Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sakura Season

Sakura season is approaching now. There are a lot of songs about Sakura in Japan. Sakura(Cherry blossoms) is special flower for Japanese. Everyone are waiting for spring and blooming the flowers.
I will introduce my favorite Sakura songs.

"Sakura Iro" サクラ色” Angela Aki

"Sakura" さくら Naotaro Moriyama

"Sakura Drops" Hikaru Utada

If you visit in Japan from the end of March to the beginning of April, you will be able to see beautiful Sakura and listen to these songs.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

侍(Samurai) Japan

It is a special day for us. Japanese baseball team won at World Baseball Classics (WBC) and became No.1 team again today. The opposition was South Korean team. Our team is defending champion. We call out team "侍 Japan". WBC was a big topic in these days.
Baseball is very popular sports in Japan. I think almost Japanese saw the final and cheered our team enthusiastically. The final game was excellent, exciting and historical. A lot of people were glued to TV in spite of weekday. South Korean team is always rival in every situation. Today's victory is special.

Ichiro Suzuki, a Japanese baseball player and major leaguer, is our hero as I have mentioned in my past post. He was a super hero in these tournaments.

This victory makes us happy and reflected courage in our daily life. "侍 Japan" is our proud.  

Sunday, March 15, 2009

We Love Singing

I want to write about singing again.

I think Japanese people like to sing. We invented Karaoke and almost people have sung once in Karaoke Box or Bar. We can enjoy singing or with friends and hearing other people's song. When we sing with microphone, we feel happy as if we would become a singer. And going to Karaoke is one of communication with our friends in our society.
I like singing, too. However, I also like to know a lot of songs that I don't know by other people's song.

There is a TV live program, NHK "Nodo jiman" , on Sunday noon. It is a show that normal people sing on stage. If he or she can sing well and pass, a lot of chimes of bell ring.
If it fails, one or two chimes ring. The location changes every Sunday. Various generations can participate if they can pass the audition of the show. They seems so satisfied. This program has been on air for a long time. It is peaceful and enjoyable.

Singing with loud voice might be one of good way to relax and forget our depressed feeling.
Nodo Jiman sometimes is held at other countries. If it will be held at your country, you will be able to participate an audition.

Friday, March 13, 2009

School Song (校歌)

March is graduation and departure season in Japan. I remember my school days in every March.
Every school has own school song (校歌) and everyone has sung each school song at graduation ceremony of all kinds of schools, elementary, junior high and high schools.

Are there school songs in your school ? And did you sing them at the ceremony ? I don't know it is special culture in Japan. School song is special for us. And pleasant memories in school days crowded in on us when we remember the school song of own alma maters.

In my case, I like a school song of my public elementary school. Lyric of it were written by famous Japanese poet, Shuntaro Tanikawa. The first phrase is "Our classroom is a spaceship and we can go to any places. " It is my favorite phrase. I memorize almost of it and can sing even now.

Do you have good memories in school day ?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Afternoon Tea

I have a favorite cafe. It is Afternoon Tea. It is a name of English style cafe. Also Afternoon Tea is a shop for fashionable goods for living. There are a lot of cafes or shops in main towns. It is very popular shops for especially women.

I often go there and eat lunch with my friends on weekend. Each plate is a little expensive. (Almost 1,500 Yen for lunch with a cup of tea. ) However, I like atmosphere of the shop. I always can relax. When I choose some restaurants or cafes, atmosphere in the cafes or attitude of waitresses or waiters is very important for me. There is another reason to go Afternoon Tea. Now there are a lot of coffee shops like Starbucks in town. However, there are a few shops to drink English tea. Of course, I love coffee, however, sometimes I want to drink tea.

You can eat attractive sweets there. If you visit Tokyo, I recommend to go. You will relax and spend peaceful teatime.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

おくりびと "Departures"

I couldn't have posted for a long time. Because my PC haven't worked.

I saw wonderful Japanese film, "Departures" that won Oscar Best Foreign Language Film last month. It is first time to win Oscar for Japanese film. The big news was reported on large scale in our countries and we were greatly glad to hear this news.

There were a lot of people in the movie theater. Departures is set in Yamagata prefecture, northern rural area of Japan. I have known by this film first time about the ceremony in Japanese funeral. It expresses a kind of Japanese delicate feeling for the departed. You can know about Japanese funeral situation in this film. The scores that are composed by Joe Hisaishi and scenery in Yamagata are very beautiful and magnificent. They are very effective for this film.

Today is Girls Festival (Hina Matsuri) in Japan. You can see a set of Japanese traditional dolls (Hina Ningyo) for Girls Festival in the film.