Sayonara to Japanese exhibition at Discovery Center

ROCKFORD, Ill. –Sunday, September 3 marks the last day to enjoy Discovery Center Museum’s temporary exhibition on Japan. Hello from Japan! is an interactive traveling exhibit that transports families to a present-day setting in Tokyo.

In addition to enjoying the exhibition, special closing day activities will take place from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm. These special activities include wood block printing, creating carp kites and writing names in Japanese.

The Hello from Japan! exhibition invites families to explore an immersive, child-sized Tokyo streetscape and Shinto park. Visitors learn how time-honored Japanese traditions co-exist with the contemporary culture of kawaii-inspired graphics and products, characterized by round figures, vibrant colors and a whimsical, cute aesthetic. The contrast between modern culture and traditional Japanese practices is demonstrated through the representation of an authentic present-day Tokyo streetscape that connects to a bridge leading into a natural Shinto shrine park setting.

The exhibition encourages visitors to express their own individuality and simultaneously gain insight into modern Japanese society as they create kawaii outfits, design playful mascots, explore seasonal cuisines, practice writing Japanese characters, and sing along to Japanese children’s songs in a karaoke booth.

A bridge at the end of the streetscape leads from the contemporary urban setting into a more tranquil Shinto shrine park environment. The park explores the traditional, nature-based practices and beliefs of Shinto, an indigenous Japanese religion. Visitors can explore the shrine area’s crawl-through forest, make a wish at a large Wishing Tree, get their fortune told and encounter a few of Japan’s kami spirits.

The Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series is funded by The Freeman Foundation and administered by Association of Children’s Museums to bring outstanding interactive exhibits about Asian cultures to children, their families and school groups at children’s museums across the United States.

Hello from Japan! local presenting sponsor is The Kjellstrom Family Foundation. Additional local sponsors include All World Machinery; Aqua-Aerobics Systems; RBC Wealth Management; and Steven and Andrea Jensen Family.