Tag Archives: 日本

日本の食卓へ!

21 Aug

I saw an online ad for 「ライトセーバーチョップスティック」 (“Lightsaber Chopsticks“)!

Star Wars "Light-saber Chopsticks"

Star Wars "Light-saber Chopsticks"

They come in red “Darth Vader” lightsaber, blue “Luke Skywalker” lightsaber, and green “Yoda” lightsaber.
The red and blue ones are 230mm “adult size” and the green pair are 200mm “child size” chopsticks.

The ad says 「日本の食卓へ!」 (“(Coming) to dinner tables in Japan!”).

I’m not a big enough of a “Star Wars” fan to buy something like this. I prefer to use normal (chopsticks).

Another Michael Doret interview

18 Aug

In my previous post, I wrote about the new KISS album that will be released in the U.S. on October 6.

sonic-logo

According to KISS Online, their upcoming album (titled “Sonic Boom) will be released in the U.S. on October 6…and available exclusively at Wal-Mart.
What does that mean? Regular record stores in the U.S. aren’t going to sell it? It’ll only be sold at one chain of stores?
I’ve never heard of something like that before. Has that become common in America? Why?

In Japan, record stores are still common. I’m sure the new KISS album will be available in every record (CD) store across Japan once it’s released here.
Speaking of which, I wonder when the album will be released in Japan? And when KISS will bring the Sonic Boom Tour to Japan.

Anyways, the album cover artwork for “Sonic Boom” was designed by Michael Doret.

KISS "Sonic Boom" album cover

KISS "Sonic Boom" album cover

Michael Doret designed the iconic cover for the KISS album “Rock And Roll Over” back in 1976 and he was asked by Paul Stanley to design their new album cover, too.

KISS "Rock And Roll Over" album cover (1976)

KISS "Rock And Roll Over" album cover (1976)

Last April, Michael Doret did an interview with me (Click here)…

and today he did another interview with me!

Click here to read it.

I would describe my design for “Sonic Boom” as “Rock and Roll Over” turned inside out.

— Michael Doret

三つ巴

14 Aug

Do you know the Chinese yin-yang symbol?

Chinese yin-yang

Chinese yin-yang

It’s meant to symbolize how opposites complete everything.

Life and death. Male and female. Good and evil. And so on.

Many people in the West think that that symbol is used in all of Asia.

But it’s Chinese.

Other Asian countries have similar ones, though.

In Korea, they use a similar symbol but without the two contrasting colored dots. And their symbol is usually red and blue.korean-yin_yang

This symbol is on the Korean flag.

Flag of South Korea.

Flag of South Korea.

In Japan, the closest symbol to these is the 「三つ巴」 (“Mitsudomoe“).

Japanese 三つ巴

Japanese 三つ巴

There’s also a less-common version with two tomoe like the Chinese and Korean ones above…but it’s still uniquely Japanese. It’s called 「二つ巴 (“Futatsudomoe“):

Japanese 二つ巴

Japanese 二つ巴

In Japan, the mitsudomoe is more common than the futatsudomoe. It’s often seen on 提灯 (Japanese paper lanterns) and 太鼓 (Taiko drums).

I took this photo of a 三つ巴 on a 提灯 (paper lantern) with my cell-phone.

I took this photo of a 三つ巴 on a 提灯 (paper lantern) with my cell-phone.

Japanese 太鼓 drum

Japanese 太鼓 drum

It also can be seen as a 家紋 (Japanese family crest).

Here are a few common 家紋 (Japanese family crests)…the mitsudomoe is amongst them:

家紋

家紋

Japanese appreciate simple and less-flashy designs. So, 家紋 (Japanese family crests) are much simpler than colorful European family crests.

A European family crest

A European family crest

Disaster

12 Aug

Every summer we go to a beach resort and stay a few days.
This year we planned to go there from Sunday, August 9 until yesterday (Tuesday, August 11) because all five of us had those days off from work or school clubs.

We checked the weather forecast for those days last week and it said that it would rain a little bit on August 9 and then it’d be nice the rest of the time.
But that’s not how it turned out…

When we arrived at the beach on Sunday, it was a bit cloudy but still nice weather and very hot. So the kids went swimming a bit. If they had known that that’d be their only chance to swim, they would’ve stayed in the water longer.

After they finished swimming, they took a shower and changed their clothes and we went for a walk around.
My second daughter caught a カブト虫 (rhino beetle).

DSCF5224

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Then it began to rain.

We went back to the room and ate dinner. And we turned on the TV and I checked the weather forecast.
A typhoon was hitting the east coast of Japan! :(

The forecast said that the typhoon would be gone and the weather would clear up on the afternoon of August 11. The day we we going back home!

And then, while we were eating dinner, an 地震 (earthquake) struck!
The area we were in registered a “level 4 earthquake” on the Japanese shindo earthquake scale. (The Japanese scale goes from 1-7).
It was an unwelcome fright! But luckily it wasn’t strong enough to knock anything down where we were.

The weather forecast was correct. The typhoon stayed the whole time we were there. It ruined our beach trip.
The wind and rain was very strong the entire time we were there. Both the beach and the nearby waterslide pool park were closed.

And then yesterday morning at about 5:30AM, another big 地震 (earthquake) struck! This one had the epicenter in 静岡県 (Shizuoka Prefecture), and registered a “level 6″ (out of “7”) there!
Where we were it registered as a “level 4″ again. Once again, not big enough to do damage where we were…but big enough to wake us up!
I hate earthquakes!

But we still had fun together. Indoors.
We played games, watched TV, talked, and enjoyed time together.

We planned to take the 6:30PM train home yesterday (August 11).
At about 5:00PM, I noticed that the typhoon seemed to have passed and the weather was clearing up.
Just my luck! The weather was miserable the whole time we were there…and then clears up when were getting ready to leave!

Since we had time, and the storm passed, we took a walk around again.
There were many surfers taking advantage of the big waves brought by the typhoon.

DSCF5206

DSCF5205

DSCF5207

Even though we didn’t get to swim as we planned, we still had a good time.
And as I said, we go to this beach every summer. This was the first time that the weather wasn’t beautiful while we were there.
Hopefully it’ll be nice weather again next year!

Peace Memorials

9 Aug

As I mentioned a few days ago (Click here for the post), August 6 marked the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing of 広島 (Hiroshima, Japan) and today is the 64th anniversary of the bombing of 長崎 (Nagasaki, Japan).

Today in 長崎 (Nagasaki, Japan) there will be a memorial service and a moment of silence will be observed all over Japan at 11:01 AM.

In 広島 (Hiroshima, Japan), there is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial to remember the bombing of the city and help prevent another atomic bombing from happening anywhere in the world.
In Japanese, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial is called 「原爆ドーム」 which literally means “Atomic Bomb Dome“. This building was the only building to stand nearly intact in Hiroshima after the bombing. It was originally a museum, now it’s a peace memorial.

原爆ドーム (Hiroshima Peace Memorial)

原爆ドーム (Hiroshima Peace Memorial)

Here’s a photo of  Hiroshima in 1945 after the atomic bombing. The museum that is now the 「原爆ドーム」 (Hiroshima Peace Memorial) can be seen:

hiroshima-1945

長崎 (Nagasaki, Japan) also has a peace memorial. It’s called 「長崎平和公園」 (“Nagasaki Peace Park“) and, just like Hiroshima does on August 6th, there’s a memorial service in 「長崎平和公園」 (“Nagasaki Peace Park“) every August 9th.

The "Peace Statue" at 「長崎平和公園」 ("Nagasaki Peace Park").

The "Peace Statue" at 「長崎平和公園」 ("Nagasaki Peace Park").

To all the beers I’ve drunk before

4 Aug

I don’t claim to be a beer ソムリエ (sommelier), but I know what I like.

I’m gonna try and make a list here of as many of the different beers I’ve tried that I can remember. And I’m gonna try to rate them (with a rating scale of 1-3 stars (★★★). One star () being the lowest, and three (★★★) is the highest).

I also wrote the beer’s country of origin.

The star ratings are simply my personal opinion. Kirin Beer is my favorite. And I think any cold lager is good.

Just so you know where I’m coming from.

  • Kirin Lager () – Japan
  • Kirin Classic Lager () – Japan

  • Kirin Ichiban () – Japan
  • Kirin Strong Seven () – Japan

  • Kirin Tanrei () – Japan
  • Kirin Tanei Double () – Japan
  • Kirin Tanrei Green Label () – Japan
  • Kirin Nodogoshi () – Japan
  • Kirin Enjuku () – Japan
  • Kirin Koku-no-jikan () – Japan
  • Kirin Aki-aji () – Japan
  • Budweiser () – America
  • Bud Ice () – America
  • Bud Dry () – America
  • Heineken () – Netherlands
  • Guinness () – Ireland
  • Hitachino Nest Beer () – Japan
  • Asahi Super Dry () – Japan
  • Asahi Hon-nama Draft (red can) () – Japan
  • Asahi Hon-nama Aqua Blue (blue can) ( ) – Japan
  • Asahi Hon-nama Gold (gold can) () – Japan
  • Asahi Cool Draft () – Japan
  • Orion Draft () – Japan
  • Orion Southern Star () – Japan
  • Suntory The Premium Malts () – Japan
  • Suntory Malts () – Japan
  • Suntory MD Golden Dry () – Japan
  • Suntory The Straight () – Japan
  • Suntory Jyokki-nama () – Japan
  • Suntory Gold Brew () -Japan
  • Carlsberg () – Denmark
  • Beck’s () – Germany
  • Yebisu Premium () – Japan
  • Yebisu Premium Full Malt () – Japan
  • Sapporo Draft One () – Japan
  • Sapporo Nama Kuro Label () – Japan
  • Satan () – Belgium
  • Singha () – Thailand
  • San Miguel () – Philipines
  • Corona () – Mexico
  • Samuel Adams () – America
  • Miller Genuine Draft () - America
  • Kamakura Moon () – Japan
  • Coedo Ruri () – Japan

    coedo

    "Coedo Beer" from Kawagoe (Koedo), Saitama, Japan

I may have tried others that I’ve forgotten. This is all that I can remember off the top of my head.

As you can probably tell by my ratings, I love beer…and I’m not real picky. But I’ve tried Guinness Beer and I didn’t think much of it. やっぱり、I like lager beer.

What do you think of my list? Have you tried any of these beers? Are your impressions different from mine?  What’s your favorite beer? How often do you have a beer? I have a couple with dinner everyday.

Pepsi and Snoopy

28 Jul

In Japan, keychain accessories aren’t popular. But ケータイ電話のアクセサリー (cellular phone accessories) are. Especially cell-phone straps.

In your country, are cell-phone straps popular?

Last Spring, ペプシ (Pepsi Japan) gave away Snoopy cell-phone straps with purchases of 500ml bottles of Pepsi NEX.

The straps were Snoopy with 「全国おいしいものアクセサリー」 (“All of Japan Delicious Foods“). They featured Snoopy resting on food items from 24 different areas of Japan.

Tokyo’s was the best! It has Snoopy resting on 江戸前寿司 (Old Tokyo Sushi). Osaka’s was Snoopy with たこ焼き (Octopus Dumpling).

snoopy-1

These were given away with Pepsi NEX for a limited-time only and aren’t available anymore.

But now they’re offering Snoopy with 「全国おいしいものアクセサリー第2段」 (“All of Japan Delicious Foods…Second Version“) with purchases of 500ml bottles of Pepsi NEX.

This version doesn’t include a strap for Tokyo nor Hokkaido. But there is one for 横浜中華街 (Yokohama Chinatown)…「中華まん」 (“Chinese Steamed Meat-filled Bun“).

snoopy-2

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