Thursday, 23 February 2012

Ohayou gozaimasu!

After a short study of the Korean history and culture, we spent a much longer time on Japan.  Last year's study of ancient world history has taught us that mythologies and legends can give us much insight into the cultural aspects of a civilisation, so that was where we started with our Japan study -- by reading stories from Japanese legends and myths:

It was fascinating for us to learn that the Yamato family has been ruling Japan for over 800 years.  To understand more about this unique situation and to know more about this family, we watched the following clip:

We then headed to the British Museum's Japan gallery to see artefacts for ourselves, while we learned more from joining a gallery tour.

Tiger, being fascinated for the longest time about warfare and warriors, stood for a long time in front of the samurai cabinet to admire the samurai swords and armour:

Naturally, this was followed by reading up on the samurai and comparing how they were different from the English knights (in terms of armour, training and culture) that Tiger is so familiar with:

The samurai seemed to have thrived in the Edo Period, which occurred a few hundred years after the Yamato family first took control of the country.  The following documentary helped us gain a better understanding of the samurai and the period they lived in:

When asked to choose a hands-on project for this topic, Tiger chose to make a samurai helmet.  Is anyone surprised at his choice?  I'm not.  We followed the instructions from this book:

Making the samurai helmet was no small feat.  It took Tiger a few days to complete it, and involved plenty of measuring, drawing, cutting, pasting, painting, folding, and assembling, as documented below:

Tiger's effort paid off in the end, as he now has a samurai helmet to add to his "armoury":

This post is linked up to several blog hops, where you can visit to see what other homeschoolers have been busy with.  It is also featured in TGIF Linky Party #19, as well as being linked to the Hands-On Homeschooling Blog Carnival for April 23rd.


  1. That is a WONDERFUL helmet. I love the comparison of Western and Eastern Medieval warriors.

  2. That is a beautiful helmet! You are really good with your hands Tiger!

  3. We are learning a little about Japan right now- of course my boys are most interested in Samurai! We have only read one of the books you showed; I'll have to see if I can borrow those others from our library. Have you read "You Wouldn't Want to be a Samurai Warrior?". That was one of our favorites. What an awesome field trip to go with your studies. My boys would have been fascinated with the samurai cabinet too. Thank you for sharing!

  4. That is so fantastic!

    Thanks for sharing.


  5. How incredibly cool to be able to go to the British Museum for a field trip. I went to London for my honeymoon and I think we spent half our time there.

    LOVE his helmet.

  6. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun studying Japan. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Wow - great ways to learn! Plus British Museum... I'm jealous:)
    Here from the Hop.

  8. I have to admit, I was a bit curious when I saw your thumbnail in our linky because I had now clue what it was! Now I know it's a GREAT helmet! thanks for linking up to Fun Stuff Fridays!

  9. You always have the most interesting units - your helmet is AMAZING!! I can't wait until we study Japan so we can make one too =-) I featured these at TGIF this week ( As this is your second feature I'd love to give you a special featured again button, just email me at livinglifeintentionallyblog if you are interested. Thanks for linking up & sharing your creativity with all of us!! Looking forward to seeing what you link up this week!!
    Beth =-)

  10. What a great lesson! I love how you were able to tie it all into his interests. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday! I hope you will share with us again this week!

  11. Ohayou gozaimasu! I am SO happy to have found your blog! I am of Japanese descent - both my mother and grandmother's are from Japan :) LOVE this post and all the beautiful art, field trips, and books to go along with it :) We currently live in Germany and are looking to go to London VERY soon, perhaps this summer! I have a new blog hop called: Homeschoolers Around The World: A {Geographical} Link Up. I'd love for you to add yourself to the international link! You can find it here: I am visiting from the Hip Homeschool Hop :)


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