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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Japan. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Japan. Sort by date Show all posts

Origami: Fun Facts, Product Reviews & Craft Round-Up

Disclosure: I was sent these products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

We are on our third week of exploring Japan for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. If you missed our first two weeks we did new picture books to learn about Japan and crafts from Japan. Today we are taking a look at the ancient art of Japanese origami. I thought I would start with some fun facts since I shared a bit about the history of origami a few years ago. 

Friendship Novels for Grades 1 to 7

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It can be tough being young. Friendships can change and people treat you differently than what you expect. And then there is peer pressure. Talk about stress!!  Today I am sharing five books about friendship and dealing with different issues. These books vary in the range of first grade to seventh grade. There are even some that are about a piece of history. We will start with the two for first grade through fourth. They are a bit of an easier read than the others. They are also part of The Fix-It Friends series from Macmillan Kids  by Nicole C. Kear with illustrations by Tracy DockrayThe Fix-It Friends is a group of friends that help others with problems that arise in regular life of kids. Veronica Conti is the self-claimed president. The group includes her older brother, Jude, and his best friend, Ezra, and Veronica's best friend, Cora. Each book in the series has the group helping someone through a problem. At the end of each book is a Fix-It Toolbox with strategies for dealing with the same issue. Today I am sharing books five and six. The first book today is Eyes on the Prize

The History of Zero--Asian Pacific American Heritage Blog Series and Giveaway Post

This post is part of the Asian-Pacific American Heritage Blog Series and Giveaway on Multicultural Kid Blogs. You can enter the giveaway at the end of the post. There is a link party for all Asian-Pacific American Heritage posts on Multicultural Kid Blogs. We also have a link party for Japan posts in our Global Learning for Kids this month. Next month will be India.

History of Zero:

Can you imagine a world without zero? Or perhaps you wonder why we need to represent nothing at all? For centuries there was no mark or symbol of zero. The history of the number zero begins in Asia. It is believed that the first people to have a symbol for zero were the Babylonians. The Babylonians had inherited the counting system of the Sumerians which was the first to have a symbol instead of hash marks for each number.
Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia c. 1450 BC
Around 1450 B.C. By Свифт/Svift (my work) 
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Akira Yoshizawa: Japan's Greatest Origami Master -- a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

 Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me these products free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. 

I have several origami books sitting on my shelf to review and by a sample for an upcoming workshop at work. It was for bridesmaid card (for asking to be a bridesmaid) with an origami dress. The paper used at work reminded me of a 1930s dress which made me think of Hazel and her desire for a Kit Kittredge doll. I have to still check out the instructions and find the paper so I can make one for Hazel. However it got my desire to start some origami projects. I pulled out Akira Yoshizawa: Japan's Greatest Origami Master by Akira Yoshizawa. The photographer of the book is Kazuo Hamada.

Color Your Own Origami -- A Relaxing Friday Review on World Origami Day 2016

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me copies of these books free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. 

Did you know today is World Origami Day? I just found out this week. Various websites have information about it. The one I got this poster from is in America and celebrates if from October 24 through November 11, but most say it is November 11.

Asian Kites


Hazel has been asking to fly a kite for awhile. Somehow whenever we are at my parents, it does not happen. They live near a beach and usually have more wind (and less trees and power lines) than us. Plus my father has some kites or at least he thinks he does. Well I bought her a cheap Disney Princesses kite and we are taking it to my parents' house this weekend. She is so excited. I told her by having her making paper kites in Asian styles with me first. I was really excited to find Asian Kites by Wayne Hosking at our local library.

All of the styles of kites we made came from this book. The book explains how to make real kites with Silkspan, however I was not looking to make kites to fly, but kites to show Hazel different styles from the Asian countries. We made them with paper and streamers. In fact we used leftover black streamers from Oriental Trading that we reviewed in our Minnie Mouse Pinata post. We also substituted drinking straws for the balsa wood to strengthen the kites. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons
The book has a bit of the history of the kite in the Introduction. Although many places say the first kite was flown in China, Asian Kites says it is actually unknown. It is believed that kites date back to two and a half to three thousand years ago. Kites also once carried messages based on their shapes, pictures or other cultural symbols. Eventually every day people began to fly them without a religious significance. There are many theories to how a kite came to be including leaves, trying to emulate birds, the wind blowing a farmer's hat and a tent or sail becoming airborne in the wind. Stories of Chinese kite flying spread through Europe thanks to Marco Polo. In the 15th and 16th centuries examples of kites were brought back from China and the East Indies. In the 18th and 19th centuries Europeans and Americans were using kites for scientific studies of natural elements including developing the flying machine. Asians were still flying kites to celebrate nature and human spirit. Many Asian cultures share their past with kite festivals as well as kite tours.

China gets to boast the first written record of a kite flying dating back to 196 B.C.E. The description tells how the Chinese general Han Hsin flew a kite to help calculate the distance his army would have to tunnel to escape. There are many legends of how the Chinese attempted to use kites in battle. The Chinese also used them for cultural and religious significances. With the invention of paper by Tsai Lun, kites became  a universal folk art and possible for all people to enjoy flying. From a Kite Day Festival to scaring away evil spirits at grave sites, the Chinese have a rich history of kite flying. Today China has six main kite regions. Each region uses a unique kite style. October is the traditional month for kite flying, but due to favorable winds kite flying season usually runs from the Chinese New Year through Qingming, the day for mourning the dead on April 5. 

We chose to make the Butterfly kite. The book describes it as a fair to good flier in light to gentle breezes. The Chinese often make and fly Butterfly kites because they represent beauty and a free spirit. There is also an old saying: "Only the greatest artists go to heaven to paint butterfly wings.


Kites have a long history in Malaysia as well. In fact some scholars believe Malaysia may have been the birthplace of kites. In Malaysia kites are called wau. A legend from the state of Kedah say the knowledge of how to build a kite is an effort to appease the heavens. If you visit northern Malaysia any time from April to June you will most likely see colorful kites flying. During this time they have monsoon winds which are strong enough to fly large kites and also it is after the rice harvest and is a time when farmers and fishermen celebrate life.

We chose to make the Mini Wau. The Mini Wau is a child's kite that is often flown from a stick. Since they believe the wau is a gift from the gods, they fly them in hopes of good fortune. This one I made out of tissue paper which the book said could be used instead of lightweight Silkspan.

Kite flying is very popular in Thailand as well. Oral tradition puts kite flying back in the 13th century when Thailand became a country. The earliest recording of kite flying was a ritual priests performed. They were also part of fighting war as well as just a love of the entire country. Kites often were entangled with the roofs of the royal palace. Eventually there was an edict forbidding flying kites over the palace. Based on a challenge of King Rammi II, a traditional kite game is established and is now a national sport held each March in front of the royal palace. 

We chose to make the Thai Fish kite. It is said to be a fair to good flier in gentle to moderate breezes. The fish is a major source of food in Thailand. It is second only to rice and since both are associated with water they are said to belong together. The fish often represents abundance.

Korea may have gotten kites from China during the period of the Three Kingdoms. Kites are called Yeon in Korea. Kites have not changed much in Korea over the centuries. Kite flying is part of many ceremonies and once again there are many stories of how kites were used. The kite flying season closely relates to the agricultural cycle. Koreans begin flying kites on the first day of the lunar calendar and the kite season lasts for fifteen days. There is also an annual custom of kite fighting. Kite fighting involves trying to cut the other kites' strings. They do not attach blades of any kind, but use skill of the flier and the specially prepared string to do this. Once cut, the freed kite belong to whomever can capture it. They have special kites for kite fighting called a bangpae-yeon or shield kite. There are also special kites to fly on the fifteenth day of the lunar calendar to fight off evil. Traditionally the flier of these kites releases the line after all of the line is out. These special kites include the aeg-mag-i-yon and song-aeg-yon. 

We chose to make the Ga-o-ri-yon or ray fish kite. It is fair to good flier in light to gentle breezes. It is a rhombus shape and resembles a sting ray in the sky. It is typical of children's kites all over Asia. 

During the seventh century Japanese civil servants brought the knowledge of kites and paper from China. Kites held a special importance in Japan and only the privileged class and monks could fly them. The monks used them to keep evil spirits away and invoke a rich harvest. The Japanese considered kites a way to carry petitions to the spirit gods. It is also a traditional Japanese belief that a destroyed kite's soul is released  and is free to be reborn in another kite. There are many Japanese folk stories involving kites. There are approximately 340 different traditional kites made in forty-two districts of Japan. Families share their heritage today through kites on special days like New Year's Day and Children's Day. There are also kite battles in May and June.

We decided to make a kao-no-tako or octopus kite. It is a fair to good flier in gentle to moderate breezes. It comes from Sanjo in Niigato (Japan's west coast). Tako means both octopus and kite. During the Edo Period, kite makers often hung these octopus-shaped kites in front of their stores as a sign of their occupation. 

Those are our Asian kites and some of the things we discovered about kites in Asia thanks to Asian Kites. Over the weekend I hope to share what we have learned about Children's Day in Japan as well as our craft of a carp wind sock (often mistaken for a kite). 

We are sharing this at the Multicultural Kids Blog Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Hop. If you missed our post co-hosting this blog hop, we shared some Asian-Pacific Island crafts and stories we have done and read to learn more about the cultures in that part of the world.

For more Asian-Pacific Island crafts and stories, check out:

Asian Book Reviews -- Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series and Giveaway

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?
Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of these books free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. They also sent me a copy to giveaway! As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

This post is part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series and Giveaway. More details about all of this below including the giveaway!!

Since May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, I contacted my friends at Tuttle Publishing. It was a logical choice since this is their specialty. They publish books on Asian cultures, languages, and history. They have books for children and adults. It is a wonderful publishing company that puts out high quality and beautiful books. They also have provided five of the books for the giveaway below! The first book we will review is one of the prizes.

The Discovery of Anime & Manga Review as part of our Explore Japan

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Back in May we explored Japan with various posts to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Due to one of those posts Immedium contacted me asking if I would be interested in reviewing their newest in The Asian Hall of Fame Series, The Discovery of Anime and Manga by Phil Amara and Oliver Chin and illustrated by Juan Calle. I have reviewed many books from Immedium previously and have enjoyed them.

The Complete Story of Sadako Sasaki and the Thousand Paper Cranes -- A Look at the Other Side of WWII and the Atomic Bomb

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book and the various packs of origami paper in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Yesterday I shared various chapter books for different ages (7-young adult). I saved this book to be in its own post for several reasons. First it is a true story. Second part of the story reminds me of what we are facing today. I felt I wanted to do more with this book than just review it. It has paper cranes in the title and provides a tutorial at the end of the book to make your own paper cranes. I figured I had to pull out the piles of origami paper I have and start making some cranes. While I sat there making the cranes I realized this was something families could do together. I'll explain more at the end of the post. The book is The Complete Story of Sadako Sasaki and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Sue DiCicco and Mashairo Sasaki (Sadako's brother). It is recommended for ages 7 to 12.

Books from National Geographic Kids

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Now this group of books seems like a bit of a mish-mash. It has a large variety but each is published by National Geographic Kids. This group covers history, current events, science and more. We will start with the one that also could be seen as part of my Real Life Princess Series, The Book of Queens by Stephanie Warren Drimmer. 

Fun Facts about Pizza -- National Cheese Pizza Day!



Today is National Cheese Pizza Day! In honor of this favorite treat, I thought I would look at some fun facts about pizza and share a round-up of crafts, books and recipes. So go grab a slice and enjoy!!

Origami Bonsai -- a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Tomorrow we are sharing our exploration of Japan and our Japanese tea party as our post for the Multicultural Kid Blogs' Asian Pacific Island Heritage Month Series & Giveaway. To kick off our exploration of Japan I thought it would be great to share two Japanese arts in one book -- origami and bonsai. The book is Origami Bonsai by Benjamin John Coleman. 

How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

Between my Tea Parties Around the World Series and National Princess Week Resources and Giveaway (have you entered yet?) How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea by Kate Hosford and illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska found its way to me.

Japanese Paper Toys Kit & Mini Easter Baskets -- a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Have you entered to win the 18 amazing books about non-traditional princesses yet?
Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me copies of these books free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Easter is only one week away!! I can hardly believe it. We have had a busy week and then Hazel got sick again, so she has been resting all weekend. This week is full of visitors and getting ready for them. I love this time of year. How about you? To get ready I thought of a fun little craft made from recycled fruit bowl containers. Hazel has been into the Dole fruit cups and we have been recycling many of the little plastic cups. I got the idea to add a handle and make them into Easter baskets. 

Asian Art, Legends and our April Happenings

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

I spent a good part of the past couple of days planning for April. I am so excited with some of the things I have planned. This month we will be exploring Japan and having a Japanese Tea Party. We will be celebrating Earth Day and sharing some great books and resources for your celebrations and we will be celebrating National Princess Week with some great resources and a giveaway. We also have a school vacation in there with a short trip so expect a review on trips and are planning some visits to museums, so there will definitely be some art resources shared including our first book today: Adventures in Asian Art: An Afternoon at the Museum by Sue DiCicco with Deborah Clearwaters and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. 

Chinese Meets Japanese with Chinese Origami for Children -- Product Review for Summertime Fun Series

Be sure to check out my on-line Thirty-One Review & Party!! Get all your summer organizing essentials!!
 
 Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.
 
Sometimes in the summer one needs some quiet or indoor activities due to various reasons--tired, busy momma, or bad weather. Origami is a perfect activity for those times. Today we are sharing a fun book where the Chinese culture meets the Japanese culture as well as some fun packs of origami paper to try out the various projects. The book is Chinese Origami for Children by Hu Yue and Lin Xin and illustrated by Samoo Tang. 
http://www.tuttlepublishing.com/new-releases/chinese-origami-for-children

Sharing Saturday 15-41


Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! There were some great ideas as usual!!  Remember the features are just a sampling of the things shared so if you did not get a chance to check them all out, go back and be inspired! This week's features are Autumn and Educational. Also a side note that last week I started another link party on Saturday night for crafts for any age person called Crafty Weekends. Our second party will be tomorrow night. Stop by to share your crafts, patterns, reviews of craft books, etc. And don't forget to share all things pumpkins (crafts, recipes, lessons, etc.) at my Pumpkin Link Party!

The Peace Tree from Hiroshima -- Multicultural Monday Book Review

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of this book free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. This post also contains Affiliate links for Little Passports where I will receive a nominal fee if you purchase through it.

Back in May we explored Japan as part of Global Learning for Kids. The book I am reviewing today would have fit perfectly in our exploration and especially when we explored a bit about bonsai. However it was not out yet and in fact is not out yet. It is being released July 14, 2015. The Peace Tree from Hiroshima: The Little Bonsai with a Big Story by Sandra Moore and illustrated by Kazumi Wilds is a wonderful true story that brings hope of peace to the world. After if a little bonsai tree that survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima can be gifted to the country that dropped the bomb, doesn't it seem possible to solve all differences.

Sharing Saturday 15-21



Thank  you to everyone who shared last week!! This week there were so many great ideas!! People are kicking into summer mode and I know this is a busy time around my house. How about with you? This week's features are Summer Plans & Travel, Art & Crafts and a few of my favorites. These are only a sampling of what was shared. Be sure to go back to last week's party to see even more great ideas.

Sharing Saturday 15-19



Thank  you to everyone who shared last week!! There were such amazing ideas shared last week. I had a hard time figuring out which ones to features. These features are just a sampling of the posts shared. I hope you will go and check them all out! This week our features consist of  Nature Related Crafts (and lessons), Science Lessons and a Few Favorites.