Second graders are enjoying our Japanese art unit, which started with the story of Katsushika Hokusai, the most poetic name ever in my opinion, and his many "Views of Mt. Fuji." After reading his story, The Man Who Painted A Mountain, we looked at his many artistic variations on the theme and compared them to photos of the dormant volcano. In both, we saw different seasons, times of day, weather conditions, and near and far proximity. After this lesson, we studied notan, or the Japanese art of paper cutting using balance between dark and light and positive/negative shapes.