Because our in-person school visits have been cancelled for the remainder of 2019-20 school year, we are adding resources to our website so that children and adults can access from home.
June (Minazuki 水無月 in ancient pronunciation)
June in Japan is a wet month. The rainy season, tsuyu, lasts for about a month. The ancient name for the month is minazuki. There are various explanations of the kanji, which means the month without water, but main interpretation is the month of water. Strange, isn’t it?
Teru-teru Bozu (Shine monk doll)
Children make teru-teru-bozu dolls wishing the next day will be sunny. It looks just like Halloween ghost dolls. Wrap a paper ball with square paper or cloth and tie around the neck with a piece of string or ribbon. Hang it from the eaves. Listen to the teru-teru-bozu song
Taue: 田植え (Rice planting)
Between April and June, Japanese farmers transplant young seedlings of rice to the rice paddies. Rice is more than just a main crop in Japan. It is a very important part of Japanese culture. There are many rice planting festivals. Learn more about the process!
Nowadays, planting is mainly done by machinery, but some small farmers still plant seedlings by hand. Even the emperor plants his own rice field in the Imperial palace grounds. He does everything from germination to harvesting by hand. The rice he harvests is used for Imperial ceremonies. To teach the importance of rice farming, some schools teach students how to plant rice by hand. Learn more about the importance and benefits of organic rice here!
Radio Exercise: ラジオ体操
Do you know millions of Japanese participate in this morning exercise which has 90 years of history? It's simple -you should try it! To watch in English, check the links!
Japan in the Schools
The Japan in the Schools (JIS) program, started in 1997, is a unique program that brings Japanese education into classrooms in Western PA. A wide variety of topics are covered in visits to local schools. Some topics include Japan today, Japanese history, language, culture, and origami. Download the curriculum flyer[PDF] for more information.
Volunteers of the JIS program respond to outreach requests from elementary, middle, and secondary schools, libraries,and other community partners. Authentic Japanese materials are used as teaching aids. This unique experience broadens a student's view of the world and the cultures in it.
Request a visit!
Requesting a school visit is easy! Fill out this simple request form and Katsuko Shellhammer will coordinate the details of the visit.
Volunteer for the JIS!
Volunteers are the most essential part of the JIS. Without the help of dedicated and passionate volunteers, this program would not exist. All ages and nationalities are welcomed. The only requirement is a passion for Japan. Sign up today!