Chinese parenting posters from 1950’s…still good advice

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Originally posted on RocketNews24:

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When the word “education” pops up, most of the time, the first thing that comes to mind is education for children. While parents and adults in general are often concerned about educating our future leaders, we tend to forget that parents need education too because, unfortunately, parenting skills do not come as a bonus with the birth of a baby.

A set of parenting posters produced in Shanghai in 1952 reveals some golden words that were given to parents of that time. Time and technology may have changed the way parents and children interact these days, but these 62-year-old parenting tips are surprisingly relevant even today.

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Taiwanese sufferer of ALS critical of Ice Bucket Challenge

28 Aug Featured Image -- 10715

Originally posted on RocketNews24:

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Following on from this post, we thought it might be appropriate to share some opposing opinions to the ice bucket challenge, which is still going strong and getting more column inches (not to mention YouTube minutes) than anyone could have ever dreamed.

The craze recently found its stride in Asia with an ongoing chain of Japanese business folk, as well as tycoons and celebrities across China. However, one Taiwanese sufferer of the ALS had some criticisms to voice.

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Study Japanese with the Japan Times

27 Aug

Occasionally the Japan Times newspaper has a Japanese language lesson.

Here is one of their recent lessons:

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ii-yo! (Okay!)

Situation 1: Mitsuo is stopped by his mother as he is about to leave the house.

母: 光男、出かけるなら、この手紙、ポストに出して行ってくれる?

光男: いいよ!

Haha: Mitsuo, dekakeru-nara, kono tegami, posuto-ni dashite-itte-kureru?

Mitsuo: Ii-yo.

Mother: Mitsuo, if you’re going out, will you post this letter for me on the way?

Mitsuo: Okay!

Today, we will introduce the meanings and usage of the adjective いい (good). Its pitch-accent is high-low, so the pitch of the first い descends to the second い sharply, whether the sentence-end intonation is rising or falling. It expresses that something is good and is used with 給料 (きゅうりょう, salary), 頭 (あたま, brain), 性格 (せいかく, character) and いい男 (おとこ, man)/女 (おんな, woman) is a casual way to say a man is handsome or a woman is pretty. The negative form is よくない, which is based around よい the old form of いい.

Mitsuo uses いい to mean OK in Situation 1; in this usage the sentence-end particle よ is added, spoken with a rising intonation. Note that いいよ with the falling intonation means “No.” Also, いい and the more polite いいです are used to decline someone’s offer, e.g., when someone suggests you have another cup of coffee.

Situation 2: Mr. and Mrs. Okubo see a man in his late-40s weeping bitterly on TV.

妻: この人、ほんとに県会議員なの? いい大人が、まるで子どもみたいに泣いている。

夫: まったく、いい恥さらしだなあ。経費を何に使ったか、ちゃんと説明すればいいのに。

Tsuma: Kono hito, honto-ni kenkai-giin-nano? Ii otona-ga marude kodomo-mitai-ni naite-iru.

Otto: Mattaku, ii hajisarashi-da-nā. Keihi-wo nani tsukatta-ka, chanto setsumei-sureba ii-noni.

Wife: Is this man really a member of the prefectural assembly? He is weeping bitterly, like a child.

Husband: He has really embarrassed himself! He should clearly explain what he spent the money on.

いい is often used for sarcastically reproaching someone, as in the wife’s いい大人 (おとな) (a man old enough) or as in the husband’s いい恥(はじ)さらし (literally, wonderfully disgraceful). Here is another example of reproaching: いい歳(とし)をして、そんなに激(はげ)しい運動(うんどう)をするなんて! (Despite the fact that you are already quite old, you’re doing a difficult physical exercise like that [I don't think you should!]).

Bonus Dialogue: Mr. Mita asks why Mr. Sere looks a little down.

セレ: じつは、昨日(きのう)、ゆりとけんかしちゃったんだ。

三田: けんかの原因(げんいん)は?

セレ: ぼくたちの将来(しょうらい)のこと。ぼくが長男(ちょうなん)で、ゆりが一人(ひとり)っ子(こ)だから、いろいろむずかしい問題(もんだい)があって。

三田: ふうん、セレくんとゆりちゃんは、仲(なか)がいいから、けんかするんだな。

セレ: ぼくは、けんかなんかしたくないのに…。国(くに)の両親(りょうしん)のこととか、なにも考(かんが)えないで暮(く)らせたら、どんなにいいだろう!

三田: まあ、いい大人(おとな)が、そういうわけにもいかないだろう。結婚(けっこん)したら、問題があるのは当然(とうぜん)だ。ふたりで問題を乗り越(こ)えて、はじめて本当(ほんとう)のきずなができるんじゃないか。

セレ: ああ、ほんとだ! 三田(みた)くん、すごい。感動(かんどう)したよ。

三田: うん、ぼくも、自分(じぶん)のことばに感動している。でも、どうして、ぼくのことばに感動してくれる人(ひと)は、いつもセレくんだけなんだろう…?

Sere: Actually, I had a fight with Yuri last night.

Mita: What caused it?

Sere: It was about our future. I’m the eldest son in my family and Yuri is an only child. We seem to have a lot of problems.

Mita: I see; but you love each other, so that’s why you fight.

Sere: I don’t want to fight. I’d be so happy if we could live without thinking about things like our parents living in different countries.

Mita: Well, adults can’t live like that. After you marry her, like all marriages, naturally, there will be problems. After you get over them together, don’t you think you’ll be able to make a true connection?

Sere: Oh, you’re right! That’s great, Mita! It’s touching!

Mita: Yeah, I was impressed myself. But Sere, I wonder why you’re the only one who is ever impressed by what I have to say.

(This lesson is from the Japan Time online, here).

Kanagawa

25 Aug

Yesterday we went to Kanagawa. The prefecture to the south of Tokyo.

First we went to Kamakura. Kamakura has many temples and shrines…but is probably most famous for the 大仏 (Great Buddha) statue that is there. We didn’t visit the Great Buddha yesterday, but we’ve been to it many times before (Click here to see photo I took of the Great Buddha about six years ago.)

First we visited the 小町通り (Komachi Street).

Ghibli store

The “Iwata Coffee Shop”. It’s claim-to-fame is that John Lennon ate there when he visited Kamakura.

A toy store.

We ate breakfast at the well-known “Komeda Coffee” restaurant.

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We went to the famous 報国寺 (Hōkoku-ji Temple), also called 竹寺 (“Bamboo Temple”) because of it’s bamboo forest!

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After we left the “Bamboo Temple”, I saw this old Coke machine that sold the cola in glass bottles:

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Some turtles in a pond came out of the water looking for food hand-outs from the people. Including this スッポン (Chinese Soft-shelled Turtle):

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Kamakura has many local-brewed beers, including this 「大仏ビール」 (“Great Buddha Beer”) that I bought:

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After Kamakura, we went to Yokohama:

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「横浜中華街」 (Yokohama Chinatown)

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The Yokohama Chinatown 交番 (Police Box).

In Yokohama Chinatwon, we ate 担々麺 (spicy “Tan-tan-men” Ramen) for lunch.

A shopping mall had a dinosaur exhibit.

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Yokohama skyline.

For dinner, we ate at an 居酒屋 (Japanese “izakaya” pub).

“Water Throwing Festival” 2014

18 Aug

Yesterday was one of Tokyo’s biggest festivals. The 深川八幡祭り (Fukagawa-Hachiman Festival).

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Were you there? I was there, but not as a spectator. I have been a member of a group in this festival for nine years. I’m one of the people carrying a 神輿 (portable shrine) in this festival.

This festival isn’t held annually like most festivals. It’s held every three years. So the next time will be in August 2017.

It’s often called 「水かけ祭り」 ( the “Water-throwing Festival” ) because spectators throw buckets of water on the participants. And even the Tokyo Fire Department sprays us with firehoses!

I wrote a post the last few times I’ve participated in this festival. The last time, the Emperor and Empress of Japan attended the festival!
Click here to see that post with photos. It was a rare opportunity that we were able to see the royal couple so close!

Here are a few of the excellent photos that my wife took.

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Telegrams Are Still Sent In Japan

14 Aug

Read this article that tells about the enduring popularity of telegrams in Japan.

World-famous Japanese cat Maru gets a new pal, learns a cool new tail trick 【Video】

11 Aug Featured Image -- 10624

Originally posted on RocketNews24:

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You might be thinking we’ve been posting an awful lot of articles about cats recently, from stories about cat islands to black-cat cafés, and even one about wearable cats, but here’s one more to end the week with, because they told us to publish it and we’re too scared to disobey.

It would seem that Maru, possibly the most famous cat on YouTube right now, not only has a new friend to play with, but he’s found a novel use for his fluffy tail…

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