Wishing You a Merry Christm-ass!
When we first moved to Fukushima City, I started out walking in a random direction to find out what was out there. I soon came across the city public library. (It’s close to my home.) I was disappointed though, because compared to the Narita library, it was crap. (The Narita library is gorgeous with lots of books in English.) However, I’ve come to love the Fukushima City library. I’m really quite lucky to have it. The Narita library was just an EXTRA special library, so it was really unfair to compare–but I didn’t know this at the time.
The Fukushima City library building is not very pretty. It dates back to the grey, boring and moldy period of Japanese architecture. But who cares right? As long as it has books!
There are not too many English books for kids on the shelves in the city library. (Or for adults.) However, the librarians have been extremely kind and told me that there are MANY English kids’ books in storage that I may borrow. The books are all at the very least twenty years old, but they are in good condition and generally of high quality.
The following photo is of the Christmas display of books they have every December. It consists of books taken from storage.
In years past, I would greedily snatch the English books from this display, (note the one on upper right by Jan Brett) and then request more from storage. (Pretty please!) I really like the Fukushima City librarians. Much nicer than the Fukushima Prefectural librarians! (That’s another post for another day.)
Looking at the Japanese books, you’ll notice that in the middle there’s a religious book. There aren’t that many religious books of any kind on the shelves normally in our library, but if you ask, they have them in storage. (The library is where I borrowed our Japanese children’s Bible.)
Also, on the bottom in the middle is the Kami Shibai style. Anyone who has read Allan Say’s “Kami Shibai Man” knows about Kami Shibai. They don’t really have Kami Shibai Men in Japan much anymore, however, libraries carry A LOT of Kami Shibai style books for storytelling in Japanese. It’s another way of story telling in Japan in addition to books. (Incidentally, the Play Cult is having a Kami Shibai Man performance during the winter holidays, although I’ll be on vacation and won’t be around to see it. So the tradition still exists in one form or another.)
To sum up, in hindsight, I am not sure I NEEDED the library books for our English Experiment in Bilingual Life, but they sure were helpful. I am really blessed to have such a wonderful library near my house.