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The original item was published from 4/30/2015 1:12:51 PM to 5/13/2015 8:16:12 AM.

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Canton Leisure Services Division

Posted on: April 30, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Learn About Traditional Japanese Crafts During This Canton Acts of Culture Week Event

Try your hand at gyotaku Japanese fish printing and suminagashi, paper marbling, and also origami in the Canton Public Library's Community Room, located at 1200 S. Canton Center Road.

Three stations will be set up for this Canton Acts of Culture activity - gyotaku, suminagashi, and origami.

Bragging about your trophy fish is as old as fishing itself, but how would a fisherman prove his fish was the biggest in an age before photography? In 19th century Japan, fishermen solved the problem with the invention of gyotaku (Japanese from gyo "fish" + taku "rubbing"), the practice of coating the fish in sumi-e ink, and transferring the image to rice paper. The fish could still be sold at market, the fisherman could still to brag of their skills, and gyotaku became an art form in itself. Participants will make their own fish print (sorry, we only have fish models, no real fish!) to take home.

Suminagashi, which means "floating ink" in Japanese, is the process of floating ink on water and transferring the vibrant designs to paper or cloth. The practice dates to the 12th century. Participants will make their own suminagashi on rice paper to take home.

Origami ( ori, “folding” + kami, “paper”) is the most well known of the crafts we will be doing. In origami, the goal is to turn a flat sheet of paper into a finished sculpture. Participants will have the opportunity to make any of a variety of paper sculptures.

This event is presented by the Niji-Iro Japanese Immersion Elementary School, which is a K-4 Japanese Immersion magnet school located in Livonia, MI that teaches kids throughout southeastern Michigan in both English and Japanese.

No registration is required to attend. For more information about this free event or any Canton Acts of Culture Week, call 734/394-5362 or visit

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