Kaidan-怪談

The rainy season has come. After the season, the climate quickly turns to the summer. I don’t know the horror storytelling in the summer time is unique in Japan or not, but I want to introduce you to Japanese traditional horror story “Kaidan”.

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Before telling the horror story, I’m going to explain the relationship between the summer season and horror stories in historical context. You might guess the reason is in the high temperature in summer or Obon ceremony, but actually, it continues to the traditional theater culture from Edo era. The theater is so called “Natsu-kyogen(夏狂言)”. In Edo period, there was no air conditioner, and it causes the decline of a number of the audience who come to the theater. For that reason, actors had to go tour to the countryside, and it held in summer, so the play had called “Natsu-Kyogen(夏狂言)”. It was the best way to get the audience for them because the theater is not common in the country side. Therefore, the played contents didn’t have many variations in stories to cut off the cost to open the temporal theater on tour. The most popular contents in “Natsu-Kyogen” was the horror stories. As I mentioned above, Japanese people prefer to the summer season to talk horror stories than other seasons.

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There are several famous horror stories, which all Japanese people might know. If you want to know such a stories, please come to our school, our teacher Mrs.Kobayashi will talk to you. (Of course, she is the good Japanese teacher, but also good story teller.)

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Hanafuda―花札

Even you are not game lover, you might know the company “Nintendo.” However, how many people know the first products of this company? It’s “Hanafuda(花札)”, Japanese origin playing cards. Today, I will introduce the world of Hanafuda.

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The history of Hanafuda starts in 16th century, the playing card which originally from Europe had carried by missionaries. This cards game eventually became popular mainly in gambling. However, it was banned in 17th century, because the government had a fear of changing religion and completely closed off contact with the Western Christian world in 1633. This is a so-called “Sakoku(鎖国)” in Japanese.

Although the cards were banned, there are highly demand on using this cards for gambling. This structure prompted people to alter the playing cards to Japanese version, and subsequently, it became the card “Hanafuda”.As mentioned above, this cards was the first products for Nintendo. This company was also reflect this trend of the times.

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Let’s get back on track. Hanafuda had developed by regions or communities and it became to have too many rules to grasp the all of it, because this card game was mainly enjoyed in gambling with limited members. This is because, there are many Yakuza movies which gangs playing Hanafuda as gamble. In addition to this factor, the government banned gambling, so it made playing environment more closed. The gamble which include using Hanafuda, is still banned. However, Hanafuda is still popular card game because of its beauty. You should remember some complex rules to enjoy this card game, however the picture of cards will encourage you to remember the rule of Hanafuda、because it is so beautiful.

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Best spots in Kumamoto②

On 14th in April, a huge earthquake occurred Kumamoto pref. in Kyushu.  Now people in Japan are going to try hard to get quick recovery from earthquake damage.

So, today we would like to share some best spots  in Kumamoto! After recovering from the serious damage, let’s visit Kumamoto to cheer up!

【Kumamoto Castle】

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The most famous place is Kumamoto castle. It was built in Edo-era, and recognized as the Important Cultural Property in 1933. If you need, you can also enjoy seeing around with English-guided.

【Shiraito Waterfall】

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Shiraito Waterfall is famous as a healing power spot in Kyushu. It’s 20 meters high and change its mood depends on the seasons. Especially, coloring leaves in Fall is unbelievably beautiful.

【Kyusendo Cave】

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It’s a 2nd longest cave in Japan from 300 million years. Twenty thousand bats are living here and keep the environment inside.

 

Let’s cheer up Kumamoto, Kyushu!

OBENTO(-lunch box) culture

Do you have your own lunch box, called “Obento-bako” in Japanese?

In Japan, basically every single person has their own one. If you need to pay attention on your health, cost, or cooking skills, Obento culture is pretty good way for them!

Today, we’ll introduce beautiful lunch box here. Please enjoy them and hopefully let’s make your own original lunch box!1

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Of course, they don’t have enough time to make it all with busy morning time.

How they create such a beautiful lunch box in short time?

The answer is photo as below…!

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They stock a variety of dishes like this on their free time.

Why don’t you enjoy Japanese Obento culture from tomorrow??

BEST SAKURA SPOT!

The most beautiful, comfortable, and exciting season is coming in Japan!

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It’s SAKURA season! We Japanese call cherry blossoms “Sakura” in Japanese. Most of people in Japan always enjoy sharing their time with delicious foods, bit of alcohol (sometimes not bit of!!!), and full of cherry blossoms around.

Today, we share some good information “Best spot to enjoy cherry blossoms in Japan!”

①Yoyogi Park

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Pretty famous place to enjoy Sakura indeed! Yoyogi park is fifth biggest parks in Tokyo 23-ku. You can sit down on the green, and feel great scale of Sakura!

②Meguro river

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It’s also great spot to watch beautiful Sakura! Besides, there are lot of shops selling various food and alcohols there! You don’t need to prepare foods or drinks anymore! How convenient!

③Roppongi Hills

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At the center of Tokyo, they also have such a beautiful place. A lot of events or festivals are often taken place there, and you can enjoy it from early in the morning to late night!

How do you think of Hanami, enjoy watching Sakura?

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Why Japanese People???

Foreign people sometimes really surprise with Japanese people’s actions. Today’s theme is about Japanese actions that foreign people always think it is super weird.

1.Japanese people are always sleeping on the train

Japan is such a safety country, and people are not scared of lost their baggage. You can see lots of Japanese people who are deeply sleeping there.

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2.Japanese people are always calling a waiter in laud voice

In the restaurant, Japanese people usually say “Excuse me!!”(-Sumimasen in Japanese) to call a waiter. Foreign people get surprised how the big voice is!!

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3.Japanese people are always get free tissue packs

In the middle of the crowded city, lots of people hand out free tissues with their advertising paper in it. For Foreign people, getting tissue with totally free is super surprising things!!

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What do you thing of there unique Japanese matters?

EBISU YOKOCHO -恵比寿横丁

Hi, today’s story is about super cool party place-we call it EBISU YOKOCHO(恵比寿横丁)!
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In the middle of Ebisu(恵比寿), really really near to the Ebisu(恵比寿) station, there is the place always be filled with lots of fun. Whenever you go,  all the bars, restaurants, Izakaya(居酒屋) are welcoming you.

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It’s cheaper, casual, and feel the heartwarming people! Everyone becomes friends sitting down next to you, and sometimes they schedule their second time EBISU YOKOCHO(恵比寿横丁) night out!! If you are lucky, singing man with his guitar gives you a song present…!

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It doesn’t matter if on the week day or midnight, EBISU YOKOCHO(恵比寿横丁) is a party spot!! You can choose your favorite place from all of 21 shops. Most of the people enjoy several shops-we call it Hashigo(はしご).

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Why don’t you enjoy EBISU YOKOCHO(恵比寿横丁) noght with your friends!!!

 

 

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Another one bites the dust

By the way, do you know where people will go after they passed away? This kind of question is a sensitive topic, and it seems like difficult to ask the other. However, don’t you want to know the view of death in another culture? If you want to know the Japanese view of the death, especially about the Hell, I recommend you to go Beppu(別府) in Oita prefecture.

Oita is in Kyusyu Island and it takes 2 hours by airplane.The distance might be a reason to avoid Oita as a destination of your trip; however, Oita is incredibly attractive place, because there is tremendous number of famous and old-fashioned spa. In addition to spas, there are many cats and they look relaxed and walk around the street with steam of spa from irrigation ditch. Like that, the Beppu region folded in steam of spa. There are also the cue to know the view of death and the Hell in Japan. It is “Jigoku onsen(地獄温泉)”, this means the spa of the Hell.

 

The consept of Jigoku roots to the ancient Buddhist sutras of the East. The old Japanese look the natural hot spring in Beppu and they imagine the hellish depths of the inferno.  The so-called Jigoku onsen include 8 specular springs and the city sightseeing department provides to travelers some tour programs. I’m afraid there are tours only in Japanese, but it might be a good experience to you.

Hot spots in Japan for Christmas!

Now in Japan, mood is full of Christmas in anyplace.

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Even if you are not Christian, we all together celebrate and enjoy our Christmas in Japan.

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Today, we would like to introduce hot spots in Japan for Christmas!

Please check it out and enjoy with your family, friends, or your boy/girl friend.

 

①Omotesando Hills(表参道ヒルズ)

In omotesando, you can enjoy 14meters high Christmas tree on the screen with romantic performance. It’s from 6th in November to 25th in December. One thing, please be careful…on the Christmas day, this place will surely crowd and crowd like chaos.

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②Tokyo midtown(東京ミッドタウン)

In the center of Tokyo, you can enjoy 280,000 of LED illuminations. On the 2,000 square meters of land, sweetest and romantic scenery is there.

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③Caretta shiodome(カレッタ汐留)

From 15th in November to 25th in December, you can enjoy 3D projection mapping in Caretta shiodome. Theme is the “SEA” and lots of sea creatures will be there!

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What do you think of Japanese Christmas? Let’s enjoy most romantic seasons in Japan!