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.

http://nekonoshima.miau2.net/aoshima/

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

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

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