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December 6, 2017 / Mika Riedel

The Teachers’ Faces

Hi! This is Bu-chan. It’s been a month since I last wrote a blog. It’s very cold here in Ishinomaki. It feels like we skipped autumn and went straight to winter! As my grandmother told me not to let my neck get cold, I’ve been wearing a nice warm scarf. They used it as a rope for playing tug-of-war. 🙂


Getting back to our activities, the theme this month in art class is ‘faces’.

The clay group:

The children made the face of Onchan-shisho (Shigeki) in the first class. We dried and fired them. In the second class, we painted the faces we’d made. Hakase, one of our members, brought out the finished works after glazing and firing them.


They’ve got the right impression of Onchan-shisho! Look at his five o’clock shadow!



The 2D group:

This group made the face of Hakase. They carefully observed the different shades of red and blue on different parts of the face, such as the cheek, forehead and chin, and expressed them very well.


They have really good concentration. It’s almost professional. It has the atmosphere of Hakase.


Taking a lot of time and observing the objects is difficult, even for adults. Because it was so challenging, the children felt even prouder when they saw their completed works. I was happy and moved to see such wonderful works of art!

Written by Nijiiro Crayons on 11/18/2017.

Translated by Mika Riedel and Matthew Jellicoe.




October 7, 2017 / Mika Riedel

We participated in the Reborn Art Festival at Oginohama Primary School DAY!


Hi, everyone. It’s been a while! I’m a member of Nijiiro Crayons’ staff, Hakase. It’s been a month since I wrote a blog post.

Thank you so much to everyone who came to see us and purchased our artwork at the Nijiiro Crayons booth at RAF Oginohama Primary School in August. We’ve never sold our work before as artists from Ishinomaki Kinka Ware, so we were nervous but also excited during the week.


Despite my trepidation, many people came to our booth. We sold a lot for first-timers, and as one of the artists, I was thrilled.


The people who came to the throwing workshop also seemed to be enjoying it. I’m so glad that I participated in RAF.


After that, I was asked to be part of another event on September 3rd, which would be mainly held for Oginohama Primary School. I had a pop-up pottery event in the school again as Nijiiro Crayons!

The event was called ‘Oginohama Primary School DAY’. I was surprised by the number of the people who came to us. It was way more than the last time in August when we had Bon Festival.


The decision was made and Oginohama Primary School will be closed, so a lot of alumni came over. I understand the feeling because I was also sad when my alma mater was closed because of the earthquake disaster. However, I’m sure there will be more opportunities for the school building to be used for this kind of event in the future. We’d like to participate as Nijiiro Crayons when it is!

Written by Nijiiro Crayons on September 8th, 2017.

Translated by Katherine Lundy and Mika Riedel.

July 13, 2017 / Mika Riedel

The Nijiiro Play Park!

It’s been a while! I’m Hakase of Nokunoku House. It’s nice and cool here in Ishinomaki. I went to Nagoya for my friend’s wedding party some days ago, and it was quite hot there! I remembered how it was when I was living in Mie. It must be very hard for people who live in Western Japan now.

Here at Nokunoku House, which is still enjoying the refreshingly cool weather, our parking lot has been turned into a park (The Nijiiro Play Park!) that is free to use for anyone to play in. As a start, we made a sandbox where children can play together! The kids got real muddy while making sand castles!


They poured water into the moat they made, and the castle was complete! In the field next to the sandbox the sunflowers planted by kids and parents are growing really fast.


They also planted watermelons, corn, cherry tomatoes, and mysterious French fruits (we read the seed package, but no one had any idea what they were.), along with some other plants. We are looking forward to seeing them grow. I’d like to report how it goes.



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Mothers who participated in the Parents-and-Children Classes brought ingredients and we had a barbeque together. It smelled really good, as things grilling over charcoal tends to, and I had a great meal. Charcoal-grilled food really is the best. Eating outside makes it even better. Anyone can use Nokunoku House’s facilities such as charcoal grills, tents, and tables, anytime. Just ask!

We are planning to make more things like benches and flower gardens and other things for the Nijiiro Play Park. Everyone who lives near us is welcome to join! Let’s have a cup of tea on a sunny day and relax while viewing the sky!

Written by Nijiiro Crayons on 2017/6/23.

Translated by Mika Riedel and Meredith Lescoe.

April 29, 2017 / Mika Riedel

Recent activities in Nokunoku House

Hi, this is Jobs. I’ve been spending a lot of time in Nokunoku House lately. Cherry blossoms have fallen already, but did you go to see them? I couldn’t. I enjoyed seeing them in full bloom only in the uploaded photos.

Today, I’m going to report how things have been going in Nokunoku House. We even have videos. Enjoy!

★Playing outside with Nokunoku

We were relocating the flower garden.

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We made this small farm. We sow seeds, grow them and eat them.

Lunch party in Nokunoku (April 8th)

This is the first time for some kids to wash rice!? They are frying hamburger steaks. The rice is ready! It looks tasty! Don’t forget to tidy up!

You can see the videos here on Youtube. Please subscribe the Nijiiro Crayons’ channel.

Written by Nijiiro Crayons on April 29th, 2017.

Translated by Mika Riedel.

March 11, 2017 / Mika Riedel

Meeting over a cup of tea

Hello, everyone, this is Sacchi! It’s cold, isn’t it? It’s already February! We met each other over a cup of tea on 3rd of February, last week.


We wanted to scatter nuts and beans for Setsubun but we didn’t since we were worried that babies might be allergic to nuts.


A lot of people participated our activity today as well. We appreciate it. It’s a tea group, but you don’t have to drink tea. Those who don’t drink tea also had a good time and talked a lot.



They talked about their babies, their husband, and how they spent new year’s day… Some of them said they had gastroenteritis. It must be really difficult to take care of children when you’re sick.


We had various kinds of teas today as well. Children were also having fun playing with toys. It was very nice to see their smiles. It was so much fun so I almost forgot it was so cold! We are waiting for you all with our toys in Hiroba!


Written by Nijiiro Crayons on 2017/2/8.

Translated by Mika Riedel and Daniel Sunstrum.

December 27, 2016 / Mika Riedel

The Parents and Children Art Class

We had a workshop where we used wood in ‘the parents and children art class’ today. We learnt to craft with natural materials such as large and small branches, acorns, and pine cones. They made their crafts trying out different combinations of those materials. I found it very interesting that they made completely different figures by mixing those branches and pieces of wood. We stuck a clip to them and made them stationary. The little children put beads on top of those pine cones and made Christmas trees.





Written by Nijiiro Crayons on 12/1/2016.

Translated by Mika Riedel and Lang-8.

November 15, 2016 / Mika Riedel

How about round eggs?

Hello, everyone! There are a lot of spooky Halloween decorations creeping up all over the town. Just seeing the costumes and decorations is making me excited. At Nijiiro-Hiroba, we are also having an art event, ‘Let’s make Helloween Hats’ until tomorrow. Please come and join us!


Now I’m going to write about how our reading event went last week. First, we played a game with our hands. We sang the Korokoro-Tamago (round eggs) song. It goes like this:

‘The round eggs are smart ones, smart ones…’

Parents hugged their children when singing ‘the smart ones’. On this day, the parents who were participating for the first time joined in singing and playing with us!





The best thing about this ‘play with hands’ is that the parents could communicate with their children using songs and movements that could be easily remembered. After having a wonderful playtime, we started reading. Requests and new ideas for games are more than welcome. Tell us what games you play in your region.


After the game, everyone enjoyed exploring the world of books. This was written by me, Maki-chan, who would like to read in the nice autumn night but can’t due to sleepiness.



Written by Nijiiro Crayons on 10/26/2016.

Translated by Mika Riedel and Matthew Jellicoe.

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