There are 36 ICBunko throughout the UK. These are attended by about 550 children aged from around 2 to 9 years old. Each ICBunko is organised by the parents of the children. ICBA UK supports them with supplies of books, information and regular meetings. This is the list of all the ICBunko currently in the UK.
Donguri Bunko is the largest Japanese children’s books library in London established in 1984. We have a library of more than 800 books. Donguri Bunko is run by it’s members.
Our activities include reading books, Kamishibai (paper theatre) and singing songs. We start our meeting with roll call. We hope that children look forward to come to our Bunko.
Kirakira Bunko is a historic Book Club for Japanese children, started in 1987. We have 24 children now and more than half of them are over 6 years old, so they take part in activities with an excellent understanding and concentration. Kirakira Bunko is like a small Japan where children can appreciate the Japanese side of their identity without any stress or pressure. Even for mothers, it is a precious place where they can meet new friends.
We have over 600 quality story books collected through the activity over 20 years. In addition to leasing those books for the children, they are used for a book club for parents that is organised every month.
Craft activities from last year
• Small Osechi (festival food for the year). – We explained the Osechi in detail. After that ,children made the Osechi by using the colourful paper and various materials. Their Osechi were very gorgeous and looked so delicious.
• A musical instrument – After making instruments, they used them to play music.
• Otedama – They brought their favourite cloth with them and stuff aduki beans into the bag which they sew
• Ohinasama – They rinsed out the contents of eggs by hole at the bottom. Then they decorated them like a Japanese doll.
• Kashiwa-mochi (oak-leaf-wrapped mochi)
• Chimaki (a rice dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaf)
• Nagashi-somen (fine white noodles served flowing in a small flume)
In early summer, they cut nine plastic bottles in half and connected them together into one. It’s length was 2.5m! It was used as a flume. Mothers helped to let the water and noodles run from top of the flume to the bottom. Children caught noodles using chopsticks which they made by themselves.
• Sushi-Roll – Mothers’ faces appeared on the surface of each piece when they sliced them into small pieces.
• Cookie – Children studied about the prefectures of Japan and made some biscuits(cookies) in these shapes.
Sometimes, children studied a task which their mothers decided. All children presented their work in front of other members. First time, they were nervous. But gradually, they gained confidence. I think children grow in confidence as they learn to listen to what other people say. I believe that they will get benefits from these sessions such as understanding how other people feel. And they will be able to choose what is the right attitude such as being to kind to others etc.
Everyone gained a lot of experience through the bunko.
Eating dinner with other members is great fun!
We have a parents meeting once a month to decide the agenda for the next bunko and to discuss the materials required for handmade products so as not to waste time on the bunko day.
We aim to let our children experience Japanese traditional events. Some of the activities we do every year are craft work for Tanabata Festival, making rice cakes to celebrate the Autumn full moon, sports day, Japanese karuta playing cards, craft work for Girls’/Boys’ Festival.
Find us on Facebook and see our activities. @mitsubachibunko
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Our activities include storytelling based on the season, reading/writing Japanese characters, reading books, singing songs with hand play, and seasonal craft.
Kirin-san bunko is part of a wider volunteer group promoting Japanese language and cultures to children up to primary school level and books are exchanged on the first Saturday of the month.
Toddler and pre-school groups also use the ‘kamishibai’ service and read them to children on a regular basis.
We loan a box of 30 books at one time, so that parents can read to children at home.
We also encourage children to speak in front of the group. Older children (from Year 5) read children’s newspaper.
Kamome bunko comprises of children of a rage of age groups, from 3 years to teenagers, gather together like a big family. Once a year we organise an Open Day to introduce Japanese culture to the local community as well as to show off the outcome of our activities. This has been very successful with more and more people visiting every year.
Our member comes from Cotswold and Bristol. Our bunko has about 50 children with a wide range of age groups from toddlers to 15 year olds. Some of them have triple cultures. Our main activities with all the children are introducing Japanese culture and events and Kamishibai (paper theatre). We also organise age based activities. Some learn Japanese language and study together for GCSE Japanese. We hope that our bunko continues to be a community hub for both children and adults.
Our objective is to provide a place and opportunities where children and parents can use Japanese through having fun and playing together. Children aged 0 to 11 years old are divided into three groups depending on their development: Tamago (egg) group (age 0~), Hiyoko (chick) group (able to hold a pencil), and Kotori (small bird) group (able to read hiragana). Over 400 Japanese children’s books are available for loan to the members.
Please visit our website.
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We introduce simple seasonal crafts. Both parents and children help one another in the craft session. Children enjoy this session as they can take them home when finished.
We have over 2000 books in our library ranging from picture books for babies to substantial children’s books. Our member comes from Bedford, Northampton and Milton Keynes.
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For Children with Japanese background living in East London, we provide opportunities to experience Japanese culture and tradition through fun-filled activities in a safe and comfortable environment.
The Bunko is located in North East London. Because of the area all kids are mixed race.
Our aim is to provide the children the opportunities to use Japanese through play.
Our bunko is a home based bunko so all our activities (reading books, kamishibai, seasonal activities) are done in a relaxed atmosphere.
Children aged 0 – 6 and their mothers (and sometimes fathers) have a 2 hour long session once a month using a conference room which is available to locals free of charge. Since the room is quite spacious, we’re able to do physical activities such as Radio Taiso (Radio calisthenics), Bon Odori (Bon Festival dance) and a children’s mini play.
The portion of the tasks carried by the members has increased over last half a year; previously all the activities had been carried by committee members. Now the members do 25 minutes seasonal activities during the session every second month, taking turns with the committee members who do the same in the other months. Also, parents read the picture books in front of the children in turn every month. They also choose which book to read. A kamishibai (picture-story) show is performed by committee members. We feel that the more members carry out the tasks, the more proactive stance that is taken by them at each session.
Reading picture books, performing kamishibai (picture-story show), singing children’s songs, Japanese traditional/seasonal activities, studying Hiragana and Katakana. The level of children’s Japanese varies, but the children who weren’t able to follow the stories at first start to enjoy the stories gradually by coming to Hifumiyo Bunko regularly – which makes us really happy.
We are a small home based bunko covering Penge, Crystal Palace and Croydon areas. We have four boys aged 6 and 7. From spring to autumn, we organise outdoor activities. We have about 200 books in our library. Apart from our main activities, we introduce hiragana through word games and card games. We issue newsletters about out activities. We also have parents meetings. We are planning many new events, i.e. writing a hiragana letter to members of other bunko, learning plant names in Japanese through excursion and outdoor kamishibai etc
We are a fun bunko. The entire membership helps to run the bunko in one way or the other. We held a workshop in November 2017 inviting as a guest Satoshi Kitamura, a picture book writer. We enjoyed Mr Kitamura’s Kamishibai and craft evolved by one of his stories. We had participants from Norwich and Nobinobi Bunko in Swindon. We are hoping to organise a similar event regularly where we can meet other bunko members.
We hope that children learn and understand Japanese culture and become interested in Japanese language by listening to stories and participating in traditional events. We also encourage children to speak to parents or other adults as well as socialise amongst the children and hope that they learn to respect each other and be polite and learn to take the initiative.
Fukurou Bunko in Woking succeeded Kozaru Bunko in Camberly in May, 2014. Fukurou is divided into two groups; a group up until 3 years old, and another above 4 years old. We are in the early stages and are exploring the optimum set up for venue, frequency, and group dynamics. We are also considering joint events with the two groups.
Our library books are in database. Up to 5 books can be borrowed at one meeting for one month. Our library has also DVDs and magazines for adults which are mainly donated. Due to the venue’s restriction, our meeting is held later in the day and that makes difficulties for families with small children to attend. We are planning to set up another session for smaller children.
We learn Japanese culture by celebrating some of the major events. In the summer we had a summer festival. We all dressed in traditional Yukata. We try to create a similar summer festival as in Japan; setting up booths selling food, game etc. Children enjoy spending their pocket money there. In our New Year meeting, children tried calligraphy and Japanese traditional Ping-Pong.
Exercising to the radio
Introducing today’s picture book
Reading the book
Snacks and play time
Sing a traditional song and a good bye song
We meet in one of the member’s house. It is in a relaxed atmosphere. We start the meeting by singing a song “Let’s begin” followed by registration writing on a board a date, a day, weather and season. The other activities include singing songs, card games, reading books and craft. We finish by singing a closing song.
We started as a Japanese play group in Norwich. The group is now one of the bunko. Our activities include “radio exercise”, singing seasonal songs, reading books, show & tell, leaning Japanese culture through traditional events and crafts etc. We introduce Japanese calligraphy and tea ceremony. We also teach children the Japanese language. Our outdoor activities include sports day, Japanese children’s games, kite flying etc. Once a year we organise a big event with the help of non-members.
We try to explain and introduce seasonal events. We try to find activities which accommodate a wide range of age group from toddlers to primary school children.
Apart from our monthly meeting, we organise a social event every season to build our friendship such as curry and rice party, somen nagashi (noodle cascade through bamboo), Christmas party and Rice cake making (we borrowed equipment from the Embassy of Japan).
We are based in Hackney and Islington. We have 200 books to share` in our library. Our activities include Kamishibai (paper theatre), singing seasonal songs and reading books. We hope to form a children’s group in at-home environments.
We aim to form a kind of “children’s meeting place” where new friends are always welcome and children who have grown out of the bunko feel welcomed and join the group whenever they can.
We welcome Japanese families, students and other volunteers who live in the Liverpool area.