Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hats, and More, for the Jizos

Our study of East Asia continues in the library.  We've been experiencing the global art of storytelling.  Last week, we enjoyed a story called Hats for the Jizos from Japan. The storytelling technique employed was kamishibai theatre. Employed in Japan for hundreds of years, the small kamishibai theatre holds picture cards that help to tell the story.  Kamishibai was very influential in the development of Japanese television and currently popular arts, such as manga and anime.
The story shared in library class centered around a kind, humble man who sees statues our in the snow and puts hats on their heads to protect them from the elements.
    We learned about jizo statues. Our research told us that these statues exist in nearly every town in Japan.
They are there to greet and protect travelers, and can be seen along roads and paths.  We enjoyed looking at the images.  Some are very plain and others are elaborate; sometimes there is on statue and sometimes there are many. 
 People often leave clothing or other gifts for the jizos.

We all enjoyed the story, and then yesterday, something rather odd happened.
Outside the library, someone had drawn some jizo statues and pinned them to the wall.
Then I noticed several others around the building.  By now I have seen many jizo statues appearing.  I can honestly say that I have nothing to do with it.  I suspect some kind and enthusiastic students may be responsible.

I hope we all start leaving little decorations for the jizos. You can "teach" kids, and fill their heads with ideas and information, But, it's a beautiful thing when students take ownership and take their learning to the next level.
Oshimai = "the end."

1 comment:

  1. Mary, I'm excited to have discovered your blog today! I am also a librarian at an elementary school and just love the energy and enthusiasm that is apparent at your library! Our school is an arts school and so many of your posts, including this one, is something that I would LOVE to explore. I can't wait to share your post with the art teacher that I collaborate with so often!