Sushi

Hello there! It’s getting colder here. How have you been?

Today I want to write about sushi. Do you know that we have so many different kinds of sushi?

Nigiri is the most popular and famous in the world.

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Besides Nigiri, we have so many different kinds of sushi. I don’t think I can mention everything, but I want to mention some which I am familiar with.

A couple of days ago, I made Chirashi. This is home-made sushi.

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I mixed dried veggies, mushrooms, tiny fish called jyako, eggs, raw sermon, cucumbers, fish paste called kamaboko, renkon (Japanese vegetable) and so on. Since it’s easy for fixing, I make this often.

I was born and grew up close to Kyoto. In Kyoto we have hako-zushi.

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My favorite one is the brown ones. They are grilled eels.

I lived in Wakayama prefecture with my hubby 20 years ago. Kakinoha-shushi is really popular there. It looks like hako-zushi, but the difference is after we make the sushi, we wrap it with a fruit (persimmon) leaf.  I love kakinoha-shushi too!

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Next is my mom’s favorite! I didn’t like the sushi for a long time, but recently I came to like it. Saba-sushi is made from a vinegar flavored  mackerel.

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The last one is called Masu-zushi. This is a bigger version of kakinoha-sushi, but after we make the sushi, we wrap it with bamboo leaves. The sushi is local food of Toyama. Since my father in-law’s hometown is Toyama prefecture, we often get the sushi from him. The red fish is a trout.

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Which one looks yummy for you? Which one do you want to try out?

All have different flavors and all are good!

I hope this blog entry helps to learn about sushi more.

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

-Yumi

Halloween in Japan

Hi there! How have you been?

I can’t believe that we have only two months left this year!! I am so surprised that time flies so fast!

Last week, I know we celebrated Halloween in the Western world. Well, me personally, I have never gone trick or treating or celebrated it in my entire life. When I was a kid, Halloween was not popular at all. However, it is getting more popular recently, and I want to share how we celebrate it.

I have a 10 year-old niece, and she shared a very interesting story with me. She told me that she does trick or treat in her neighborhood. Her neighborhoods has a Halloween event every year in October. She can stop by to trick or treat at elderly people’s houses which have a maple leaf mark on their house doors. The house owners (they are elderly people) give some candies when kids come around. It’s an event both for elderly people and kids to communicate with each other. When I heard the story, I thought it’s a great idea because usually elderly people don’t get so many chances to talk to kids besides their grandchildren. Of course, my niece told me that they wear a Halloween costume.

After hearing the story, I paid a little bit more attention. On the Halloween day, I found a cute pumpkin pie which was wrapped by a cute Halloween package at a grocery store .

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Halloween is apparently getting much more popular in one decade.

My daughter loves going to Universal Studios in Osaka during the Halloween season. She loves wearing creepy make-up and goes there with her friends.  Older people are still not interested in Halloween, but young people are enjoying it.

I think in a couple of years, Halloween will become a much bigger event in Japan and we might be able to see many people from young to old wearing a costume everywhere, lol.

I hope you had a fun time on this Halloween!

See you next weekend here again!

-Yumi

My Favorite Flowers in Fall

Hello there! How have you been? I am so sorry for the delay. I went to back to my painting school and I am so busy for this. I am also planning on studying abroad again at the end of this year and busy for preparing things.

Today I want to introduce my favorite flowers in fall. Do you have these flowers in your country? I have heard these flowers bloom in Asia. They smell excellent, and I so love the smell. We have the tree in our small garden, and I took some pictures of them. I am so sorry that you can see the photos, but you can’t smell it.

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They are called kinmokusei in Japanese and Sweet Osmanthus in English. When I took their pictures, they were in full bloom. Now, they all are gone. We are having  nice weather and enjoying autumn here. We will see leaves changing soon. I will post some of pictures when it comes.

Have a lovely weekend!

-Yumi

What Do You Think About This Song?

Hi there! How have you been? I am doing great to enjoy myself.

Today I show you a weird video clip and want to listen to your opinions. Please see the video clip first.

Well, what do you think about this guy and the song? He is a Japanese comedian and singing a very stupid song. However, this video clip got 3,900,000 hits! Many many people have been watching it. I don’t know why this is so popular, but when I showed this video clip to my daughter, she has already known it. She mimicked the guy to me.

I also showed the video clip to my American friend. He also has already known it. He told me that the video clip looked so stupid, and we laughed at it together. I showed this one to my husband as well. He said the same thing.

I think we all don’t know why this video clip is so popular, but only I can tell is this one makes us smile. I saw both my husband and daughter smiled when they watched it. They must think it was stupid and the stupidity made them smile. I read an article that after Justin Bieber tweeted this video clip, it got a huge hit. He must think the guy is stupid as well and laugh at him.

Aw, I don’t want people from overseas to misunderstand Japanese pop culture, but this will get more popular. This song reminds me of the singer from Korea a couple of years ago. I am embarrassed to have to say that this one is trendy in Japan right now.

Thank you for visiting my blog again!

See you again next weekend!

-Yumi

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.

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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

 

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