We also encourage children to speak in front of the group. Older children (from Year 5) read children’s newspaper.
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.
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.
Next year (2019) will be our 10th anniversary.
Our bunko is supported and participated by both mums and dads. We introduce to children Japanese traditional games and books. Our children can loan books from our 550 books. Our bunko has a wide range of age groups from under one year old to 10 year olds. Children are divided into three groups, namely Tamago-gumi (from under one year), Hiyoko-gumi (those children who can hold a pencil) and Kotori-gumi (those children who can read hiragana). We try to be specific to the age group when organising games etc.
Our aim is to provide the children the opportunities to use Japanese through play.
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.