Sunday, September 28, 2008

News From Newspaper

I always check some articles on newspaper every morning. I found sad news today. It was that Paul Newman has died.

It was very shocking to me. Since he is an American actor whom my mother loves, I have been a fan of him. I used to see his many old films when I was very young. My mother was very disappointed today.
He is very famous in Japan. Because a lot of his movies were released and he appeared in Japanese commercial for a Japanese car maker.
I especially like "Sting" , "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Verdict" among his films. He was so cool in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid".

Recently there are few movie stars in Hollywood. I think that a lot of attractive and special young actors like Paul Newman or actress are decreasing. Also interesting and excited movies are decreasing too. I recently don't go to movie theater to watch Hollywood films.

Now I think Japanese films might be interesting. Some Japanese films are remade in Hollywood. I want to mention about new Japanese movies in my blog when I watch and find it.

Anyway Paul Newman is eternal star in my mind. I miss him.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Writing Beautiful Letters

Fude (筆) means brush. I wrote this by Fude Pen 

When we see handwriting of other people, we often imagine the personality or intelligence of them. I think that beautiful letters makes a good impression as the person in Japan.
When I was a child, I have learned "Shodo" after school. Almost people learn it at school. I didn't know why I learn this. I just wrote the letters as the textbook. However, I understand that concentration is important when we write with a brush. We can't correct the letter on the paper or writing twice on the same line is prohibited. We are given one chance. There are various techniques for showing the letters beautifully. They are that how the brush is used on the paper or how space is effective ...
I practiced the letters many times. When I could write the beautiful letters, I felt so happy.
There is a simple brash like felt-tip pen in Japan. It is "Fude Pen" (Brush pen). When we write our name on special greeting cards or envelops for wedding or funeral, we often use Fude Pen.
I think that our feeling was mirrored in the letters. I endeavor to write letters carefully and beautifully.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Responsibility for New Prime Minister

Yesterday Taro Aso was elected as new leader.

Two prime ministers were resigned within about 2 years. When former prime minister, Yasuo Fukuda step down on September 1, we thought same thing. "Again ??" It is inconceivable for us. All of us were very disappointed about this situation. Prime minister must have responsibility. They gave up their tasks with no sweat. Where is responsibility?
There are a lot of problems in Japan now. Economy, foods, pension, etc. Now is time that all politicians must do their best to resolve these problems.

We have distrust for government. Almost of us don't think that the situation change as if prime minister is changed. It will be very difficult for new prime minister to get back our reliance for politics.
Taro Aso is very popular among especially young people because he loves manga or pop culture.
Young people recently don't have interest of politics in Japan. The rate of vote is always low. Since he became new prime minister, they might have interest for our country.

Is our country changed in future ? I hope that he has responsibility as a prime minister.

Friday, September 19, 2008

My favorite town, Kichijoji

Kichijoji is a name of town in west Tokyo. I like this small town. There are a lot of shops, restaurants, cute coffee shops, schools and big park around Kichijoji station. Also this place is quiet residential area. we can enjoy this vibrant town anytime.

I sometimes go shopping, meet my friends, eat lunch at weekend. Since there are many type of restaurants of Japanese, ethnic or western food and coffee shops, I can't always decide the day's restaurant easily. I definitely eat sweets after lunch. It is very comfortable and I can relax.

Inokashira Park is very big in Kichijoji. It's like a Central Park in N.Y. There are a lot of trees and a pond. Many people go there to walk around or go jogging. It is famous place for Hanami (Seeing cherry blossoms) at spring. The scenery is very beautiful and amazing. And there is Zhibri Museum near the park.

I saw a Japanese film recently at theater. It is "Goo Goo datte neko dearu". The story is set in Kichijoji. An American, Marty Freidman who is ex-guitarists of MEGADETH appears in this film. (He can speak Japanese fluently and sometimes broadcasts in Japanese TV programs.) He explains about Kichijoji in English in the film. If you have a chance to see the film, you will know about this town.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Today is Jugoya. Jugoya means night of full moon. We have a traditional custom in Japan. It is Tsukimi. Tsukimi is to view full moon in September. Weather in Tokyo today has a little cloud, however, I can see beautiful moon. Some typical offerings for Tsukimi are dango (white dumpling), Sake and Japanese pampas grass. There was porch (Engawa) at Japanese traditional house. We have enjoyed viewing the full moon at porch hearing chirp of bell-ringing crickets (Suzumushi) outside. We have felt beginning of autumn season.

Now we actually don’t do this custom at big city or town. We are forgetting these traditional customs like feeling nature or season, especially at town. Tsukimi might be a custom of other days. However, I will view the moon even if I don’t prepare the offerings.
every year. Not to forget this good Japanese custom.
By the way, what can you see in the full moon at your countries? In Japan, we imagine a rabbit that makes rice cake.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I heard a news of Japanese movie, Tora-san series. This year is 40 anniversary of the movie. If you know Tora-san, you are Otaku for Japanese Culture.
"Otoko wa Turai yo" is movie title and has 48 series with subtitle. They were very popular in Japan. It has been released every year. Genre is comedy. Very interesting!! Kuruma Torajiro (Tora-san) is main character's name in this movie. I love this series and him !! He fall in love a woman and lost in love in every series.
When you see this film, you will know normal Japanese life, family, human relations and "Giri to Ninjo" of people who live in downtown (Shita-machi) of Tokyo. "Giri" means duty and "Ninjo" means humanity. I couldn't have understood how attractive this movie is when I saw it in my childhood. However, I can understand his kindness after I grow up.
Kiyoshi Atsumi who plays Tora-san was very attractive actor. His performance in these series is so excellent. These series were ended after he died by cancer.
New DVDs of Tora-san series were released last month in Japan. They are with English subtitle.
And I heard that these films would be screened at some big cities in the world.

Anyway, I want you to see these series once. You will be able to laugh and enjoy every series. I attach the website of 40 anniversary of Tora-san. (Sorry for no English translation)

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Origami is Japanese paper art. Orizuru (Crane of Origami) is very typical item and we have make Orizuru once in our childhood. I have liked to make Origami. Origami art is very creative because one work is made by one piece of paper. Other typical works are balloon (Fuusen), armor (Kabuto), frog (Kaeru), flowers.
Tsuru (Crane) is very auspicious bird in Japan and it is simbol of longevity. (Tortoise is also a symbol of longevity in Japan.)
Senba-zuru is special work. When someone is hospitalized, we make Senbazuru. It is for our wishes to recover from disease soon. It is not easy to make a thousands Orizuru. We make them with out whole heart. Therefore, making a thousand of Orizuru represents strong feeling for the patient.
Senbazuru is a symbol for peace. Though this is not thousands of Orizuru, I offer Orizuru for today and world peace...

Sunday, September 7, 2008


We, Japanese like to abbreviation. It is easy to say or memorize. Abbreviation was a kind of trend for young people. However, we, adults say these words not only young people now.

For example, we call family style restaurant like Denny's "Family-restaurant". "Fami-res " is abbreviation of "family-restaurant". "Con-veni" means convenience stores.
MacDonald's is called "Mac" or "Mac-do" (Mac-do is used in west area of Japan.) "Mel-tomo" means friend for e-mail. ("Tomo" or "Tomo dachi" means friend in Japanese.)

These words are used in daily life in Japan. If you have Japanese friend, please say these words to him or her. He (she) will surely very surprised.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

kinpira Gobo

Kinpira Gobo is a traditional Japanese home cooking. We often eat Gobo (burdock). Gobo is stringy vegetable and very healthy. I love Kinpira Gobo !
There are some food that mother makes and has special taste in each home. Miso soup or Nimono (food boiled and seasoned) is typical and Kinpira Gobo is one of these foods. (We call these foods "Ofukuro (Mother) no Aji (taste)").
Ingredients, Gobo, carrot, sesame, and sesame oil are essential and typical as Kinpira. However, we can put in other vegetables. In case of my Kinpira, I put in Japanese mushroom.
I found the recipe of Kinpira Gobo at website. If you want to try it, it is very useful.