Monthly Archives: November 2012

How to be an explorer – Day 2/3/4

After an extraordinary week, I am proudly uploading my finding for the past few days…

On my second day I found a wooden Mickey Mouse with one ear sitting on the ground.

Right after I found it I bumped into my neighbour and fellow colleague David at the train station. We started brain storming about what it can be. We looked at it closely and saw that it was made out of wood, pretty small in size and very well used (paint on it was chipped). It can sit on a flat surface comfortably so David  said it looks like a chess piece. A piece from a wooden miniature Mickey Mouse Chess set? I doubted… He offered to check if there are chess set with MIckey Mouse on it using his iPhone. He googled the key words; chess, Mickey Mouse, wooden and there it was… A lot of wooden chess sets… But unfortunately none of them were like our little buddy here. So we decided to look at the piece closer and closer. And we found a little hole at the top of his head. It was a decoration piece for a phone… I knew it! It was a nice morning seeing, thinking and wondering, talking about utterly different things than work.

 On my third day, I found a pine needle on the hill to the school.

It was a bright sunny day and the sky was bright blue. You know why I am giving you these details? Because when I found the pine needle, I looked up to the sky to see where the pine tree is. And surprisingly I saw that the tree is a couple of meters tucked away from the little road that I walking on. Seeing that, it made me think and wonder how this little needle came down to the road. A strong wind? Children shaking the tree? Fairies? Moreover it reminded me of my childhood when my friends and I sat down under a very old pine tree and made coasters out of pine needles. I still have the smell of the fresh air in my mind…

On my fourth day, I found a silver nail on the road in my neighbourhood.

I was coming back from school and got my bicycle out of the parking lot  where it was sitting for the past few days and paid 500yen! It was getting dark and I was tired. Looking down, I was walking my bike for a while when the silver sparkle caught my eye. Ohh, what a great find! A little nail tucked in the gutter…  I started looking at it closely, it was at most 1.5 cm long, had a pointy end and there was a cross at the top. First I thought it might be a part of a bicycle. I thought if it is found close to the bicycle park, there might be a relation. And it made me wonder which part of the bicycle it came out from? Did the bicycle continue continued to work properly after losing a part? May be it was a apart of a car. But do cars have as small parts as this one? I think this find will remain a mystery for me…

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How to be an explorer – Day 1

I have been reading this book called ‘How to Be an Explorer of the World’. It’s basically a guidebook/ reminder of my creative thinking, whenever I feel like, I turn the pages and roll in. Last night, I came across the exploration #4 which is a very simple practice. During your walk to your work/school,etc. you pick up 30 things. A collection of 30 random things… I decided that I will pick one object everyday and will record my findings and thoughts here. It will take a month and in the end I will try to create an artwork with my findings. It is a challenge for me to break away from my daily routine of speed walking to the train station while I am nibbling over  my so called breakfast consisting a piece of  toasted bread with cheese, paying attention to nothing but the road that leads me to my destination. A nice challenge though, one that will make me look at things rather than seeing them passing by.

By the way to make the task a bit easier, I set myself some restrictions:

  1. Findings should fit the hand size paper bag I have.
  2. They have to be dry.
  3. No fruits.
  4. No little critters. (dead worms are tempting:)

This morning being my first one, I realized that actually it is a difficult task to find an object to collect on my way to the station. The reasons are:

  1. I live in Japan, if not the cleaners, my neighbors wake up early and clean the streets.
  2. Not many people drop things. And if they drop things, such as a key, a pair of baby socks, a hat, etc., other people hang them in visible places so that if the owner comes back, they can easily find it. I can not collect left over cutesie baby socks, can I? Pass…
  3. Random rubbish: I don’t want to have a collection of used pet bottles with coffee stains in. For one, I don’t have space, second it is not dry.

I saw a lot of autumn leaves, one dead worm, a pet bottle, a rotten train ticket and a little rock.

I picked the little rock.

To be honest my choice was purely made to fit the criteria that I’ve put in place. I don’t exactly know what to do with this little piece of rock. It’s particularly neither in a nice shape nor the color is nice. But it made me think and wonder…

Do we have to build relationships with objects that would become a part of a bigger project/ artwork?

Maybe I will find it more attractive and meaningful objects for the rest of my collection.

Maybe it will gain a meaning when blended with different found objects of mine. I think the answer is hidden in time. Let’s wait  and wonder for more possible connections.

I’m excited for my finding tomorrow morning!



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Cyberbullying in Grade 5

Between Sept 24 and Nov 19 with the collaboration of our Elementary School Counselor, we have run cyberbullying sessions in all three Grade 5 classes. Ms. Kumamoto started with physical bullying and I continued with cyberbullying in the coming weeks. We started the sessions by reminding the students of the sessions we had last year when they were in Grade 4. After going over the movie we watched last year, we wanted the students to focus on the tools that were used for bullying in the movie. (cell phones, websites, chat, etc.)


Following up we divided the class into four groups and asked them to choose one of these tools. After they chose their tools, we asked them to write a story on bullying/cyberbullying. This story would soon become a movie.

In our following sessions we asked them to put this story into a storyboard and the last few sessions were on shooting and editing their movies. They have done an exceptionally good job.

You can find their videos here:


Bye Forever

The Ball Accident


Cyber Bully


Enemy to Friends

Bully Movie

The 2 Boys Fight


Cyber Bullying

You can also check out our rough plan for the weeks and reflections.



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