Week 3-4 #STUBC16: Where I Want to Visit

SAMURAI KIDS A3 POSTER.indd Week 3 of the Student Blogging Challenge is  free choice and Week 4 is “About Your World”. Some of my students are doing Activity 7 “The Place I Would Like to Visit Most”. That sounded like fun so I’ve joined in.

Anyone who knows even a little about me knows the answer to that question. I want to go to Japan.

It’s been on my bucket list for years. I even wrote eight books about samurai Japan while I was waiting to go. And I’m still waiting.

But I’m getting closer. As soon as #2 son is well enough to go back to face-face schooling and keep it up for a month, my family will be on a plane. I promise. Watch this space. Black Tengu cover

I have all the brochures and I know exactly what I want to do. A three week train trip from north to south and hopefully a side trip to Cambodia (where Samurai Kids Book 7:Red Fox is set) because I would love to see Angkor Wat. I want to place my hand against the stones and feel their green agelessness.

First, I want to visit Japan and see all the things I’ve written stories about – a nightingale floor, Edo castles, mountain temples, the Jigudurani Valley, snow-covered forests of Hokkaido, museums filled with samurai artifacts and maybe a taxidermy Hokkaido wolf. Most of all I want to breathe deep – to take it all in and mix reality with everything I’ve imagined.

Image and Sounds and Attribution

Week 5 of #STUBC16 is about images and sounds and attribution. I’m exploring a number of different approaches below using three pictures of Jigokudani (Hell Valley). I had these pictures in my research notes but I hadn’t recorded where I found them. I used TinEye reverse image search to locate the originals and find their attribution details.



This is a Creative Commons licensed photo found on Wikipedia where I can also find the attribution text. It’s a long string of words so I chose to add it to the Attribution tag of the image and if you hover your mouse over the image, you’ll see the attribution:



This photo from Getty Images is only licensed for reuse as an embedded image and Getty Images supplies the embed html that permalinks to Getty Images and the attribution information. I’m not keen on the permalinks or the ugly way text is superimposed on the image or that I can’t centre the image (The Getty Images forum says it can’t be done and a search of the Internet for html tweaks work hasn’t found anything that works).

Interestingly, TinEye turned up multiple sites where this image is used illegally and without attribution. I won’t be going that but I won’t be using another picture from  Getty Images either.




This last image is an illustration from Samurai Kids Book 2:Owl Ninja showing the Samurai Kids bathing in a not pool in Jigokudani surrounded by the macque snow monkeys that use the pool to keep warm in winter. It was drawn by Rhian Nest-James who illustrated all eight books in the series and kindly lets me use her work on-line.

I’ll definitely be visiting Jigokudani.

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