ELEMENTARY RESOURCES
CHINA JAPAN KOREA VIETNAM
Geography Language Culture History Science & Math Literature ART Drama & Dance

[The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
A discussion of seasonal imagery in Japanese art, with an emphasis on the importance of Shinto, Zen Buddhism, and poetry.

[Pacific Asia Museum]
Paintings and prints from the Edo period to the late 20th century. The inclusion of characters such as Godjira (Godzilla), Doraemon, and the Forest Spirit from Princess Mononoke makes this an especially fun unit for students. Text essays with images on the following topics: 1) Tradition; 2) Reality; 3) Imagination. With an Edo-period timeline, glossary of related terms, lesson plans for teachers, and a “Random Monster Generator” activity for students.

[The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
A brief introduction to the development of the ukiyo-e style in woodblock printing, with a focus on the technical aspects of polychrome printing.

Lesson Plan [Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College]
For grades K-2. “Gyotaku (guh-yo-tah-koo) is the Japanese art of fish painting. It was developed more than a century ago as a fisherman’s method of recording the size and species of his catch.” In this lesson, students will: 1) learn to look long and carefully as they create exact replicas of fish; 2) familiarize themselves with the printing process of Gyotaku; 3) learn about the history and culture of the Japanese fisherman at the end of the Edo period; 4) learn how to use printing materials properly; 5) practice writing haiku and understand syllables and pattern in poetry; 6) select one final print on which to write their haiku and display.

Lesson Plan [ArtsEdge, The Kennedy Center]
For grades 5-8. By acquiring knowledge of historical and cultural qualities unique to this particular art form, students can gain an understanding of how Gyotaku reflects a part of Japanese history. Students will select a fish, prepare it, ink it, apply the paper or fabric, and complete the fish print for display. During this process they will also examine the fish and learn the correct names and uses of the external anatomical parts of the fish.

[Asia Society]
“During the 11th to 16th centuries, painted handscrolls, called emakimono, flourished as an art form in Japan, depicting battles, romance, religion, folktales, and even stories of the supernatural world.” With suggestions for making emakimono in the classroom.

[Asia Society]
A step-by-step illustrated guide to making an origami rabbit.

Lesson Plan [Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College]
For grades 3-5. This lesson covers origami, crane biology, cranes in Japanese art, “1,000 cranes” as a symbol of peace, and the bombing of Hiroshima and the true story of Sadako. Students will: 1) improve motor skills through careful folding, a discipline necessary in the practice of origami; 2) develop multicultural awareness by exploring Japanese history; 3) improve their ability to follow directions through the creation of origami cranes; 4) identify a major historical event, the bombing of Hiroshima.

Lesson Plan [Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College]
For grades 3-5. Hachimaki is a thin towel or strip of cloth tied around the crown of the head. According to Japanese legend, hachimaki strengthen the spirit and repel evil spirits. In this lesson, students will: 1) learn about a Japanese dyeing method, arashi shibori; and 2) learn about the hachimaki and make their own to wear.

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