Chapter 9 deals with Japan but, of course, one cannot discuss Japan without China and Korea. The map work was helpful and, in another one of our coincidences, our Adventures in Odyssey CD this week told a story about a Japanese American who lived in Pearl Harbor during the infamous attack which resulted in America’s involvement in World War II.
The kids don’t know yet about World War II – not that much that is. So I had to separate for them what was real and what was fiction in that story.
We read some of the books recommended. The Crane Wife was the most interesting. I had no idea this story is so influential in Japanese culture. Fiction books celebrated in different cultures can teach us so much about those countries and the way their people think and view the world.
Again, I decided that the best crafts were the ones we could eat. I made a Japanese meal according to the instructions. Rice, mushroom soup for breakfast, sesame seed dressing for green vegetables (spinach in our case), teriyaki sauce for our veggie meat (Frichik), and stir-fried vegetables.
The mushroom soup was not consumed for breakfast. I pride myself in having a tolerant palate and a flexible approach to eating, as long as it did not have a mother or eyes before it got to my plate. However, I have long lost the desire for soup for breakfast, if ever I possessed such a desire. I had my soup for supper one night. One of my children ventured to try a bit. Nobody else.
I think it was the mushrooms. I am the only person in this family who enjoys mushrooms now and then. So more for me, right?
But they all ate everything else. It was raining hard when I decided to fire up the grill and make my vegetarian “beef” teriyaki, but I was determined to get it done. It really was not that bad, but I don’t think I will make this sauce any time soon. They ate it, but they were not over the moon with it.
The sesame seed dressing calls for too many seeds. I would cut the recommended amount into half – just my $0.02.
All in all, I enjoyed this chapter a lot. I have always been fascinated by Japanese culture. It started when I took karate for a year, as a freshman in high school. But that, my friends, is a story for another time.