How Do We Think About Mix People in Japan

Hello, there! It’s been a while since I posted my last blog entry. I am sorry for the delay. I was busy painting to get in an art show. Since I was done, I want to start blogging again.

Today I want to write about my opinion about mix people.  Recently a friend of mine from America told me that he read a very interesting article about what Japanese people think about mix people. He wanted to make sure if I have the same opinion as the article. According to him, Japanese people don’t think mix people are Japanese. Before talking to him, I have never thought about them before. Our conversation made me think about mix people.

Well, in Japan we tend to think mix people are not Japanese. I have to agree with the article. When I said so, he asked me why. I tried to find a certain reason, but I can’t give a good reason to him. I think we have kind of discriminate feelings against mix people. We think we have three different groups; pure Japanese people group, mix people group and foreign people group. So, when we see mix people, we think they belong to a different group. I think Japan is an island, and most of us are pure Japanese. We are not used to seeing so many mix people. I have no mix friends. That’s why we don’t know about them well. I think these factors make us think mix people are different from us.

In Japan even though foreign people have Japanese passports and they are officially Japanese, we tend to think they are still foreigners too. We call mix people ”ハーフ” ( half) and foreign people who are technically Japanese call “外人”(gaijin=foreigner). I guess they are not happy for this.

 

Cats

Today I am going to write about cats. I really think Japanese culture connects with cats deeply.

For example, 招き猫, maneki-neko.

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I think everybody knows this cat statue. This is for business and people believe that when we put this in our shops, we can get more customers because the cat calls them to our shops.

Cat-Cafe

This is our pop culture. Some coffee shops have cats as pets. When we go to the cat-cafe, we can pet the cats whenever we want. It’s very weird. People love going to the cats cafe to make themselves relaxed or healed. My daughter loves going there even though we have a cat, Jiji as an indoor cat at home. I have no idea why people pay money to pet cats.

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Cat islands

We have several islands where cats’ number is larger than people’s population. For example, we have a small island, named Aoshima. In the Island we have only 15 people, but we have more than over one hundred cats there. Japanese people love cats and to see them, people visit the island. Now, the island is trendy for people who love cats.They visit the island to take photos of cats.

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Expressions relates to cats

We have so many expressions relates to cats. 猫舌、猫に小判、猫をかぶる、猫なで声、猫の手も借りたい、猫の額ほどの庭 and so on. I don’t translate them into English. If you are curious about the Japanese expressions, I recommend to go to Google Trantlator them.

I want to write about cats more on my next blog entry.

I hope you are having a relaxing weekend!

See you here again next weekend!

-Yumi

Hiroshima

Hi there! How have you been? I am sorry I couldn’t update my blog for two weeks.

This weekend, on Saturday we had a 71st memorial day for Hiroshima and I want to write about Hiroshima today.

I think everybody knows the word, Hiroshima. It’s one of Japanese cities name. 71 years ago during  the world war 2, the city was attacked by an atomic bomb on the 6th of August. Three days later Nagasaki was attacked by another atomic bomb.  In total over 200,000 people died. Japan surrendered after that.It was a huge lesson for us after the war. Not only that, in 71 years the people who could survive have still are suffered from the effect of radiation. The atomic bombs gave us a huge influence to the next generation or next next generation.

As to think about Hiroshima, I can’t stop thinking why we couldn’t surrender before that . If we did it, we didn’t lose such amount of innocent people immediately. Our government during the time took “Samurai Spirits”  rather than protecting citizens. At school we learn about Hiroshima, but our history teachers don’t say any sensitive questions to students, like why America choose our country not German or Italy ( we belonged to a same group against America) , why America dropped two of atomic bombs, Do you think we needed two of atomic bombs to surrender? Why they dropped the bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and so on. I sometimes discuss these questions with my American friend, but we can’t find answers. My friend tell his opinion from an American side and visa versa. We both have been educated different and we never agree even though we can respect our opinions.

This year American president Obama visited Hiroshima as a first American president and gave us an amazing speech about peace. Through Hiroshima, Nagasaki and ww2 we have learned about peace at school. In Japan Hiroshima has been a symbol of peace.

We can’t change our history but we can learn from it. I think the most important thing is not to repeat the same history. Let’s pray for peace, no more wars, nor more terrorism.

Thank you so much for reading. See you next weekend here again. Have a lovely week!

-Yumi

 

Fireflies

Hello there! How have you you been?

Today I want to share a part of our culture. In Japan the weather is early summer. I want to ask you what kind of things belong to summer in our country? I think it relates to our culture.

In Japan, fireworks and fireflies associate us with summer. A couple weeks ago, my family and I went to a park where we can see fireflies. I brought my camera to video tape them, but unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures of fireflies.

However, I could find two video clips someone has video taped them in the park. So, I want to share them with you today.

 

 

It was just amazing to see that lots of fireflies flew over. It was just like fantasy. Every time we found some fireflies, we said, “Look look look!!! Over there! There!!!! They are flying!!!”, lol. It was so much fun. I think fireflies are very romantic. Since the Heian period, we have used to enjoy viewing fireflies. We had a great time to see them in beautiful nature.

Have a lovely week! See you next weekend here again!

 

-Yumi

Hydrangeas

Hi all! How are you doing?  A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I went to a garden where we could hydrangea. I took lots of pictures and want to shear some of them today.  As I mentioned that we are having a rainy season, hydrangeas bloom in June, Japan. We enjoyed the flowers a lot there.

I also want to share one more thing. This year, the day, the 7th of July, it was cloudy. Since I live in a downtown in Japan, it’s hard for me to see stars in the sky. However, I think the poor couple could date for the first time in a couple of years. Thank you so much for the prayers for the couple!

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I hope you enjoyed hydrangeas in Japan in the garden where is close to our house. The garden is big and I love going there. When we visited there, it was raining.

Have a lovely day or night! See you again here next weekend!

-Yumi

 

Japanese Star Festival, Tanabata part 2

Hello there! Today’s entry is squeal from yesterday. As I mentioned that Tanabata has a sad and romantic story. Today I share the story with you.

Long long time ago, there was a couple who were in love with each other deeply. A girl’s name was Orihime who was a daughter of Tentei (God), and her boyfriend name was Hikoboshi. Two of them were hard-workers. She was a weaver, and he was a shepherd. However, they tended to spend more time to hang out, and they became lazy. God, Orihime’s father did not like young people getting lazy. He gave warning several times, but they didn’t listen to him. Then, God god mad at the couple, and said he would give them a punishment.

The punishment was they would not allow to meet. They would be separate between milky way, and once a year they would be allowed to date when the date would be a sunny day. When it got rain, the milky way would flood. They couldn’t meet. They cried and cried and ask to God to change his mind. However, he had never changed his mind.

The day was the 7th of July. In Japan we are mid of the rainy season, and it’s easy for us to get rain. We will have the day two days from now. If the day will be fine, they will be able to date. So if it rains on July 7th, we believe that the couple aren’t able to meet each other.After they died, they became stars, called Vegas and Altair. We love looking up the sky to imagine Vegas and Altair dating on the 7th of July.

We have a children song for the Tanabata festival.

This is the image of Vegas and Altair’s dating.

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I hope this year they can date and have a romantic time together. So, please pray for the poor couple!

Thank you for reading my blog entry. Thank you for your support!

See you next weekend here again! Have a nice week, everyone!

-Yumi

Japanese Star Festival, Tanabata Part 1

Hi there! Recently, Japan weather is too muggy. I can’t stand it anymore. Tonight it’s really humid and I don’t think without air conditioner we can sleep. Well, I hope the weather where you live is nicer than us, and you are having a good day.

Today, I want to introduce a Japanese summer festival, Tanabata. In Japan this festival is very popular. We celebrate Tanabata on the 7th of July.  We decorate origami and tanzaku paper that we write down our wishes. We believe that when we write down our wishes on the tanzaku paper, some day our wishes will come true. After writing down our wishes we decorate bamboos with some pieces of papers and origami. We put the bamboos inside of our house or outside.

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Preparing the bamboo decoration is very popular among kindergarten, elementary first and second grade students. They love doing origami or writing down their wishes.

When you go to shopping mall, you can see more professional decorations.

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Some shopping malls change their opening time to late evening to use this festival to get more customers. People love wearing a summer kimono called Yukata and go there to enjoy the events.

Tanabata has a very sad and romantic story. I will write about it tomorrow. So, please stay turned!

-Yumi

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