‘Hello From Japan’
New traveling exhibit opens in Creative Discovery Museum
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.
A young visitor shows how she filled her Bento box.