Dec 28, 2007
Dec 18, 2007
Dec 15, 2007
I have written a Japanese phrase about a sweet potato. This is a kind of a copy.
And it is a kind of a play of words, so you don't have to consider an important meaning in it.
"Ri"（里） is a unit of length used in the past days in Japan. It is about 3.9273km. "Ku-ri"（九里） means 9-"ri", and is pronounced in same sound of a chestnut（栗（くり））. "Yo-ri"（四里） means 4-"ri", and is in same sound of "yori" that means "than".
Why does "Jyu-san"（十三） appeal at the end of this phrase? The answer is very simple, because 9 plus 4 equal 13.
This phrase is formed with "Shiti-go-chou"（七五調） that is familiar to Japanese people. In other word, it is written in "Goro-ga-ii"（語呂がいい）. Ku-ri-yo-ri-u-ma-i=7, jyu-u-sa-n-ri=5.
In direct meaning of this phrase, "a sweet potato is more delicious than a chestnut".
Dec 10, 2007
Dec 8, 2007
I have learned that "Obama girl" has been very popular in the USA by today's newspaper. This is interesting thing, I think. I tried to find "Hillary boy" or "Clinton boy" on the Internet, but I could not.
P.S. I can find the song's lyrics, here, thanks to Marian-san.
P.S. Thanks to joshf-san, I could learn about this song by "Hillary girl". I think it is very catchy and like it than Obama girl's. But I have not been satisfied with it yet because its singer is a girl, not a boy.
Dec 7, 2007
There was a national ironworks named "Kan-ei Yahata Seitetsu-syo"（官営八幡製鐵所） in the nothern part of Kysuhu. It was taken over a private company, and its name is "Shin-Nihon-Seitetu"（新日本製鉄）.
"Kata-pan"(堅パン )was invented as a light food that was given to its workers by the national company. And it has become a familiar snack to people who live in this area.
When I was a child, I used to eat it. But, in those days, it had only one taste, plane(milk taste). But, now, it has three tastes, strawberry, spinach and sesame besides plane.
"Kata-pan" is well-known for its hardness. But when I ate it last Sunday, I felt that it was not so hard in comparison with what I used to eat in my childhood, and I felt it was a little bit unfortunate thing.
P.S. "Oyatsu " or "O-yatsu" is a general name of light meal that people eat between lunch and dinner. It comes from a traditional time's name "Yatsu-doki"（八つ時）means time between about 2pm and 4pm. Generally, people call a light snack taken at about 3pm "Oyatsu", but you can use it in anytime to call a light snack.
Dec 1, 2007
I would like you to listen to the music and tried to find it on the Internet. But, unfortunately, I could not find a full version, but could find a very short version, here.
And I write its long Japanese title in this pictute.
Nov 26, 2007
Nov 25, 2007
Nov 21, 2007
About thirty years ago, I went on a study trip when I was a third-year student. But my son is now a second-year. And we went to Kyoto, Nara, but didn't go to Osaka.
"Syugaku-ryokou" is a great fun for almost junior high school and high school students in Japan.
I found a small booklet "siori"（しおり） that was used for my study trip. Above is my son's , and below is mine in this photo.
I feel how a peaceful country Japan is because almost same events have continued for thirty years.
Nov 13, 2007
People pay an admission fee before entering a fruits plantation. Once they enter there, they can eat fruits as much as they could. In other words, they can eat them without limit（食べ放題）. And, when they leave there, they can bring some amount of fruits that they take. (Generally the cost is included in an admission fee, but occasionally people are required to pay another cost.)
There are several patterns of Fruits-gari. It includes Mikan（みかん）-gari, Ringo（りんご）-gari, Nashi（なし）-gari, Budou（ぶどう）-gari and Kaki（柿）-gari.
In Autumn, the leaves of some trees in mountain area turn beautifully red, orange and yellow. To go to enjoy beautiful Autumn's leaves is called "Momiji-gari". But people do not harvest or hunt anything there, I don't know why the word has "-gari".
In Spring, mainly May, family enjoy going seashell gathering. It is called "Shiohi-gari".
This word is recently invented. It means that young people attack a drunken man to steal his money or only to abuse him. Japan is becoming less safety country now, I think. I have to be careful for myself because I am "Oyaji"!!. (I'm only half-kidding.)
P.S. There is another word that has "gari". But, it is written as "刈り" in kanji. (Occasionally it sounds "kari", not "gari".) It means cutting or "cut and harvest". Don't confuse it with "gari"（狩り）. Example;スポーツ刈り、坊主刈り(a kind of hairstyle),稲刈り(ine-kari)、芝刈り(siba-kari)
Nov 11, 2007
The biggest one in this photo is the "Kochi". Others are "Haze"（ハゼ）. "Kochi" is popular and expensive for its good taste.
Nov 10, 2007
Mozu has a habit copying several other bird's voices, so it is called "百舌".
And it has another odd habit. It is called "Mozu no Hayanie".
It hunts several small animals like frog, lizard, grasshopper, and it leaves them on a branch of a tree. Some people say that it saves them to eat later. But, it often forgets them. No one has known real reason.
There is a Autumen's song that almost Japanese have known. "Mozu" appears in this song. You can listen to it, here.
Nov 3, 2007
When I saw it first, it seemed just a like "Isoginchaku"!!
P.S. There is a custom to eat an "Isoginchaku" in the southern part of Fukuoka prefecture. But I have never eaten it yet, and do not want to eat it because of its strange form.
Oct 28, 2007
We are greatly influenced by American economics and culture. So, Halloween is a typical issue of them, I think.
There are a lot of Buddhists in Japan, and there is a custom that celebrates Buddha's birthday. (It is April 8.) But the number of people who celebrate it is not so many, it seems that the popularity of it is less than one of Halloween. Some people don't know when it is celebrated.
I have learned that many Americans celebrate Saint Patrick's day on March 17 through VOA special English.
Now, I have concerned that the following events might happen in Japan in the future.
"Cities all over Japan are coloured by green(Irish color), and people say "We are a little bit Irish on this day" each other."
Oct 23, 2007
Now, in Japan, the popularity of "five separated socks" has been increasing (at least, I think so). These socks are very suitable for Japanese weather because the air has a lot of humidity.
Once a person has learned their comfortableness, he/she can't help stopping to wear them, I think.
I have heard that a well known Japanese musician "Sakamoto Ryuich" said he wears them for his health.
If you have never worn them, I recommend you to try them.
Oct 21, 2007
This season, I enjoy "Cosmos"（コスモス「秋桜」） along my home course during weekend bike ride.
Here is a road for walking and biking along Ongagawa-river(遠賀川). I ride my bike at least one hour every weekend using mainly this course.
When I hear the name of "Cosmos", I rememeber "Yamaguchi Momoe"s this song. This song is a message from a women who is spending a day with her mother before her wedding.
Oct 19, 2007
The most popular way to cook "Sanma" is to broil by a fire. And most people eat it with grated daikon (Japanese radish)（大根おろし） and soy sauce.
At this time, I broiled "Nama-Sanma"（生サンマ） over the charcoal fire（炭火）.
In the past, fish shops in Kyushu had sold "Sio-Sanma"（汐サンマ）, but they hadn't treated "Nama-Sanma" . "Sio-Sanma" is kept with a lot of salt not to be worse. So we, people living in Kyushu, generally could not eat "Nama-Sanma".
Today, it takes less time to bring "Nama-Sanma" to Kyushu from Tohoku area than before because of the advance of traffic system. So, we can eat "Nama-Sanma" now.
("Sanma" is taken in Tohoku area, it cannot be taken in Kyushu, Chugoku , Shikoku and Chubu area. And still now, "Shio-Sanma" has been sold in fish shops.)
Oct 14, 2007
It is in seven volumes, so long and great manga story. And it is more complex and has more characters than the animated movie version. It is more interesting than the movie, I think.
"Naushika(manga version)" is translated into eight languages that might include your native language. And if you are in Japan, you mighe be able to borrow it at a pupblc library in your city (but, probably Japanese version).
Oct 8, 2007
P.S. I heve learend that posting a newspaper archive without author's consents may touch copyright problem. So I deleted the photo of archive. Instead, I post a head-line that I wrote by a "Fude-pen".
Oct 4, 2007
As you might know it, its announce speed is two third of standard English, and is written in about 1500 basic English words.
My favorite program is American Mosaic. It is formed by three parts, a new topic in the USA, a listener's question about the American life and music corner. I often take information about popular music in the USA there. It is very useful.
I think the Special English is good teaching materials for non-native speakers in English, so I have often recommend my acquaintance to listen to it, but by now, no one have started it yet. It is very unfortunate thing.
There are a lot of class of English conversation like NOVA in Japan, but its fee is very expensive. But to listen to the Special English is almost free, everyone with a computer can start it. Why many Japanese people do not use it, or know it, I think.
By the way, I have learned that a racial incident has happened in the South in the USA. Its name is Jena 6 case. Why, even now, these racial problems are happening in the USA, I don't know. These problem in the USA have no end and no complete resultion, I think.
In Japan, there are also discrimination problems. But it is difficult for foreign people to understand it because discriminated people have same skin, same hair color and same eye color of dicriminating people, there is only reason that they are born and live in particular area, and have particular ancestors.
Sep 29, 2007
Today, I read "Mera Yoshikazu（米良美一）"'s hard history on today's newspaper. He had become popular by singing the title song of "Mononoke Hime（もののけ姫）" with his beautiful falsetto voice. But now he is singing "Yoitomake no Uta（ヨイトマケの唄）" with his real voice.
"Miwa Akihiro（美和明弘）" wrote and sang the song in the nineteen sixities, and several singers have covered since then. It has a message about relationship between a mother and her child like the one of "Tokyo Tower （東京タワー）" written by Lily Franky（リリーフランキー）.
I was impressed by listening to it because the message of it has linked with his story. Please try to listen to it.
土方（どかた）= a worker who ues his/her body very hard at a place where a large structure such as road, bridge, building has been built. And it has an insulting meaning, so it is rarely used in public.
ヨイトマケ=an equipment that is used to stabilize a land, and its meaning changes to refer to workers who use it.
エンヤコラ=a kind of "掛け声（かけごえ）" that people use when they do a common movement, for example, to lift a heavy material, like どっこらしょ、よいしょ、せーの、わっしょい. It has no mean itself.
Sep 27, 2007
Sep 23, 2007
Now. I remeber that there is a well-known children's song whose subject is "Mushi no Ne" in Japan. You can listen to it, here.
Sep 17, 2007
Sep 16, 2007
This bike's frame is made by an American maker "Klein". It is well known for its skill to paint frame. And the bike's components (gear, derailer, brake system) are made by a Japanese maker "Shimano". Bike components are occupied by only two makers, Shimano and Campagnolo(an Italian maker).
I bought this bike at near bike-shop. Its price was 250,000 yen!
If I have a chance to buy another bike, I want a bike with a frame made by an Italian maker, "Colnago".
Sep 15, 2007
Sep 11, 2007
Sep 10, 2007
On Saturday, we bought figs whose Japanese name is "Ichjiku" at the farmer's shop. It is expressed "無花果” in Kanji character. "無" means "nothing or without. "花" means flower. "果" means fruits. So it grows to a fruit without a flower.
It is suitable season for eating a fig, now, in Japanese "Shun"(旬). Japan has four season, so "Shun" is a very important idea and word. In "Shun" season, "Shun" foods are sold at cheaper price because there are large harvests of them in this season. And they are very fresh!
I heard that Adam & Eve used leaves of fig because they have no cloth. Is it really?
On Sunday, I went fishing with my daughter and my father again(but different place). We fished a lot of tiny sardine. My father got a "Seigo"(but only one).
We call a small Japanese Sea Perch "Suzuki"(鱸) "Seigo" because it is a kind of "Shusse-uo"(出世魚). "Shusse-uo" means that it has several names in their developing stage. It includes "Suzuki", "Bora"(鯔) and "Buri"(鰤). "Seigo" → "Fukko" →"Suzuki". "Ina" →"Bora" →"Todo". "Hamachi" →"Buri".
Sep 8, 2007
Sep 3, 2007
Recently, these shops have became more popular and increased more and more in Japan. This movement is called "Chi -San-Chi-Syou"(地産地消） . "地" means local, "産" means product, and "消" means consume. It means that people should eat food grown in their area.
In Korea, there is a similar idea called "Shindohuji（身土不二）". This idea is that eating foods grown nearby is good for person's health.
I have learned that a musician named Adrienne Young in the United States has continued a movement to let people buy locally grown foods through the VOA special English. It is so nice, I think, because it has good effect on environment and people's health.
Sep 2, 2007
Sep 1, 2007
Aug 25, 2007
It was sold at a local market. I didn't know that folks in Okinawa have a custom to eat dolphin's meat. But the fact didn't surprise me very much because I have heard people who live in Iki island, Nagasaki have similar custom.
I have never eaten a dolphin's meat but I used to eat a whale's meat in my childhood. It was low-cost, and good taste. In that days, lions in a zoo ate it because of low-cost. Now, I have sometimes eaten it, but the amount of it that I can eat is very few because it is so expensive.
There has still been a custom to eat a dog in Korea. I think that it is not cruel to eat other mammals except domestic animals like cow and pig.
We saw "Jinbei-zame"s at "Chura-umi-suizoku-kan". They were very big, so I think it is worth to see them there.
We ate a Okinawa's traditional noodle named "Okinawa-soba" or "Souki-soba". It was very delicious but a little bit expensive, 600yen.
This photo was not taken at Okinawa. I took this photo at an antique shop in Munakata city, Fukuoka where we dropped in on our way home. I didn't know how to use it, but I thought it was a big container for foods. Its price was 150 thousand yen, so expensive!
Aug 19, 2007
So the result was not good enough. It includes twelve "Aji-go"(small Aji), two "Kawahagi" and one "Sanbasou". They are all less than 12cm. We will eat them tomorrow or the day after tomorrow by making them "Nanban-zuke".
Sanbasou=三番叟(a small Ishidai)
Aug 14, 2007
Aug 13, 2007
Aug 12, 2007
Aug 11, 2007
Aug 9, 2007
Yesterday, I took part in rehearsal of "Bon-odori" festival in my neighborhood. It was held in a yard of a kinder garden in my area."Bon-odori" will be held on August 13,14.
"Bon-odori" is held in comparatively rural areas, so just where I live. Urban area like Tokyo does not have it.
People in Japan have believed that the spirit of their ancient come back to their area in "Bon" period, August 13 to 15. So they welcome the spirits with "Bon-odori" dance.
"Bon-odori" dance and does not include fast moving like hip-hop dance. So almost of dancers are older women. (If "Bon-odori" dancers dance with hip-hop music, it seems very funny!) They create a circle and walk slowly with dancing. It is a kind of folk dance.
Aug 2, 2007
I wanted to describe my opinion about "comfort women " on this blog, so I studied it on the Internet, but I gave up it because it has a lot of complexed problems and it is very difficult for me to explain about it in English.
But a simple question have still remained in my mind. "Why do American lawmakers pick up this issue now, since these happened more than sixty years ago?" "If Americans demand Japanese apology about this problem, we could demand American apology to native Americans on the wrong doing that the first immigrant did to them 400 years ago."
Almost Japanese people do not know what has happened in Washington D.C.
Jul 30, 2007
By the way, if you watched some TV programs about this election in Japan, you might see that winners did "Banzai". "Banzai" is a Japanese unique expression that shows their win, success, configuration, happiness etc. in especially groups. Its three times repeats is called "Banzai san-syou"(万歳三唱). You can see it in several sceneｓ like athletic meets, weddings and parties. I am not sure, but probably, there is a same expression in Korea .(or China?) But they pronounce "man-sei!!".
During World War Two, people did "Banzai san-syou" when they sent a soldier to fighting areas.
It is a little bit unpleasant and sad history.
I want to know whether Americans have similar expressions like "Banzai" And I want to see Hillary or Obama doing "Banzai" in November of 2008!!
Jul 28, 2007
Jul 27, 2007
"Tobata oo yamagasa"(Tobata chochin yamagasa) festival is being held in Tobata ward in Kitakyushu city from today to Sunday(Now, I am working there). In Fukuoka prefecture, "Hakata yamagasa" is very famous, but "Tobata oo yamagasa" is also very amazing, I think. It uses a lot of "chochin" in the night, so it looks very fantastic. If you have a chance to visit the nothern part of Kyushu in this season, I recommend you to see it. But, unfortunately, I cannot see this festival at this time because I have to do a temporary work for this election on Saturday and Sunday.
"Tobata oo yamagasa"=「戸畑大山笠」
"Tobata chohine yamagasa"=「戸畑提灯山笠」
Jul 24, 2007
Last Saturday, I watched a TV program named " Juken no kamisama"(the God of examination). When I heard the name of heroin, Sugawara Michiko, I laughed a little bit. Because the heroin is named after "Sugawara no Michzane" who is known as the God of Study ("gakumon no kamisama"). Most of Japanese know "Sugawara no Michzane" and go to a shrine that honors him to pray for their success in their examinations.
"Sugawara no Micizane"=「菅原道真」
Jul 22, 2007
This panel is placed at the station that I use for my work.
Jul 21, 2007
Jul 14, 2007
A big typhoon strikes our area "Kyushu", so, today, we cannot go outside home. The weather forecast says the peak of strong wind will be at 6pm in Fukuoka area. This typhoon will go to "Shikoku", "Tuubu" and "Kanto". But now, at 5:30 it is not so terrible than thought.
「大型台風九州直撃へ」"oogata taifu"(a big typhoon)"Kyushu chokugeki e"(direct attack to Kyushu)
「暴風・大雨「7月最強」」"boufu ooame"(strong wind and terrible rain)"hiti-gatsu saikyo"(the biggest in July in history)
Jul 8, 2007
I use this small JR station from Monday to Friday for my work. You can find a lot of bikes called "mamachari". Many Japanese people use these "mamachari"s for a short trip like going to a super market or a station from their home. Almost "mamachari" cost 5000yen to 10000yen, so not expensive.(but my family including me do not have "mamachari").