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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.
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 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 welcome Japanese families, students and other volunteers who live in the Liverpool area.