Japanese art comes to library

Published 10:12 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nao Sakova helps Grace Meadows with her project. -- Rick Couch

By Robert Hudson

The Selma Times-Journal

The Selma-Dallas County Public Library gave some local children a chance to experience a culture they’ve likely never seen before.

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The library invited young Japanese women from the community to teach a class of children the Japanese arts of origami and kirigami as a part of its “Sensational Selma Summer,” which celebrates things to do in Selma.

“This class is our next to last program,” library director Becky Nichols said. “This class is one of our favorites because we have the two Japanese ladies teach the class.”

Origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, and kirigami is a variation of origami, which includes cutting of the paper.

The children made origami butterflies, pianos and snowflakes.

The two women, Marie Fukuda and Nao Sakoda, wore traditional Japanese kimonos as they taught the class.

They are students in Peggy Christian’s English as a second language class at the library and are living in the area with their families, who work at Honda Lock.

Nichols credits Christian with organizing the class and Mary Gordon of the GWC homes center with getting the children to and from the library.

The group included children from GWC, Rangedale, Felix Heights and Valley Creek homes.

“We try our best to expose them to a lot of different activities,” said Gordon. “We try to expose them to different cultures, arts or whatever we can teach them.”

Michelle Damitio of Honda Lock, who helped teach the class, said it was good to teach the children an aspect of a different culture.

“It’s neat because I think it opens them up to different culture and exposes them to new things,” said Damitio. “They’ve probably never seen kimonos or origami, so I think it’s just a really good experience for them.”

Today will be the last program of the library’s “Sensational Selma Summer,” which started on June 6.

The library provided other activities including magic acts, painting and puppet shows.