The past couple of weeks have been jam-packed with all the great stuff we’ve been learning about Japan alongside our Sonlight Eastern Hemisphere study (core 5/F). Last week I posted some free resources I found on Kendo (a Japanese martial art) and Bunraku (puppet theater of the type featured in The Master Puppeteer).
I could post more stuff every day and not run out, but since I like to blog about other things, too, I’ve decided to limit my Sonlight extras to one day a week. Each Friday, I’ll post links to all the free resources we added to our study of the Eastern Hemisphere that week.
What else have we been learning about Japan?
Kamishibai is a type of paper theater with a long history. In the 12th century, Kamishibai tales would have been told with a scroll of the story. From 1920-1950, there was a revival of Kamishibai with the invention of a traveling Kamishibai theater that could be attached to a bicycle---Kamishibai men would make their living traveling from town to town selling sweets and telling their stories.
Kamishibai Man by Allen Say
Telling Tales with Kamishibai Lesson:
Watch a Japanese folktale to use with the Telling Tales Activity: “Winning Without Hands”
Peter (age 7) illustrated the story “Winning with No Hands” on index cards and then narrated the story.
Read more Kamishibai Tales:
Mary’s (age 8) topographical map
Ellen McHenry has an activity for creating a topographical map of Japan using crayon relief and watercolors. Just download the free pdf and print out the map on cardstock.
- Label it (answer key is provided). We recommend using ballpoint pen.
- Color the land (we chose to show relative elevations---you’ll need a guide for that and she provides links).
- Give it a light water color wash.
Peter’s map (Mom as scribe)
Japanese Woodblock Prints
Two of the most famous Japanese woodblock print artists were Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige.
Artist Profile: Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)
Artist Profile: Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)
A video about their art (runs about 11 minutes):
Here’s another activity from Ellen McHenry, copies of Japanese woodcuts to color with your own water colors:
The kids are loving this activity. Here are Peter’s, the older kids aren’t finished, yet.
Some of the books we found at our local library to add to our study of Japan:
These are only suggestions, see what you can find for free at your library.
I hope you enjoy these. Next Friday, I’ll have a few more great FREE resources to add to your study of Japan or Sonlight’s Eastern Hemisphere Core.
Disclosure: This post does contain Amazon affiliate links.