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

Do You Know This Guy?

Hello there! How are you doing this weekend? I hope you all are relaxed and enjoying the weekend!

Today, I want to write about Japanese pop culture.  I want to introduce a Japanese transvestite guy. He is definitely outstanding from us.

He is not a pervert and just loves wearing  high school girl’s uniforms. Every weekend he shows up in Shinjyuku or Harajyku, Tokyo. He is getting more popular among young people, especially high school female students. When they find him, they ask him to get in a picture together. He loves it and enjoys it with young people. They say that when they find him, they believe that he brings them happiness. He is like a lucky charm for them.

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When I read the article, I thought he was very weird. I know young people love weirdness, but I couldn’t understand why he was popular. I think it relates to our weird culture, “Busa-Kawa”. It means ugliness and cuteness. It’s a female thing, and most of Japanese women like something looks cute and ugly. I don’t think he is cute and ugly even though I agree his is ugly, lol. For young people he seems like he has cuteness and ugliness.

Then, I researched about him. He started wearing the uniforms a couple of years ago because he thinks girl’s school uniforms are cute. He loves cute things, but he says that he is not gay. He doesn’t wear other female outfits. He just likes wearing only female school uniforms. He has a job as an engineer, and when he goes to his office, he wears a normal male suit. He has a family and very educated person who graduated from one of our top universities, Waseda University. He is good at speaking English, and he has an other job, a photographer for dolls.

The line, he is good at English, this line got my attention. I found a video clip he is speaking  in English. http://www.cnn.co.jp/video/13108.html He got an interview from CNN. He is saying that we should be confident whatever we are.

I think it’s good for Japanese culture to have that kind of people. We are so conservative and don’t like outstanding from others. We feel very comfortable when we belong to groups. However, is it good for us? I think it’s important to be ourselves and I agree with what he is saying in the interview. We shouldn’t look down on people who are different from us. We shouldn’t judge people from the factors like they have different religions, they are gays, they are transvestites or whatever. Everybody is different and we should respect each other. We should be proud of what we are.

Thank you as always for visiting my blog!

See you next weekend here again!

-Yumi

Japanese High Technology Restaurants

Hi there! How are you doing this weekend? I hope you all are having a good weekend!

Today I want to introduce our robotic sushi restaurants. In Japan basically,  we have two type of sushi restaurants. One is very fancy expensive one, and the other one is cheep and family type of one. The robotic one belongs to the family type of sushi restaurants and very popular. Many people love going there because it’s cheap and tasty.

In the restaurants, there are only few waiters or waitresses. They don’t order from us. When we order, we use a tablet PC or screen. The waiters or waitresses don’t serve sushi to us either. In the shop there is a long conveyor belt. The belt carries sushi to us. You can watch a video clip that an American girl is introducing our sushi restaurant. Sushiro is a chin shop and we have lots of them everywhere. We have one close to our house as well.

I have never seen that kind of restaurant in the States before even in a buffet style of restaurant. I don’t know about other countries, though. So, if your country has that kind of sushi restaurant, please let me know. I would love to know!

I am thinking in the future we will have this kind of restaurants more and waiter or waitress will loose their job gradually.

We also have another type of restaurants. This is not a sushi restaurant, but we order with a vending machine. Of course, there is no waiters.

I hope you enjoyed a part of our high technology culture, lol.

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

 

-Yumi

Geisha

Hi there!  How is your weekend going? I hope you all are having a relaxing one.

Well, today I want to write about Geisha. Before having this blog, I was not so interested in our traditional culture, and I had never thought about it. However, since blogging, I have heard many people from foreign countries say that Geisha is cool. Well, maybe……….

I know Geisha is really popular in the world, and the word, Geisha has become an international word. When we say it, most of people who know our culture image what Geisha looks like. They are wearing a beautiful kimono and maybe dancing or playing Japanese instruments. I think the image makes people from oversee think their job is cool.

Well, from a Japanese point of view, to be honest with you, I have never thought their job is cool. We Japanese people tend to look down their job because we think Geisha is the same as who works in a bar or nightclub. Even so, we know that they are different from the women who works in a bar of nightclub. Geisha needs talents.

Unfortunately, I have no friends who became Geisha, but one of my mom’s friends were a Geisha before or one of my mom’s friends were a daughter of a farmer Geisha. When girls want to become a Geisha, they go to a certain place in Kyoto or somewhere after they graduate from middle school. They are 15 years old. They start learning Japanese dance, playing Japanese instruments or singing Japanese traditional songs. They practice them every single day to improve their skills. It takes years for them to become an expert of dancing or singing or whatever. This part is the big difference between Geisha and other women who work in a bar or nightclub.

Geisha sells their talents. Most of them are expert of dancing, singing, Japanese instruments, Ikebana (flower arrangement) or Tea Ceremony. After they become Geisha, they belong to Ochaya ( a very expensive Japanese restaurant where most of customers are top of the company, doctors, lawyers or politicians.). People can’t go to Ochaya without any connections. It’s a male thing to play with Geisha. When Ochaya get a reservation from their customers, they call Geisha to entertain their customers. Most of the cases, they are called in their business meetings at the restaurants. It’s our part of culture while drinking alcohol, many businessmen discuss their business. I guess, since Geisha’s customers are very educated people like a politician, doctor, lawyer or toppest class of businessmen, they must be smart enough to catch up with their conversations. They must educate themselves to understand their customers’  conversations.

Geisha retires in their certain age. Some of them get happy marriage. My mom’s friend got one. One the other hand, my mom’s other friend who is a Geisha’s daughter, she is a child born outside of marriage. Her mom was a mistress of a politician. It happens a lot to Geisha. This is one of the reasons that we tend to look down on them. In Japanese society, reputation is very important. My mom told me that when her friend who was a daughter of a Geisha was bullied when she was a kid. She didn’t became a Geisha after she grew up. She went to a top level high school in my hometown and graduated from a junior college. I think her politician dad supported her education. Well, I have to say her life was very tough. She got divorced twice, and she moved to Hokaido with her boyfriend. She lost him there, and now she lives alone. She has two sons from her second husband. When I was a kid, I used to play with her kids. Until I grew up, I didn’t know that her mom was Geisha.

They are all I know about Geisha. If my daughter says she wants to become a Geisha, I definitely will be against it. Luckily, she lost the chance to become it because she is 21 years old. It’s too late for girls to become it.

I hope this blog entry will help you to expand knowledge of Geisha.

Thank you for reading! See you next weekend!

 

-Yumi

 

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