Japanese Children’s Day

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By Jenni Tavenerearly years teacher and writer

originally published 6th April 2009

Children’s Day, otherwise known as Kodomo no hi, is celebrated on 5 May in Japan. It is a national holiday on which all children are celebrated and their mothers are honoured.

Japanese Children's Day.jpg

Golden boy

Understanding of the World

Talk with the children about Kintaro, a Japanese folk hero who had superhuman strength. Explain that ‘Kin’ means ‘gold’ and ‘Taro’ is a popular name in Japan meaning ‘boy’, hence ‘Golden Boy’. Kintaro or ‘Golden Boy’ models are displayed on Children’s Day in Japan to represent bravery and strength.

Provide the children with some air-drying clay and invite them to design a simple model to represent a boy or an imaginary superhero character. When the clay is dry, let the children decorate their model using gold or yellow paint. Encourage the children to use their models to inspire storytelling skills about superheroes or to prompt an interest in the story of Kintaro.

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