Itadakimasu Project

We have been working on our Itadakimasu project, the product is socks.  We noticed in our research that the people in Canada provide no significant source of fabrics or dyes used to make the socks.  All the cotton comes from the Southern United States, the wool from Australia, the dyes from Europe and most of the socks are made from factories in China and Taiwan.  But in the end, socks are still shipped out to people in Canada for us to wear and then for us to give them away to someone else to dispose of.

We unfairly benefit from this process because we don’t help in the making of the socks, we don’t help supply the materials and we don’t even dispose of our own socks.  People in developing countries work for extended hours on no pay to make socks to be sold, then people and stores in Canada and other places get to buy these socks, even though we didn’t help in the collection or production of the product.  After we have used and worn out the socks we have to dispose of them.  Some people have other uses for our socks.  Some donate them to a fabric recycling centre but still most just throw them away.  Then they end up in a landfill and the socks become someone else’s problem, even though we created that garbage.

We benefit from this way too much because we receive the enjoyment and use out of these socks but we don’t have to help in any way to obtain this product.  Others around the world come together and contribute to making this product, why do we get to do nothing and wait for it to come to us?

by Rouge and Dancing Porcupine

Itadakimasu is a phrase used in Japan thanking all the people and other resources that went into the meal that you are about to eat.  So for our project this term, our student teacher, Dylan, took this phrase and challenged us to look at daily household items and inquire into all the people and places that it came from.  Our group wanted to research something that was considered to be essential to our civilization, but still deeply flawed.  So what else to look at than a battery?

Arguably the worst type of battery for both people and the environment right now is the lead acid battery.  The part of the supply chain that suffers the most during production is definitely during the extraction of materials used for the battery.  The two main materials used are the lead and the sulfuric acid used to generate power.  Lead mines cause many problems for surrounding communities in terms of health and safety and they destroy the ecosystems around the mines.  So if we were scientists, devoted to improving batteries (with unlimited money), we would work to find alternate metals to use in batteries.  We would try to create metals that would last longer and produce more energy.  Hopefully the replacement metal would be completely safe for everyone involved in the process so that no one is put at risk.  These days all the scientists focus on is making more power and they are so obsessed with that, they forget about all the people involved.

by: A small brown dog and The bean

Today we finished an Itadakimasu project.  Our project was mainly about what goes into an item and what effect the item has on the world.  For our project we had to choose an item and find all of the assets that go into making it.  We had to make a web map showing where all the materials used to make the item came from.  We created a first person short story describing the creation of our product.  We chose comic books and graphic novels to study.

To start off, your mother was a tree that had gotten chopped down, at the end of her tree life she released a lot of saplings, you were the only one to survive all the rest of your brothers didn’t make it to dirt to grow in, over the years you have grown big and tall and before you know it, you’re a tree, you’re having a nice time when suddenly a group of lumberjacks came and chopped you down.  You feel the sharp metals from the axes going right through your wood,t hen you are sent to a pulpmill where you get shredded into paper, it feels like your body parts are coming off, then you get sent to a comic book creation studio where you get drawn and coloured on, after that you are stapled to other pieces of paper like mashed potatoes and are sent to a store.  Then somebody buys you and you get read, after a while you are thrown into a recycling bin and get crushed and shredded and resused.

by: Purple Pickle, Iron Lanturn

I was a lonely coin but now I have someone to tell my story to. It all started in a mine in Japan.  Some guy kept hitting me with a weird shaped stick.  I fell and I was put in the cart of doom.  No one comes back when they are put in the cart of doom.  The next time I saw light I was moving to this big metal cave.  In the cave they hit me, melted me and I was a new coin.  I spent many years being dropped, given to people and put in machines.  Until I was put in a vault and now you are here.

I did a project on coins over a period of months and I learned a lot of information.  This story is about the life of a coin.

by Joaquin

Hi, I am a television.  My name is Samsung Smart TV.  I was first born and made at some Samsung Television factory in China.  But before I was made, all of the materials that went into me were first extracted in some forest in China.  Then all the materials were shipped by truck, train or airplane to the factory where I was made.  Soon after the materials arrived they started making the parts and assembled me.  I waited at the factory for almost 2 months in a box and then finally, they loaded me into a truck and I was gone.  Next they loaded me into a plane and shipped me to Canada.  When I arrived in Canada, they shipped me to BestBuy.  One day, some guy walked in and said to a sales associate, “How much is that television?” pointing at me. And the Sales Associate said “$799.99” and next the guy bought me.  He took me home, unpacked me and hooked me up.  He enjoyed me a lot and watched me a lot.  One day I found out what his name was.  His name was Sir Dylan.  3 years later, he recycled me and I was sorted at a recycling facility and some of me was reused in a new television.

by TechNerd and Koshko2

The Itadakimasu project is about interconnectedness and externalized cost as well as how people contribute to the product. I start on a small plant in a big cotton field in Uzbekistan.  Soon I will be separated from my roots and put in a bag with other cotton, by a cotton picker maybe 13-14 years old.  I have been shipped to a cotton mill so I can be put into fabric to make clothing. After many days of transportation I end up in Daka, Bangladesh, India where I meet garment workers in very hot factories with tons of chemicals.  Then I’m sewed into clothes by the garment workers where they are beat up muntly.  After that I’m sold to H&M where someone can wear me 8 times and then be thrown out to the dump.  Now I have spent 20 years rotting in this dump, useless and counted for.

by DLTMGYD and den10@sea43

Itadakimasu is a Japanese word that you say before eating a fancy meal. But we did some projects about Itadakimasu.  What I did for my project is shoes.  Shoes was a really interesting topic to do I got to learn a whole lot of stuff about shoes.

I woke up in a dark box and someone opened the box and looked at me and then he closed the box back up.  That boy had to go somewhere so he took me out and he put me on his foot and he walked and walked.  the boy walked for so long I was so hurt.  When he got home it felt great without that foot on me.  The next day he wore me again I was so sore.  When he stepped and stepped I whispered Ouch Ouch Ouch.  But this time he stayed somewhere for so long I felt like I was on fire.  A few more days he bought some new pair of shoes and he put me back in the box because I was all dirty but a good thing is I can rest all day and the other shoes are going to have a really rough day.

by balloongirl123


I am a pillow.  I start in a cotton field. The wind blows through my little home as I grow.  Through the summer I grow and I grow.  Before I know it, someone startles me from my sleep.  A hand reaches in and places me in a basket with others like me.  The hand belongs to a child.  He looks sad.  Before I get a chance to observe more about him I feel the basket moving.  Then we stop.  I cannot see what is below me but I hear the hum of machines behind.  Then I go into a freefall and the rest is indescribable.  As I emerge from the machine I am merged together with my fellow fibers.  We represent a big sheet.  I am thrown into a box and then I realize that the journey has just begun.

Me and my fellow cotton fibers travel for what feels like days, but we arrive. As I wake, I hear voices.  Something rips and I see the light of day again.  That lasts for barely seconds as we are brought into a factory.  I hear the hum of powerful machines and if cotton fibers could cry, I would.  We are placed on machines and slowly I start to move on the conveyor belt and the light disappears behind me.  Mechanical arms poke me and arrange me in new forms.  As I emerge from the machine, my form is even more evolved than before.  I am brought to one last machine and the process starts again.  As I wait to emerge from the machine like before I don’t.  Instead, I am stuffed into a bag.  The bag shields me from the beautiful gift of light and before I can say goodbye to it, the end of the shield is sewn off.  I feel movement and I know I’m being shipped even farther away from home.  After sitting on store shelves for eternity, I arrive at a new home.  I now bring comfort to a human.  The same humans that made me who I was.  After I have been used and loved for many long years, the humans decide to send me elsewhere.  I don’t know where this place is but I feel scared of what the future holds.  More waiting and I’m thrown through the air and I land on a pile of garbage.  That’s where I am today, slowly decomposing into the earth.

by Sr. Fruitcake, Ginger, Pandatush

Hi! I am a pirogie.  I originally come from Eastern Europe.  Some people find it very easy to make me, some others like A… and R…, they chose to go in the fridges of Save On Foods to get me.  They then put me and my friends in a pot of boiling water, then they wait until we float to the top.  Then they poured us in a strainer to get us out of the water.  We were put on a serving plate with sour cream and brought to the classroom to be shared with R…’s classmates.  I personally know that R… prefers to serve us with salsa.

Hey!! Did you know that I and my family have been around in Poland since the 13th Century.  We also have a National Day in Alberta Canada and a festival in our honor in India every year.  Not bad for a dough stuffed with mashed potatoes and cheese and sometime other filling of choice.  Please try us one day…

by Pirogie Farmer

Recently in Division 16, we have been doing a project called Itadakimasu.  Itadakimasu is a Japanese word people say before eating a meal.  It means that you appreciate all the food on your plate and who contributed to get it on your plate.  We had to find an object that we used in our regular lives.  My project was on coins.  If I was a scientist, I would stop at nothing to find a solution to making a substitute for coins so that we didn’t have to go through a long process to make something.  The process is a problem because the process that a coin goes through is ridiculously long.  First the precious metals get mined all over the world.  Then they get shipped to either Winnipeg or Ottawa where they get manufactured.  then the coins are bought then used by many hands handing coins over for a purchase.  At the end of all this, the really old coins are collected and melted for the metal and then they are made again and used again or the metal is sold by the company.

I would solve this problem by proposing another substance or material to the government who would then pass on the idea to the Prime Minister.  If they both approve of the idea then I would have to research and make sure that the long term effects would keep our environment safe.  It would cost a lot of money to do this research so the government would have to approve of me doing this.  I wouldn’t be able to do it by myself.  The government and Prime Minister probably have no idea what the coin’s life cycle is doing to the environment, so I would have to share my research with them to raise awareness because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t even get the chance to try.

A coin’s life never ends.

by the BaconatorIMG_6886

Itadakimasu means “I humbly receive” in Japanese.  Japanese people say this before eating a meal to thank everybody who helped in the making of the meal.  That word was what we based the project off of.  We explored the idea of Itadakimasu by choosing a product and exploring the good and bad parts of it.  Our product is books.

I once was a rainforest tree in the Amazon.  My name was Josh and I was a young happy tree.  I watched as huge roaring machines chopped down my other fellow trees.  After all this chaos ended I was the last tree standing.  Then the world went black as metal slammed into my body.

I awoke on a truck with my fellow trees everywhere around me, we are driving to the pulp mill to get turned into paper.  In the process of making me into paper, they use chemicals to make the paper white and water to spin me into rolls of paper then cut me into sheets.  Then I get loaded into an airplane to get flown to a printing and binding factory in Switzerland.

There I get bound into covers.  I get glued if I go into a soft cover and sewn or stitched into a hard cover.  After I am bound I am delivered to stores and sold to customers that want to read me and sometimes learn from me.  I’m not needed any more and my covers are ripping and the binding is breaking apart.  If I am thrown into the garbage I am then dumped in a landfill where I produce methane and will take a millennium to decompose.  But when my owners throw me into the recycling, I end up in a recycling facility in Orrawa and there I am turned into another book.

by Baconguy, Soccerboy123ABC and crazy chicken lover

efore I awoke I felt like I was in eternal sleep. Then everything rushed to me so quickly it overwhelmed me.  Bright fluorescent light, and the people, it was so disturbing, their touch.  Then they were doing things that felt very disturbing.  I realized they were adding parts to me!  I tried to escape from them but I can’t move.  A person picks me up, examines me, then puts me neatly into a box.  I want to yell at them and escape but I can’t seem to do any of those things how helpless can I be?  Then everything went dark.

When I awoke again, I was in something moving.  The box I was inside started giving me this claustrophobic feeling.  I felt the roof pressing on me, the transportation must have a short roof.  When I came back down I bounced up a bit and got out of the box.  I surveyed the room, it was just a cramped space with a bunch of boxes with check marks on them, then the thing that I had been looking for was in this room, a mirror!  Just as I peered into the mirror I found a strange object facing me.  It took me a while but I realized that it was a shoe!  Just then the vehicle went down again, then I realized why there was so many downdrafts, I was on a plane! As quickly as I awoke, my vision disappeared again.

When I awoke again I was on a shelf, I looked around I saw other shoes on shelves too.  I diverted my attention to the people, through my past experiences with people I was extremely mad with them.  A person neared me I didn’t want them to torture me in a bizarre way like the others did.  Instead, the person examined me with his wide eyes but didn’t put me into a box or anything, he just called to his Dada.  His father walked over from looking at another shoe and gave his son an approving look.  He called a person in a uniform with a check mark on it the person in the uniform picked me up and put me and another shoe into a box.  I realized that the other shoe was my pair then it went dark again.

When I awoke I was in an extremely fancy house with a crystal chandelier and glass tables.  The same boy trotted up to me and put me and my pair onto his feet.  My pair and I fitted snugly, we went through a series of strange movements after those movements I felt very dizzy.  It went on for what seemed like forever.  Then, after about six months I got thrown away, as soon as I got into the garbage bin my vision faded.  I awoke in a thing that looked like a landfill.  I felt something seeping from me and I eventually fell back into eternal sleep.

by smeagaleater

I’m a small piece of copper I’ve been waiting silently in the dark. Suddenly I saw a great flash of light and I’ve been taken out from my home.  I’ve been put into a small minecart filled with other minerals and then I have been thrown into a pot where I’ve been melted and trapped into a metal box which brings me under a cold water and I’ve been shaped and sent to a book where I am put into this steel box filled with other circle shaped metals waiting silently again in the darkness until one day I’ve been taken out of the box and been taken by someone puts me in a wallet then one day I’ve been given to someone else and back to a small box and taken out on the next day where I have been given again and again and that’s where I found out that I am used as currency where I’ve been spent again and put into a small box then given again like it’s some kind of cycle.

One day I met my friend Bill, he said he’s 75% made of cotton and 25% linen.  The background was printed on him and he got left outside for three days when the ink finally dries, and he got moved on where his letters were on and then he got left outside again for three days.We finally got back to the factory and got scanned.  If there were any mistakes or overprinting on him.  Luckily he passed all the scanners and got trapped in a same metal box like I ended up.  And he had been taken out of the box and he met me and we were best friends.  And eventually we got split up and never saw each other again.

by Super cheese cake and Shadow 145

A Pencil’s life.  Our project is on Pencils.  We’re making a first person story about a pencil.

I start out as a Cedar tree in California.  I watch all the other trees getting cut down and eventually it’s my turn.  I am put into a large truck with all of my tree friends and shipped to a mill.  I’m cut into cubes and shipped to a factory.  There I’m cut into square slats, then they cut grooves in me.  Graphite and clay powder are mixed to make my lead, which is poured into my groves.  Then another slat is pressed on top of me, and I’m left to dry.

After I’m dry, I’m cut into a circle or a hexagon, then I’m cleaned and painted or painted with a decorative paper.  Then a machine takes the erasure and ferrule (the metal but holding the eraser to the pencil) and is pressed to the pencil.  Soon I’m shipped to a shop where I’m sold.  I’m used for a while until I break or I’m too small, then I’m put in the trash or taken to the dump.  This is the end of my life where I wait for years to be turned into soil.

by Amythest and Arcticowl

This is what I imagine being a coin would be like.

For years, I have been stuck in this rock shell, all alone, well me and all my “friends” / the other solver that I can’t run away from.  But one day these weird creatures that were soft and tall came with tools made out of my father and his “friends” and broke me out of my shell.  All I could think of was what I saw not the dull glow of my friends.  But a blue sheet far far above.  A weird green cone shaped things beside me and soft green pointy things below me.  then they loaded me into a cart and drove me for days through hills and water.  I saw many other things I do not know how to explain.  But at last I got where I was going a big square shaped thing.  That made more of those soft creatures all around.  It was loud and smelled horrible.  This is where I was made into what I am today, they call it a coin.  All I know is I pass through many people’s hands and they exchange me for other things.  I think my life good but maybe it isn’t.  I don’t know all I know is that I’m happy.

by 14A Dinosaur

Itadakimasu is a word which basically means all the people who worked to make what you’re using or eating, so when it comes to comic books that means thinking about all the writers, illustrators and others.  And resources like paper and trees. What I noticed about the comic book industry was that it’s not that good for the environment because to make paper you have to cut down trees.

So first I start out as a sprout.  Then after a long time, I’m done growing into a tree and in a little while a logger cuts me down.  Then I am sent to a factory where they turn me into paper then I am sent to comic book writers that write and draw stories on me.  Then they send me to a printing press and I get printed like crazy.  Then a delivery person takes me to a comic show and you bought me.  Thanks!

by the DUDE

(sorry Div 16, I still can’t figure out the upside-down and sideways picture thing.  For some reason these were the only two pictures that I can get right-side-up.  I’m still working on it!)

One comment

  1. dylanST

    Great work on the blog posts, Div 16: such interesting and imaginative stories and thoughtful responses! As always, I’m totally impressed with your hard work and thoughtfulness on this (and the projects, of course).

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