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Lesson Plans

Re: Japanese Art

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Scurfield (scurfield)
Fri, 28 Feb 1997 10:27:39 -0600

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Illinois Arts Council wrote:
> Just a brief comment-
> When doing fish prints with children- is it not useful for them to
> experience the actual fish and the smell as part of the experience- I
> think it must add the needed authenticity to understanding the culture of
> japan and their aesthetic reasoning for the practice.
> Maybe some photo documentation of the actual process for the sake of
> understanding the "why?" behind this hands-on activity would be helpful?

Initially I had the same response to the rubber fish from Nasco--would
this be the same experience if it wasn't "real" fish? But since we live
in Kansas and fresh fish are hard to come by, plus the day turned out to
be 95 degrees with a 30 knot wind (in the middle of May), plus the
rubber fish don't get mushy from eager hands pressing down on them,
PLUS, once you've inked the fish, you really can't tell the rubber fish
from a real one--I was glad I chose practicality over aesthetic
authenticity. I'm usually a stickler for authenticity whether it's
practical or not. We had about 700 people attend our four hour event
for the River Festival--five different hands-on activities,
entertainment. Practical decisions were a must in this case! But I
must admit, your points are very valid and I had the same thoughts in
the planning stages. Thanks for addressing these issues. I generally
have the attitude, "If I can't do this right, I don't want to do it at

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