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The Narikiri Emaki (picture scroll) project

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In this article we introduce Narikiri Emaki, a practical workshop featuring emaki (picture scrolls) from which Japanese animation is said to derive. Our aim is to demonstrate the validity of this kind of workshop as a new way of learning in an information society; and to show how some theories that social constructivist and situated learning scholars suggest can benefit art education. We have already conducted Narikiri Emaki workshops several times in Japan and Italy for cross-cultural research purposes. This article centres on workshops organized on 24 May 2006, for students at the Centro Linguisticai Ateneo Universita degli Studi Firenze (a Language Centre at the University of Florence), and on 19 August 2006, for primary school students at the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, Japan. Because we wanted the students to learn the basic characteristics of emaki and come to appreciate it as an art form, we asked them to perform a favourite emaki character using their bodies as a means of expression. There was evidence of global visual influences derived from animation and cartoons in the emaki they created together with local cultural characteristics. Asking students to act out emaki characters resulted in dynamic, multimodal artistic expressions.
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Keywords: Japanese art history; media; situated learning; social constructivism; workshops

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Gunma University. 2: Kagoshima University, Japan.

Publication date: 2008-07-07

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  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.

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