Sunday, January 15, 2006


Here's the colored in version of the brush drawing I made yesterday. Colored with Lyra brand Rembrandt colored pencils.

* * * * * * *

I watched Spirited Away the other night for the 2nd time. Miyazaki Hayao's films remind me of watercolors; they're so beautiful with their layers of color. He draws all of his animations on story boards first. I also like the playfulness in the stories.
So far I have only seen Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro), Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away), and Majo no Takkyuubin (Kiki's Delivery Service), all in both English and Japanese. I usually show Totoro as part of the "Japanese Culture Through Art" classes that I teach. All the kids like the flying cat bus (neko-basu). Who wouldn't like to get on board a cat bus that flies over the trees?
Another favorite part is when the sisters, Mei and Satsuki, help to raise the huge tree. It's a magical sequence which shows the Japanese reverence for trees and for nature. There's so much in the film that can be used to explain Japanese culture and language.
I also enjoy showing Big Bird in Japan. Kids LOVE the One-Two-Three means ichi-ni-san song. Using this movie in ESL/ELD and bilingual classrooms, I have witnessed that playfulness of language encourages sound experimentation, imitation, and eagerness to learn more Japanese through the medium of English.

No comments: