Mr. Kanamori’s “Children Full of Life”

January 21, 2010 at 5:38 pm 8 comments

Mr. Kanamori’s “Children Full of Life”

One of my internet sources of Inspiration is a site called  I have blogged about these folks before, and I have to do it again.  Because I subscribe to their site, I receive a Karmatube Video of the Week by email every Friday morning.

I try to go through every video each week, but sometimes they stack up, just as my email does.  Last Friday, however, I took the time to view the video that week and was deeply rewarded and refreshed for having done so.

The Karmatube Video of the Week for Friday, January 15th was actually the first of a series of 5 documentary shorts about a truly special teacher, Toshiro Kanamori, who teaches his fourth grade students in Kanazawa, a town northwest of Tokyo.

Mr. Kanamori teaches, besides normal curriculum, some of the grand themes in life:  love, compassion, patience, teamwork, dealing with grief and most importantly, the capacity to be happy.  He has his children write their inner thoughts each day in their journals, and they in turn share what they have written.

In the course of sharing, these children learn to listen to each another, to respect and to support one another.

I know that I have a theme going here.  I am very drawn to and inspired by folks who dedicate themselves and their resources to teaching and/or helping people better their own lives (i.e., Greg Mortenson, Valentino Achak Deng, etc).  I’m drawn to these folks as they help me to stay my own course in realizing my own deep desire to do the same – to be of service — in my own way.

Mr. Kanamori inspires me in the same way that Mr. B does.  (see Mr. B and His Fifth Grade Class)   In part this is because I spent 6 years as an Artist-In-Residence with the Los Angeles Music Center as well as teaching preschool.  My experiences (to be related in future blog posts) deeply influenced me as a spiritual thinker, as an artist and as a human being.  I can’t begin to express what those years of teaching, performing and working with children of all walks of life did for my perspective – especially here in this little paragraph.

But I can share with you these moving, transcendent experiences of Mr. Kanamori and his children.  Learn what he is doing in his corner of the world to train up our next generation.

Give yourself 5 Inspiration Infusions:  there are 5 videos that complete a year’s journey with this teacher and his students.  Or, view them in one sitting – it will take about an hour of your time.


Entry filed under: Inspiration, Inspiration Infusion, Inspiratus, Inspiring Sites, Spiritual Thinkers. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jenny DeVol  |  March 5, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Wow! What a gift to these prescious children to have this way of teaching! Wish all school systems could be made aware of these techniques, and incorporate them into the public and private school systems here in the United States.

    I taught music in the Sacramento, CA area from 1980-1984, in K-6.
    Have children in 2 generations that went trough the public school system, graduated high school in 1989, 1990, and 2004. Didn’t really get a high quality education, unfortuneately, and project “self esteem” didn’t make for happier kids. What a blessing to find this link this morning. With grattitude and tears rolling down my cheeks I say from the bottom of my heart….”thank you” for doing this! 🙂

    Jenny DeVol
    Fair Oaks, CA

    • 2. juliawade  |  March 22, 2010 at 3:46 pm

      Hi Jenny, thanks so much for your comments on Mr. Kanamori and his kids. I really appreciate your sharing your experience as a music teacher, and your understanding of what is needed on a wide scale in our education system. I was so profoundly moved by the multitude of skills the children were learning by their teacher’s demand that for fairness, love, happiness — and sadness too — to be shared and experienced in their everyday lives in the classroom. So glad that you were inspired by discovering “Children Full of Light.”

  • 3. Bonnie Jean Wade  |  March 19, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    I was inspired to receive Karma Tube from one of your blogs and watched this dear man and his students. SO inspiring! And I do remember some insights from you years ago when you were teaching in LA. We learn so much in working with little and bigger children – almost more than they learn from us! Keep up the great works, Julia!

    • 4. juliawade  |  March 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm

      Hi Bonnie! It’s so true — children are more often than not our teachers. I am so excited that through the documentary, Children Full of Life, Mr. Kanamori is inspiring and teaching people the world over. I’m grateful for the documentary film makers who feel that the stories like Mr. Kanamori’s are important to communicate.

  • 5. Amy Duncan  |  January 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Love this video! Have seen it before and so happy to see it again!

  • 6. cheap color flyer printing  |  July 16, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Kudos from Cogry-Kilbride 😉

  • 7. Thomas Sorensen  |  September 12, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    I was greatly impressed with the work of Mr. Kanamori with his students. I was also reminded of my student project at Tokyo University of Education some 45 years ago. Working with the brightest young children in Japan at the time I learned as much as or maybe more than the students. But the most important thing I learned was that only children can perform miracles all we can do is to guide them gently and hope for the best by giving the best that we have. If you were moved by this documentary as I was be sure to see the Korean series “The Queen’s Classroom” You can find it on the VIKI film site.

    • 8. juliawade  |  December 7, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      Hi Thomas,
      Thanks so much for sharing your own experience of working with children. I will definitely look up “The Queen’s Classroom” and take a look.

      I think you are right: I believe we as adults learn as much or perhaps more when it comes to teaching and guiding children. Children have soooooo much to teach us.

      Thank you again. I will let you know when I’ve viewed the Korean series.


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