Japanese language texts for young people

OHISAMA … connect!

Mary Taguchi, BA, DipEd (Syd), GradDip (Tokyo)

Mary Taguchi has had a long involvement in language education and research in Japan and Australia, teaching Japanese and English to many young children. She has been the organiser and leader of numerous educational ventures to and from Japan specifically for primary school children and staff at language and school connection level. She is currently fully engaged as a language consultant and educator in Australia and overseas.

“If we think of the enormous linguistic skill naturally achieved by children in the very first years, the behaviour patterns of play, song, repetition, creation and determined communication, this, then, must be our guide to further language acquisition”.

Sun Mind Map

OHISAMA… connect!

Has identified the language that makes the day turn around, extended it to topic areas and additionally connected it to the authentic traditions of Japan. Using the image of the sun and clouds, Mary Taguchi provides a clear framework onto which to attach and connect activities and resources. For young, energetic children, the approach is exhilarating and productive; the classroom becomes the cultural connection to Japan, the “Third Place”, where cultures meet. Her commitment to experience-based education is mirrored by Chinese wisdom:

“When I hear, I can forget. When I see, I can remember. When I do, I can understand”'

Aim: having children acquire a new language within much the same learning process as the acquisition of their own; integrating another culture into this process - seeing cultures as both similar and individual; truly effective language teaching for confident communication and intercultural competence.

Much study and research has been aimed at this process, resulting in an approach that is highly effective, within the reach of all children, as was their mother tongue.

The CoreSun BeamsThe Clouds

The Core

(1 book) has 12 areas which identify the tools of trade of a language - greetings, numbers, colours, commands, names, descriptions, hiragana, words of eating, making, participation, classroom words, likes/dislikes. The art of confident communication comes with much repetition, hence the many activities, games, songs for all primary levels. All vocabulary is presented in visual images, supported by catching songs - familiar tunes with unfamiliar words, for fast recall. With some of these tools of trade in hand, extension to directions or SUNBEAMS can then happen.

The Sunbeams

(2 books) cover 12 areas - shopping, home, animals, excursions, friends, family, dressing up, transport, communication, a year, a day, playing games. Language will be from the CORE areas plus specific vocabulary; for example, shopping - specific vocabulary will be yen, dollars, Japanese style shops, noren, ikura, ikutsu. The two SUNBEAMS books are filled with ideas and activities, plays, dialogues, games, songs for all learning levels. With topics and directions being pursued, vital cultural connections will be important, hence the CLOUDS.

The Clouds

(2 books) - 12 areas provide links to the rich tradition and history of Japan, forming a resource bank of in-depth information and activities to make, play, song and celebrate…. : Japan long ago, zodiac, containers, folklore, kanji, toys and crafts, cooking, katakana, songs, onomatopoeia, symbols, festivals. Songs (55pp) are in colour, with words, activities, music. All songs are also available on CD: OHISAMA Songs. Folklore is further documented in a booklet of plays with two CDs: OHISAMA Folklore.

Age suitability - from 4 to 14.

Available from

Language International Bookshop
13-15 Station Street, Kew East, Victoria 3102
Phone: 03 9857 0030
Email: customerservice@intextbook.com.au