There are many traditions in Japan, many of which may be foreign to those who are not familiar with Japanese culture. In Japan… you never, ever, ever wear shoes inside! When you get home from school, you take your shoes off at the door, line them up, and put on your indoor slippers.
Japan is a culture filled with etiquette and customs and this is true no matter your age. In Japan… lunch is much more than a 15 minute free for all. There are lessons to learn here too! Many Japanese school children, like Jiyu, move aside their desks to dust and clean their classroom once a day.
More than 2,000 kanji characters make up the Japanese language, and each character has a meaning as well as a sound. Kanji are used for writing nouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs. Their beautiful designs are seen throughout Japan, on buildings, signs, in newspapers… everywhere you look! We were mesmerized by not only the beauty of the written kanji, but how each kanji character, when written out, can look like the thing it describes. We’ve put together 6 kanji characters for you to try at home with your little citizens. Download our acitivty sheet and make sure to share you kanji with us!
Think you’re skilled with chopsticks? Meet Jiyu, our friend in Tokyo who at the young age of 3, has mastered the art. In Japan… ramen, udon and soba are three popular kinds of noodles kids eat throughout the week. Learn more about these yummy noodles and get our recipe for a kid-friendly for ramen, just like the dish we enjoyed in Tokyo.
If you’ve ever been in a Japanese restaurant or strolled through Japantown or Chinatown in a nearby city, chances are you’ve noticed a little cat statue on a shelf or in a shop window. You may have even noticed that little cat waving it’s paw at you! This little cat figurine, called maneki neko, is a lucky charm that is very popular in Japanese cultures. Maneki neko (or lucky cat) is a talisman that is believed to attract good luck or fortune to those who own one. Here’s what we’ve learned about this good luck charm…
As an American stepping into a Japanese public school, you’re bound to notice some differences. Especially at lunch time. Learn how the Japanese public school lunch program, called kyushoku, helps shape students from the very beginning of their schooling.