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Traditional Culture

The Nomikai – Bonding Through Drinking

A nomikai (飲み会) is a drinking party event particular to Japanese culture. It is a part of the culture of most places of employment. They are most often held in restaurants or izakaya (drinking place, bar), usually with everyone seated at one large table or occupying a separated section of the venue.…

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The “Gentle Way” of Judo – Judo Influences

As we continue to our last post about judo, we will learn modern notable judo practitioners and judo influences in other martial arts. Judo has been one of the primary martial arts displayed in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competitions since MMA’s inception.…

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The “Gentle Way” of Judo – Competitive Judo

As noted in the history of judo, it was primarily made or developed by Jigoro Kano as a self-defense. As years passed by, it was expected for judokas to test their skills against each other. Thus, competitive judo began. History of Competitive Judo Competitive judo is a vital aspect of judo.…

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The “Gentle Way” of Judo – The Judoka

As we learned about the history of Judo in our previous post, this time we will learn more about the sport and martial art, particularly on the practitioners (called judoka).…

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The “Gentle Way” of Judo – History

Judo is a martial art that was born in Japan, and it is now known around the world as an Olympic sport. Judo was established in 1882 by combining jujitsu, a form of wrestling, with mental discipline. The roots of jujitsu lie in sumo, which has a long, long history; sumo is mentioned in the Nihon Shoki (Chronicle of Japan), a document from 720 that describes the history of Japan from the mythical age of the gods until the time of Empress Jito, who reigned from 686 to 697.…

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Kotoba Asobi – Goroawase 2

In our last kotoba asobi post, we learned about goroawase or substituting number pronunciations to make a new word or phrase. Goroawase is used as a mnemonic technique, especially in the memorization of numbers such as dates in history, scientific constants, and phone numbers.…

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Kotoba Asobi: Goroawase

Goroawase (語呂合わせ) is a form of Japanese wordplay whereby homophonous words are associated with a given series of letters, numbers or symbols, in order to associate a new meaning with that series. The new words can be used to express a superstition about certain letters or numbers.…

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Golden Week – Furikae Kyūjitsu and Golden Week History

Today is the last day of the Golden Week this year in Japan. For this year, this day has no particular celebration or holiday. Today is just a Compensation/Substitute Holiday (振替休日 Furikae Kyūjitsu) that is observed when any of the Golden Week holidays fall on Sunday.…

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Due South : Zentsuu-ji, Kagawa – Quick Shikoku Pilgrimage

Mini hachi-jyuu-hachi kasho meguri (Quick circuit for 88 sacred places) Behind the temple, there is a small mountain called “Koushiki-zan” (lit. “Mt. Scent-colour”). There is a path encircling the mountain, which is about 1.6 km (approx. 1 mile) long. This is a very short version of the well-known pilgrimage in Japan : “(Shikoku) Hachi-jyuu-hachi kasho meguri” (lit.…

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Golden Week – Children’s Day

Today in Japan is Greenery Day (みどりの日, Midori no Hi) which is a part of the series of holidays called the Golden Week. If you want to read more about Greenery Day, read our previous post. Continuing our series of posts regarding Golden Week, we will feature Children’s Day (子供の日) or Kodomo no Hi.…

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