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Hastings Reads explores Japanese culture

These wooden sandals are the traditional footwear that is worn with a kimono.1 / 7
Linda Hashimoto demonstrated the art of dressing in a kimono. It would typically take two hours to dress in a kimono. (Star Gazette photos by Michelle Wirth)2 / 7
Hashimoto showed attendees how to fold an origami crane using practice paper, left, and Japanese folding paper, which is much thinner than copy paper.3 / 7
Hashimoto demonstrates how to wear a happi coat which is typically worn at a summer festival.4 / 7
These attendees were excited to complete their origami crane.5 / 7
Children ages 6-12 learned a new art form to create wall art that shows off textures and details from nature. They learned how to create their own Gyotaku fish print.6 / 7
Community members learned origami.7 / 7

Two Hastings Reads events were held at Pleasant Hill Library Feb. 16. Children ages 6-12 spent the afternoon learning about Gyotaku fish print, a Japanese art form first used to document the size of a prize catch. Later in the evening, adults explored the customs and traditions of Japanese culture with Japanese Folk Art Traditions. Community members learned how to make origami, dress in a kimono, what is used in a traditional Japanese dance and more.

Hastings Reads is a community-wide reading program that seeks to encourage reading and discussion of books. The 2017 theme is the Japanese-American Experience.

The high school and adult book selection is "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet," by New York Times bestselling author Jamie Ford. The middle grades selection is "Dust of Eden" by Mariko Nagai. The elementary grades selection is "A Place Where Sunflowers Grow," written by Amy Lee-Tai and illustrated by Felicia Hoshino.

The Hastings Reads main event, a visit from Jamie Ford, was held Tuesday, Feb. 21. There are two more Hastings Reads events left.

On Feb. 24, from 6-7:30 p.m., the Hastings YMCA, 85 Pleasant Drive, will host a family fun night for elementary children and their families. There will be pizza and fun family activities related to the book "A Place Where Sunflowers Grow."

On Feb. 27, from 6-8 p.m., the Pleasant Hill Library will host a class on Chinese brush painting for ages 12-18. Teens will learn to paint Chinese characters, animals and natural subjects and scenes on rice paper using bamboo brushes and ink. Registration is required for this event. The library phone number is 651-438-0200.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

(651) 319-4503