This is Andrea Wang’s and my third installment of our Asian Culture Series. Today, we are going to learn about noodles! In celebration of noodle power, we are giving away a copy of The Nian Monster. Please enter using the Rafflecopter at the bottom.
Asian Culture and KidLit series with Andrea Wang
September 2018: Cover Reveal! Andrea’s MAGIC RAMEN: The Story of Momofuku Ando
February 2019: Cover Reveal! Mia’s Sumo Joe
April 2019: Sumo, Ramen Noodles & Chinese Connection
June 2019: Tempura and Chankonabe (and how it’s related to our books!)
August 2019: Our Connection to Tokyo 2020 Olympics (Nissin Sports Advancement Foundation, Sumo for Girls)
October 2019: It’s a Small World: Nissin Connection
Sumo, Ramen Noodles & Chinese Connection
We’re going to learn about ramen today and its connection to China and Japan. Ramen noodles originated from China. The Japanese adapted it, resulting in ubiquitous ramen shops all over the country selling ramen noodle soup in many flavors including miso and soy sauce. It could be said that ramen is Japanese “fast food” but then the invention of instant ramen by Momofuku Ando brought it to a new level of convenience.
Ando took instant ramen to a cup form and created Cup Noodles. He got the idea from visiting office workers in the United States and saw how they were making use of the instant ramen packets.
Here’s the line up for today’s post:
- Recipe: Let’s try a different flavor of Nissen Instant Ramen!
- Activity: Could You Be A Sumo Wrestler?
- Learn Shiko: Sumo Exercise
- Read: Sumo Picture Book List
- Giveaway: The Nian Monster picture book
Ramen Noodles & Chinese Connection
Recipe: Let’s try a different flavor of Nissen Instant Ramen!
Today, my son tried out an unusual flavor from Nissen Instant Ramen: Umami Soy Sauce!
Activity: Could You Be A Sumo Wrestler?
What does it mean to be a sumo wrestler? National Geographic travels to Japan to learn more. Could you be a sumo wrestler?
Learn Shiko: Sumo Exercise
Shiko is a sumo exercise where each leg is lifted as high and as straight as possible and then brought down to stomp on the ground. It is used to strengthen the legs and is also part of a sumo ceremony to drive away demons.
Sumo Picture Book List
My debut picture book, Sumo Joe, is coming out in a few months, so I thought I’d explore sumo. It can be enjoyed year round since there are six big sumo tournaments every year that start in January and go through November.
Sumo Joe by Mia Wenjen, illustrated by Nat Iwata
They even observe sumo’s ultimate rule: no girls allowed! But when Sumo Joe’s little sister wants to join in the fun, Sumo Joe is torn between the two things he’s best at: sumo, and being a big brother. Fists, feet, and martial art forms collide in this sweet yet spirited rhyming story by author Mia Wenjen and illustrator Nat Iwata. [picture book, ages 4 and up] Pre-order available now; picture book releases May 14, 2019.
Sumo Boy by Hirotaka Nakagawa, illustrated by Yoshifumi Hasegawa
Sumo Boy battles bullies using wrestling moves. After he helps a little girl, he takes her to sumo hot pot at the dojo. My favorite pages are the spreads of the different sumo wrestling techniques. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
The Nian Monster picture book GIVEAWAY!
You can use your noggin and noodles to defeat The Nian Monster. In celebration of noodle power, we are giving away a copy of The Nian Monster. Please enter using the Rafflecopter below.
The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Alina Chau
Xingling uses her wits to defeat The Nian Monster who has come to Shanghai for the Lunar New Year to devour everyone. Noodles and other foods figure into her strategy to defeat The Nian Monster! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
p.s. More related videos!
How to make Chinese hand-pulled noodles
What it’s like to own a Ramen Restaurant in Japan
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.
11 thoughts on “Noodles: Ramen, Chinese Connection & GIVEAWAY!”
What a cool post! Thanks, Mia and Andrea! Your books look awesome!
Hooray for oodles of noodles and The Nian Monster!! Congrats, Andrea & Mia 🙂
I haven’t read any picture books with Japanese culture, but I have read The Last Cherry Blossom which is a middle grade book.
“What are your favorite picture books with Japanese culture?” I have a copy of “The Crane Girl,” which is lovely, but my favorite things are probably a bit wacky and sparky. I haven’t yet read “Diary Of a Tokyo Teen,” but that kind of thing looks very fun.
I loved Wabi Sabi by by Mark Reibstein (Author), and Ed Young (Illustrator). A story about Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes would be interesting for some.
I have not read any picture books about Japanese culture. My choice from the above listed is Sumo Boy.
My First Book of Japanese Words An ABC Rhyming Book is one of my favorite children’s books for my grandchildren because their dad lived there in the military.
I don’t have any but Sumo Joe looks cute!
All About Japan: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More All about Japan is a great source of getting familiar with Japanese culture and traditions. No doubt that it is a comprehensive guide for children about the culture of Japan.
Recently read a picture book called (I think) ‘The Way They Do It in Japan’ with my daughter, about a boy who moves to Japan. She definitely enjoyed it — she related it to her first few days in pre-school this year, when she felt like she didn’t know what was going on and just wanted to go home.
Well, so far the only one I have is Sandman with Yoshitaka Amano illustrations. It is amazing.