The ELC children have been immersed in learning about the culture and traditions of Japan at this time of year.
One Japanese tradition is making a wish to the daruma.
The children studied the shape of the face, and then drew or painted their own daruma. When a wish is made, one eye of the daruma is colored in, and when the wish comes true, the other eye is filled in.
Omochi pounding was another big event at the ELC. It involved many steps from washing the rice the day before to pounding the rice into a paste to eating the sticky, but yummy omochi! On omochi pounding day we had lots of parents and members of the Azabu Juban Neighborhood Association helping us. The best part was eating it. One class ate 103 omochi!
During skills classes, the children practiced sumo skills. All that hard work paid off as can be seen from the photos! As a warm up to the real sumo wrestler visit, the kids have had a fabulous time learning the steps and rules of the sport of sumo. Teacher Hisako has played referee (gyouji) as they spar each other applying their newly gained knowledge. What an excellent way to practice following procedural steps and the importance of following directions. And then the big day of the real sumo wrestlers visit! The kids were a little overwhelmed at the size and strength of Kaounishiki san and Byakko san. They listened and watched wide-eyed as the sumo wrestlers demonstrated several professional sumo moves for us all. Wrestling one on one with the sumo wrestlers was scary for most but when teamed up with all the boys or all the girls, they had great fun “winning” their matches!
Most recently, sounds of taiko drumming could be heard from the music room. The children and their families were treated to a taiko drumming presentation at the ELC by an amazing troupe who put on an interactive performance using these traditional instruments.
It has been a festive time at the ELC! (Jean Caskey, ELC Director)