For this unit we were able to take a trip to Japan! Well, actually, it was the Morikami Museum & Gardens, but the experience was so incredible, the boys felt like it was the real deal.
After strolling through the gardens we arrived at the Children’s Museum.
We got to experience a day in the life of a Japanese child. We had already read several books about Japan so the children (and I) were pointing things out that we recognized. Everyone was very excited to ride the Shinkansen to school.
When we “arrived at school” we looked at the welcome area, which provides each school child with two types of hardhats (one for travel, one for earthquakes) and a rack with school shoes. The boys were so intrigued by the thought of having specific shoes only to be worn inside a classroom.
After school we headed home for a snack.
The boys loved getting to walk through the home layout. The final room housed an exhibit about Japanese Pioneers in our state. It was so fascinating to see our world history study collide with our state history.
We walked back to the main museum for lunch.
The boys enjoyed sushi, teriyaki, cellophane noodles and one boy even tried red bean ice cream!
Next we explored the museum’s gorgeous Origami exhibit and Japanese library.
The boys each sat down with their choice of book. How strange to be in a room full of books we could not understand but could still appreciate for their beauty.
I wish I could share photos of the origami exhibit but cameras were prohibited.
At this point my wonderful mother broke away with my two youngest children and the older boys and I went to catch a portion of the film “Between the Folds.”
The museum’s description of the movie:
“Between the Folds” chronicles the stories of 10 fine artists and intrepid scientists who abandoned careers and scoffed at hard-earned graduate degrees – all to forge unconventional lives as modern-day paperfolders. The film paints an arresting portrait of the remarkable artistic and scientific creativity that fuels this ever-changing art form, fusing science and sculpture, form and function, ancient and new.
As these offbeat and provocative characters converge on the unusual medium of origami, they reinvent an ancient art, and demonstrate the innumerable ways that ingenuity and expression come to bear as we all struggle to understand and honor the world around us – as artists, scientists, creators, collaborators, preservers and simply curious beings.
If you have any way of tracking this film down and watching it—do so! My idea of origami was blown away by this film.
We remember so much from this week, even though we did much less work at home. There is such value in these sorts of experiences.
We’ll be recapping our time in Russia, Australia and Antarctica soon!