Posts filed under ‘.Asia’

JAPAN: Shichi-go-san Festival


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November 15, 2017 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Wabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi

By Mark Reibstein

Illustrated by Ed Young

At last, the master
Says, “That’s hard to explain.” And
That is all she says.

Wabi Sabi, a little cat in Kyoto, Japan, had never thought much about her name until friends visiting from another land asked her owner what it meant. At last, the master says, “That’s hard to explain.” And that is all she says. This unsatisfying answer sets Wabi Sabi on a journey to uncover the meaning of her name, and on the way discovers what wabi sabi is: a Japanese philosophy of seeing beauty in simplicity, the ordinary, and imperfection. Using spare text and haiku, Mark Reibstein weaves an extraordinary story about finding real beauty in unexpected places. Caldecott Medal-winning artist Ed Young complements the lyrical text with breathtaking collages. Together, they illustrate the unique world view that is wabi sabi. Wabi Sabi is a unique picture book that clearly explains a new way of seeing the world to readers.

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October 24, 2017 at 5:25 am Leave a comment

Gimme that harvest moon!


By Kobayashi Issa

“Gimme that harvest moon!”
cries the crying
child

Translated by David G. Lanoue

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October 5, 2017 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Chang’e Flying to the Moon


Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival Stories

Long, long ago, there were ten suns in the sky. The suns burnt all the plants and people were dying on Earth, until one day excellent archer Hou Yi used his bow and arrows to shoot down nine of the suns. Earth was saved, and people flocked to learn archery from Hou Yi.

The Western Queen Mother gave Hou Yi a bottle of elixir that could make one person immortal. Although Hou Yi did want to become immortal, he wanted to stay with his wife Chang’e more. Therefore, he just kept it at home.

Pang Meng, one of his students, tried to seize the elixir when Hou Yi wasn’t at home. Faced with greedy Pang Meng, Chang’e decided to drink the elixir. It made her fly to the moon where she would stay forever.

To remember her and pray to her, Hou Yi and others started to worship the moon with many offerings.

Chang’e’s image usually appears on Mid-Autumn Festival pictures. Children in China are told that Chang’e is still living on the moon. And on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, when the moon is bright, children try their best to find the shape of Chang’e on the moon.

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October 4, 2017 at 3:25 pm Leave a comment

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival 2017


Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! 中秋快乐!

Traditionally, this is the time for Chinese people worldwide to give thanks to the harvest and hope for community as well as prosperity. Under the bright moon, friends and family feast upon traditional round mooncakes and symbolically arranged nine-jointed lotus roots and watermelon, chatting away and lighting lanterns.

Stretching back thousands of years, this tradition is rooted in the folklore of Hou Yi and Chang’e. Many, many ages ago, people everywhere were suffering from the heat of 10 suns. Hou Yi shot down nine of the suns and was rewarded with an elixir of immortality from the Jade Emperor. When a friend tried to take the elixir, Hou Yi’s wife, Chang’e, tried to prevent this and ended up drinking the elixir herself. She then floated up to the moon. When Chang’e coughed up the elixir, it turned into a rabbit.

Legend says the loving couple are reunited once a month on the 15th when the moon burns brightly enough for them to spot each other. Venture outside to celebrate “the fifteenth of the eighth (lunar) month” and try to trace the shadow of Chang’e and her rabbit!

China Mid Autumn Festival Cards

How to Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival for Kids

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October 4, 2017 at 5:25 am Leave a comment

INDIA: Manjhi Moves a Mountain


by Nancy Churnin
Illustrated by Danny Popovici

Dashrath Manjhi used a hammer and chisel, grit, determination, and twenty years to carve a path through the mountain separating his poor village from the nearby village with schools, markets, and a hospital. Manjhi Moves a Mountain shows how everyone can make a difference if their heart is big enough.

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September 6, 2017 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Koinobori

Happy Children’s Day!

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May 5, 2017 at 3:25 pm Leave a comment

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