Thursday, May 21, 2015

Samurai, Ninja, and Martial Arts

Ky dressed as a ninja—does he look scary? :)
I knew we would like learning about the Japanese samurai, and we did. But I didn't know that ninja would be so interesting! (Side note: we learned that Japanese doesn't have a separate plural form, so that's why you can say "many samurai" and "one samurai," for example. I think it is also acceptable to use the -s ending when you're speaking English, though.) All I ever knew about ninja was the pop culture stuff from movies, etc., so it surprised me that there were so many cool real-life stories! We loved learning about all the tricks they used: disguises, secret doorways, hallways made to squeak when an intruder walked on them, hollowed-out floors where you could store secret documents, etc. There are tons of books at the library about both ninja and samurai. We especially liked this book showing detailed pictures of a samurai castle, and this book about ninja. This book had some interesting stories too.
We also liked learning about the history of karate, ninjutsu, and other martial arts. The children have never had karate lessons or anything, so I asked Jessie at Riverton Karate if she could show us a little bit about what karate was and where it came from. She was awesome—she gave the kids a free lesson and they had a great time.

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