Tag Archives: 2012

New Year ’13 Station

1 Jan

In Tokyo, there is a subway station named 「辰巳駅」(“Tatsumi Station”).

The Japanese kanji characters that spell “Tatsumi” are the characters for “dragon” and “snake”.

So, for that reason, every twelve years … including this year … that station is a kind of unofficial New Years station.

This is because 2012 was 「辰年」(“the Year of the Dragon “) and this year (2013) is 「巳年」(“the Year of the Snake “).

So, for this New Years, Tatsumi Station changed the signs in the station to read:

辰 → 巳
(Dragon → Snake)

image

It’s great!

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2012 Kanji of the Year

12 Dec

Every December (for the past seventeen years or so), a 漢字 (Japanese (Chinese) written character) is chosen which has a meaning that best summarizes the passing year.

Last year the character 「絆」 (bonding) was chosen because of the way the world came together to help Japan after the March 11th earthquake.

Well, this year, for the first time since this tradition began, the 「今年の漢字」 (“Kanji of the Year“) will be a repeat.

In the year 2000, the 「今年の漢字」 (“Kanji of the Year“) was 「金」 (“gold”) because Japan won gold medals at that year’s Olympics and also because “Kin-san” of the famous elderly Japanese twins “Kin-san and Gin-san died that year—and her name meant “gold”.

This year too, 「金」 (“gold”) was chosen again to be the 「今年の漢字」 (“Kanji of the Year“).
And once again the reason for this choice was because of the gold medals that Japan won at the Olympics. Other reasons cited were the opening of the Tokyo Sky Tree, the Nobel Prize won by a Japanese professor, and the solar eclipse last spring.

The character 「金」 for "gold".

The character 「金」 for “gold”.

Writing the Kanji of the Year for 2012 in the official ceremony.

Writing the Kanji of the Year for 2012 in the official ceremony.

Meet The Superhumans

1 Sep

The 2012 Summer Paralympics Games commenced three days ago.

It’s unfortunate that the Paralympics or Special Oympics don’t get as much recognition or fanfare as the “regular” Olympics…because I think the athletes of the Paralympics and Special Olympics are amazing.

In fact, I wrote a post about them a couple of years ago…with special focus on one Japanese Paralympic athlete from the 2010 Winter Paralympics who overcame tragedy in his life twice.
(Click here to read it.)

Anyways, have you seen the promotional ad for the 2012 Summer Paralympics that are currently underway in London?

It’s titled “Meet The Superhumans“! It’s a great ad…here it is:

Summer Olympics 2012…so far

30 Jul

Everyone, I’m sure, knows that the 2012 Summer Olympics are underway…and that they games are being hosted by London.

Have you watched the opening ceremonies?
Did you see “James Bond” escort the Queen of England to the games by helicopter…and “the Queen” parachuted in?
And Mr. Bean playing with the orchestra? David Beckham driving a speed boat? And the “legend” himself, Muhammad Ali?

It was a pretty good opening ceremony. I enjoyed watching it (on television…I’ve never seen an Olympics event “in person”. The closest that I came was when my wife and I took the 新幹線 (bullet train) to 長野 (Nagano, Japan) in 1998 to see the “Olympic city” atmosphere).

Anyways, are you watching any of the games?
Which events do you like best?

Last night, I watched Japan “almost” get gold in men’s judo…but lost to Georgia.

So far, the top three countries with medals won are China, America, and Italy.

Japan is currently in 15th place.

Tokyo Marathon and spring beer

26 Feb

The 2012 Tokyo Marathon was held today.

Twenty-nine year old Michael Kipyego of Kenya, Africa came in first place with a time of 2 hrs 07.37 seconds.
藤原新 (Arata Fujiwara) came in second just a few hundredths of a seconds later.

Arata Fujiwara of Japan and Michael Kipyego of Kenya show their silver and gold medals, respectively.

I don’t enjoy running…or even jogging, for that matter. So I can’t imagine running a 42 kilometer (26.22 miles) marathon!

Do you like to run or jog? Have you ever run a marathon? The Tokyo Marathon?

++++++

Now that it’s getting closer to the end of winter and 花見 (“Cherry Blossom Viewing”) season will be here before long, many Japanese brewers have begun selling beers in cans decorated with 桜 (Cherry Blossoms).

2012 New Years Postcard Lottery

23 Jan

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, including last year, Japan’s 年賀状 (New Year Postcards) that are mailed in Japan to friends and family every New Years season have a six-digit number in the lower right-hand corner on the back.

And every January, the Japan Post Office draws random numbers for the New Years Postcard Lottery. People who have cards (from the current year) with a matching number win prizes.
Every year the prizes are basically the same…but they’re very nice prizes.

This year’s (2012) winning numbers were drawn today.
The winning numbers are:

First Place Prize: 030625 (Odds of winning: 1 in one-million)
Choice of prize includes: a 40″ Sharp TV, Canon printer, Toshiba computer, overseas or domestic (Japan) trips.

Second Place Prize: 071658, 153787, or 675457  (Odds of winning: 3 in one-million)
Choice of prize includes: a Canon digital camera, X-Box, domestic (Japan) hotel stay, or a folding bicycle (with “no-flat tires“).

Foldable bicycle

Third Place Prize: cards with the last-four digits being 2511 (Odds of winning: 1 in 10,000)
Choice of prize: One of many wonderful food items such as cookies, cakes, tea, curry, etc.

Fourth Place Prize: cards with the last-two digits being 27 or 44 (Odds of winning: 2 in 100)
Prize (no choice): A set of two commemorative “Year of the Dragonpostage stamps.

2012 "Year of the Dragon" postage stamps

Once again, I won a few sets of the stamps but none of the “big” prizes. Well, there’s always next year.

How about you?
Are you in Japan? Did you win any of these prizes?
If you live in another country…does your post office have a similar lottery?

(By the way, it’s snowing in Tokyo right now. The first snow of this winter for Tokyo. It normally snows two or three times each winter in this city.)

Year of the Dragon

1 Jan

It’s now 2012 January 1. 明けましておめでとうございます! (“Happy New Year!”)

2012 is 「辰年」 (the “Year of the Dragon”) according to the Chinese zodiac which is popular in many Asian countries, including Japan.

If you want to know what year you were born in according to the Chinese zodiac, check on this chart.

The chart above translates the year “animals” into English…but they can be translated slightly differently too.
For example, ネズミ年 (Year of the Rat) can also be called “Year of the Mouse”.

I prefer to translate them as such:
+ 子年 : Year of the Mouse
+ 丑年 : Year of the Ox (or Cow)
+ 寅年 : Year of the Tiger
+ 兔年 : Year of the Rabbit
+ 辰年 : Year of the Dragon (this year)
+ 巳年 : Year of the Snake
+ 午年 : Year of the Horse
+ 未年 : Year of the Sheep (or Ram)
+ 申年 : Year of the Monkey
+ 酉年 : Year of the Rooster (or Chicken)
+ 戌年 : Year of the Dog
+ 亥年 : Year of the Wild Boar (or Pig)