Staff at asianlanguageschool.com, a language school in Sydney teaching adults and children Japanese and other Asian languages.
Published February 20th 2017
There are hundreds of thousands of Australian students studying Japanese at school. Japanese culture fascinates kids and adults alike and we have been touched by Japanese culture in various ways in our daily life. Below are five weekend activities kids can do to explore Japanese culture further and learn something new.
Taiko is Japanese drumming that was originally played to accompany classical Japanese theatres such as kabuki and noh. Taiko has been popularised in Australia since the 1990s. It is a high-energy, vibrant performance. Taiko school such as Taikoz offers classes for kids of various age groups on Saturdays. Learning to play taiko is not just learning a musical instrument, but helping kids to develop their physical endurance, learning to play ensemble in a group, and learning about Japanese musical styles and history in general.
By Laika ac from USA - Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri, CC BY-SA 2.0
Kendo is a modern Japanese martial art that uses bamboo swords to strike. It is quite unique as practitioners wear a face guard and a body armour, and the uniform is dark in colour as opposed to white. Kendo makes an excellent training for kids as its purpose is to cultivate a vigorous spirit, and to train the mind and body. Sydney Kendo Club offers regular Saturday training for juniors ages 6-16.
The term ninja is not unfamiliar. We have heard it in kids TV series such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers. Ninjas are not only trained in martial arts, but also in other survival skills such as medicine and disguise. Smart Ninja Kids caters to kids' birthday parties and at the same time, provide one hour of ninja lessons, which include shuriken (ninja star) throwing and some sword practice.
Most kids love to eat sushi roll. Learning to make what they love to eat will enrich their knowledge on food and health. Learning to cook for kids help develop their motor skills as they learn to prepare different ingredients and use different kitchen utensils to create the food. The cooking process also teaches them about chemistry and maths. Cooking schools such as Zen Sushi and Sushi School Australia teach kids how to make simple sushi rolls in their professional kitchens.
Origami is an art of paper folding from Japan. Origami in the shape of crane is especially popular as in the Japanese culture it is a symbol of hope and healing. It is also believed that folding 1000 origami cranes would make one's wish come true. Origami helps expand children's spatial reasoning as they learn how to transform a piece of flat paper into many different 3D shapes. Origami also teaches kids patience and analytical skills. The Origami People hold origami workshop for children in Sydney. They believe that origami is an activity that enables children to entertain themselves for long periods of time with minimal exertion.