounces the word.)
Enchanted Learning : Japanese Kindercrafts (great resources for all ages)
Origami Crane Instructions(I'm going to try this tutorial- it looks pretty good.)
Time for Kids Around the World

Ja mata nee,
Jen

1 comment:

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Origami is tricky - I used to have a kit as a kid and my stuffy always came out lumpy and crooked.

Seems like a really fun activity though :-)

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