Thursday, 30 August 2012

About Japanese Culture by Michael

I took a quick series of 5 photographs of this girl at Oohori Park in 2009. I am fond of it for the beautiful expression of the pleasure of having fun. This photo and seeing how children are held and raised in close interaction with parents are positive expressions of child rearing in Japan and of its Culture.  It is a direct symbol of Culture.
I enjoy studying Japanese Culture from History & food to Architecture & Aikido. Much has happened in Japan since this photo was taken. The tsunami made the photo indelible in my mind, as well as many video presentations on the Internet, by interviews with children and families. People of strength.
This summer, my friend Yukiko-san, introduced me to the Japanese Culture contained in children's books. I am grateful.  The author is Miyoko Matsutani.  These are four books I have found, and they are printed in English:
Two Little Girls Called Iida
Little Momo-chan
Momo-chan & Poo
Momo-chan & Akane-chan

These books are the best! What a great way for a foreigner to get a sense of the Japanese Culture. And for those who may know of Matsutani-san's work one can practice English and at last see how the stories translate and provide study at the same time. The stories are filled with childhood adventure and parental guidance, accepting and understanding a child's reality and self development.
Stories range from vacation adventures to discovering the meaning of August 6th. The creative aliveness of childhood imagination and the intimate friendship with schoolmates, pet animals, local characters and parent's lives.
All are filled with lively description and conversation with sensitivity and warmth... And childhood realities. Such stories and scenes are indivisible, at least for myself for studying your Japanese Culture.
One incredible topic is the depiction of a child's sense of time...   and how as adults we can forget about such an aspect "when for us everything was one."
Yukiko-san said she began to read these books when she was only 7 years of age. I am sure mothers have read these to much younger children.
Regardless these books present an opportunity to practice reading English and maybe to practice English with children.
They are worth checking out for some fun and they are instructive.


1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I found this blog entry while trying to find an English copy of "Two Little Girls Called Iida" to purchase. Do you have any idea where I could purchase this book?

    Thank you,