今日は「節分」。(Today is “Setsubun“).
Google’s Japanese page has a “Setsubun” logo today.
Setsubun is a day to cast out bad luck and bring in good luck. It involves an old tradition of throwing beans at someone wearing a demon mask representing bad luck.
It’s mostly done in homes with young children, in which the children throw the beans at their father wearing the oni (demon) mask.
Click here to read about this, and other Japanese customs and holidays in February.
I have received another book from Tuttle Books!
And, as always, they have agreed to give one free copy to a random visitor to my blog!
The book I’m reviewing today is titled “Beyond The Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age” by Maya Thiagarajan.
I will put the details of the free drawing for this book at the end of this post.
Ms. Thiagarajan was born in India and then moved to America after she graduated from high school. She went to college in America and, afterwards, became a school teacher there. Eventually, she moved to Singapore with her husband and their children and she became a teacher there.
From this, she has become familiar with the American way, the Indian way and the Chinese way of parenting and teaching children.
With her knowledge and experience of what works and what doesn’t work best for children’s education, she has written this extensive, easy-to-read guide.
“Beyond The Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age” can be purchased through Amazon here.
But, as I said above, Tuttle Books has agreed to give one random visitor to my blog a free copy of this book.
To enter the drawing for the free book, submit this form by 2016 February 21st:
Top Ten Albums of 2015
1. Buckcherry – Rock N’ Roll
2. Bon Jovi – Burning Bridges
3. Scorpions – Return to Forever
4. Europe – War of Kings
5. Electric Light Orchestra – Alone in the Universe
6. The Poodles – Devil in the Details
7. The Darkness – Last of Our Kind
8. WASP – Golgotha
9. Saxon – Battering Ram
10. House of Lords – Indestructible
Best EP or Single
Motley Crue – All Bad Things
Best Live or Cover Album
1. A Light in the Black: A Tribute to Ronnie James Dio
2. The Protomen – The Cover Up
3. Van Halen – Tokyo Dome in Concert
Most Anticipated Releases for 2016
Megadeth – Dystopia
Avantasia – Ghostlights
Anthrax – For All Kings
Bon Jovi – This House Is Not For Sale
Now, to commemorate the new “Star Wars Episode VII” movie, the Japanese post office is offering a new set of commemorative Star Wars postage stamps.
Just like the earlier set I bought, this set includes ten unique Japanese postage stamps with scenes from the latest Star Wars movie, and come in a special hard protective case. The set costs ¥4280.
New Years is the biggest holiday in Japan. There are many traditions…one of which is sending 年賀状 (New Years Postcards) to friends and relatives. A bit like Christmas cards in western countries.
One the back of “official” Japanese New Years postcards (which are the only kind that anyone sends) is a six-digit serial number.
Every year on January 15th, the Japanese post office chooses random numbers as winners in the お年玉 (New Years postcard lottery).
People who have postcards with winning numbers win nice prizes.
(Click here to read a post I’ve written about this before.)
Here are the winning numbers for the 2016 New Years postcard lottery:
★ First place – cards with the number 667085 – the prize is ¥100,000 (approx. US$1,000).
★ Second place – cards with the last four digits of the number being 9648 – the prize is one of several wonderful things such as an onsen (hot spring) stay, a TV, a computer, Nintendo DS, etc.
★ Third place – cards with the last two digits of the number being either 69 or 90 – the prize is commemorative “Year of the Monkey” postage stamps.