Who Is The Most Famous Japanese Person in The World?

Hello there! How have you been so far? Here everyday is cold and we are fed up with this cold weather. We can’t wait for spring.

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine from America and I talked about Japanese people and all the sudden, he asked me who did I think was the most famous Japanese person  in the world, dead or alive.

We talked about what we thought about this for a while but we couldn’t agree with our answers. My friend told me that in the States students don’t study Japanese or Asian history and they don’t know even where Japan is on the map. Well, I agree with him. Japan is a still very mysterious country for westerners.

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I am very curious, when you have to think of one Japanese person (dead or alive), whose name pops up in your mind first. Maybe, some historical people, actors, musicians, artists, athletes  etc. I know you have known of some anime characters like Pokemon, Hello Kitty, Godzilla and so on, but can you think of a real Japanese person?  Just write down one Japanese person’t name as your answer on my comment section and give me the reason why you picked up the person.

Thank you so much for co-operating.

I hope you all are having a lovely weekend!

See you around again in two weeks:)

-Yumi

 

China Fair in Kyoto

Hello there! How have  you been so far? I think you forgot that I have blogs, lol. Yes, I myself almost forgot about them as well, lol. Well, I had lost interest in blogging for a while. Since I have been away from this blog for months, I have no idea what I should write. Then, I found that writing about a china festival inKyoto might be interesting.

This summer was really hot, and I avoided going out. I rarely went out, and this festival was one of those rare times. I don’t know why people in Kyoto hold the china (porcelain) festival in summer because summer in Kyoto is one of the muggiest places in Japan.

Anyway, the festival is held every summer, and many people have visited there because it opens from the morning to evening. I suggest to go there in the evening because it’s much cooler. You will be very comfy.

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You can see lots of stands where people are selling their hand-made porcelain on the streets. If you love porcelain, the place is heaven.

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They don’t sell Western porcelain at all. All are Japanese styles.

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Usually, our pottery shops are just like this.

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These are incense plates with Chinese zodiacs. I know you think they are very Japanese.

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Another pottery shop.

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I love the pottery designs and took this photo.  For some reason the designs remind me of one of my favorite painters, Klimt :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Klimt

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My husband and I visited a temple for pottery. These statues are made from porcelain dishes. Isn’t it cool? I don’t know what the left side is, but I think the right side is a samurai.

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I prayed to the God of pottery to improve my painting skills on porcelain, of course.

I have reblogged this blog entry on my other blog, my porcelain painting blog. I will start posting the blog soon as well.

See you around in two weeks!

-Yumi

 

Getting Bigger!

Hello there! How have you been? We have been suffering from the crazy summer. We had an M6.1 earthquake, crazy rain which caused floods and land slides and killed around 300 people and the HEAT WEAVES! According to our government, the heats is a disaster. So, we have been under the disaster more than one month! Every day is around 38 degree Celsius. Last month ( in July) around 400 people died because of the hearts. I guess we will more 300 people lose this month. Then, we had a typhoon. Another one is heading to Japan right now. I feel like we won a disaster lottery. I hope your weather is not such miserable like ours.

Today, I want to write about food portions in Japan. I usually post fancy restaurants’ photos and you don’t know that our food portions are getting larger.  Big portions are very popular among young people. I think we love adopting American culture, and the food portions are called  めがもり、mega-mori or deka-mori, でかもりin Japanese. It means big portion, of course. You can see how much they are large.

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I have never tried out mega-mori, but I can guess the portions are close to American ones.

Of course, it’s easy for you to guess what’s going on our people, right? Yes, we are getting bigger too.

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He is s very popular Japanese drag queen. He is called Matsuko (Actually, Matuko is a female name in Japanese.)

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Her name is Naomi Watanabe and she is also very popular TV person. She is a comedienne and actress. She is good at impersonating Beyonce! ( She doesn’t sing, though)

 

A couple of days ago, my husband and I went to a steak restaurant, and we saw lots of over weight people there. This made us think we had to exercise after we ate the dinner, lol.  My husband is big ( He is over weight, but he has lots of masculines and that’s why.) , but he looked normal then to me, lol.

I think we will add more over weight people and over weight won’t be a big issue in our society soon.

 

I Miss Spring!

Hello there! It’s getting more muggy here, and I really miss our wonderful spring! How is the weather there? I hope you are having a good one.

Today, I want to show some photos of plum blossoms that I have taken a couple of months ago. Of course, our plum blossoms bloom in early spring. We can’t see them anymore.

I think our cherry blossoms are much popular than the plum blossoms in the world, but actually, they are really cute. I love both of them.  I especially love the rich pink ones.

I took these pictures at a shinto shrine close to our house.

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Plum blossoms sometimes have been used to a Shito shrine, temple or family symbols like the flog.

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This pink plum tree was so cute! I really loved this one.

 

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This tree is white. The white one is pretty too, but I prefer the pink one.

 

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Well, this is new. The shinto shrine has a pray spot for kitties. Since I am a cat person, I couldn’t help taking the photo!!

 

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We have lots of different pink colors in our plum blossoms. This one is my favorite color!

 

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Do you know what it is? This is called “omikuji” in Japanese. You can read about omikuji here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O-mikuji This is a part of our shinto-ism or Buddhism. We are kind of superstitious and try to know our fortunes.  When I visited here, I tried it out. We usually leave the used omikuji like this in the photo. The white paper things in the photo are all used omikuji.

 

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This plum tree is my favorite one. I really love the rich pink!

 

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Plum blossoms are a good object for painting, and when you look at our ancient paintings, you can see a lot of them on papers, porcelain, woods and so on.

Now, we are having lots of hydrangeas. Which flowers can you see in your place now?

I hope you start a good week! See you in weeks here again!

 

-Yumi

Castella, the Oldest Japanese Cake

Hello there! How did your new year start? Have you set up some goals to achieve for this year? What are your new year’s resolutions?

I have set up some goals that I really want to achieve and made some new year resolutions. I will try my best to reach my goals this year as well, and I will see the result at the end of this year.

Today I want to introduce Japanese oldest cakes to you. I hope this blog entry is interesting for you who are interested in Japanese culture or history.

The cake is called “castella”.   It is around 400 years old. You can read the history here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castella   In the 17 century, the Edo period my country had closed our country from other countries to protect ourselves. It had been keeping in 300 years. During the time we created our own unique culture. Castella was born in the 17 century. Even though, we didn’t open our country to others, we had exchanged stuff with Portugal and Holland.  They brought us guns, Christianity, Western culture like western medicines, western science and so on. Castella was introduced by Portuguese. We had a large port in Nagasaki, the Kusyu erea. They came to the port with Castella. They started living with Japanese people in the area. Some Japanese people learned how to make Castella from them. Since then, Castella is very popular among all aged Japanese people. I love the cake as well.

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Castella texture is different from Western cakes. They are very soft and mild.

 

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I found a very interesting advertizement paper with the Castella box. Since I took some photos of it, I want to share them with you.

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This seems to be very old advertizement of Castella. Since some Japanese characters are very old, I can’t read some words even though I can guess the meaning.

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You can see a Castella factory in the advertizement.

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You can see when the Castella factory opened. It says “since 1624”. Actually, the factory name is “Fukusaya” and it’s in Nagasaki prefecture. I think the Castella factory is the oldest one in Japan, and I really love the castella from the factory. I think the shop’s one is the best!

They have an English HP! http://www.fukusaya.co.jp/global/en/index.html According to the HP, the current shop owner is 16th generation from the first one. I am very amazed! The factory also have very long history with their Castella!!!

When you come to Japan, get some Castella at an airport! You will love them!

See you around in two weeks again!

Have a lovely week, everyone!

-Yumi x

 

-Yumi

Cafes in Japan

Hiya! How have you been so far? I am doing great to enjoy my life.

Today, I want to share something interesting with you. You know we have weird cafes, like maid cafes, right? Our cafes are getting more diverse. Now, we have lots of cafes where we can enjoy getting together to share our interests.

Cats cafes where we can touch cats or conversational English cafes where we can speak in English with foreigners or English teachers are more popular. We have more cafes like rabbit cafes where we can touch rabbits. Rabbit cafes are getting popular in Japan as well. I don’t think it’s a clean place to drink something, though, lol.

I have never been to those cafes before, but I had an opportunity to go to a knitting cafe recently.  I have to say that knitting is my hobby. I have found knitting is meditation for me, and that’s why I love knitting. I found a knitting cafe where I can learn Fair Isle technique from Scotland and went there.

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There were 10 students plus three teachers there. We all knitted the Fair Isle techniques.

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Fair Isle knitting started for fishermen, but they have become more sophisticated.

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We can see lots of Fair Isle knitting products which the instructors  have placed on the walls. They were so perfect! I was in love with them at first sight.

A student was knitting her sweater with the technique. According to her, it takes 6 months for her to finish one product!! Oh, I need a lot of patience to finish one piece!!!!

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The instructors show us lots of traditional patterns and books to make us think we can make these!

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Since I am a definitely beginner of this technique, I have nothing to show. I just started learning this technique. My goal is to knit sweaters for all my family! The yarns for the technique come from Shetland, Scotland. Their yarns are very light and warm like cashmere. Since I love conservative, classical and traditional style of fashion a lot, I really really love these knitting patterns!

Cafes where we can learn something is different from schools or clubs. When we learn something in schools or clubs, it’s hard for us to quit after one experience. However, it’s easy for us to quit in cafes. We don’t need to go to the cafes constantly. Whenever we want, we can book the cafes and keep learning. The knitting cafe is open 8 days each month from 10 am to 1:30 pm for students to learn . My plan is to go there once a month to learn. It’s more convenient for us to save time and money. It’s easier for us to start learning something new. Of course, we call these “cafe”, so we order something to drink while we learn.

I had a wonderful time there with knitting people. All of them were very friendly to share their products, ideas and technique.

I think these style of cafes where we can learn something will be more popular in Japan.

Thanks for stopping by my blog entry. I hope I will be able to update my other blog, my porcelain painting blog next week!

I hope you all start a great week! Take care!

-Yumi x

 

 

Kawaii!

Hello there! How have you been? It’s getting cooler here, and I just love the weather.

Today I have some good news. My daughter passed the entrance exams of graduate university. In the next spring, she will be a graduate college student!! I am very happy. I am glad that she is coming close to achiving her dream.

Well, I want to write about a part of our culture today. Have you heard the word, cawaii or kawaii before? The word meaning is cute in Japanese.  We Japanese love cuteness in our pop culture and invented like Hello Kitty, Lolita fashion, Harajyuku fashion and so on. Mainly, I want to introduce Lolita fashion today.

Lolita fashion is doll like outfits for young girls. Some Japanese girls love the fashion, and I think it has spread to the world. I can see many Western girls wearing Lolita fashion online a lot. All of them look just like dolls. They love having tea parties in the fashion.

 

They love belonging to Lolita groups. They are absolutely stunning when they are getting together. They seem to be enjoying getting people’s attention.

To be honest with you, I love Lorita fashion even though I personally have  never worn the fashion. When my daughter Nana was a little girl, I had dressed Nana in the fashion. I enjoyed dressing Nana like a doll a lot. She was so cute in the outfits.

I think people who love the fashion still love playing dolls, lol. We sometimes still have child minds inside even though we are already grown up.

There are some very interesting Lolita here.

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Can you see the interest? I found the girl online when I Skyped with my American friend, Matt. She is a Muslim girl who is wearing Lolita in her Muslim fashion. Isn’t it interesting? It’s my first time to see mix of Lolita and Muslim fashion together.

I am happy that our pop culture has been accepted even in Muslim culture. Since I like writing about our pop culture, I sometimes want to introduce it more!

At the end of this blog entry, I asked Matt if he feels attractiveness from these Lolita girls because I was very curious what Western guys think about them, lol. He told me that they seem to be immature. Well, I don’t think most of guys like their fashion either.  I think our culture relates to immature things too. I will write about it sometime too.

Thank you so much for reading the blog post. I hope it is interesting for you to learn Japanese culture.

See you around here again in two weeks! Have a lovely week/weekend, everyone!

-Yumi x

 

 

 

 

 

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