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.

招き猫

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

What do you think about Japanese cleaning up education?

Hi there!

How have you been? Here the weather is really muggy and I am sweating right now. A typhoon is heading to us and that’s why. Tomorrow the typhoon will change the high-pressure system around the Korean peninsula . I am glad that no typhoon will hit us.

Well, today I want to write about our education, especially I want to focus on cleaning up after school. It might not be popular around the world.

Cleaning up education in Japan

Cleaning up education in Japan

Cleaning up education in Japan

Cleaning up education in Japan

Cleaning up education in Japan

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In Japan, from elementary to high school, it is the students’ job to stay after school to clean up our classrooms, hallways, toilets, music rooms, science labs or whatever and school grounds. We don’t have any janitors for our schools. We have to clean up our rooms every single day. We also sometimes have to clean up specific rooms like PE gyms or we wash windows before we have school breaks. While cleaning our rooms that we use to study, we learn how to respect our surroundings. I think this is great and it has really worked out even for grown-ups because two years ago, when we went to the World Cup for soccer, our cleaning behavior had became popular.

Do you remember what Japanese supporters did? We were in Brazil and cheered up the Japanese team. After the game, we started cleaning up and picked up our trash by ourselves. It’s quite common when we go to public places. Before leaving, we clean up the places.

We even have a cleaning up time in our neighborhoods. We set up a specific date for cleaning up around our neighborhoods and follow it.

Maybe we Japanese people are very clean people?! What do you think about this education?

Japanese Castles

Hi there. How are you doing today? I have been sick for a while, and that’s why my blog entry was delay. I am sorry for that. I am getting better now, and you don’t need to worry about it.

Well, today I want to write about Japanese castles. As you know, our castles are quite different from Western ones.

During the world war 2, we lost lots of castles. Even so, we still have some original ones. I’ve been moving around many places because of my husband’s job in Japan. Through my experiences, I want to show some of my favorite castles here. I hope you enjoy it.

Osaka Castle:Osaka city, Osaka prefecture

I took my British friend, Maryn and my American friend, Zach to Osaka castle. We lost the original version during the ww2. However, it’s still beautiful and it’s a symbol of Osaka city where I live.

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

 

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

 

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

Click it. You can go to YouTube and see a video clip of Osaka castle
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khuPeplJLyo

Matsumoto Caslte: Matsumoto city, Nagano prefecture

My family and I lived there 7 years ago before my husband got a promotion. Our first dog, lala was alive at that time, and walking around the castle was Lala and my working out. We still keep the original version of castle. I really love the castle because it’s so pretty in snow.

Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcW7LbtJ3LM

Wakayama Castle: Wakayama city, Wakayama prefecture

My family and I lived there almost 20 years ago. Our daughter was born in the city. The castle is one of the biggest castles in Japan. I still remember I really loved walking though in cherry blossoms seasons. The castle has tons of cherry trees and when they blooms, it’s so pretty. The castle isn’t original. We lost it during the ww2.

Wakayama castle

Wakayama castle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7o1eMbZRhQ

Hikone Castle: Hilone city, Shiga prefecture

This castle belongs to my home town, Shiga prefecture close to my husband’s university.

Hikone castle

Hikone castle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qILbWCOJfJ8

This blog enty’s only a part of our castles. We have lots of castles everywhere from small to large. When you are interested in them, go to google image and search them. You can see a lot of pretty Japanese castles there.

I hope this blog entry helps you understand our culture a little bit.

Thanks you as always for visiting my blog.

See you next week!

-Yumi

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