Good afternoon, everyone! As you may know, last Saturday was the 2013 Play & Learn at the Itoigawa Global Geopark event.
Learn & Play is a yearly event which invites young and old alike to participate in a variety of fun (and educational!) activities related to the Itoigawa Global Geopark. Held toward the end of summer vacation, Learn & Play has something for everyone:
One of the main activities offered was the creation of rock sample cases. The beaches of Oyashirazu are a treasure trove of rocks of many kinds and origins. Geopark staff members, volunteer guides, and students from the Niigata University Geology Department were on hand to assist in the identification and labeling of specimens.
Perhaps the most popular activity was magatama bead making. In this activity, instructors taught guests how to make their own magatama beads, using techniques similar to those employed by the Jomon people millennia ago here in Itoigawa. Rather than use jade, which is exceptionally hard and requires countless hours of grinding and polishing to work using traditional methods, visitors made their beads out of talc. The earliest Jomon people similarly used talc to produce their first beads, owing to its soft and easily malleable nature.
Another activity offered was rock painting. Here, children were encouraged to collect rocks with interesting shapes and to paint them based on how they thought they appeared. You may remember the post from last week in which we made a few examples of these.
Overall, the event was a great success! Apart from these three activities, visitors could also participate in a seaside treasure hunt and an Oyashirazu Pier Park-themed quiz! Hundreds of people came out to take part in the event and we’d like to thank all of them. We hope to see you next year as well!