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Japan the Culture

Japan the Culture

by Bobbie Kalman

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Bobbie Kalman celebrates the beauty of Japanese culture¾love of nature, fine arts, living treasures and much more, and allows readers to explore these wondrous aspects of Japan. Because the book is broken into small individual sections, the younger reader is treated to a taste of this ancient culture. Kalman touches on topics with enough information to arouse curiosity and a desire for further research. She manages to keep the explanations simple and to the point while maintaining the integrity of the information. While Kalman does a good job explaining the culture, she does not gloss over the problems facing Japan and its people today. Many photographs are used to illuminate the material covered in each section, showing the reader the tremendous color and beauty that is so much a part of the Japanese culture. A glossary and thorough index can be found on the concluding pages in this book that is part of "The Lands, Peoples, and Cultures" series. 2001, Crabtree Publishing, $20.60 and $7.95. Ages 5 to 12. Reviewer: John D. Orsborn
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Unlike many other countries, Japan is not and has not been a melting pot for a variety of cultures, though there are two minority ethnic groups, Ainu and Koreans, the latter of which, were brought over to Japan for their pottery skills. Japan is a modern industrialized nation, and its citizens dress pretty much like the rest of the Western world. While that is noted in the text, the predominance of pictures show people in kimonos and other traditional dress, which can be a bit misleading. These costumes are worn; but usually for special occasions such as the Doll Festival, Children's Day, The Tsnabata Festival, and The Coming of Age Day, to name a few. In Japan, there are artists and artisans who have been selected as national treasures. They then teach their skills (painting, pottery, calligraphy, kite making, and so forth) to young apprentices. In this way, the Japanese hope to preserve and perpetuate their culture, like Japanese theater, which can be traced back to performances more than 700 years old. The two main religions, Shinto and Buddhism, also reach back many years. While in Japan, I saw the Amida Buddha pictured in the book and watched the creation of pottery and the famous kokishi dolls. There is also a section devoted to the tea ceremony and references to geisha life but no real mention of their importance to the arts in days long gone. There are the usual comments about taking off one's shoes in a Japanese home and the excellent manners and respect for traditions that are so important in a society with so many people in such a confined area. The text concludes with a glossary, which defines bolded words from the text, and an index. This book is part of "The Lands,Peoples, and Cultures" series. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot

Product Details

Crabtree Publishing Company
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
IG960L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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