Getting Ready for Japan

>> Saturday, February 20, 2010

So, we're heading to Japan in a couple of months and a lot of Jo's lessons have been learning Japanese, reading books set in Japan, using an abacus for math, and learning about Japanese geography and history. If we were going to visit ancient Japan, Jo would be so ready - that's what has really fired her imagination. We watched a National Geographic special a few weeks ago and she loved learning about Tokugawa Ieyasu. I heard her telling her dolls in the bath about the kamikaze that prevented the Mongolian invasions in the 11th century. And now we're reading The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn and Jo is loving it.

She spent most of yesterday pretending to be a samurai who was pretending to be a merchant so he could investigate a murder and a stolen ruby. Awesome! She built a kago (an enclosed litter used for travel) out of pillows and an umbrella. Her kago had the extra twist of also being a traveling toy store. (She was disguised as a merchant because nobody respects merchants and so nobody pays attention to them. Clever!)

When the sun went down she had to stop traveling "because all the checkpoints are closed at night" but she continued to investigate by questioning potential witnesses.
Here she is threatening a reluctant witness. She explained to me that she only has to threaten to draw her sword, because everyone knows that if she actually draws it she'll be forced by honor to use it - and nobody wants that. 

My favorite quote of the day? "I'm not lazy like Nero Wolfe. I actually go out and investigate things. I even use a magnifying glass!" I love it!


A place to hang my dreams February 20, 2010 at 1:52 PM  

HI Wendy, Jo and Alan. I love your world of imagination and adventure. I love that Jo is learning about Japan, its culture and its history. I love that she has a creative and imaginative nature and her brain is constantly seeking creative stimulation. While she was born with her natural inquisitiveness, you both as parents are helping nurture it with your own creative juices; and by doing so, you are instilling in her the importance of using her spirit to seek out adventure, her braing to query the science of nature and the desire to build a solid future of happiness. Cheers to you all...and I look forward to hearing about all your adventures in Japan. Bon Voyage! Your friend, Robi Anstey-Noel

tanita davis February 22, 2010 at 2:17 PM  

Gosh, I LOVE her bad-samurai face. Cracks. Me. Up.

And yeah, Nero is hecka lazy. He thinks that's his charm, I'm sure.

I'm jealous that Jo can use an abacus. I have to keep reading the little how-to book while I'm holding it and working out sums, which kind of defeats the purpose, surely.

I have friends (now teaching in Cyprus) who taught and lived in Japan for seventeen years, if you'd like the American and British perspective of living abroad for awhile.

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