Tag Archives: culture

A Local Japanese Festival

I’ve begun a new series on my YouTube channel called A Taste of Japan. I’ll be making videos of different events, places, and culture in Japan. This is episode 1 of A Taste of Japan.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

At the shrine near my home, there’s an annual festival in September that features local dance clubs, cheerleading clubs, a taiko drum club, and singers. In the past, there’ve been professional enka singers, but not this year. I took a few videos, and now, my new series on YouTube has begun.

Here is episode 1 of A Taste of Japan.

I used Windows Movie Maker, as it appeared the other video editor I was using has informed me I must now buy it. I get roughly the same result with WMM, though.

If you have any comments or questions, you know what to do. Oh, and subscribe to my YouTube channel already!

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Filed under Festivals & Events, Japan, Vlog

Want to Know About Life in Japan?

It’s time for some more questions. If you have any questions about what it’s like to live in Japan, please go to this post and ask me anything. I had some great questions before. Let’s have even more great questions!

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

I’ve been running a weekly series about living in Japan since April, and asked you, the reader, to ask me any question about living in Japan. I got some great questions and had nearly three months worth of questions to answer. However, I’ve run out of questions.

Now it’s your turn to give me some more questions. If you have any questions about what it’s like to live in Japan, please ask in the comments below. It can be anything. Maybe even just about living in another country, or dealing with different food, culture, language, and so on. You can ask as many questions as you like. So, what would you like to know?

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10 Things I Will Miss About Japan

Moving to Canada next year makes me think about what I’ll miss in Japan. Too many things for a list of 10, but here’s my list.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

320px-Flag_of_Japan.svg10 years in Japan means Japan feels like home.  But in a year, we’ll be living in Canada. Of course, I’m going to miss a lot about Japan. Maybe I won’t know what I’ll miss until we’ve been in Canada for a while, but I’ll make some predictions here.  This is what I think I’ll miss about Japan.

1. Sushi and Sashimi

It seems I talk a lot about food. I love sushi and sashimi.  Sure, I can get it in Canada, but it’s not nearly as good as the sushi and sashimi in Japan.

2. Temples and Shrines

I love the old architecture, and I really enjoy visiting temples and shrines.  Can’t do that in Canada.

3. The Weather

I prefer Japanese weather.  Winter is warmer than in Canada.  Summer is very hot and humid, but I’m so used to it, Canadian summer nights will feel cold.

4. Seasonal…

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It Can’t Be Halloween Yet, Can it?

It’s early September, and what do I see?  Halloween decorations.  Sounds like some businesses are very enthusiastic about Halloween to be decorating this early.  Not even out of summer yet.  Well, I made this video a couple days ago about how businesses in Japan tend to decorate for Halloween far earlier than they need to.  Keep in mind that the business I show is an opticians and they don’t have a special Halloween sale going on.

Now, this video isn’t just me talking about Halloween decorations.  You’ll want to watch to the end, because I had a rather creepy encounter.

I sure didn’t expect that.

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Filed under Asahi-ku, Festivals & Events, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Yokohama

Kindness and Rudeness on the Way to the Nursery

I just had a mostly unpleasant trip to my daughter’s nursery.

It started off with getting on a full bus with no available seats. I was carrying my daughter, and several people looked at me. I stood near the back door for about a minute, then was pleasantly surprised when a young man gave up his seat for me. +5 points!

As I sat there riding the bus, the lady beside me got up at her stop. Keep in mind that I was sitting in the priority seat. There were several elderly people standing on the bus and the seat next to mine was the only available seat. Not one of them sat next to me. This could be for 2 reasons. First and probably the biggest reason is I had a toddler sitting on my lap. I know I avoid those seats. Second reason, and more unlikely, is that I’m a foreigner. This is that phenomenon that affects many foreigners in Japan, the empty seat syndrome. This actually never happens to me on the bus, so I’d say it was my daughter. The worst part was when one elderly woman spotted the seat, went for it, then noticed my daughter and I. She quickly looked away and stood a couple metres away from me looking around awkwardly. -5 points.

The bus ride continued when someone finally sat beside me. My daughter touched her and the woman said it was okay and smiled. +2 points.

Then a man across from us looked over and said she was cute. This happens a lot, actually. +2 points.

After getting off the bus, we were crossing at a crosswalk with an approaching white car traveling on a parallel course with us. He then suddenly turned directly in front of us without signaling, coming about 50 cm from hitting us. I got a good look at him. A middle-aged man with dyed brown hair, kind of mullet style, gold-rimmed tinted glasses, and lots of gold jewelry. There’s no way he didn’t see us. I was furious! -100 points.

Final score: -96

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2012 Picture of the Week (50/52) – Imported

Japan has a lot of traditional culture, but it also has a lot of imported culture.  One example is Christmas.  However, it’s not entirely the same as in western countries.  For example, it’s a day for couples to go on a date, or for children to receive gifts, whereas in Canada, it’s a day for family and everyone gets gifts.  Also, Japanese people often eat Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas.  Turkey is difficult to find in Japan, and even if they do, not everyone has an oven to roast it with.  And if they do have an oven, it’s often not even big enough for a turkey!  So, getting KFC is an alternative.  But one thing’s the same, decorations.  They’re everywhere!  On my way home, I took a picture of this tree made of Christmas lights outside a factory.

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Merry Christmas from a factory.

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Filed under Culture, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Picture of the Week

A rare sight: Outspoken woman on the train

Yesterday, as I was going home, I was a witness to a rare event in Japan. A woman protested a man’s harassment.

It’s very well known that Japan’s trains, when crowded, have some perverted men (chikan) who will sexually harass a woman physically. Most of these women will remain silent, not wanting to make a scene. Well, I saw a woman who wouldn’t take it.

Actually, this woman wasn’t touched. She was sitting across from a middle-aged businessman who was reading a book and occasionally looking up at her. She was in her mid to late 20s, and dressed rather conservatively. Just before the train came to her station, she shouted, without looking at anyone, something along the lines of “Stop staring at me, please!” Less than a minute later, she stood up and rushed off the train. Some people looked, but most seemed to ignore the whole thing. Even the accused man just kept reading his book.

It’s interesting seeing very little reaction from people in that situation. In Canada, everyone would be staring at him.

On a related note, a couple months ago, I saw a middle-aged man sitting beside a young woman who was wearing a very short skirt. The man kept turning his head to look at her, and once stared at her for a good 15 seconds, then scanned his eyes all the way down her body to her legs, which he stared at for a few seconds. He did this openly, and anyone could’ve seen him doing it. But usually, people are in their own worlds on the train, totally oblivious to what is going on around them. It’s likely I was the only person to notice. He stared at her, I stared at him. She didn’t notice.

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