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Monthly Archive:2015/01

Playing with Flowers in Cards: Hanafuda 2

As we learned in our first post about Hanafuda (花札), they are Japanese playing cards that are used to play a number of games. The name comes from two Japanese words hana (花) which means flowers and fuda (札) which can mean cards.…

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Japanese Literature : Seishi Yokomizo – Part 1 –

In my post Fukiya village (3), I wrote that the former Hirokane residence was chosen as a location for the “Yatsuhaka-mura” film twice. The original novel was written by the late Seishi Yokomizo, who is still one of the most famous mystery writers in Japan.…

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Playing with Flowers in Cards: Hanafuda

Hanafuda (花札) are Japanese playing cards that are used to play a number of games. The name comes from two Japanese words hana (花) which means flowers and fuda (札) which can mean cards. Some call it “flower cards” in English.…

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Osechi: Traditional Japanese New Year’s Food – Meaning

In my previous post about osechi, I mentioned that each dish has its own meaning and significance. You can think of juubako of osechi as a box full of one’s desires or wishes for himself or for his families for the New Year.…

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Seijin no Hi or Coming of Age Day

Furisode. A type of kimono usually worn by unmarried women. (Image by Nuria Monsó Tarancón on Flickr) Coming of Age Day Today is Seijin no Hi (成人の日) or Coming of Age Day in Japan. It is a national holiday held every second Monday of January.…

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Osechi: Traditional Japanese New Year’s Food

“Shin-nen akemashite omedetou gozaimasu”, Happy New Year to everyone! How did you spend your year end vacation? I guess, everyone is still in their vacation mode. Did you eat osechi during “sanganichi” (三が日)? How was it? Did you know that each dish has its own meaning and significance?…

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Fukubukuro – Japanese Lucky Bags

Fukubukuro (福袋 literally means “lucky bag”, “mystery bag”) is a Japanese New Year custom in which merchants make grab bags filled with unknown random contents and sell them for a substantial discount, usually 50% or more off the list price of the items contained within.…

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Kyoto Quest : Byodoin Temple (平等院) in Uji

Overview of Byodoin(平等院) Temple Byodoin Temple was built by the Regent, Fujiwara no Yorimichi, by rebuilding the villa of Michinaga, his father in 1052. In 1053, the following year, Amidado(Amitabha Hall) was built, where Amitabha Tathagata is enshrined, and is now called Hoo-do(Phoenix Hall).…

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税 (Zei) – 2014 Kanji of the Year

Every year since 1995, the Japanese Kanji Proficiency Society (財団法人日本漢字能力検定協会, Zaidanhōjin Nihon Kanji Nōryoku Kentei Kyōkai), chooses a Kanji of the Year (今年の漢字, Kotoshi no Kanji). The selection is done through national ballot. The character with the most votes, usually related to events happened that year, is announced in a ceremony on December 12 (漢字の日, Kanji no Hi or Kanji Day) at the Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto.…

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Osafune in Okayama : The land of Japanese sword – Part 3 –

Bizen Osafune Japanese sword museum (2) In this post, I’m going to introduce the rest of the craftsmen from the craft centre – “nu-shi”, “tsuka-maki-shi” and “choukin-shi” / “tsuba-shi”, the museum and the official website.   [“Nu-shi” (lit. coating master)] - Coating patterns - “Nu-shi” coats a scabbard for “koshirae” (decorative scabbard) with Japanese lacquer.…

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