Japanese author and illustrator, Taro Gomi, first published I Really Want to See You, Grandma in Japan in 1979. Finally, it has been published for the first time in English so preschool children can enjoy the simple story and the humorous illustrations. The beginning words and illustration set up the story: “Yumi’s house is on a hill. It has a pink roof. Grandma’s house is on a mountain. It has an orange roof.” Continue reading
Japanese Children’s Literature
New Trends in Transnational Japanese Children’s Books
By Junko Sakoi, Tucson Unified School District,
and Yoo Kyung Sung, University of New Mexico
This week we discuss newly published children’s literature in the U.S. about Japanese and Japanese-American people in global contexts. Three patterns emerge when we consider the new trends in transnational Japanese children’s books: 1) little-known historical events between Japan and the U.S., 2) transnational children’s and teen’s journeys across time and space, and 3) children’s experiences in universal and cultural contexts.
Japanese National Trauma: Changing Trends in Japanese Picture Books Since the Tohoku Earthquake
by Yoo Kyung Sung, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM & Junko Sakoi, Tucson Unified School District, Tucson AZ
“March 11th, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake takes place in Tohoku area including Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi, 231 miles northeast of Tokyo at a depth of 15.2 miles. The earthquake causes a tsunami with 30-foot waves that damage several nuclear reactors in Fukushima. It is the fourth-largest earthquake on record (since 1900) and the largest to hit Japan… The confirmed death toll is 15,893 as of October 9 2015” (CNN Library, 2015).
The Japan Tohoku earthquake resulted in global environmental concerns despite the fact that earthquake originally appeared to be a limited “Japanese” event. Continue reading
Natural Disasters: What Should Children Learn?
by Yoo Kyung Sung, University of New Mexico & Junko Sakoi, Tucson Unified School District
This month we will discuss social meanings inherent in children’s literature, specifically addressing some recent global and national natural disasters that resulted in the heavy loss of human life as well as the destruction of homes.