Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Mt.Fuji (Fuji-san) is known as Japanese highest mountain. And we, Japanese love this mountain. It is special for Japanese. The shape is so beautiful. I think winter is good season to see Mt.Fuji. The mountain is covered white snow. Since air is so clear now, the shape is magnificent in the blue sky. We can see Mt. Fuji in Tokyo, when we are in high building. Somehow, I feel happy when I can see it.
We think it is good fortune to dream about Mt.Fuji at first in new year. (Hatsuyume)
There is a proverb
"Ichi Fuji , Ni Taka, San Nasubi "


If you visit Japan, it is worth seeing it.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Nissan Gallery

I went to Nissan Gallery at Ginza. I saw this car and I liked it.
It was exhibited in Tokyo Motor Show 2007. I took some photos. This car is PIVO2.
I found web site of it. The movies is very cute.

Click the second (コンセプトカー) from left and choose PIVO2.

Welcome To Foreign Customers

I often see some groups of other Asian countries people at major department stores or electric stores in Tokyo.
Almost of them speak Chinese. I saw a topic about Chinese people that come to Japan for shopping and sightseeing in TV news program. Now Japanese stores increase some employees who can speak Chinese or Korean. And these languages are mentioned as an instruction.
The stores prepare to some guide books for shopping, too. Chinese tourists hunt for brand goods, watches, shoes, or bags like Japanese who went to France or Italy for brand-name goods about two decades ago. Luis Vitton, Helmes, Gucci, Chanel, Armani, etc.
A Chinese woman had an interview in the new. Interviewer asked "Why do you buy brand goods in Japan ?" She said "Because these goods in Japan is genuine." Other Chinese showed thick Japanese bills.
Rich Chinese people seek genuine goods in Japan, not own country. It is ironical thing.
Japanese economy is stagnant now. So Japan welcomes Chinese or other country people who spend money for Japan.
I hope that Chinese bubbles don't burst open like Japan someday.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Oden is very popular winter food in Japan. A lot of ingredients, fish ball, Japanese laddish, kon nyaku, boiled egg, are in soy and Dashi soup. It's like Pot-au-feu. We stew many ingredients in the pot. This soup can be used repeatedly. After we eat some ingredients, we can put new ingredients in soup. Taste becomes more delicious after we stew again and again. Because the ingredients extract Umami taste. We use the soup about two times normally. However, popular Oden restaurants have often used for many years. This become sometimes catchphrase to attract customers.
Oden is sold in convenience store now. We can choose our favorite ingredients.

Oden warms our body in cold winter. It is essential in winter food for Japanese.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Constitution of Japan - Article 9

I read our Constitution in English. After World War Ⅱ, we changed our constitution and there is very important article in it. This is Article 9 and we call it Heiwa Kenpo. Heiwa means peace and Kenpo means constitution. Japan lost this war at 1945, on August 15. We hoped our peaceful life without war. I want to introduce this article.
Because I honestly feel that this article is great, when I read again.

Chapter Ⅱ Renunciation of War

Article 9.
Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

We, Japanese need to recognise our past mistakes and keep this article forever. I think that we must continue saying to other people that Article 9 is important in all over the world.

Monday, January 14, 2008

20 Years Old Ceremony (Seijin Shiki)

Monday of the second week in January is a day of 20 years old ceremony. A person who is 20 years old is an adult legally in Japan. A ceremony is held at this day. The city organizes this ceremony for the people who live in the city and celebrates them. Mayor or some people usually give a speech for them in the ceremony and listen to it very quietly. And they are given a memorial.
The young 20 years old people almost wear Kimono on this special day. We, adults feel freshness when we see them. And we hope they play their parts in our society.
On the other hand, young people go to a party with their friends, drink alcohol and make a racket after the ceremony, Seijin Shiki.
Actually I didn’t think and understand what is an adult or how I behave as an adult when I was 20 years old. However, we might change our mind and awake as an adult by this event. I think that Seijin Shiki is an opportunity to know our responsibility for Japanese.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Two part of Japan - East and West

We often divide 2 parts in Japan, east and west. We call east "Kanto" and west "Kansai".Center of Kanto is Tokyo and of Kansai is Osaka.
Each customs or cultures are quiet different. food culture is especially different. Dialect of Osaka is unique. ( There are a lot of dialects or food cultures in each area and each prefectures.) Osaka is especially known as commercial city. Osaka has special food cultures. Okonomi-yaki, Tako-yaki or Kushi- katu etc.
There is a comedy culture in Osaka. A comedy agent, Yoshimoto Kogyo is very famous and many popular comedians belongs to this agent. We can see them in TV every day. They have some TV comedy programs and are around as actors or MC, too.
There is a comedy culture in Tokyo ,too. Takeshi Kitano is one of these comedians in Tokyo. He is famous as a movie director abroad. However, he is known better as a comedian than a movie director for Japanese.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


There are several times to go to shrine in a year for us. New year, when we have a wish, after giving a birth or Shichi-Go-San etc….

Examination to enroll school, university or high school is coming in Japan. Almost students are studying hard now for the enrollment. They do only invoke after studying hard and trying to do their best. To invoke is called “Kamidanomi” in Japanese.

There is a shrine that is especially known for study spirit, Yushima Tenjin near my office. I saw a lot of young people and adults who seem their parents or grandparents. A charm (Omamori) is one of important item for the candidates. And they buy it. Now many Emas are suspended on the shell. Ema is a wooden board and horse or an animal of Eto this year, mouse is drawn the surface of it. The wish of the student is written on the reverse of it. Shinto priest prays for Emas in order to get their wishes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ema_%28Shinto%29
Now Japanese apricots (Ume) begin to bloom. The early spring is near in Japan. (Tokyo is recently very warm in spite of winter. It seems to be so strange. )

Friday, January 11, 2008

Meaning of Working

I saw TV documentary program of a Japanese Sushi Chef, is 82 years old. His Sushi restaurant was given 3 stars from Michelin last year. He has worked at his own restaurant as a chef until now.
Since his family was so poor, he had to leave his home. He lived in a high-class Japanese style restaurant and begun to work at 7 years old to survive. He always tries to do best in order to cook more delicious Sushi even now.
He said “I think working is so hard for anybody. However, I could not help his working when I was young. I had no place that he escape and I didn’t have other choices except working. Now my job is still hard, too.”However, he looks so young than his own age. Moreover he looks proud and joyful.
Hikikomori is a social problem in Japan now. Hikikomori means especially young people shut in own room without working and their parents support their sons or daughters. They shut out outer world and watch TV, play computer games or read Manga in the room. Our wealthy life generates situation like Hikikomori. This issue is deplorable for Japanese. Japanese must think what for we work and how we live in the future.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Kagami-mochi - a rice cake offering

Rice cake is one of the essential food to introduce Japanese food.Kagami-mochi is an offering for Oshogatsu (New Year) . We offer Kagami-Mochi until January 11. Mochi means rice cake.
As traditional ceremony we made rice cake for Oshogatsu at a yard in each houses. This is Mochi-tsuki. Kagami-mochi was handmade some decades ago. Mochi-tsuki will be done at countryside. However, I can't seldom see Mochi-tsuki in urban city like Tokyo. We can buy it at supermarket easily.
We eat Kagami-mochi as Oshiruko (Red bean soup) or baked rice cake after January 11. Mochi has a lot of kinds for food, as Zoni (rice cake soup) or deserts.
I love Mochi. I want to introduce how to eat Mochi to all over the world.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Boku Note - My Recent Favorite Song

I recently listen to this song "Boku Note" many times.

Skimaswitch is a duo group and one of my favorite J-Pop group.
I want to recommend. Please try to listen.


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Hakone Ekiden Marathon

Some sports events hold in New Year. Football or Rugby, Marathon.
Hakone Ekiden (Road relay) Marathon is very popular in Japan. This marathon begun from 1920 and is traditional sports event.

It is for each universities student runners and it holds for 2 days. 20 universities can entry in this marathon. The runners in 1 university are 10 people. 5 runners must run about 108 km in 1 day from Tokyo, Otemachi to Hakone. And other 5 runners run next day from Hakone to Otemachi.
Otemachi is one of downtown centers. Hakone is in Kanagawa prefecture next Tokyo and famous as a town of hot spring (Onsen). Hakone area has a mountain, Hakone-yama. Ups and Downs of the road is sharp. ( Hakone is very beautiful Onsen spot. I love Hakone.) Teamwork is important for Ekiden.
A lot of people go to see the runners to cheer. This event is on air in TV. Many people watch TV eating Osechi. Winner team this year is Komazawa University.
Marathon is one of sports that Japanese like.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


What do you eat in your country for New Year ?
The period from January 1 to 3 is New Year holiday for ordinary people. We eat special New Year food in January 1. At first we drink Otoso. We call Otoso Japanese Sake (alcohol) for New Year.

After that we, Japanese eat Osechi during holiday. There are a lot of kinds of food in Osechi. Kurikinton, Kobumaki, Kamaboko, Tazukuri or etc.. Each food has a meaning to live long and peacefully in a year.
Finally we eat Zoni. Zoni is rice cake soup. This is special food in New Year. The style of Zoni is different each area in Japan. Soy sauce, salt or Miso soup. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoni_soup
This is traditional Japanese New Year food.
A lot of People who live in Tokyo have their hometown of other prefecture. So they go back to their hometown and spend with their grandfather or grandmother eating Osechi and visit friends or relatives for holiday.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Hatsu- moude

Today is very beautiful blue sky without clouds in Tokyo.
Hatsu-moude is to go to shrine or temple for new year with family. We wish our happiness and health in a year. We basically go to shirine that Ujigami-sama who protect the place is enshrined.The place that most people who live in Tokyo go to Hatsu-moue is Meiji Jingu. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meiji_Shrine
I always buy Omamori on Hatu-moude. Omamori is a charm. There are many kinds of charm and they are sold. I love Omikuji. Omikuji is fortune slip.
Many booths (Yatai) sell foods or toys only Hatsu-moude. There is very lively.
Hatsu-moude is a big event for Japanese people in new year.

This is Omamori. (charm)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Osho-gatu お正月

A Happy New Year !
Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu ! 明けましておめでとうございます!
Today is the beginning of 2008 !
I hope that many people see my blog and have interests about Japan.

Osho-gatsu means January in Japanese. Gantan means January 1. Therefore Gantan is today.
There are a lot of traditional things in Osho-Gatsu. I will introduce about them.