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TEACH JAPAN

Resources for students and educators

Festivals

Japanese Festivals and Celebrations

This lesson uses depictions of festivals in Japanese art to examine the cultural emphasis on nature and the seasons.

Provided by Cleveland Museum of Art

New Year’s Bell Ringing Ceremony

The annual Bell-Ringing Ceremony follows the Japanese custom in which the end-of-the-year bell (joya no kane) is struck 108 times before midnight on New Year’s Eve, symbolically welcoming the New Year and curbing the 108 mortal desires (bonno), which according to Buddhist belief torment humankind.

Provided by Asian Art Museum
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The Gion Festival

One of the Three Great Festivals in Japan is the Gion Festival in Kyoto. The parade for this festival is probably the most beautiful and elegant procession in all of Japan. Learn more about the history and customs of the Gion Festival through an investigation of screens.

Provided by Kyoto National Museum

Japanese Dolls and the Doll Festival

Every year on March 3rd, Japan celebrates the Doll Festival (Japanese, Hina Matsuri). Until recently, Girls’ Day was also celebrated on March 3rd. On this day every year, families set up a special step-altar on which to arrange their Emperor and Empress dolls, called “hina” in Japanese. Compare altars and dolls to learn more about these annual celebrations.

Provided by Kyoto National Museum

Learning from Asian Art: Japan

Introduce students to Japanese art and culture as they explore works in the Philadelphia Art Museum’s collection. Each art image is accompanied by background information, a set of looking questions, and related classroom activity suggestions that students can use individually, in small groups, or as a whole class.

Provided by Philadelphia Museum of Art

Journey to Japan

From simple, Zen-like tea bowls to ornate lacquer boxes the objects in this presentation illustrate Japanese aesthetics and demonstrate both ways of making art particular to Japan, and techniques pioneered elsewhere and perfected in Japan. Functional objects introduce daily life during different time periods. Connections are made between Japanese and Chinese culture and art.

Provided by Cleveland Museum of Art
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Teach Japan
was created in collaboration with the following arts organizations: