Japan and Nature exhibition brings families together

December 10, 2008

Japan and Nature exhibition brings families together
at the Canadian Children’s Museum

Gatineau, Quebec, October 2, 2008 — If you’ve ever dreamed of taking a family trip to Japan, here’s your chance — and you don’t even have to leave the National Capital Region. Instead, you can visit the Canadian Children’s Museum (CCM) to see Japan and Nature: Spirits of the Seasons, a new immersive exhibition opening on Saturday.

Presented from October 4, 2008 to March 29, 2009, Japan and Nature invites visitors to discover how children in Japan celebrate nature in their everyday lives, and how nature is reflected through Japanese stories, art, seasonal activities and celebrations.

The new exhibition, aimed at children ages 4 to 12, is designed around universal aspects of childhood ¾ family, school, play and holiday celebrations. The space is divided into four fun-filled interactive zones, each representing a different season and region of Japan. Among the activities visitors will enjoy are the springtime cherry blossom festival in Fukuoka, a summer vacation fishing and catching bugs at Lake Biwa, and a visit to a sacred Shinto shrine in Kyoto on a beautiful fall day. Visitors will wrap up their year abroad with winter in Sapporo, celebrating New Year’s inside a cozy Japanese winter home by playing a traditional New Year’s game and sampling special winter foods.

The CCM will offer a series of special activities during the next six months, in conjunction with the exhibition. The activities will include food and craft workshops, martial arts demonstrations, musical performances and several festive events.

The exhibition’s opening coincides with National Family Week, October 6 to 12, an annual initiative of the Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs (FRP Canada). This year’s theme of Strengthening Ties Through Family is mirrored in the family activities and traditions celebrated in Japan and Nature and through other programming at the Canadian Children’s Museum that provide children with a sense of identity, closeness and security. The Canadian Children’s Museum is happy to collaborate with FRP Canada to spread that positive message during National Family Week and all year round.

Japan and Nature: Spirits of the Seasons was developed by the Brooklyn Children’s Museum for the Freeman Foundation’s Asian Exhibit Initiative, which aims to give children and families an opportunity to explore the cultures of Asia. Creators of the exhibition travelled to Japan to collect stories and video and sound recordings of real children’s lives and experiences.

The Canadian Children’s Museum (CCM), one of the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s most popular a