Tag Archives: え


27 Jun

Ekakiuta/えかきうた (Drawing Song) is just that… a song that teaches you how to draw something! These are so fun for kids.

Here is a YouTube Ekakiuta that teaches how to draw a Tako-san/たこさん:

Here’s what my 3-year old drew after watching it:

This website, geocities.jp/ekakisong, has a lot more ekaki songs if you are interested in doing more!

I think the original (or at least, most recognized) Ekakiuta is Henohenomoheji/へのへのもへじ:

It’s so popular, you can even buy a T-shirt or make an onigiri with henohenomoheji!

Wouldn’t it be fun (and great review game) to make up your own illustrations using hiragana? Maybe you could even make your own unique picture using the kana in your name! Let me know if you tried it!


10 Jan

Click here to print these coloring pages :)

え:えいが Movies

10 Jan

What Japanese movies do your kids like? So far, my daughter has only seen Ponyo. She is two years old and she LOVED it! We borrowed it from the library and watched it in both English and Japanese (the DVD includes both languages!). I think she was really able to relate to the curiosity, energy, and spunk of Ponyo. It is a movie by the famous Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. Other movies produced by Studio Gjibli that would be appropriate for toddlers (rated G) would be Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Click here to go to the Disney Studio Ghibli site to watch previews of the movies. You can also purchase these movies in my store.


My Favorite Books

7 Jan

Still going with the ”え:えほん” theme, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Japanese children’s books. あさえとちいさいいもうと” is a book that I read over and over as a little girl. I think it really struck a chord with me since I am an older sister. It is about a young girl who tries to take care of her little sister while their mother runs an errand. It is available in English as “Anna in Charge“.  In fact, I love everything by this author(Yoriko Tsutsui) and illustrator(Akiko Hayashi).

I asked my parents to purchase these books for me last year when they traveled to Japan: すてきなひらがな (Sutekina Hiragana) by Gomi Taro, and あいうえおのえほん by Yokota Kiyoshi/illustrated by Imoto Yoko. I requested these because I want my children to begin familiarizing themselves with what hiragana looks like. They are also great for building up their vocabulary. Both Gomi Taro and Imoto Yoko have dozens of other wonderful books. Gomi Taro has many books published in English as well (In the U.S.A. he is published by Chronicle Books)!

What are some of your favorite Japanese children’s books?

え:えほん How to get Japanese children’s books

5 Jan

May 2012 UPDATE: Please read this blog post for more ways to obtain Japanese books! :)

Trying to obtain Japanese children’s books in the United States is like looking for a 4-leaf clover. It’s difficult and takes some luck!It is worth the effort though, as I am a strong believer that books are a great way to become literate in any language!

There are a few online bookstores that sell Japanese books, but their selection is so dismal it’s not even worth mentioning here. (Edit: Okay, I stand corrected… Mitsuwa was a decent selection here).

Over the past few years I have managed to collect a modest number of good books, and here’s how I did it:

1) Japanese Language School Book Sales

– First, find out if there is a school in your area. I would just google “Japanese Language School (Your City)”.

– Then contact someone to see if they are having a sale or “Bazaar” anytime during the year. I have had great success at the sales in Cleveland and Columbus Ohio (Books as cheap as 25 cents!).

2) Find a Japanese Person and Ask for Suggestions

– They will probably be a wealth of information as far as Japanese resources in your area. They may know people who are moving back to Japan (moving sales are great places to buy books!) or may be willing to sell you/or let you borrow some of their books.  Or perhaps there are Japanese Clubs in your area. High School/College teachers who teach Japanese may also be a great resource.

3) If you have a friend or relative in Japan, ask them to send you books. This is a great option if the book you want is not available anywhere in the U.S. BUT be aware that shipping will probably cost as much as the book!

4) Check your local libraries. Once in awhile, I spot books written in Japanese at the library. If you live in California, Washington, Hawaii, New York City or Illinois (where there are large Japanese populations), you may have better luck. If your local library doesn’t carry Japanese books, maybe you could ask them to!

5) If you’re really lucky, you may find something on eBay or Craigslist.

6) Surprisingly, Amazon.com had a modest selection if you click on “SHOP!” at the top of my blog, you can see what I have found (I have closed my Amazon store). The books can get pricey though, but shipping is usually free, which is amazing.

Hopefully, someday, downloadable books (such as for the Kindle) will be available for us.

7) Amazon.jp, of course, has ALL the books we could possibly want… but unfortunately, we either can’t purchase the books or shipping costs are outrageous. I like to look on Amazon.jp’s Best Children’s Books List to see what books are new and top-rated. That way, I know what books I want to search for in other locations.

8 )Find a Japanese Bookstore- If you know of any, let me know and I’ll add it to this list:

Columbus, OH: Hana Gifts.

California, Chicago, New Jersey: Mitsuwa

New York, California, Washington: Kinokuniya

New York, California, Hawaii: Book-Off

If I had all the money in the world, I would hop on the plane to Japan and come home with a suitcase full of books :)

Do YOU have any other tips? Please share!

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