Japanese for Children

Archive for the ‘Country Facts’ Category

Every year Japanese people celebrate the Tanabata Festival during the summer. The story behind Tanabata is the romantic meeting of 2 stars. There are one female star, Orihime, and one male star Hikoboshi.  They only get to meet once a year because they are seperated by the Milky Way. But when they meet, between them there are many stars lined up in a row which look like a river to the human eye. The Japanese believe this happens every 7th day of the 7th month (according to the lunar calendar) and have been celebrating Tanabata festival for a long time.

The most famous Tanabata festival is Sendai Tanabata Festival. This year it started on July 6th and it had a special meaning since it was the first Tanabata festival after the Great Tohoku Earthquake. As Sendai is the closest big city to the Earthquake epicenter, the festival was celebrated in a smaller scale compared with the past years. The downtown Sendai was decorated with 3000 bamboos with colorful streamers. 80,000 school kids prepared wings to be put on the ornaments. There was abig sign that had a meaning close to “Let’s return to Smile (or Put a smile on your face).” This year, it is expected that 1,750,000 will visit the city for the festival, down 600,000 from the last year before the quake.


Children’s TV programming in Japan is heavily influenced by the government owned TV channel NHK which puts emphasis on kids shows and children’s comedy programs.

Here’s a brief list of the most popular kids shows in Japanese:

ポンキッキーズ 、Ponki Kids.  

This is one of the most popular TV shows in Japan broadcasted on Fuji TV.

おかさんといっしよ, With my mother

This kids show is for kids 2-4 and on NHK. Tons of animations and dancing puppets. Edutainment format.

ウルトラマン, Ultraman
Fight between Ultraman (red/silver costume) and evil characters. Ultraman most of the time ends up winning the fight.

えいごであそぼ, Let’s Have Fun Studying English

An NHK program produced to increase the motivation of Japanese kids to learn English. Motchi, Jenny and Eric go to different places and interact with children.

In this video ANPANMAN goes to a foreign country where he has to speak in English


ポケモンスマッシュ!,Pokemon Smash

A Tokyo TV show that features guests, comedians and wrestlers entertain children. Kids are asked questions about Pokemon characters.


People consider it to be quite exotic to see their names written in foreign characters. Any touristic place you go to, you will see dozens waiting in line to have their names imprinted on local artifacts in different alphabets. Now, it’s super easy to this, thanks to Google Translate. If you just click on the following link and enter your name in your language, you can not only see how it”s written in Japanese but also hear how Japanese people will pronounce your name. For instance if you are Mr. Smith they’ll call you SUMISU, if you are Jason, you are likely to be called JASOHN, etc.

this is where you can write, read and hear your name in Japanese




Onsen - Hot spring in Japan

People who travel to Japan always wanted to visit at least one hot spring called “onsen” in Japanese. Many believe hot springs are good for health and gives a relaxed feel to the body.The Japanese got to hot springs in all seasons, even during the winter…

The open-air hot springs are called Rotenburo. People get rid of stress of while enjoying beautiful scenery at rotenburos because these places are usually surrounded by rich natural settings as can be seen in the picture. The most famous hot spring in Japan is “Beppu Onsen.”


Famous Places

             Mt. Fuji or Fujiyama is one of the most popular destinations in Japan for both Japanese and tourists. Japanese refer to Fujiyama as The Holy Mountain and its name indicates everlasting life.

Kyoto is a city noted for its historical sites.  Over fifteen of these have been classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Kamakura, a town close to Tokyo, is the home of the famous Great Buddha, a 44 foot high bronze statue weighing 100 tons. At one time it sat in a wooden temple however when a massive tsunami ravaged Kamakura in 1945 the temple washed out into the ocean so now the statue sits out in the open air.

Fun Facts

           Japanese teenagers have been creating their own words and the new Japanese dictionaries contain five pages of these. This mostly involves shortening words or phrases. For instance kimochi ga warui which means disagreeable has been shortened to kimoi. And using the name of a business can mean inviting a friend to go there. For example, dotoru would be an invitation to visit a Doutour coffee shop, deniru takes you to Denny’s and makuru to McDonald’s.

children's day kodomo no hi

children's day flags in Japan

Hey there,

こんにちは。May 5th has always been celebrated as the Children’s Day in Japan (Kodomo no hi こどものひ also know as  端午の節句). To mark this day, many Japanese families raise  fish shaped flags (koinobori こいのぼり). As you can see in the picture, there are more than a few black and red carps as black carp symbolizes the father while the red carp is the mother of the family that raise the flags.Children can be any other color, most of the time vibrant and colorful carps…

Children’s day (kodomo-no-hi) was originally celebrated in Eastern Asia (China, Korea, Japan) during the 5th day of the 5th month according to lunar calendar to mark the start of the rainy season. In modern Japan, during the children’s day,  children eat  kashiwamochi which is a kind of rice cake wrapped with kashiwa leaves. There’s a good reason why Japanese kids eat kashiwamochi, it is because the kashiwa tree never fully sheds its leaves throughout the year, so when the kids eat the rice cakes wrapped with kashiwa leaves, it is thought that the family can last forever just like a kashiwa tree that is alive all year long…

Additionally, during the children’s day (kodomo no hi) Japanese families with boys buy Kabuto (sort of a samurai helmet) that can cost up to $1000. The day is a national holiday and a part of the Golden Week vacation. Dino Lingo thinks it would be really cool to be a kid in Japan during the children’s day…

children's day kodomo no hi

children's day flags in Japan

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