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Step Into... Ancient Japan (The Step into Series) Hardcover – July 1, 1999
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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There is an abundance of beautiful, full-color pictures (mostly photographs, but a few illustrations) of famous art, buildings, and maps on every page. Each two page spread covers a specific topic and is organized with a paragraph or so of text surrounded by the photographs with interesting facts or expanations. It does not appear too cluttered and again, these pictures are almost entirely real examples of the culture, not just illustrations. A descriptive timeline with is also included on the preliminary pages. The glossary and index are useful too.
Fifteen do-able activities/crafts/recipes are found throughout the book: samurai helmet, shell game, rice balls, carp streamer, screen painting, homemade paper, Noh mask, votive dolls, ikebana flower arrangement, fan, fox netsuke, origami box, calligraphy, kite, and clay tea bowl.
NOW FOR THE IMPORTANT PART...this is out of print, but apparently the publisher joined this title by Fiona Macdonald with Step into the Chinese Empire Chinese Empire (Step Into Series) by Philip Steele to forge a 128 page book called SWORDS AND SAMURAI. I've ordered it Swords and Samurai: The Ancient Warrior Culture of the East and hopefully my information is accurate!
I also highly recommend Exploration into Japan (Exploration Into) for a more in-depth, yet still interesting history of Japan for kids. If you're looking for more crafts and some info, try Japan (Make it Work! History). Also, The Japanese (Ancient World) has some good information about the culture of Japan as well.