The Department of Asian and Asian American Studies has been sponsoring an educational outreach program, the Pre-College Japanese Language Program, since 2004. Eriko Sato, a lecturer from the Department, is the program director.
Sato and her 14-year-old-daughter, Anna, have created a bilingual educational picture book for children, My First Japanese Kanji Book, through activities that are part of the Pre-College Japanese Language Program. A book signing was held at the Wang Center Gift Shop in September for this mother-daughter, teacher-student inspirational collaborative publication. The book is now available from Tuttle Publishing and is available at the University Bookstore in the faculty author’s section.
Anna co-authored and illustrated the book. She learned a few hundred kanji characters (Chinese style characters assimilated for Japanese usage) in the program. The book introduces more than 100 kanji characters to children in English-speaking countries. Eriko carefully organized 36 kanji lessons, each of which introduces a few kanji characters that share a common theme or a similar structure. Using her perspective as a second-generation Japanese American child, Anna added a poem with the kanji characters for each lesson, illustrated the poems, and created a bilingual audio CD to accompany the book.