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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Japan This Week 31 January 2010

今週の日本

Japan News.Mayor-Elect in Okinawan City Opposes U.S. Base

New York Times

Toyota: Ups and downs of a family dynasty

Guardian

Japan's prices, wages keep falling in December

Washington Post

La agencia S&P rebaja la calidad de la deuda pública de Japón

El Pais

Suicides top 30,000 for 12th year

Japan Times

Lonely role of Japanese ex-policeman trying to prevent suicides

Times Online

Un début sur les nerds

Libération

Honda recalls cars in fire danger

BBC

Toyota’s Push for Fast Growth Put Quality in Question

New York Times

Sumo champ Asashoryu in drinking assault claims; governments calls for investigation

Yahoo Sports

Last week's Japan news


Japan Statistics

Most Sumo Career Titles

1. Taiho (1960 -1971): 32
2. Chiyonofuji (1981 - 1990): 31
3. Asashoryu* (2001 - ): 25
4. Kitanoumi (1974 - 1984): 24
5. Takanohana (1992 - 2001): 22

*Still active

Source: Yomiuri Shinbun

Top aid donors to Haiti through January 21, by nation (percent of total):

1. USA (32.3%)
2. Private Donations (20.9%)
3. France (6.1%)
5. United Kingdom (5.1%)
9. Germany (2.2%)
15. Japan (1.1%)
17. China (0.9%)

Source: Asahi Shinbun

Registered Marriages per 1,000 people:

France: 7.75 (1970), 4.19 (2005)
Japan: 10 (1970), 5.8 (2008)
South Korea: 9.2 (1970), 7 (2007)
Taiwan: 9.3 (1975), 6.5 (2008)
Singapore: 9.8 (1980), 6.5 (2008)

Source: Asahi Shinbun


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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Real Estate Agents in Japan

物件張り紙

If you are looking for an apartment in Japan, a good place to start looking is the windows of real estate agents.

The windows are covered with bukken-harigami - cards with information on available apartments to rent.

looking for an apartment in Japan

Information included on the cards usually includes the distance from the nearest subway station or bus stop on foot, the rent, the size of the apartment or house and the facilities included.

looking for an apartment in Japan

Thus the apartment below on the left is 23 minutes on foot from Shiogamaguchi subway station in Nagoya, its a 1K apartment (one room and a kitchen), the rent is 42,000 yen, with a further charge of 3,000 to cover the shared cost of the elevator and cleaning of the apartment block (共益費; kyoekihi) and its facilities include cable tv, an aircon, veranda and shower.

looking for an apartment in Japan

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Nagoya Friends B&W party @ TsurumaiTHIS SATURDAY (1/30)

Nagoya Friends is holding it’s 80th party in Nagoya!
  • Date: THIS Saturday January 30, 2010
  • Time: 18:15 - 20:45
  • Drinks will be served between 6:30pm-8:40pm.
  • Place: Nagoya Tsurumai City Public Hall, 1-1-3 Tsurumai (very close to JR Nagoya Station)
  • Fee: 3000 Yen Gentlemen, 2500 Yen Ladies 1st 15 foreigners 2000 yen each!
  • Dress code: Anything (Casual, etc)
  • Reservations: Not necessary but recommended and appreciated. Just show up to the party!
  • Over 25,000 Yen worth of exciting prize giveaways each month!
  • Black & White theme with special prize giveaway!!!

There will be free food along with free drinks (beers, wine, cocktail drinks and juices).
Our party is not a dinner party, but we will have light food & snacks.
Quantities are limited, so please come early! Please free to come alone or bring your friends.
EVERYBODY is welcome to join regardless of nationality/gender. Reservation is greatly appreciated.
About 125-150+ people are expected to attend. Approximately 55% female and 45% male, 70% Japanese and 30% non-Japanese.
Pictures from previous Nagoya Friends Parties.

Map & Directions

Contact: 080-3648-1666(Japanese) 080-5469-6317(English)

Get off at Tsurumai Station (JR Chuo Line [South Exit] or Subway Tsurumai Line [Exit #4])


Nagoya City Public Hall (4th Floor, #7)

1-1-3 Tsurumai (2 minutes walk from Tsurumai Station)



Train Directions
  • From Nagoya Station from Nagoya Station take the JR Chuo-Honsen Line and get off at the second station (Tsurumai). From Tsurumai Station, get off at south exit
  • From Sakae/Fushimi Area, catch the Tsurumai Subway Line at Fushimi Station(bound for Akaike) and get off at the third (3rd) stop - Tsurumai. From Tsurumai Station, get off at exit #4
Tsurumai
JR Tsurumai Station
Chuo-Honsen Line(Chuo Line)



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Thursday, January 28, 2010

kata



kata.


The Japanese word kata 片 means "a fragment," "a piece of" and can be found as a component of many common, useful phrases.

For example, katate 片手 means "one hand" or "one handed." "single-handed".

A very common word using 片 is katatsukeru 片付ける. tsukeru 付ける means "to affix, join, apply, fasten," so, together with the "fragment" meaning of 片, the compound katatsukeru, or, literally, "join fragments," means to "tidy up," "be on top of (one's work)," "put in order," etc. Think "keep it together."

Katappashi kara 片っ端から means literally "from one edge/side" and, with its unspoken continuation of "to the other edge/side," has the dictionary meaning of "absolutely every little bit," "from A to Z."

側 or kawa means "side." Added to kata its k is softened to g, to make katagawa 片側 or "one side(d)." katagawa 片側 is used in the same way as its English counterpart in regard to one side of the street, for example, or a one-sided argument. Add the character 性 which has the same meaning as the English affix "-ness" to make 片側性 katagawasei, or unilateralism.

面 or men means "surface" or "side" as in the two sides of a record (as opposed to the two sides of a road, for example, which is 側 kawa). Added to 片 it refers to one side: 片面 katamen, e.g. 片面ディスク katamendisuku, or single-sided disk.

Those are a few applications of 片. Hope you can put the pieces together, get on top of it, and find more than just one way of using it.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beware of Financial Crimes in Japan

asakusa-tattoo-1金融犯罪総会屋対策

We recently received an email from our bank in Japan, alerting us of changes to accounts to go into effect in February.

In June 2007, the Japanese government implemented its "Basic Principles to Prevent Damages from Antisocial Forces." All members of the Japan Bankers Association agreed on the "JBA Agreement for Strengthening Efforts to Eliminate Racketeering" in July of the same year.

The regulations include the following:

Refusing dealings with criminal elements, defined as:

a.Boryokudan (organized crime): Organizations that encourage its members to engage collectively or habitually in violent, unlawful, etc., acts.

b.Boryokudan-in (members of organized crime): Members of Boryokudan.

c.Boryokudan jun koseiin (quasi-members of Boryokudan): Parties who maintain relationships with, cooperate with, or engage in the maintenance or operation of Boryokudan by providing funds, weapons, etc., to Boryokudan or members of Boryokudan, but who are not themselves members.

d.Boryokudan kankei kigyou (organized crime-related companies): Companies run by members of Boryokudan, quasi-members, or former members of Boryokudan, that maintain relationship with, cooperate with, or engage in the maintenance or operation of Boryokudan by providing funds to Boryokudan or by other means, or those companies that actively use Boryokudan in doing business, etc., and cooperate in the maintenance or operation of Boryokudan.

e.Sokaiya (corporate racketeers): Sokaiya, Kaisha goro (corporate racketeers) and others who may potentially engage in violent, unlawful, etc., acts in an effort to seek illicit benefits from civil society and may threaten the safety of civil life.

f.Any other person relative to these or equivalent to any of the previous items.

2.When the customer himself or by using a third party commits any of the following acts:

a.Violent demand

b.Undue demand beyond legal responsibilities

c.Threatening behavior or using violent force regarding transactions

d.Damaging Citibank's credit or obstructing Citibank's business by spreading false rumors or by the use of fraudulent means or force

e.Any other act equivalent to any of the previous items.

Good luck...


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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Free Nagoya Umbrellas

名古屋傘


Each year in Japan about 120,000 million plastic umbrellas are disposed of. In an effort to recycle some of that number, Nagoya has a scheme where you can pick up a plastic umbrella from a stand (below) and return it to a similar stand when you have finished with it.



The scheme began in June 2008 just before the annual rainy reason in Japan. The scheme operates around Meieki (Nagoya Station), Kanayama Station, Sakae, Shin Sakae, Imaike and Osu Kannon. A major promotor of the scheme is Nagoya city transport authority, who no doubt have to deal with 1000s of abandoned clear plastic umbrellas.

nagoyakasa.com

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Kofu Parking

甲府の迷惑駐車

How's this for some smart parking? Right on the sidewalk in downtown Kofu in Yamanashi Prefecture. Pedestrians, old people, children? Let 'em hang!

Kofu Parking

Traffic rules in Japan are treated with contempt by a considerable number of drivers. Passing red lights, speeding, cycling into incoming traffic and drink driving are all common experiences on Japanese roads.

In an attempt to shock drivers into better behavior, the Japanese police keep a running count of the number of accidents and traffic fatalities outside major police stations.

Thus in the sign below, there have been 2,086 traffic accidents so far this year in Yamanashi (2009), 14 deaths and 2,784 people injured.

Driving in Japan

Some rules of thumb for surviving on the roads in Japan are to drive defensively, keep calm and don't lose your temper.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Japan This Week 24 January 2010

今週の日本

Japan News.Japan Stalls as Leaders Are Jolted by Old Guard

New York Times

With Japan, U.S. May Be Losing Some Diplomatic Ground to China

New York Times

Japan Airlines files for bankruptcy

Guardian

Japan court rejects tobacco lawsuit, notes dangers

Washington Post

Japan Airlines suspende pagos y pide ayudas

El Pais

Court airs taped grilling of Sugaya

Japan Times

Japan's wives forced to indulge in navel gazing

Times Online

Toyota va doubler sa production de véhicules hybrides en deux ans

Libération

WWII Royal Navy veterans return to the Far East

BBC

Where Giants Dance and Crash in Japan

New York Times

After Atom Bombs' Shock, the Real Horrors Began Unfolding

New York Times

Korea, Japan players head home to help WCup hopes

Yahoo Sports

Last week's Japan news


Japan Statistics

Number of Japanese students studying in the US, 1994: 42,843
Number of Japanese students studying in the US, 2006: 35,282

Number of Japanese students studying in China, 1994: 5,055
Number of Japanese students studying in China, 2006: 18,363

Source: Central Council for Education

Top overseas shoppers in France, 2009, by nation:

1. China
2. Russia
3. Japan
4. USA

Source: AP

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mos Burger

モス

MOS Burger is Japan's answer to McDonalds and aims to provide an authentic "Japanese burger" experience with menu items such as MOS Rice Burger, Pork Cutlet Burger and MOS Rice Burger Yakiniku.

MOS (from the first letters of "Mountain Ocean Sun") burger began in the 1970s and one of its most popular meals at the outset was its "teriyaki burger" which combined a Japanese dish with the American hamburger.

Mos Burger

MOS Burger now has over 1300 fast-food restaurants in Japan, with branches overseas in Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong. The company also operates the 80^C stores, MOS's-C, Mother Leaf, Mamedori, Shanghalichiba and Stefan Grill food outlets.

MOS made over 552 million yen in 2009 and is the second largest fast-food franchise in Japan after its rival McDonalds.

Mos Burger

As well as hamburgers, MOS offers hot-dogs, fried chicken, fried potatoes, soup, desserts and a morning-set meal. MOS is also trying to diversify its menu by adding more meals aimed at the health-conscious.

MOS has its HQ in Shinagawa-ku in Tokyo and employs around 900 full-time employees, with the rest of the staff made up of part-time workers.

Mos Burger

MOS

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Godzilla Actors

ゴジラ

Godzilla is a true cultural icon of Japan - but who were the men who have played the fiery monster?


Godzilla Actors

This picture above shows the three main men who were beneath the rubber suit.

Haruo Nakajima

Haruo Nakajima (中島春雄) played Godzilla in the first 12 films of the series, followed by Kenpachiro Satsuma (薩摩剣八郎) in the 1980s and 1990s and latterly Tsutomu Kitagawa (喜多川務) has taken over the role.

Kenpachiro Satsuma

Tsutomu Kitagawa

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tactile onomatopoeia

触知性 擬音語

Japanese is rich in words that are supposed to sound like what they describe, i.e., onomatopoeia.

Today we’re going to look at six Japanese onomatopoeia that describe the sense of touch:

But rather than giving an explanation of each, how about seeing if you can guess the meanings from the sounds? Don’t scroll right down to the bottom yet. First look at the following six pictures and on a piece of paper, write down what you think is the correct letter of each of the six onomatopoeia below against the number of each picture.

A) zara-zara ざらざら
B) tsuru-tsuru つるつる
C) nuru-nuru ぬるぬる
D) beta-beta べたべた
E) deko-boko でこぼこ
F) giza-giza ぎざぎざ


Japanese onomatopoeia
Answers below.













1. E dekoboko = uneven, rough, rugged, full of indentations and projections, like the cratered surface of this Martian moon
2. B tsuru-tsuru = smooth, slippery, like the surface of porcelain
3. F giza-giza = jagged, notched, corrugated, milled, serrated, like the edge of a saw
4. A zara-zara = rough, like the tongue of a cat
5. D beta-beta = sticky, clinging, like flypaper
6. C nuru-nuru = slimy, slippery, like a jellyfish

Photograph acknowledgments:
Cat's tongue: Jennifer Leigh
Porcelain: Bastian Frank
Flypaper: Craig Pemberton
Jellyfish: M. Buschmann

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Book Off

ブックオフ

One of the big recent successes of Japanese retailing has been Book Off. The company started during the recession years of the 1990s selling second hand books and CDs, and has now expanded into used furniture and interior goods at its B Life stores. B Kids and B Sports recycle children's wear and sports goods.


B LIFE

The company claims that over 200 million books are circulated annually through its over 1,000 stores (many of them franchises). Book Off has also gone international with outlets in South Korea (Seoul), France (Paris), Canada (Vancouver) and a number of outlets in the USA (New York, Hawaii, LA, San Diego).

BOOK OFF

Books are purchased at a tenth of the new price and sold at half of the new book price. After a certain amount of time if the book remains unsold it is moved to the 100 yen shelf.
The Shirokanedai branch of Book Off (Tel: 03 5475 5696) has over 40,000 foreign-language books starting from 200 yen. The mega-store, which is open from 10am-8pm, also incorporates a bakery and cafe. Take Exit 2 from Shirokanedai Station on the Nanboku or Mita Line of the Tokyo subway.

Founded in 1990 by Hiroshi Sato, Book Off has over 7,000 employees, the vast majority of them part-time workers. The company has its HQ in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Book Off

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jintan Advertisement Signs Kyoto

Jintan Sign Kyoto仁丹広告京都

In parts of Kyoto in which there remain a large number of older private homes, you will often find odd address markings/advertisements.

The rectangular metal signs have literally been tacked onto the front of many homes. The top tells the passerby the street address - helpful in often signless Japan - and the bottom has the logo of the Jintan Corporation and its kanji rendering (仁丹).

My daughter is a big fan of the signs - and the logo with its mustachioed 18th century (?) military man - and we count them on the bike ride into central Kyoto.

Jintan was founded in 1893 and still exists. Its headquarters are in nearby Osaka. The company makes, among other items, breath mints.

The signs pictured here were found in an area rich with Jintan signs: the old neighborhoods bordered by Horikawa on the east, Marutamachi on the south, Senbon on the west, and Imadegawa on the north.

The sign above right is on a stunning building that is still an operating factory. The characters themselves are a giveaway of when the sign was made and affixed to the building: they use old, more complicated kanji.

The sign below left is across the street and on a private residence. The only difference is the address - and the degree of wear and tear. In the background is the factory where the other sign can be found.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Gero Onsen Onsen Museum

温泉博物館

The Onsen Museum is an interesting break from enjoy the hot springs in Gero. The museum displays a number of water samples from onsens from all over Japan, as well as hot spring paraphernalia - bath salts, onsen tamago and water pipes - some of the latter dating back to the Edo Period.

Gero Onsen Onsen Museum

You can learn how hot springs are formed and perform some simple experiments using the water from Gero's hot springs. For an extra charge there's even an ashiyu (footbath) out on the museum's veranda.

Gero Onsen Onsen Museum

The museum is open daily (except Thursday) from 9am-5pm. Adults 400 yen; children 200 yen.

Gero Onsen Onsen Museum

Gero Onsen Onsen Museum
Tel: 0576 25 3400

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Japan This Week 17 January 2009

今週の日本

Japan News.Prosecutors in Tokyo Raid the Office of a Political Power Broker

New York Times

Ai: Japan's R&B princess

CNN

Uniqlo boss named Japan's richest

Guardian

Sushi-loving Japan fears push for tuna export ban

Washington Post

La crisis y la reforma del sistema financiero

El Pais

MSDF wraps up eight-year Indian Ocean mission

Japan Times

Japan may just be on the path to comfortable irrelevance

Times Online

Jeu égal avec le Japon, les Etats-Unis et l'Allemagne

Le Monde

Japan's Herbivores

BBC

Nagasaki drops out of Japan’s 2020 bid race

Yahoo Sports

Born in Japan but ordered out

Washington Post

Last week's Japan news


Japan Statistics

194 Countries Ranked and Rated to Reveal the Best Places to Live

1. France
2. Australia
3. Switzerland
4. Germany
5. New Zealand
6. Luxembourg
7. USA
8. Belgium
9. Canada
10. Italy

35. Poland
36. Japan
37. Croatia

Source: 2010 Quality of Life Index: 194 Countries Ranked and Rated to Reveal the Best Places to Live

Five Most Friendly Countries for Expats (Made Friends with Local Population Rank in parenthesis)

1. Thailand (16)
2. Vietnam (12)
3. Hong Kong (17)
4. Malaysia (14)
5. Bahrain (20)

Five Least Friendly Countries for Expats

22. Japan (10)
23. Germany (21)
24. Switzerland (22)
25. Netherlands (18)
26. Belgium (23)

Source: Expat Explore Report, Expat Experience 2009

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dondoyaki Ritual Burning of New Year's Decorations

shimenawa左義長(どんど焼き)

On the 15th of January, Japanese gather to burn their "shimenawa"(しめ縄)New Year's decorations.

The decoration at right is typical of Kyoto New Year's decorations.

This ceremony is called Dondoyaki, and also serves as a prayer for a year with no illness, no death, and no fire.

In large cities, it is mostly a thing of the past. However, on the outskirts of many cities and in the countryside the ceremony is still held.

On the lunar calendar, the 15th is "small New Year's"(小正月). On this day, neighbors gather and make a bonfire.

Into this fire go the decorations. In some areas, works of calligraphy are also added.

People drink sake, shoot the breeze - and pray for a year of health.

The ashes are then used as fertilizer.


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Friday, January 15, 2010

Michael Schenker Group in Tokyo

マイケル・シェンカー・グループ 東京

Michael Schenker Group in Tokyo.

A long time Japanese friend of mine (originally from Kobe, now in Tokyo) has been a die-hard fan of the German guitar demigod, Michael Schenker, ever since I have known him. Till this week, the closest I had gotten to Michael Schenker was my “Lights Out” U.F.O. CD – bought upon my friend’s recommendation years ago. However, on Sunday he contacted me saying he had tickets to the 30th Anniversary Tour of the Michael Schenker Group, playing at Sun Plaza in Tokyo’s Nakano ward.

The weather on Tuesday night was cold and drizzly. I went to Nakano straight after work, still in my shirt and tie. To my surprise, the crowd in front of Sun Plaza was huge. Not so much to my surprise, most present were in their late-30s or 40s.

Inside, Sun Plaza, with its seating for 2,222, was packed to the rafters with not a spare seat in sight. The entrance of the band caused a sensation. All stood, and no one sat till the lights went back on two hours later.

The MSG was in top form, and played with enormous energy and panache. The audience was hard core fandom from beginning to end, elderly men in suits and all pumping the air with their fists to the riffs and rhythms – with who knows what memories of good old days of youth and freedom flooding back.

The band came back for no less than two extended play encores. The notoriously temperamental Michael Schenker was in top form, even high-fiving the crowd at the front before his final exit.

The playlist for the Michael Schenker Group’s 30th Anniversary Concert, on January 12 2010 at Nakano Sun Plaza Hall, Tokyo.
1. Feels Like A Good Thing
2. Cry For The Nations
3. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
4. Armed And Ready
5. Victim Of Illusion
6. Are You Ready To Rock? 〜 Drum solo
7. I Want You
8. Night To Remember
9. Into The Arena
10. Lost Horizons
11. Rock My Nights Away
12. On And On
13. Attack Of The Mad Axeman
Encore 1
14. Ride On My Way
15. Rock Bottom
Encore 2
16. Dance Lady Gipsy
17. Doctor, Doctor

Rock on, Michael!

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Four Character Kanji 2009

創作四字熟語2009年

The life insurance branch of the Sumitomo mega-conglomerate has chosen every year since 1989 a four-character kanji combination that best represents the year just ended.

It is moreover a play on words on another, actual four-character expression.

The winner from 2009, recently chosen, was:

遠奔千走

In Roman letters, this is rendered Toso senso.

It is a play on the following expression:

東奔西走

The meaning of this expression (based on the four characters: "east - rush - west - run") is "crisscross," "run around" - or just to "be busy."

The winner for 2009 - 遠奔千走 - however has replaced the first and third characters. The reading is the same, but it now, literally, means:

"distant - rush - thousand - run"

That is a reference to the Hatoyama government's implementation of the flat toll fee of 1,000 yen to drive any distance on Japan's highways - and the resulting traffic jams.


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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Japan Visitor January Newsletter

ジャパンニュースレター

Sign up to the Japan Visitor newsletter to win some great prizes this month.

Take a look at January's Japan Visitor newsletter to see what you will receive in your email inbox.

Japan Visitor January Newsletter

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Onsen Tamago

温泉卵

If you stay at a hot spring resort in Japan, you may well be served an onsen tamago (hot spring egg) for breakfast or dinner.

Onsen Tamago

These weird looking eggs are traditionally cooked in the waters of the hot spring. The eggs are placed in rope nets and left in the hot water for around 30-40 minutes - the low temperature heating causes the egg yolks to harden more than the egg white. The eggs are thus poached within the shells.

Onsen Tamago

The eggs are usually eaten in a light sauce made of mirin, dashi and soy sauce with chopped spring onions sprinkled over the top. The image below is a model of an onsen tamago at the Onsen Museum in Gero.

Onsen Tamago, Onsen

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Japan Policeman Hat

警察帽子Japanese police hat

At a party over the New Year's holidays, the host - a somewhat tipsy older man - disappeared into another room for what seemed longer than a prostrate-induced trip to the toilet.

When he returned, he now had on his policeman's hat, which he last wore more than two decade ages while as a member of the Kyoto Prefectural Police and fighting crime and the local mob.

We all clapped and begged to be arrested on the spot. Instead of cuffing us, however, he instead encouraged all of us try it on. It was surprisingly stiff and heavy.

It has the signature chrysanthemum symbol and - dare we utter it - a visor of nearly North Korean proportions.


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Monday, January 11, 2010

The Basic Workshop in Core Shamanism Kyoto Tokyo

The Foundation for Shamanic Studies
シャーマニズム研究財団

"Shamanism is a path of knowledge, not of faith, and that knowledge cannot come from me or anyone else in this reality. To acquire that knowledge, including the knowledge of the reality of the spirits, it is necessary to step through the shaman's doorway and acquire empirical evidence."

Michael Harner, Ph.D.
FSS Founder and President
Author of The Way of the Shaman

Core Shamanism

Core shamanism is the universal or near-universal principles and practices of shamanism not bound to any specific cultural group or perspective, as originated, researched, and developed by Michael Harner. Since the modern world overwhelmingly lost its shamanic knowledge centuries ago due to political and religious oppression, the Foundation’s programs in core shamanism are particularly intended for modern peoples to reacquire access to their rightful spiritual heritage through quality workshops and training courses. Training in core shamanism includes teaching students to alter their consciousness through classic shamanic non-drug techniques such as repetitive drumming so that they can discover their own hidden spiritual resources, transform their lives, and learn how to help others. Core shamanism does not focus on ceremonies, such as those of Native Americans, which are part of the work of medicine men and women, persons who do both shamanism and ceremonial work.

Michael Harner's
The Way of the Shaman: Shamanic Journeying, Power, and Healing

The Basic Workshop in Core Shamanism (Weekend)

Kyoto: March 13-14, 2010
Tokyo: March 27-28, 2010

During the Basic experiential workshop, participants are introduced to core shamanism, the universal and near-universal basic methods of the shaman to enter non-ordinary reality for problem solving and healing.

Particular emphasis is on the classic shamanic journey, one of the most remarkable visionary methods used by humankind to explore the hidden universe otherwise known mainly through myth and dream. Participants are initiated into shamanic journeying, aided by drumming and other techniques for experiencing the shamanic state of consciousness and for awakening dormant spiritual abilities, including connections with Nature. Practice includes comparisons by participants of their discoveries in shamanic journeys as well as being introduced to shamanic divination and healing. They are also provided with methods for journeying to meet and study with their own individual spirit helpers in nonordinary reality, a classic step in shamanic practice. Participants learn how the journey is utilized to restore spiritual power and health, and how shamanism can be applied in contemporary daily life to help heal oneself, others, and the Planet. Basic and Advanced courses to be continuously offered in Japan and Asia.

The Foundation for Shamanic Studies Faculty for Asia: Kevin Turner
shamanismjapan@yahoo.co.jp
Tel/fax: 075-723-4379

English website: http://www.shamanism.org
Japanese website: http://www.shamanism.org/workshops/japanese.html

Kevin Turner’s English bio: http://www.shamanism.org/fssinfo/turnerbio.html

Kevin Turner's site: http://www.shamanism-asia.com

シャーマニズム研究財団

The Foundation for Shamanic Studies

「シャー マニズムとは、知識の道であって信仰の道ではない。そしてその知識は、私や或はこのリアリティ(現実)における他の誰からも得ることは出来ない。精霊達の 現実に関する知識を含むこの知識を身につけるには、シャーマンの門戸をくぐり、自らの経験を通して証拠を掴んでいかねばならない。」

マイケル・ハーナー Michael Harner, Ph.D
シャーマニズム研究財団創設者及び財団長
『シャーマンへの道』著者


コア・シャーマニズム
Core Shamanism

コア・シャーマニズム(核心のシャーマニズム)とは、マイケル・ハーナーが考案、研究、発展させた、シャーマニズムにおけるほぼ普遍的と言える原理とその 実践のことであり、いかなる特定の文化組織や観点とも結びつくものではない。シャーマニックな知識の大方は、政治的/宗教的弾圧が原因で、何世紀も前に甚 だしく失われてしまった。その様な背景から当財団のコア・シャーマニズムのプログラムは、現代人が良質のワークショップやトレーニングを通して、正当な精 神的文化遺産との繋がりを取り戻せるようにすることを意図している。コア・シャーマニズムのトレーニングでは、参加者が意識を変性させていく際に、繰り返 されるドラムの音の様な伝統的シャーマニズムの非薬物的手法を使い、参加者がどのように自らの隠された精神的源泉を発見し、人生を変容させ、また他者の助 けとなっていけるか、ということも教えられる。コア・シャーマニズムは、例えばネイティブアメリカン達が行う様なセレモニー(儀式)には主眼を置かない。 これらは、シャーマニズムと儀式行為の両方を行うメディスンマンやメディスンウーマン達の仕事の一部である。

シャーマンへの道:シャーマンの旅、パワーとヒーリング

コア・シャーマニズム公式ベーシックワークショップ
The Way of the Shaman workshop

ベーシックの体験的ワークショップでは、参加者はシャーマンのほぼ普遍的基本体系であるコア(核心の)・シャーマニズムに触れ、問題解決やヒーリングの為 に非日常的リアリティへと入っていく。 ここで特に重要視されるのが古典的なシャーマンの旅である。これは、人類が隠された宇宙を探究する為に使った、最も注目に値する先見的な手法であり、この 手法無しには、隠された宇宙は主に神話や夢を通してのみしか知り得ないものであった。 参加者はシャーマンの旅をする手ほどきを受け、ドラムの音やその他のテクニックの助けを得ながらシャーマン的意識状態を体験し、大自然と繋がることを含む 眠っているスピリチュアルな能力を目覚めさせていく。 またシャーマンの旅の中での発見について、参加者同士で話し合ったり、シャーマンの直感的予見やヒーリングにも実習の中で触れていく。 更に、旅をする中での非日常的リアリティにて自らのスピリットヘルパーと出会い、そこから学んでいくというシャーマンの実践に於ける古典的ステップの方法 も伝授される。 このように参加者達は、この旅が如何にして自らのスピリチュアルなパワーや健康を回復させるのに役立つのか、また如何にしてシャーマニズムが現代の日常生 活の中で自分や他人を癒したり、この惑星を癒すことに適用できるのかを学ぶ。

マイケル・ハーナーによるコースデザイン講師:ケヴィン・ターナー

■ 京都市:3月13日(土)〜14日(日)定員18名
  シャーマニズム研究財団公式コース
  シャーマンへの道 (通訳あり)33,000円

■ 東京都世田谷区:3月27日(土)〜28日(日)定員18名
  シャーマニズム研究財団公式ワークショップ
  シャーマンへの道 (通訳あり)33,000円

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Japan This Week 10 January 2010

今週の日本

Japan News.Heads Up: Happy 1,300th to Nara, Japan

New York Times

An Alliance Larger Than One Issue

New York Times

Anti-whalers collide over tactics

Guardian

New Japan finance minister backtracks on yen after PM rebuke

Washington Post

Un 'sushi man' peruano

El Pais

Ozawa aides face charges in fund scam

Japan Times

Tsutomu Yamaguchi, victim of Japan’s two atomic bombs, dies aged 93

Times Online

Tous japonais?

Le Monde

Tokyo's neon lights and culinary delights

CNN

Japan Finance Minister Naoto Kan calls for weaker yen

BBC

United Tastes: A City's Specialty, Japanese in Name Only

New York Times

Japanese fisherman ties largemouth bass record

Yahoo Sports

Last week's Japan news


Japan Statistics

Ranking of happiness by nation:

1. Costa Rica
2. Denmark
3. Iceland
4. Switzerland
5. Canada
6. Mexico

20. USA

24. United Kingdom

59. Japan

Source: World Database of Happiness

Best selling cars in Japan, 2009 (number)

1. Toyota Prius (201,528)
2. Daihatsu Move (182,325)
3. Honda Fit (157,324)

8. Honda Insight (93,283)

Source: Daily Yomiuri


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Saturday, January 09, 2010

kan 間 or "space"





A couple of weeks ago we looked at the phrase 手間 tema. Today we're going to look at the second of the kanji that form the word tema.


The character 間 is an essential one in everyday Japanese and with a wide variety of meanings.

Its Chinese-style reading (onyomi) is usually kan (but can, for certain meanings, be pronounced ken), and its Japanese-style reading (kunyomi) is aida or ma.

The fundamental meaning of 間 is "space between," "gap," "interval," "distance." However, it refers not only to space, but to time as well, meaning, also, "time between," "pause," "break."

Today we'll look at three very common uses of the character in Japanese.

1. 間も無く This is the ma pronunciation of 間, and the phrase here is pronounced ma mo naku meaning, literally, "without a gap/space." Its meaning in everyday Japanese, however, is "quite/very soon." You will always hear it at a Japanese railway station in the announcement Mamonaku densha ga mairimasu (word for word: "Soon train come", or, more idiomatically, "The train is about to arrive."

2. この間 This is the aida pronunciation of 間, and the phrase here is pronounced kono aida, meaning, literally, "this space."
Its meaning in everyday Japanese, however, is "last time," "the other day," or "recently." You will often hear, for example, Kono aida, domo or "Thanks for everything last time."

3. The kan pronunciation is probably the most common usage of this character, but always in tandem with the period of time being referred to. "2 weeks" is ni shuu kan, ni being "2," shuu being "week" and kan being "space (of)." Likewise, "12 days" is juu ni nichi kan, "5 years," go nen kan, and so on. Read more about the intricacies of Japanese counting.

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Friday, January 08, 2010

Fighting the Yakuza Kyoto

暴力対策協議会会員Japanese Yakuza Prevention Association Sign

This fairly menacing sign is affixed to a building in central Kyoto.

The chrysanthemum at the top is an official police symbol, and the characters on the right read "Fifth Avenue District." That refers to the main police station a few blocks south of this building.

The larger characters, at left, read:

Boryoku Taisaku Kyogikai Kaiin

Anti-Mafia Measures Committee, Member

These signs are fairly common, as are larger ones in front of train stations and post offices that proclaim "Mafia Free Zone."

One wonders what the actual mobsters - in Kyoto, the Aizu-Kotetsu Gumi (a sub-branch of the nation's leading crime group, the Yamaguchi Gumi) - think of these displays.


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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Jobs in Qatar with QatarVisitor.com


Interested in working in the Middle East? Then you may want to check out our latest website, QatarVisitorJobs.com.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Ikebana Headquarters

Ikenobo Kyoto Main Bulding生花京都本店

The Japanese art of flower arranging, Ikebana, began as Ikenobo, which is Buddhist floral offering.

Today, Ikenobo, the name of the organization, has branch chapters worldwide.

The building pictured right is the headquarters, in Kyoto.

It is located on Karasuma Dori, south of Sanjo, in downtown. The building itself is grim in many ways.

First, it is not clear how the design of this brutal building is related to or represents ikebana.

Second, it is on a boulevard that once had many examples of Meiji Period architecture: elegant brick banks and insurance companies built in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Some of these have survived and have been renovated and reborn as restaurants, etc. Most however met the wrecking ball and were replaced by nondescript modern buildings - or, worse, by the likes of Ikenobo Headquarters.

Behind the building is Rokkakudo Temple.

Below left is a seasonal floral arrangement at the foot of the building.

Ikenobo Kyoto© JapanVisitor.com

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Nagoya Friends - Party at Red Rock! 1/16 (Sat.)

Nagoya Friends 79th party in Nagoya!
at

  • Date: Saturday January 16th, 2010
  • Time: 18:30 - 21:00
  • Drinks will be served between 6:30pm-8:50pm.
  • Place: The Red Rock (2F Aster Plaza Building, 4-14-6 Sakae, Nagoya (very close to Sakae Station)
  • Fee: 3000 Yen
  • Dress code: Anything (Casual, etc)
  • Reservations: Not necessary but recommended and appreciated. Just show up to the party!
  • Over 25,000 Yen worth of exciting prize giveaways each month!

There will be free food along with free drinks (beers, wine, cocktail drinks and juices).
Our party is not a dinner party, but we will have light food & snacks.
Quantities are limited, so please come early! Please free to come alone or bring your friends.
EVERYBODY is welcome to join regardless of nationality/gender. Reservation is greatly appreciated.
About 125-150+ people are expected to attend. Approximately 55% female and 45% male, 70% Japanese and 30% non-Japanese.
Pictures from previous Nagoya Friends Parties.

Map & Directions

Contact: 080-3648-1666(Japanese) 080-5469-6317(English)

Get off at Sakae Station [Exit #13]

Red Rock Nagoya

The Red Rock (2F Aster Plaza Building,
4-14-6 Sakae, Nagoya (very close to Sakae Station)

The Red Rock is located behind the Chunichi Building in the Sakae business/shopping district.

Subway access from Sakae Station (serving the yellow and purple lines) Exit 13. It’s a big station connected to a huge underground shopping mall so you’ll need to do a little underground walking.

We’re also just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Tokyu and Precede hotels, and a 10 minute walk up Hirokoji Street from the Hilton Hotel in Fushimi.

Train Directions
  • From Nagoya Stn. take the Higashiyama Subway line to Sakae Station (GET OFF at Sakae Station!!) Take exit #13 and then walk straight AWAY from Hirokoji-Dori for about 3/4 of a block. TURN LEFT Red Rock is on the right side of the street in the middle of the block. Look for the sign on the sidewalk.

Sakae Station
Higashiyama Line

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Nagoya Friends - Speed Dating Sat. Feb 13th, 2010

Nagoya Speed Dating is holding it’s 10th party in Nagoya!
  • Date: Saturday February 13th, 2010
  • Time: 6-9pm registration from 6:00 to 6:30pm
  • Drinks will be served between 6:30pm-8:50pm.
  • Place: Nagoya Tsurumai City Public Hall, 1-1-3 Tsurumai (very close to JR Nagoya Station)
  • PREPAY FEE : Men 2500, Women 2000. *includes 1 free drink and light food*
  • 40 couples only! 40 men and 40 women! Reserve and prepay to join!
  • AT THE DOOR: Men 3000 yen, women 2500 yen. Price includes 1 free drink and light food
  • Dress code: Anything (Casual, etc)
  • Reservations: PrePaid spots are Guaranteed! Only 40 men and 40 women. Reserve and prepay to secure your spot.

Nagoya Speed Dating is a great way to meet new people in the Aichi, Gifu and Mie Areas! At Nagoya Speed Dating, you will receive a number, an assigned table, and a personalized Speeding Ticket form. When the host says to start you will have between 3 to 5 minutes to talk to the person at your table. When the time is up the host will give you a signal. At that time the men will change tables and the women will remain seated. All you have to do is mark your speeding ticket with a yes or a no for each person. At the end of the event, the tickets will be analyzed and Nagoya Speed Dating will notify you of your matches. After that you will also receive contact info for the people you have matched with. Nagoya Speed Dating is a safe, easy, and fun way to meet new people. Come check out Nagoya Speed Dating!

Map & Directions

Contact: 080-3648-1666(Japanese) 080-5469-6317(English)

Get off at Tsurumai Station (JR Chuo Line [South Exit] or Subway Tsurumai Line [Exit #4])

Nagoya Tsurumai City Public Hall, 1-1-3 Tsurumai

Train Directions
  • From Nagoya Station from Nagoya Station take the JR Chuo-Honsen Line and get off at the second station (Tsurumai). From Tsurumai Station, get off at south exit
  • From Sakae/Fushimi Area, catch the Tsurumai Subway Line at Fushimi Station(bound for Akaike) and get off at the third (3rd) stop - Tsurumai. From Tsurumai Station, get off at exit #4
Tsurumai
Tsurumai Station
JR Chuo Line/Tsurumai Line

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