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10 Books that Teach Kids about Japanese Culture

Japanese culture fascinates millions of people from all over the world. It does not matter whether it is traditional or contemporary Japanese culture. Though traditional Japanese culture is the main source of knowing the old traditions dating back thousands of years.

Today I am going to feature the 10 most fascinating children’s books that teach them about Japanese culture. They are all well illustrated with colorful photographs and fun fact information.

Kids of all ages would like to read and know it by reading these books. I am sure you could also surprise them giving one of these books reviewed below as a gift.

Todaiji temple gate in Nara, Japan. Photo Credit: John Gillespie at Flickr.

These books could teach them about Japanese literature, festival, garden, architecture, sports, cuisine, travel, traditional costumes, religion, people, geisha, samurai, history, language, society, cherry blossom, arts, anime and manga.

They won’t have to ask you many questions regarding the culture of Japan once they have one of these books on their bookshelf. And it will be very easy to teach them by you with the help of these great books.

Some of you might be searching for a simple book to teach your kids about Japanese culture. Your problem is gone, right here! Pick one of these books given below and make them happy.

1) All About Japan: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More

All About Japan – A best kid’s book to learn Japanese culture in a fun way. Photo Credit:

In Japan, every kid learns basic origami including other simple crafts works at school. It is a kind of tradition we have here. All about Japan is a great source of getting familiar with Japanese culture and traditions.

Without question, it is a comprehensive guide for children about the culture of Japan. There are two kids who take on a journey to teach you the things you are not familiar with in your society.

They teach you about their (Japanese) life style, family, house, school, holidays, places to visit, and more. Reading this book one can understand how Japanese celebrate hanami matsuri (cherry blossom festival), simple recipes, sports, popular Japanese songs, poems, stories and more.

Buy it here now and let your kids know diverse Japanese culture. Highly recommended!

2) A Treasury of Japanese Folktales: Bilingual English and Japanese Edition

Even though it is a collection of Japanese folktales, you can learn so many things about Japanese culture and customs.

It is a treasure among school students both in Japan and outside it as it comes in bilingual edition (English & Japanese). Those whose native is English and learning Japanese would find it very helpful.

On the other hand, Japanese native student could practice their English reading this beautifully illustrated book. The book contains 12 most popular classic Japanese legends and fairy tales.

Every story is unique and something to learn from to develop positive attitude and personality. Some of my favorite folktales are in this book such as Urashima Taro, Momotaro, Hanasaka Jijii, and Kachi Kachi Yama.

They make a great choice to read for your kids before they get to sleep at night. Well, I hope they would certainly be happy to read these classic stories, please collect this book here.

3) I Live in Tokyo

Want to live in Tokyo in future? Then read it.

I live in Tokyo – is a wonderful kid’s story book with pretty colorful illustrations. The story is about a life of a 7 years old cute small girl, Mimiko, and she lives in magical Tokyo city, Japan.

She explains everything about festivals they celebrate, foods they eat, dresses they wear, places they visit, and more. She separately tells you the things they do and celebrate month by month.

I have bought this excellent book to present it as a gift to my friend’s little sister. They live in Canada and after receiving this colorful surprising gift his little sister thanked me and invited me to visit them in Canada in future.

Probably I would visit them someday. I think if you are searching for a cute gift for little girl then buy this book right away. It is a perfect choice!

4) My Awesome Japan Adventure: A Dairy about the Best 4 Months Ever!

A beautiful well written diary tells you the things you are interested in.

Staying in Japan for four months could help you to gain a lot of knowledge about Japanese culture and traditions. Here in this book, you read about an American 5th grader who travels to Japan and spends four hilarious months with a Japanese family as an exchange student.

He is a such a smart boy that he keeps all the records of his adventures and experiences in his diary as a result he can tell his friends back home.

He experiences so many things that a typical Japanese face in his/her daily life. He visits historical places, eats traditional Japanese dishes, learns brush paintings, learns art of bowing, Shinto religion including origami, rice harvesting, rice ball making, martial art, language and etc.

I think it is a wonderful and memorable trip to Japan for him. Your kids surly have so many options to learn from this book about Japanese culture and their life-style. Please buy it here.

5) Let’s Learn About JAPAN: Activity and Coloring Book

It is a super cute activity & coloring book.

This is the best coloring book on Japanese culture. I must say it! I used to collect a lot of coloring books when I was kid. It was fun coloring and doing the different activities in the books.

In general, kids love to have coloring book and if your intention is to teach him/her something unique, out of your own culture then why you don’t pick this up?

This is the perfect coloring book that makes your kids learn Japanese geography, festival, foods, crafts, arts, sports, festivals and people.

Illustrations are great and highly recommended book to collect to entertain your kids. You can get this book here.

6) My First Book of Japanese Words: An ABC Rhyming Book

A simple and fun way to learn Japanese language & culture.

If you are native Japanese who is married to a non-Japanese, living other parts of the world and want to teach basic Japanese words and culture to your kids then this is the book you need in your hand.

It is the right initial medicine you apply to see language learning progress of your kids. It is beautifully illustrated book that introduces young children to Japanese language and culture through everyday words.

I believe it’s a fun way to learn a handful of basic Japanese words (hiragana, katakana and kanji). If you teach Japanese at school then you could try teaching them the best and easy method following the techniques of this book.

I highly recommend this book, and happy reading.

7) Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories: Anniversary Edition

This is a kind of book that you must collect for your kids.

This book makes me nostalgic. It is a pretty addictive children’s book and page turner as well. If you have its old copy now then I am sure you won’t bother replace it by this new edition.

I have so many favorite stories that I read from different books in the past. Though I can’t tell you them all here as my memory does not let me do so. The stories and the illustrations are just wonderful and adorable.

In this book, every character and stories are brilliantly created. You would just fall in love with them, I bet you. You would read the best classic Japanese folktales from this book.

Stories are imaginative, full of fantasy, interesting plots, incredible illustration make this book gorgeous. You should collect it before someone else gets your copy. Collect it here!

8) Japanese Traditions: Rice Cakes, Cherry Blossoms and Matsuri: A Year of Seasonal Japanese Festivities

How to make rice cake? How to celebrate hanami? Get these answer reading this cute book.

What goes on during the 12 months of Japan? You may know it but what about your kids? Do they know it? Impressive Japanese culture and traditions are described quite brilliantly in this book.

Children of all ages would like to experience and imagine Japanese culture by reading and looking at the colorful illustrations of this book.

Japan itself is quite famous for hosting hundreds of annual festivals. It is great to think that every festival is celebrated with harmony in the land of the rising sun.

Apart from learning about Japanese festival, you learn about its language, history, national holidays, New Year preparation, cuisine and more. I highly recommend this book to you if you are looking for books that teach on Japanese culture.

9) Japanese Celebrations: Cherry Blossoms, Lanterns and Stars!

The drawings here are pretty impressive! Your kids would like it for sure.

Here is another book that shares useful information on major Japanese celebrations. It is easy to read with lots of wonderful pictures. For Japanese – life without festival is boring.

They don’t expect life to be like that rather they wait for the festivals they celebrate. You will read about the Japanese New Year celebration including decorations, foods, and the way worship at the temples and shrines on the day.

It features some other great events they celebrate such as Buddha’s Birthday, Children’s Day, Christmas, Summer Festivals, Cherry Blossom Season, Doll Festival, O-bon week and many more.

The book is entertaining with fun facts of these events. I think Hina doll making out of paper would delight your kids. It is certainly a gift for people interested in Japanese culture. Please check out this book now.

10) Life in Old Japan Coloring Book

Let’s get back to ancient Japan. What’s going to be now?

What’s your opinion about ancient Japan? Does it fascinate you much? If you say yes then get this coloring book and surprise your friends. The book is filled with beautiful pictures of samurai, architectures, typical Japanese city street, tea ceremony, costume, and daily life.

Once you open it, you can’t stop coloring the pages of this book. This coloring book educates your kids learning about Japanese culture and history, so it is no ordinary one but very special one they would like to have.

Let your kids take it as a challenge and ultimately they learn the things they are interested in. Buy it here.

You can inspire your children by letting them read more books that teach them to honor others culture and traditions. They are the tomorrow’s future who would lead the world keeping a peaceful environment with all.

Reading book is my passion, I sometimes read books on American, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Russian, and Thai culture. Therefore, I expect you encourage your children to learn more about our culture. Thank you.

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