Tag archives for Japan
BOOK NAME: Hachiko Waits
AUTHOR: Lesléa Newman
Who doesn’t love a heartwarming book that is about loyalty and a strong bond between others? It’s even better when it includes a dog! In this case, a dog named Hachiko. Hachiko Waits is based on a very real story about a dog named Hachiko who lives with its owner in Japan. When Professor Ueno goes to the train station, Hachiko (or Hachi for short) follows to see off his master. Each time Professor Ueno pats Hachi’s head he says “You must be the best dog in all of Japan.” And then he boards his train. Hachiko then goes home the rest of the day until 3 o’clock when he returns to the train station. At that time, he gets to welcome his owner home.
This goes on for several years. But one day, when Hachi is at the train station waiting for Professor Ueno, he doesn’t step off the train. Puzzled, Hachi eventually heads home. The next day, Hachiko comes back, but again there is no sign of the professor. Hachi then stays at the train station and every day at 3 o’clock he would sit there waiting in hope. Even one boy named Yasuo can’t persuade Hachi to leave his post. Children would feed Hachi and the conductor too. Where can the professor be?
This is a sad book, but it is worth the tears to experience this wonderful story. Since it is based on a true story, it makes it even more fantastic. In fact, Hachiko is so beloved by the Japanese, they even have a statue of him still waiting for his master to come home. I’m glad they recognized his loyalty and remember him even though he was a dog. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes dogs and heartwarming stories.
BOOK NAME: Heart of a Samurai
AUTHOR: Margi Preus
Traveling can be a unique, exciting, and sometimes scary experience. The experiences you have can be remembered for ever and possibly change your life. However, what if traveling came at the cost of never returning home again? Would you still be willing to leave?
14-year-old Manjiro lives in a small village in Japan. One day, in the year 1841, while Manjiro is out fishing with four other fishermen, a terrible storm blows their small boat out to sea, eventually stranding them on a deserted island. Manjiro and the other fisherman are rescued by the crew of the John Howland, an American whaling vessel. Manjiro has grown up hearing tales about “barbarians” from distant lands, but because of his country’s isolation, he is overcome with curiosity about the strange culture of the people around him. It’s this curiosity that leads him on an epic journey to distant countries like America. Even though Manjiro is fascinated by the wondrous places he visits, all he really wants is to go back to his family and homeland. Due to Japan’s isolation policy at that time in history, that may not be possible. If he returns from his travels, he may be imprisoned or executed.
This book was a unique story that I truly enjoyed reading. I am part Japanese, so the story had a special impact on me. I enjoyed learning more about the culture and history of the country to which I owe some of my family’s origins. Manjiro is an interesting character because he is based on a true life diplomat, adventurer, and negotiator. The book even included sketches that Manjiro actually drew about the places he visited and the things he saw. The only aspect of the book that I was not fond of was that it involved whaling. Whales are my favorite animals, and although whaling is a major part of the world’s history, I do not like reading about humans slaughtering such majestic creatures.
Thousands of people are missing or dead after a powerful earthquake and tsunami shattered much of Japan last Friday. Now a nuclear disaster threatens the health of survivors.
If your family would like to help, here are some organizations your parents can contact to do something for the people of Japan. Donations can be small. Please visit the websites of the organizations listed to find out more about their relief efforts in Japan.
Japan Relief Donations
Animal Relief Efforts
Animal Refuge Kansai
The charity is appealing for help for the animals made homeless by the earthquake and tsunami. You may make a donation through PayPal.
Japan Cat Network
How you can help.
World Society for the Protection of Animals
WSPA is sending their own team of veterinarians to Japan.
Photograph by Damir Sagolj, Reuters
A massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake–the strongest in Japan in 140 years–struck 81 miles
(130 kilometers) off the coast of Sendai at 2:46 p.m. The number of casualties has not been confirmed.
Sendai, a city of about a million residents, was hit by tsunami
waves up to 33 feet (10 meters) high. Tsunami warnings were quickly
issued for many Pacific Coast regions, including Hawaii, the Philippines, and Mexico.
The earthquake and its aftershocks were felt as far away asTokyo, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) from the epicenter.
Learn more about Japan .
Photograph by Keichi Nakane, Yomiuri Shimbun/AP
BOOK NAME: The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn
AUTHOR: Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler
Seikei dreams of becoming a samurai, but he knows his fate cannot be like one of a samurai. Being a tea merchant’s son, he is expected to grow up and inherit his father’s trade. Living life by one day at a time, Seikei becomes familiar with the tea his father sells and almost gives up on his dream of being a samurai. Soon after, a ruby sent to the shogun (the military governor of Japan) is stolen by a ghost. Being the only witness, Seikei is required to assist the famous samurai magistrate, Judge Ooka, in his adventure to find the thief and return the ruby.
The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn is a book apart of the “Sleuth Puffin” group so it’s a mystery/adventure. This book was one I was to read for school. In full honesty, I read the summary on the back which covered most of the whole story like the paragraph above and I deeply sighed. A Japanese boy with a dream. A dream that couldn’t come true. Then something gets stolen and he has to help. So typical, right? After the second chapter in this book I kept reading and reading. I loved it so much! The storyline is admittedly common, but the authors, Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler, dazzled up the plot and the whole story came alive. No inappropriate content and a fabulous story! I suggest it to reading levels of 3rd grade and up!
Stefan Jenss, world traveler and former blogger for the Global Bros, was one of 250 kids, ages 10 and 11, selected to participate in the World Children’s Baseball Fair (WCBF) in Tokyo, Japan. The event celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Stefan Jenss reports.
The World Children’s Baseball Fair was started in 1989 by the home-run kings Sadaharu Oh of Japan and Hank Aaron of the USA. Its goal is to bring kids from around the world together through their common love of baseball. Because the sport promotes teamwork, good health, discipline, and friendship, Mr. Oh and Mr. Aaron believed the event would create goodwill and global understanding and appreciation among the children of the world. Twenty-three countries were represented at the WCBF this year.
An underwater volcano 745 miles south of Tokyo, Japan, erupted earlier this month. The volcano, Fukutoku-Okanoba, last erupted in July 2005. Past Fukutoku-Okanoba eruptions have caused miniature islands to form, but the ocean’s waves have washed them away. The eruption of underwater volcanoes can also form very large islands, like those that make up the Hawaiian Islands.
Will this eruption create a new island? “We have seen no evidence of an island being created yet, but it is possible, and we will continue to monitor the situation,” said Keiji Doi of the Japan Meteorological Agency.
See pictures of the eruption on National Geographic News.
Visit a gallery of erupting volcano pictures on National Geographic Kids.
How much do you know about volcanoes? Quiz Your Noodle and find out!
Giant salamanders must swim upstream to lay their eggs, but navigating all the dams can make the trip nearly impossible. A new program helps the salamanders get around the dams while still protecting the cities in Japan from flooding during the monsoon season. Watch the video to find out how they do it.
Get the facts on spotted salamanders on National Geographic Kids.
Learn more about Japan on National Geographic Kids.
See the video on National Geographic News.
Photograph from Kyodo via AP
Japan may be invaded by giant jellyfish again this year. Nomura’s jellyfish can be bigger than humans (up to 440 pounds, or 200 kilograms), and they’re big trouble for people fishing on the coasts. Nomura’s jellyfish breed in the waters off of the coast of China. From there they move to the coasts of Japan. The jellies clog nets and ruin potential catches with their toxic stings. This damage can cost the coastal fishers billions of yen.
Researchers at Hiroshima University have been monitoring sites where Nomura’s jellyfish breed, and they’ve found large numbers of the jellies, meaning that a new invasion may not be far away.
Read more about the jellyfish invasion on National Geographic News.
Learn more about Nomura’s jellyfish on National Geographic Kids.
Get the scoop on jellyfish in this Creature Feature.