Tag Archives: 日本

Anpanman in the Guinness Book

28 Jul

There’s a very popular children’s cartoon character in Japan called 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“).

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2009 has been a big year for 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) and for his artist Takashi Yanase.

This year, Takashi Yanase turned 90 years old, he’s been a professional artist for 60 years, the 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) comic started 40 years ago, and the 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) television series started 20 years ago. (Click here to see an earlier post I wrote about this).
And now, 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“) is in the Guinness Book Of World Records for having the “Most Characters In A Single Animated Series“.

「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“) has over 2000 characters, but the Guinness Book only recognized 1768 characters…which still sets the record as the most characters.

Here are some of the main ones:

anpanman-fullMy kids grew up watching 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“). It’s a wonderful cartoon for kids!

Have you ever watched 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“)? I like 「バイキンマン」 (Baikinman), 「ホラーマン」 (Horror-man), and 「だいこんやくしゃ」 (Daikonyakusha) best.

Click here to see my post about the 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) Exhibit we went to last Spring.

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竜巻

28 Jul

Yesterday at about 2:00PM, a 竜巻 (tornado) hit 群馬県 (Gunma Prefecture), a couple hours north of Tokyo.

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About 200 homes and shops had their windows broken and many had the roofs ripped off. A number of cars were flipped over. And other damage like that.

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It was reported that there were about two dozen injuries but no deaths were reported so far.
The worst injury was sustained by an elderly woman who was hit by a bicycle that was thrown by the high wind. She’s in serious condition at the hospital.

It’s unfortunate that people were injured and had their property damaged. But it’s good that there were no deaths caused by the 竜巻 (tornado)!
群馬県 (Gunma Prefecture) is a rural area. If the 竜巻 (tornado)* struck a densely populated area like Tokyo, surely there would have been alot more damage and casualties!

*(竜巻 (tornado) in Japanese literally translates to “rolling dragon“).

日食

23 Jul

As I mentioned in an earlier post (click here to read it), there was a 日食 (solar eclipse) visible from Japan today.

Unfortunately, it was an overcast day (with light rain in the morning), so the eclipse wasn’t easily visible. I wasn’t able to see it at all. But I saw on the TV news this evening that many people with “eclipse glasses” waited for the clouds to part…which they did a little bit before the eclipse ended, so they were able to get a view of the eclipsed sun.

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日食 (solar eclipse) over Tokyo

Today’s 日食 (solar eclipse) was a 100% eclipse visible from southern Japan. From Tokyo, it was about 70%.

The TV news said that the next time that a partial eclipse will be visible from Japan won’t occur for another 26 years. And the next time that a full eclipse will be seen in Japan won’t be for about 300 years!
So today’s eclipse was something special!

The Sea and The Sun

20 Jul

今日は「海の日」 (Today is “Sea Day“).

It’s the Japanese holiday in July to appreciate the ocean and sea life…many people go to the beach on this day.
(You can read my short FAQ about this holiday on my website by clicking here).

We’re not going to the beach today.
My wife and second daughter are at the shopping mall now, but I’m at home waiting for our youngest daughter to come home from basketball practice at her junior high school (she’s on the girls’ basketball team) and my oldest to come home from her part-time job.

My youngest daughter will be home about 2:00 and my oldest will be home around 3:00…at which time we’ll go to the mall to meet my wife and other kid.

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On 水曜日 (Wednesday), 2009 June 22, the longest total 日食 (solar eclipse) of the 二十一世紀 (21st century) will be viewable in Japan (and other parts of Asia).

In southern Japan, at just before 11:00 AM, a full eclipse will be visible.
Other parts of Japan will be able to see a partial eclipse.

Over Tokyo at about 11:10 AM on Wednesday, a 70% eclipse will occur.

Here’s a map of Japan showing the approximate percentage of 日食 (solar eclipse) will be visible from around 10:45 – 11:15 AM on June 22 (I got this map from Japan Guide):

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(click to enlarge)

If you will be in the area to see this 日食 (solar eclipse), don’t forget that looking at a solar eclipse without the proper equipment can damage your eyes permanently (and taking a photo of it without the proper equipment can damage a camera).

うな丼

19 Jul

今日は「土用の丑の日」 (Today is “The Day of The Ox“)…which is the day in summer that people eat ウナギ (freshwater eel). Usually the eel is prepared as 「うな丼」 (Eel on Rice).

The うな丼 that I ate today.

The うな丼 that I ate today.

Eating ウナギ (freshwater eel) in the summertime is said to give you stamina to stand the hot, humid days.

I wrote a post about 「土用の丑の日」 (“The Day of The Ox“) last year. Click here to read it.

We are eating 「うな丼」 (Eel on Rice) for dinner today.

It’s quite delicious!

Have you ever tried eel? ウナギ (Freshwater eel) is different from アナゴ (Saltwater eels).

ウナギ (Freshwater eel) is richer tasting and, in Japan, is usually prepared with a sweet sauce and eaten on rice. アナゴ (Saltwater eel) is the eel that is used on 寿司 (sushi), in Japan.

Both are good…but I think ウナギ (freshwater eel) is better.

Recent news

19 Jul

A few things:

  • The world’s oldest man, Henry Allington from England, died today at the age of 113 years and 42 days.
    He had been the world’s oldest man for only 29 days before he died. Before Mr. Allington, the world’s oldest man had been Japanese Tomoji Tanabe (died at age 113 years 274 days). I wrote a post about Tomoji Tanabe when he died…click here to read it.  Now the world’s oldest man is Walter Breuning from America. He’ll turn 113 years old on (2009) September 21. (The world’s oldest person is Gertrude Baines, also from America. She’s 115 years old.)
  • As with most kids all over Japan, my daughters began their school’s 夏休み (summer vacation) today. They will return to school on August 25…so they’re off from school for about five weeks.In Japan, the new school year begins in April, not after summer holidays…so they’ll return to the same class.
    Also, in Japan, kids get alot of 宿題 (homework) to do over the summer.
  • My oldest daughter also started her first day of work at her first part-time job today. She began working at Domino’s Pizza.
  • To attract families with kids to travel by 新幹線 (bullet train) to go somewhere during their 夏休み (summer vacation)…新幹線 (bullet trains) in Japan have been painted with pictures of characters from the 「ポケモン」 (“Pokemon“) cartoon.

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  • The fast-food chain, Lotteria, in Japan has started a “money-back guarantee” for it gourmet 「絶妙ハンバーガー (“Zetsumyou (Exquisite) Hamburger“).  If you buy one and don’t like and return more than half of the burger, they will give you a new one (in case the first one simply wasn’t prepared properly)…if you’re still not satisfied (and return more than half of the second one), your money will be refunded.

zetsumyou

2009年夏の「みたままつり」

14 Jul

Yesterday (2009 July 13), we went to the first day of the 2009 「みたま祭」 (Mitama Festival).

This year this festival is from Monday, July 13 until Thursday, July 16. So, if you’re currently in the Tokyo area you can go to this festival. It’s at the 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine).

靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) is where Japan enshrines all who have died in battle defending Japan. I wrote a bit about it in another post…click here.

We have been to 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) many times, and we go to the 「みたま祭」 (Mitama Festival) nearly every year.
I wrote a post about this festival last year…click here to see it. That post has videos and a slideshow of photos.

In the summertime in Japan, there are many Obon festivals…which are festivals to honor the deceased. And, as I wrote above, 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) is Japan’s shrine for the war-dead. So the 「みたま祭」 (Mitama Festival) is a festival to honor the war-dead.

They were heading to the festival.

They were heading to the festival.

They say: "Mitama Festival, July 13-16. Yasukuni Shrine"

They say: "Mitama Festival, July 13-16. Yasukuni Shrine"

At the festival many people wear ゆかた and じんべい (Japanese traditional summer outfits).

At the festival many people wear ゆかた and じんべい (Japanese traditional summer outfits).

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At many summer festivals in Japan, there are haunted house attractions. These have been popular at summer festivals since long ago in Japan because it’s said that the chills from the fright help cool you off in the summer heat. (Horror movies are also popular in the summertime in Japan for the same reason).

Here’s the outside of the Haunted House attraction at 「みたま祭」 (Mitama Festival):

「ろくろ首」 ("Long neck Geisha Ghost") is a old traditional ghost story.

「ろくろ首」 ("Long neck Geisha Ghost") is a old traditional ghost story.

As usual, we had a good time at the 「みたま祭」 (Mitama Festival) even though it was a hot day. We had 焼きそば (Grilled Noodles) and beer, watched the ねぶた (Nebuta) float parade, and our kids played festival stall games.