Wednesday, November 28, 2007


We Japanese believe that a soul inhabits everything, not only human being or animals but also nature and architecture. It is pantheistic culture to cherish and respect everything and we think highly of calmness as part our nationality. These quiet circumstances existed in our daily life before modernization in Japan.
But now we forget spiritual culture, the feeling of an respect for the invisible existence in nature. Life in an urban city like Tokyo is very busy and people can’t afford to think about other things or calmness. Cruel murders and crimes are increasing and it is a social problem in Japan
The feeling of respect for everything except ourselves is indispensable in our daily life.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Nuka-Zuke - Japanese special pickles

Rice is basically no taste. So we sometimes need some foods with rice. There are a lot of these kinds of food. Nuka-Zuke or Asa-Zuke is a kind of additional food. We generically call it “Tsukemono”.
The ingredients of Nuka-Zuke are vegetables. It is salty and vegetables are put in Nuka, including salt and water, of the special pot about for a day. Nuka is hull after threshing rice. Vegetables are fermented and taste is salty and sour. Old houses have a pot for Nuka and taste is original at each houses. This means each mothers taste. The main vegetables are cucumber, eggplant, carrot or radish, etc.
People stir Nuka and the vegetable once a day. This action is very important. It changes taste by one work. The pot was formerly inherited for generations long time ago.
However, recent houses in Japan don’t have the pot and almost people will buy Nuka-Zuke at supermarket.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Shichi Go San

We can see children who put on Kimono in November. There is a celebration for 3,5 and 7 years old children on November 15. Japanese Shichi is number seven, Go is number five and San is number three.
The parents go to main their shrine with children to celebrate them as a custom.
They take a lot of pictures for their lovely children.
The children bring special candy, Chitose- ame. It is white and red candy. For Japanese white and red are lucky colors. Our national flag is white and red. We usually use 2 colors for other lucky items. Especially girls make up lightly and dress up their hair as Japanese hair style. The figure of children is very heartwarming and cute.
I have my pictures in the celebration and it was memorable day for me.
Today is my birthday

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

100 Yen Shop

There are many shops that called “100 yen shop” in Tokyo. All products cost 100 Yen. Various types of products are sold there. Stationary, daily necessaries, cosmetics, food, etc. We can buy anything at the shop. The cost is very cheep and quality isn’t bad. 100 yen shop is a wonderland for general public. Certainly they are almost made in China. If you don’t care the makers or tastes, we can get them cheaply.
I like shopping there and always buy 5 or 6 items at one time.
This is the aim for 100 yen shop. We put some items into the cart unconsciously because of the cheap cost.
On the other hand I feel apprehensive for convenience. It is losing the spirit for cherishing the goods because we can buy easily. Present consume society is a problem for ecology.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Waiting for a long time

Japanese have an interest so much for eating delicious food. Sometimes a lot of people stand in line in front of a restaurant. This is a sight that we often see in town. Generally these are reputable restaurants. The people wait for a long time patiently to eat the reputed food. They will sometimes wait for even one hour.
I went to new doughnut shop in Tokyo and was surprised at the long line. A staff stands handing a board and saying “Here is the last line ” The line was like a long line to wait for an attraction in Disney Land. And he shouted, “ If you stand here, you would wait for 1 hour.” I was surprise again. Do the people really wait such for a long time?
However, this scene isn’t unusual in Japan. Are Japanese people patient? I think so.
Regarding an interest for food, we seem to be able to be patient and have always an inquiring mind for delicious food.
Though I don’t think that this is a good case, patience is a virtue for us and waiting for a long time doesn’t bother us.
I think that patience is one of symbolic Japanese nationality.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ghoza - Dumpling

We, Japanese like Chinese food. And we are good at arranging the food for our taste.
There is a lot of food like this. Gyoza is one of them and very popular dish.
Boiled or Steamed dumpling is generally eaten in China. In Japan fried Gyoza is mainly eaten and this is original style. And we eat Gyoza with rice. This seems to be strange for Chinese people because Gyoza is considered as staple diet. However, It is considered as main dish in Japan.
Gyoza and rice is standard and best combination for Japanese. (Sometimes with a glass of beer)
I love Gyoza. I recommend your eating the Japanese fried Gyoza in Japan.

I remember an American film, “Fisher King”. A scene that a woman eats dumplings is so funny. I’d like you to see it if you have a chance. “Fisher King” is one of my favorite movies.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Bushi-ni Nigon-nashi”

There is a phrase in Japan. “Bushi-ni Nigon-nashi” This means Bushi (Samurai) must not withdraw what he has said once. In Japan withdrawing a decision or promise that is said once was shameful as a Samurai (a man). This was manly attitude. I thought this phrase is alive in our country now.
However, my idea might be wrong. A Japanese leader of the opposition party retracted his resignation yesterday. I can’t believe that our representative politician withdraws his decision soon. I assure that people’s reliance on him will be clearly lost.
Though the case depends on the situation, the phrase is important about serious decision or promise like this case for human being. Japanese think that careless attitude is disgraceful. We should say our serious decision cautiously.
We are forgetting our good and old Japanese spirit now.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


There are a lot of department stores in Tokyo. Food is usually sold downstairs at department store in Japan. This food shops is called Depa-chika” in Japanese. “Depa” means department store and “Chika” means downstairs in Japanese. (Japanese like abbreviation.)
Now this place “Depa-Chika” is amazing place and very popular.
Anyway we can buy everything. Display of food is so beautiful and a lot of kinds of food are sold. For example, there are the shops that sell food by weight, grilled fish, hamburger, salad, Chinese food, pasta, Vietnamese noodle etc. Or lunch boxes, many type of cakes, cookies, tea leaves, bread are sold. Tasting is OK in a department store, Isetan at Shinjuku. Depa-Chika is full of a lot of customers, especially in evening after work or weekend. We can eat and taste delicious food. Sales of food is important for each department stores.

If you visit Tokyo, it is worth while going to a wonderland.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Persimmon - "Kaki"

Persimmon is Japanese fruits in autumn. You can see persimmon’s tree around the suburb. And there are some trees around my house.
We eat it row (Amagaki), however, there is other way to eat. It is dry fruits of persimmon. (Hoshigaki) Two types of persimmon, sweet and astringent persimmons.
To be sure, we can’t eat astringent ones row. However, when it is dried, taste is changed sweet. It will be chemical reaction. I think that this is a wisdom of Japanese ancient people. I like both. We can eat it in only this autumn season.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Who is the most famous Japanese in Japan ? Prime Minister ? I don't think so.
Almost Japanese, young , old and children will knows "Kimu-Taku" of his nickname.
His name is Takuya Kimura. Kimu-taku is an abbreviation of "Kimura(S) Takuya(F) "(Surname is first and first name is second in Japan.) He is a member of very popular super idol group "SMAP". Probably everyone will know the name of "SMAP"of five members, too. Their songs became No.1 definitely and each members are singers and actors. Kimu-Taku is known in other Asian countries, Taiwan or Korea.
His TV drama series always make No.1 record of rating. His movie "HERO" is on now and becomes No.1 in Japan now. This film was one of his TV series and it is movies version.
He fascinates a lot of women's fans.

The review in New York Times below is a his film last year in Japan. This was a blockbuster last year. The director of the film is Yoji Yamada who is very famous and produced a series of popular "Tra-san " movie.

Chrysanthemum - "Kiku"

Chrysanthemum is typical autumn flower. It is a crest of emperor family.
I went to a shine “Yushima shrine” at lunch time yesterday. The festival of chrysanthemum will be held from today. The preparation begun and it has almost already finished.
Color of flower is yellow, however, there are white, pink or purple.
Chrysanthemum is dedicated in front of our ancestor grave or used at the funeral.
The language of flower is nobleness.