‘Hello From Ja­pan’

New trav­el­ing ex­hibit opens in Cre­ative Dis­cov­ery Mu­seum

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - OUT & ABOUT - For more in­for­ma­tion: www.cdm­fun.org. STAFF RE­PORT

Chil­dren can ex­plore a child-size Tokyo streetscape, learn Ja­panese tra­di­tions and how to write Ja­panese char­ac­ters when new ex­hibit “Hello From Ja­pan” opens Satur­day, Sept. 22, in the Cre­ative Dis­cov­ery Mu­seum, 321 Chest­nut St. The in­ter­ac­tive trav­el­ing ex­hibit was created by the Chil­dren’s Mu­seum of Man­hat­tan and funded by The Free­man Foun­da­tion.

“Hello From Ja­pan” i nv i t e s f a mi l i e s to ex­plore a Tokyo streetscape with a bridge that leads to a nat­u­ral Shinto shrine park set­ting. Vis­i­tors will learn how time- hon­ored Ja­panese tra­di­tions co- ex­ist with the con­tem­po­rary cul­ture of kawaii- in­spired graph­ics and prod­ucts, which are char­ac­ter­ized by vi­brant col­ors and a whim­si­cal aes­thetic.

Kawa i i Centra l ex­plores con­tem­po­rary Ja­panese cul­ture through the kawaii aes­thetic that emerged in the 1970s among Ja­panese schoolchil­dren and has now per­me­ated cul­tures world­wide. Vis­i­tors can ex­press their in­di­vid­u­al­ity while gain­ing in­sight into mod­ern Ja­panese so­ci­ety as they cre­ate kawaii out­fits, de­sign play­ful mas­cots, ex­plore sea­sonal Ja­panese cuisines, prac­tice writ­ing Ja­panese char­ac­ters and sing along to Ja­panese chil­dren’s songs in a karaoke booth.

In the Shinto shrine park, vis­i­tors will learn about the tra­di­tional, na­ture- based prac­tices and be­liefs of Shinto, an indige­nous Ja­panese re­li­gion. Chil­dren will be en­cour­aged to ap­pre­ci­ate their own lo­cal parks, trees and nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ments as they ex­plore the area’s crawl-through for­est, make a wish at a large Wish­ing Tree, get their for­tune told and en­coun- ter a few of Ja­pan’s kami spir­its.

“At Cre­ative Dis­cov­ery Mu­seum, we pro­vide ex­pe­ri­ences that ex­pand a child’s world in a fun, play­ful way,” says Henry Schul­son, the mu­seum’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor. “‘Hello from Ja­pan’ will con­trib­ute to our goal of fos­ter­ing global aware­ness and wel­com­ing vis­i­tors of all cul­tures and back­grounds to the mu­seum.”

Lo­cal spon­sor­ship for the ex­hibit is pro­vided by DENSO Man­u­fac­tur­ing Athens, Ko­matsu and the Ja­pan Foun­da­tion.

The new ex­hibit is in­cluded in CDM ad­mis­sion of $14.95.

PHOTO BY AOOMMIE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

A young vis­i­tor shows how she filled her Bento box.

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