Well, we’ve wraped up our two week study of Japan. I know that we just scratched the surface of all there is to know about this wonderful, very old country. But I believe that we will visit there (in our classroom) again sometime! My boys love almost everything there is about it!
We learned just a little bit about ancient Japanese Art. We tried our hand at a mid-15th century peice by Shubun.
We learned to bind a book by hand. Something that the ancient Japanese culture was known for. They still have some very old books in great condition because there was no glue involved, therefore nothing to crack and break. Very cool. I enjoyed this one very much!
Next time I will use bigger string, but even with the big holes and little string… the boys struggled to make this work. They got pretty frustrated, but when it was done they were very glad they did it. I tried to teach them some water color skills on the cover… but they wish they had left it blank or just painted it a solid color because they are not happy with the way their pictures turned out. Just so you know!
The problem we have here is that they see the one I did as an example and they want theirs to turn out JUST as good as mine… and then if when it doesn’t, they get frustrated. We talk about the fact that I have way more years of experience than they do and that we are all just learning. But it doesn’t seem to help. I am not real sure what to do about this dilemma yet… but I’m thinking that maybe I shouldn’t do my own version of the project. The only problem with that is how do I show them how to do it, without actually doing it? Yea… I’m confused too!
Anyway… okay… well, we made our own Kimono’s! They turned out wonderful. We cut the collar off of some cheap ($7 – Ross) mens white dress shirts and painted the logo of choice on the back of it. Cut off all the buttons and cut the sleeves up to three-quarter length. Then wrap an obi (sash) around it and there you go!
Here they are on the boards drying.
(I took a dozen pictures of Gerrit and he shut his eyes in every one. Little turkey! He used to be SO photogenic!)
And the only thing left to put on this poster is our written report.
They wrote it and Guy typed it, but the printer is not working… so we will have to wait on that one.
It is Japanese custom to fly a fish flag for each of the boys in the family in the order of birth for the month of May, so we made one for Darren too. (At least that is what one book said! Nagisa will set us straight on that if it’s not true. Either way… it was fun to do.)
I know that in America food isn’t necessarily considered art, but in Japan they take great pride in making their food just as beautiful to look at as it is to taste! “You eat with your eyes” is an old Japanese saying. We did not get to make sushi this week, although the boys would have loved it. I just didn’t find the time. But we did make ramen soup. This is a favorite at our house and we learned that noodles are a very important part of the Japanese diet. Right after rice and soybeans. Noodles are considered a fast food over there… and now that they sell the broth in an instant powder form… it is even faster!
However, the instant broth kind has MSG in it and so I learned to make the dashi broth from scratch. I don’t know how good mine is… but the boys and I enjoy it… and don’t get headaches from it!
We LOVE this stuff!
We put cubes of tofu in the bottom of our bowls and put the ramen soup over it. Then top it off with some seaweed flakes.
I lucked out a few years ago when I found these wonderful “ramen” bowls at Target! They are special bowls that we use just for our Japanese meals. This one with the fish is Harrisons. Oh, and we pour some shoyu (soy sauce) on the tofu before we put the hot soup in.
Yummy for the tummy!
We did some Roseta Stone and learned a tiny bit of Japanese. The boys did WAY better than I did!!
We will be sure to visit this country again sometime. It was a joy to all of us to learn more about where our friends Nagisa, Yuji and Kaoru live! And speaking of them… next week we get to enjoy their company! They will arrive on Tuesday for their yearly visit. Our “other son” returns!
I will be doing a post of them and how we met real soon.
(Kome-bahn wah = Good evening.)