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Japanese Traditions: Rice Cakes, Cherry Blossoms and Matsuri: A Year of Seasonal Japanese Festivities Hardcover – April 10, 2010


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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool - 6
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Hardcover with Jacket edition (April 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4805310898
  • ISBN-13: 978-4805310892
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 9.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5 The authors regale readers with memories from Broderick's childhood in rural Japan 50 years ago. Two spreads per month describe activities such as the New Year celebrations in January, and feature felines rather than humans in the illustrations. The picture for November shows how to set up a futon and keep warm while sleeping on it and explains the traditions involved in Inoko Matsuri, a celebration of children's good health and prosperity, and in Shichi-Go-San (7-5-3), a festival celebrating girls who are seven, boys who are five, and boys and girls who are three. While the text includes factual information about customs, food, games, festivals, and other cultural topics, the narrative is conversational. Soft, appealing cartoon illustrations of the cuddly, expressive cats dressed in traditional Japanese clothing are full of detail and humor. Each month is represented by a full-page illustration, with the name of the month written in Japanese characters. The last page gives a list of items to look for in the pictures, and poses related questions. Though this is an enjoyable work, most of the cultural information can be found elsewhere, making it an additional purchase. DeAnn Okamura, San Mateo County Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"While the text includes factual information about customs, food, games, festivals, and other cultural topics, the narrative is conversational. Soft, appealing cartoon illustrations of the cuddly, expressive cats dressed in traditional Japanese clothing are full of detail and humor."—School Library Journal

"But the real value of this book is the masterful way it combines loads of vocabulary words and customs with the tenderness of the author's memories and the hilarious and busy drawings, making it a treat for both younger and older kids. And for anyone who wonders how life in Japan used to be when people lived closer to the earth, the seasons and each other, this is a sweet, fun, entertaining primer."—The Japan Times

"Japanese Traditions is completely charming. Children, parents, and teachers will enjoy perusing the playful illustrations and learning about traditional Japanese culture."—Leslie Swartz, Senior VP, Boston Children's Museum and co-author of Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats

Japanese Traditions is exactly the kind of book worth curling up with in a warm place with your child. It's a friendly, nostalgic look at the country, filled with the bustling details of the everyday life of Japanese families in the countryside as they experience it twelve months of the year."—Paper Tigers

"Setsu Broderick's book Japanese Traditions: Rice Cakes, Cherry Blossoms and Matsuri is another one that I would recommend. As may be expected, it focuses on various customs, including those that involve cherry blossoms."—Killeen Gonzalez, Yahoo! Voices

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By rainbeads on June 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My mom grew up in the same time period as the author/illustrator. I was fortunate to visit Japan as a young girl in the early 60's when many of these same household items were being used and before the advent of all of the current cool Japanese electronic gadgets. The detail in each illustration is incredible. Each time I open the book I see something I had missed earlier. I was impressed and astounded with even the tiniest details ... take a close look at the calendars ... the pinheads (a flat flower) on the pin cushion ... and oh myyyyy using cats instead of people. The cats make it so much easier and fun for kids to enjoy this book! So many of these things are obsolete ... the old style rice cooker, heating the bath with a log burning fire, the water jug hand washer ... what a joy to see them again in this book. Buy it, enjoy it, learn about these traditions, share it, enjoy it again :)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By abooklvr on April 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
absolutely precious illustrations in a very where's waldo kind of way. You'll find something new every time you pick it up and browse thru it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MemeBebe on October 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kudos to Setsu Broderick's kawaii illustrations! She not only captures perfectly the Japanese affinity for cats (think: Hello Kitty and Maneki-Neko) through her own original cat family characters, but she also infuses so many thoughtful expressions of traditional every day and celebratory life in such loving and accurate detail. One such example that warmed my heart and prompted me to write this review is of mochi rice cakes puffing up as they grill on an old-fashion hibachi. My two-year-old son and I enjoy identifying the various Japanese items and events, while delighting in each and every cat's unique personality.

The chapters are organized by month and highlight a festival and/or community activity with simplicity, but again with such detail. And the wonderful sidebars range from things like instruction on the more popular origami (paper folding) to information on the lesser known kami-shibai (paper drama). This book is a treasury of traditional Japanese culture for all ages... It's a treasure in our family.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By naomi on February 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book with a lot of wonderful kittens. I use for Japanese Club to tell about Japanese culture and tradition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Jordan on September 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Though we are an gaijin family, my children attend Japanese schools. I love finding books about Japan in English to share with them. The pictures in this one and all the details about different celebrations and traditions for each month are great for sharing. My kids (5 yoa & 6 yoa) ask for the "February" pages over and over again.
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