Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

World Geography: Japan

Sam's map
Our first stop is Japan or Nippon as it is called by its people or Land of the Rising Sun. Japan is home to Mount Fuji, typhoons, Samurai, bonsai, haiku and sushi.
#japan #prayforJapan
We have made maps showing where the ancient Japanese began settling, and later we explored Medieval Japan's Samauri. and just recently we studied the Meii Restoration in Japan and Japan's takeover of Korea.
We have also made a page for Japan in our World Postcard-Geography Album.

James' map of Japan

This time, in addition to making a map of Japan, we explored their culture.
Quentin's Japanese Bunraku Theatre 
A pop-up picture showing a typical scene from a Japanese Bunraku theater performance. This type of theater is the main subject of the book The Master Puppeteer by Katherine Paterson.

Alex's Folded  Paper Kimono Doll
We ate at a Japanese restaurant.

Other Topics to Explore

Commodore Matthew C. Perry
Mount Fuji
Attack on Pearl Harbor in WW II
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The Sorobon, a Japanese "counting tray."
Ikebana (Japanese Flower Arranging)
Peanut Butter and banana "Sushi"
Zen gardens
Sumi-e, an ink and wash painting technique that began in China and found its way to Japan.   
Cherry Blossom Trees
Children’s Day
Karensansui mini-garden
Suminagashi: The Art of Japanese Paper Marbling
Moribana (Flower scenery)
Gyotaku (Fish Printing)
A Pair of Red Clogs, Masako Matsuno
Japan's Flag 
made from tuna and rice
source: Marvelous

other things to explore:

related posts:

  • A Pair of Red Clogs, Masako Matsuno (Pre-K and up) the story of Mako, a little Japanese girl, and what happened when she cracked her shiny, new pair of red clogs while playing the weather-telling game. She wanted a new pair so badly that she almost did a dishonest thing to get them.
  • The Cat Who Went to Heaven, Elizabeth Coatsworth (age 8 and up), fable from ancient Japan
  • The Master Puppeteer, Katherine Paterson, (age 13 and up), set in feudal Japan
  • The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (The Samurai Mysteries), Dorothy Hoobler, (grade 6 and up), While attempting to solve the mystery of a stolen jewel, Seikei, a merchant's son who longs to be a samurai, joins a group of kabuki actors in eighteenth-century Japan.
  • Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun, Rhoda Blumberg, (5rd grade, age 10 and up), the opening of Japan (1853-1854).
  • Shipwrecked! The true adventures of a Japanese boy, Rhoda Blumberg (4th grade and up), a 14-year old boy, Manjiro, is shipwrecked while fishing off Japan's shores and is not allowed back into Japan because of its seclusion laws. He lives in America for a while and then returns to Japan just in time to help with negotiations with Commodore Perry. Manjiro ends up rising in status in Japan to become a Samurai. Fascinating true story.
  • Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr 
  • Wonder Tales From Around the World, Heather Forest
  • Old Japan (Make it Work), Andrew Haslam and Clare Doran. Beautiful to look at, but impractical crafts, at least for this craft-deficient teacher.
    sources and inspiration:


    1. Wonderful study! I'll have to add some of these activities to our Japan unit when my daughter does it.

    2. Have i mentioned how cool you are!!!! Looks like you all had fun learning about Japan .

    3. That first water color map is gorgeous!

      I love these studies!

      1. Thank you, everyone! We had fun with the studies! Ticia- The watercolor map is the joy of seeing the fruition of your children's years of progress. That was done by my high-schooler, Sam. Each year the maps get more sophisticated and more beautiful.

    4. And now I'm coming back again, and still think that map is gorgeous. I'm slowly seeing the result of my work, but it'll still be several years before we get the cool looking maps. Back to it, and to it again.


    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It means so much.