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Monthly Archive:2014/11

Kendama – Playing with a Sword and a Ball 2

Kendama, as what we learned from our previous post is a traditional Japanese “ball-and-cup” game. The basic tricks that one can perform with the kendama is to catch the ball using any of the three different-sized cups or with the spike.…

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Katana : Japanese traditional sword – Part 2 –

Katana : Japanese sword (2) Japanese swords are famous as samurai’s weapons, but was it impossible for common people like farmers to own them?   Japanese swords for civilians - My "Tachi" key ring - About 20 cm (8 in.) long.…

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Kendama – Playing with a Sword and a Ball

Like any other culture, the Japanese have also traditional toys which children used to play and is now slowly being forgotten due to the rise of modern and high-tech toys and gadgets. One of these toys is the kendama. The Kendama Kendama (けん玉, can also be written as 剣玉 or 拳玉) is a Japanese traditional toy consisting of a ken (けん, literally means a sword) and a tama (玉, means ball).…

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Katana : Japanese traditional sword – Part 1-

Katana : Japanese sword (1) At first, I was going to post an article about “Muramasa”, a very famous cursed “katana”, but I thought it might be better to write simple explanations of Japanese traditional swords beforehand.   “Unbreakable, unbending and very sharp” sword A sword has to be hard to be unbending and sharp, and has to be soft as well to be unbreakable.…

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A Weekend in Nagasaki

One weekend in June, my friend and I went to Nagasaki City for a weekend trip. Nagasaki City is the capital of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu. When we arrived at the Nagasaki station, we immediately went to their tourist help desk.…

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The Basic Types of Anime

When you check the internet on some information about an anime, you may notice that they are classified as to what type they are. These types are a common knowledge for long-time anime fans but for beginners and just-for-fun watchers, they may not be able to know what that type is.…

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Local Specialty Series: Shiga Prefecture

With the largest lake in Japan, Lake Biwa, Shiga Prefecture is blessed with food and water resources. Here’s some of the local specialties of Shiga Prefecture in no particular order. Local Specialties of Shiga Prefecture Omi-gyu (Omi Beef) Omi Beef (Photo courtesy of Ryosuke Hosoi) Together with Matsusaka Ushi and Kobe Beef, Omi/Ohmi Beef is considered one of the “Japan’s Top Three Wagyu (Japanese Beef).” Omi Beef bears a 400-year of history.…

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We are ninjas: Run like a ninja!

Running tips by ninja It was very important for ninja to run as far as possible and as quick as possible. There are several know-hows:   [Where to look] When you run a long distance, look at close distance. This makes you put your chin down.…

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Tenugui: More than Just a Hand Towel

A tenugui (手拭い) in its simplest definition is a traditional Japanese hand towel made of cotton. It is usually about 35 by 90 centimeters in size. It is typically plain woven and though there are also plain designs, it has usually repeating patterns printed/dyed on its surface.…

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Mystery tour: Taira no Masakado – Part 2 –

Barrier for Masakado? There are seven main shrines (including “Kubi-zuka”) for Masakado. They are said to have been built to seal the powerful spirit of Masakado as well as to make use of it. [1. Torigoe shrine] It is not officially admitted, but this shrine is said to be the place where Masakado’s hand(s?) is buried or where Masakado’s head flew over (In a legend, the name “Torigoe” came from “Tobikoe” (“fly over” or “jump over”).…

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