Friday, September 16, 2011

Japan in a Suitcase, Saturday, September 17, Casady School

11:00-12:00 Fee Theater or Harper Wing: Taro the Dragon Boy. Anime Film


Student Center: Sumi-e: Japanese Brush Painting

Woods Community Room: Japanese Language and Etiquette

Japan in a Suitcase, On a Paper Crane, Tomoko's Adventure @ Casady School

On Saturday, September 10, 2011, Casady School Service-Learning hosted Japan in a Suitcase anime film series as part of Casady's celebration of WE, THE WORLD, ( 11 DAYS OF GLOBAL UNITY (9/11-9/21-International Day of Peace)

The small group of participants had an eye-opening discussion after the showing of the movie, On a Paper Crane, Tomoko's Adventure. In the movie, a young girl named Tomoko travels alone to Hiroshima's Atomic Bomb Museum where she meets Sadako, a girl whose life is linked to the events that occurred during and after the bombardment of the city. Dr. Gigi Hu, expert in Japanese film animation, shared the film's production background, the symbolism of cranes, and her experience with children's questions after the film.

After school care students made a peace banner, which Mrs. Clay, Casady's Service-Learning Director, presented to the society as a thank you for selecting Casady School as part of its Japan in a Suitcase outreach program. The next Japan in a Suitcase program at Casady is September 17, premiering the anime movie Taro the Dragon Boy and workshops on sumi-e; Japanese brush painting and Japanese language and etiquette.

Japanese tea and snacks were enjoyed before the peace paper crane making lesson. Participants also made pinwheels and placed cranes in the heart of the pinwheels The pinwheels will be displayed at the 5th International Day of Peace, Pinwheels and Multicultural Festival at Oklahoma City University, Wednesday, September 21, 2011. At OCU, Dr. Hu will provide similar workshop and Mrs. Mari Lesli, JASO's Vice President will perform a Japanese dance.

On Saturday, September 17, 2011, Japan in a Suitcase anime films returned to Casady School. This time Dr. Gigi Hu, Japan America Society Education coordinator, presented Taro the Dragon Boy. The film, about the journey of a brave boy to find his mother by giving to others, kept participants' interest from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. The presentation began with personal introductions, origami crane making, and reservations for Japanese bento lunches at Tokyo Restaurant. The Casady children participating related to Dr. Hu that their advisory period had began watching On a Paper Crane, Tomoko's Adventure on Friday. They were going to continue to watch the film as part of their International Day of Peace activities next week. 60 fifth graders will know the story behind the paper cranes of peace.

After viewing Taro the Dragon Boy, Dr. Hu showed a Power Point presentation of the artistic and cultural merits of the film and the author of the children's book. Dr. Hu explained several traditions within the movie like Taiko drumming, Sumo wrestling, Sumi-e art, and Japanese baths. After the film discussion ended, participants enjoy a Japanese bento lunch at Tokyo Restaurant before returning for the afternoon workshops.

From 2:30-4:00, members from diverse backgrounds of the Oklahoma City community began their Sumi-e, Japanese brush painting introduction. It was facilitated by Mrs. Nina Shuler, Japan America Society Vice-President. Participants from 9-87 years of age were engaged in creating fish and bamboo scenes with gentle black paint strokes.

The Japanese language and etiquette workshop was facilitated by Mrs. Keiko Shaffer, who involved participants in hands on activities. Participants learned how to greet in Japanese, the reasons behind taking off shoes upon entering a Japanese residence and the tradition of offering something to drink upon being welcomed in homes. Mrs. Shaffer provided Japanese soft drinks for members of her workshop and the Sumi-e workshop. Mrs, Shaffer also taught how to use eating utensils and participants learned how to write their name in Japanese.

Casady School Service-Learning thanks the Japan America Society, Rebuilding Together, Iochen Corporation, and the Center for Global Partnership for providing a stop of Japan in a Suitcase at our school and helping us enhance our understanding of the Japanese culture in engaging and relevant ways.

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