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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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.
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.
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 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.