The Last Kappa of Old Japan

The Last Kappa of Old Japan is a warmly written and beautifully illustrated bilingual Japanese children’s book that introduces many aspects of traditional Japanese culture and folklore while teaching an important lesson about environmentalism.

The story is of a young Japanese farm boy who develops a friendship with a mythical creature– the kappa–a messenger of the god of water. The tale begins in post-Modern Japan when the boy is young, and the kappa is healthy and ends when the kappa, now the last one left on Earth, keeps an important promise to his human friend. A story of love, friendship, and adventure, readers of all ages will enjoy this picture book by award-winning author/illustrator, Sunny Seki. This bilingual edition includes Japanese text alongside the English, making it a great resource for emergent bilinguals. (Source)

Author: Sunny Seki

Sunny Seki is the author/illustrator of four Japanese children’s books. Born in Tokyo in 1947, Sunny graduated from Nihon Daigaku with a degree in Photography. He then came to the United States, where he studied illustration at Pasadena Art Center of Design. For the next 32 years he operated Sunny Seki Photography in Rosemead. Today he presents his books and other Japanese folktales at community events. Sunny and wife Judy have nine children, and they live in San Gabriel. Sunny is also the teacher of a Southern California Japanese senryu poetry group. In 2007 he published Gardeners’ Pioneer Story, an account of the 100-year history of Japanese gardeners through the sensitive senryu poems created by this group of immigrants.

Excerpt form the book. Features a two-page illustration of the Japanese countryside. There are multiple commuters, homes, and farms. The text reads (in English and Japanese): "Our story begins in Old Japan, just before the time of electricity. In the peaceful countryside, a green land with clean, clear streams, there lived a boy named Norihei. His family had been farmers for many generations.
Excerpt from the book.

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