Academic journal article Language Arts

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

Academic journal article Language Arts

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

Article excerpt

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin Written by Chieri Uegaki Illustrated by Qin Leng Kids Can, 2014, unpaged, ISBN 978-1-89478633-1

Inspired by memories of her grandfathers, Uegaki has created a gentle story of love, determination, and insight. Through images of old photographs and a flashback, Hana's and her Ojiichan's tender relationship and his experience as Second Violin in a symphony orchestra are established. Meaningful Japanese cultural highlights are intertwined with experiences that easily cross cultures. Visiting Ojiichan in Japan, Hana sleeps on "sweet-smelling tatami mats" with her "buckwheat pillow," waking to violin notes that "drift upstairs, through the shoji screen." Ojiichan can "mimic the sounds of raindrops on the oilpaper umbrella" and reproduce chirps of "crickets Hana tried to find in the grasses"-significant given the history of crickets as musical pets in Japan. Hana references a traditional Japanese folk song when she requests the song about "a crow cawing for her seven chicks. …

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