Curry sncaks

It is the final day for HEISEI era in Japan.

 

Japan announced new “Gengo “ on April 1.

Gengo is the name of the Imperial era in Japan. The name of the new Imperial era will be Reiwa 令和, 

The new era will begin on May 1st.

The era name was taken from the Manyoshu, which is the oldest existing anthology of Japanese poetry.

Reiwa represents auspicious harmony 

I went to Taga shrine in Shiga where is said the father shrine of Ise shrine in the final day of Heisei era.

most of Japanese want to be Ise shrine even one time whole our life, but Taga shrine is its father shrine, so Taga shrine is a higher class shrine.

 

This is carp streamer that is called KOINOBORI in Japanese.

 

 

May 5th is called “Children’s Festival Day”, a day to celebrate the healthy growth of children.

We put up a carp streamer in front of a house.

The carp is thought to be a lucky fish symbolizing success in life.

 

May 5th is called Children’s festival day , a day to celebrate the healthy growth of children.

we put up a carp streamer that is called KOINOBORI in Japanese in front of a house and so on. The carp is thought to be a lucky fish symbolizing success in life . 

 

And be when I walked around my house ,

I found a lot of KOINOBORI .

They are very amazing!!! 

 

We have a festival in our city 14-15th .

We have a festival in 14-15th , which is called Hachiman Matsuri in Japanese. Last night 14th,

we brought a big drum and 15 touches  from our town to Omihachiman Shrine . 

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This is a brand new Chips with WAGYU flavor.

Japanese traditional festival.

I joined the traditional festival in my town.

these white costumes mean swans and those swans are carrying a god of Shinto, you can see a golden portable shrine on our shoulders that is called Mikoshi in Japanese, this is as a god in this festival.

And this drum’s Sound means to communicate with a god. We paraded around our town with a drum and a Mikoshi.

 

 

 

 

 

I went to see Cherry blossom viewing

My ex-students invited me to see Cherry blossom viewing that is called Hanami in Kyoto Japan yesterday.  I had a good time. cherry trees are in full bloom from late March through to early April. Cherry blossom viewing or Hanami is like an outside party under the cherry blossoms. People spread out a mat under the trees and enjoy drinking and eating while appreciating the beauty of the flowers.Cherry blossom viewing has been a favorite annual event for the Japanese since the 9th century. The popular viewing spots are crowded with people who appreciate blossoms during blossom season throughout the country.

 

Japan announced the name of the new Imperial era.

Japan announced new “Gengo “ .

Gengo is the name of the Imperial era in Japan. The name of the new Imperial era will be Reiwa 令和, 

The new era will begin on May 1st.

The era name was taken from the Manyoshu, which is the oldest existing anthology of Japanese poetry.

Reiwa represents auspicious harmony 

 

 
 

This is ceramic ware. By A gift from Japan. Hanko.

Ceramic ware is called Toujiki in Japanese.Ceramic ware are utensils made from clay and baked ina kiln.

Japanese ceramic ware was developed through the introduction of ceramic techniques from Korean and China. In addition, many skilled Craftsman from these countries came over to Japan and influenced the creation of fine ceramic ware. This is the reason why ceramic ware is referred to as china in English. These are a lot of  famous pottery producing regions in Japan. Each place has different kinds of clay and produces its own type of ceramic ware. Typically, types of pottery include Seto and Oribe and the best regions for porcelain are Arita, Kiyomizu and Kutani.

Folding screens that is called Byobu in Japanese.

Folding screens: A Byobu is a folding screen. Normally two, four and six panels are joined together. Each panel is made of thick Japanese paper or cloth stretched on wooden frames. Beautiful pictures or calligraphy are drawn on them, Byobu were introduced from China in the 7th century. Since then, have been used as both practical and decorative furniture. As for the practical use of Byobu, in the room. Today, however, they are no longer utilized in our everyday life.

Otoshidama and OSECHI. Hanko, A gift from Japan.

Otoshidama is kind of juggling game. The word also refers to a small cloth bag filled with red beans, pebbles. or rice. Beanbags come in a set of five or more, Otedama can be played either alone or in a group. The game is often accompanied by singing the most basic way of playing Otoshidama is to keep tossing several bean bags upward in sequence with both hands like juggling. Nowadays, very few people

Know how to either play Otishidama or sing the songs. 

 

 

Nengajo. Hanko, A gift from Japan.

New Year postcards; In Japan, there is a custom to exchange New Year postcards with personal or business acquaintances. On these cards, fixed phrases of thanks for the year gone by and greetings for the New Year are written, along with beautiful designs of the Oriental zodiac sign for the year. Some people also write briefly how they are getting along. Lately, it has become popular to make original postcards with a personal computer. The cards should be posted in Dec to be delivered on the 1st day of Jan.

OSECHI. Hanko, A gift from Japan.

New Year dishes, We eat traditional dishes called OSECHI during the New Year holiday. The word OSECHI means “a feast for the New Year ” Typical OSECHI includes rolled kelp, mashed sweet potato with chestnut, sweetened black soybeans, teriyaki style small dried sardines, fried burdock root, fish cakes, salted herring roe, rolled sweet omelet and so on. Each dish has a blessed meaning such as happiness, prosperity, long life etc. These foods are prepared during the last few days of December and beautifully arranged in tiered lacquered boxes so that housewives do not have to worry about cooking during the New Year holidays. Today we are able to buy OSECHI dishes in department stores and supermarkets.

 

Gantan. New Year’s Day. Hanko, A gift from Japan .

New Year’s Day ( 1st Jan ) is called Ganjitsu or Gantan in Japanese. It is the day to celebrate the coming of the New Year. Most Japanese regard New Year’sY Day as the most important national holiday. As the old proverb says, ”it is the day to make new plans. for the year” and start afresh with a new state. of mind. In Japan, most people are able to get off school or work during the first three to seven days of January. So we can enjoy doing lots of time-honored customs for this season in a relaxed manner.

 

OMISOKA. New year’s eve. Hanko, A gift from Japan.

New year’s eve ( 31st  Dec ) is called Omisoka in Japanese,w hich literally means the last day of the year. This day is mthe tost favorite day in a year for me, m because there are so many good TV shows and today’s atmosphere in Japan is something different,most of Japanese could be fidgeting. By the end of this day,we usually finish cleaning the house and preparing New Year dishes to welcome the coming of the New Year. Many people keep up the old custom of visiting Buddhist temples and shrines, Eating buckwheat noodles, and wishing for longevity has also remained as one of the good old traditions of the night. Around midnight, Buddhist temples throughout Japan starts to toll a huge bell 108 times, which is known as a bell on New Year’s Eve. It is believed that we have 108 different types of earthly desires and that the peals of the bell should dispel them so we can have a happy New Year. 

 

Shodo. Brush calligraphy. Hanko. By A gift from Japan.

Brush calligraphy that is called Shodo in Japanese. Shodo is the fine art of writing Japanese and Chinese characters with brushes and Indian ink that is called Sumi in Japanese. It is a way to visually express one’s inner character. As for the techniques of calligraphy, special attention is paid to the shading and brush technique. Brush technique. Brush calligraphy was imported from China during the 8th century. People wrote only Chinese characters at that time. In the 9th century, the Japanese original letters of Hiragana and Katakana were invented. Calligraphy masters of the time developed the unique Japanese style of writing called Wayo. Today brush calligraphy is a required subject for elementary school and junior high school students. It is also taught at private calligraphy schools throughout Japan. Many contents and exhibitions are held every year and Japanese people think that all educated people should be able to write in a beautiful way.

Christmas in Japan. Hanko , A gift from Japan .

Christmas in Japan: Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan. In fact, Christmas make up less than 1 percent of the population. Recently, however, more and more Japanese people are enjoying Westernized Christmas traditional such as decorating their homes and trees with lights and exchanging presents. Christmas cake and chicken are popular Japanese Christmas food. Especially, we like buying KFC. Many Japanese people attach a great deal of importance to Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day because it has come to symbolize something romantic to them .

 

I went to drink a Japanese Sencha which my students made in My Japanese language school . Hanko , A gift from Japan.

In our Japanese language school ,

we have Japanese Sencha club for international students on Friday, and I sometimes come there and  taste very delicious Japanese Sencha .

and today, my students invited me to thier Sencha club.

About Sencha,

There are many names for the different kinds of tea. Sencha, developed around the middle of the 18th century and the most common type of green tea in Japan, is about 90% of the crop. Sencha has an astringent flavor much loved by the people, who drink it constantly. It is also good for the health. Gyokuro, cultivated around the middle of the 19th century, is a very high grade tea and is milder than sencha. Macha is powdered green tea which is strong and used in the tea ceremony. Bancha is low quality tea. There are others, but the above are the most familiar.

Hanko. Tea ceremony By A gift from Japan

The tea ceremony that is called Sado in Japanese. The tea ceremony is a ritual with detailed rules and manners for preparing tea and serving it to guests. It is also viewed as a kind of mental discipline. The ceremony is practiced in a specially designed house or a room called Chasitsu. It includes an aesthetic appreciation of the tea utensils and decorative displays in the room. Ritual tea drinking originated in China and was first practiced in Japan by Zen monks during the Kamakura period (1190-1331). In the 16th century, Sen-no-Rikyu(1522-91) established the ceremony as an art form known as WABI. He emphasized simplicity, cleanliness, and tranquility. Although there are many tea ceremony schools, major ones are from SEn’s family. These are Omote, Ura and Mushanokoji Sen schools.

Hanko: Beautiful lighted up Koudaiji.A gift from Japan .

I went to see lighted up Koudaiji in Kyoto .this was the first time to see it . So lighted up many bamboos and forests were very awesome and too beautiful!!!

so many international or Japanese  tourists came to see them . 

 

The special event at Koudai-ji in Autumn.

Special nighttime entrance period: late October to early December
After sunset to 9:30pm (entrance closing)

 

We apologized to all our customers that our shop didn’t work well . A gift from Japan : Hanko

We have got many request for samples and ordered  happily. BUT We has not got any request for samples or orders since around 7th Oct . and We didn’t know what wrong , because we requested samples and ordered by ourselves as test . It had worked . And yesterday we did know what wrong which our shop was set too high security for  overseas so our shop has worked in only Japan but it hadn’t push any buttons that are like “request sample “ and so on.

We really apologize to all our customers.

Joe   

I joined BBQ of language school . A gift from Japan : Hanko.

I am teaching Japanese at language school in Kyoto and my school was held BBQ party at Biwako in Shiga prefecture where is the biggest lake in japan and next to Kyoto . Around 100 students joined the BBQ party. We really had a good time . Especially fried noodles with sauce was delicious.

About Lake Biwa ,

 (Japanese ;琵琶湖 Hepburn:Biwa-ko) is the largest freshwater lake in Japan, located in Shiga prefecture (west-central Honshu), northeast of the former capital city of kyoto Because of its proximity to the ancient capital, references to Lake Biwa appear frequently in Japanese literature, particularly in poetry and in historical accounts of battles.

 

 

 

This is autumn’s cloud in Japan. A gift from Japan :Hanko

I walked around my house for1hour today too and I took a couple of photos of autumn’s cloud in Japan.

this cloud is called Uroko gumo in Japanese.

Uroko means fish scales ,because this cloud looks like fish scales . and Kumo means cloud so this cloud is called Uroko Kumo in Japanese.

when I see Uroko Kumo , I feel little sad , because winter will come soon . 

 

MInyo that is Japanese folk song. By A gift from Japan : HANKO

About Japanese folk song that is called MINYO are traditional flolk songs of the common people. They were created and sung in and around their everyday, communal life.Naturally they reveal people’s emotions from their everyday lives and reflect regional characteristics strongly. The songs can and dancing songs. For example, well-known songs include the rice planning song, wedding songs and the songs for the BON dance. The major singing techniques of MINYO feature tremolo and falsetto. The musical instruments accompanying the songs are a three stringed lute ,a bamboo flute and Japanese drums.

I went to Mikane Shrine in Kyoto . By A gift from Japan: Hanko

I went to stop by Mikane Shrine in Kyoto once a month .  Mikane Shrine is the most my favorite shrine in Japan .

About Mikane Shrine ;

Deity of gold in Kyoto downtown attracts people wishing for good luck with money

Mikane Jinja Shrine stands out with its shining golden torii gate in the quiet residential area located in the east of Nijo Castle. It is a small shrine surrounded by a row of houses, but recently it has been getting greater attention as it is rare shrine that enshrines the deity of gold or money. This shrine was established in 1883 and enshrines three deities: Kanayamahiko no Mikoto, Amaterasu Omikami and Tsukuyomi no Kami. Among them, Kanayamahiko no Mikoto is a deity of gold that is also in connection to metal and machinery including swords, mirrors, hoe and spade.This shrine has also been worshipped as a guardian deity by local people since ancient times for the benefits of avoiding bad directions for building a house, relocating and safe travel. When gold, silver and bronze are being used for currency, hence a lot of business men who work for security companies and banks can be seen worshiping for the benefit of asset management and the stock exchange. Visiting the main hall and seeing the bell with its golden cord, gives an atmosphere of being fortuitous with money. You can get a lucky money charm.

 

 

 

Moon viewing by A gift from Japan :Hanko

Moon viewing ; Moon viewing events are held to admire the full moon. They usually take place on the night of August 15th by the lunar calendar (around 20th of September on the solar calendar)
The moon since ancient times, been one of the major themes in traditional Japanese poetry. Also,
moon viewing used to be a kind of festive ritual for upland farming especially of aroid potatoes. On this night, we customarily offer rice dumplings,
autumn fruit and crops and pamps grasses to the moon. These are placed either on the Engawa Bertranda or by the window so that the moon is able to recognize them .

Nihon Buyo

Japanese classical dance that is called Nihon Buyo in Japanese. The performers wear Kimono and Tabi that are like socks when they dance . The movement of the dance is characterized by shuffling and sliding. Nihon Buyo originally grew out of folk dances. It incorporated various and Kabuki as it developed. There are three major elements in Japanese dancing ; these include; Mai , Odori and Furi. Mai refers to a quiet and static form which you can see in Noh. Odori is a more dynamic form associated with Kabuki. Furi is a theatrical form of expression through gestures and postures . Currently, there are more than 100 different schools of Japanese classical dancing . The five major ones are Fujima, Hanayagi, Nishikawa, Wakayagi and Bandoh.

This is the most exciting baseball game in Japan

This baseball studium is called Koushien in Koushien city near Osaka and Kobe and home team here is Hanshin Tigers which is most popular team in Japan.

There is very fantastic balloon event in 7inings ,

45,000 audiences take a part in this event inside this studium. Please watch this video .

 

Ochugen

Mid-summer gift that is called Ochugen is traditional of gift-giving and is observed from early in July through to the 15th (Tokyo area) , from early in August through to the 15th (Osaka and Kyoto area).

The word Chugen means the Buddhist Obon day , which is celebrated in July 15th (Tokyo area )or in Aug 15th (Osaka and Kyoto area )on the lunar calendar. On this day , people traditionally offer various foods to commemorate the spirits of their ancestors. As time has gone by however, the tradition has changed to one of a gift-giving custom to one’s elders or betters or to someone to whom you are indebted. Such people may include one’s parents- in – law , other relatives , former teachers , matchmakers , superiors at work and so on. Today popular gift items are gourmet food products, ham ,alcoholic

Comic storytelling

Comic storytelling that is called Rakugo in Japanese or comic storytelling is a traditional vaudeveville performance. It has been performed since the 16th century and has enjoyed great popularity among the public. A storyteller wears a Kimono ,sits down on stage and narrates a complete story alone. He depicts different characters by using different tones of voices and exaggerated gestures . The strories are full of humor ,wit and wisdom. Most of them end with a funny punch line and a twist. A Japanese folding fun and a washcloth are often used as props for Rakugo .

Beckoning cars

Beckoning cats that is called Maneki Neko in Japanese. by the way Neko means cat . A beckoning cat is a sculpture of a sitting cat with one paw raised . The cats are typically made of porcelain or ceramics. They are a kind of good-luck tailisman to bring happiness to the owner. You can often see them displayed in shops, restaurants or Japanese-style inns to invite in customers and good business. Since thier palms are facing out , some Westerners think the cat is waving good-bye. However for Japanese people, it is a beckoning gesture of welcome.

I went to Yokohama .

I went to Yokohama next to Tokyo for the first time in around 15 years to see my daughter took part in the national competition for Hula dance .

and before I saw her Hula ,I went to China town, seaport , shopping street in Yokohama.

there are a beautiful sea , China town , shopping street, and amusement park and so on .Yokohama is nice me fashionable city !

 

I tasted cold Sencha again !

I went to taste cold Sencha again, I did a weeks ago

on Friday. But I didn’t forget a wonderful taste , I went again .

 

Sencha’ in the narrow sense refers to middle class green tea between Gyokuro (refined green tea) (high-quality tea) and Bancha (coarse tea) (low-quality tea) (indetail, see Gyokuro, Sencha, and Bancha).I am teaching Japanese at language school in Kyoto .our school is Kyoto Minsai language school where there is Sencha club .Today I had a experience to join Sencha club , and this was first time to have a experience. I had a good time and my student made me cold Sencha today becaus it is summer and hot in Kyoto . It was really good !

 

 

Bunraku! Japanese puppet theater.

Bunraku, also called Ningyo Joruri, is traditional Japanese puppet theater. Dolls act out a chanted dramatic narrative called Jorui to the accompaniment of a three-stringed Japanese lute.Since a Bunraku doll’s height is about 150 centimeters tall,it has to be manipulated by three puppeteers. The chief handler, who wears a created Jimono and Japanese male skirts, operates the head and right hand and moves the eyes, eyebrows, lips and fingers. Two helpers, dressed and hooded in black to make themselves invisible, handle the left hand , the legs and feet . Bunraku was developed in the 18th century like Kabuki. During this period, many great plays were written by a famous Joruri writer named Chikamatsu Monzaemon(1653-1724)

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