Tag Archives: archery

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

14 Oct

The day before yesterday (Monday, 12 October) was a Japanese holiday…「体育の日」 (“Sports Day“).
Click here to read my short FAQ about it.

Every year on this day, 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) has an archery ceremony called 「草鹿式」 (“Kusa-jishi-shiki“).

靖国神社の「草鹿式」

靖国神社の「草鹿式」

My wife and I watched this ceremony last year and I wrote a post about it.

This year, a French couple who visited and commented on my blog many times are in Tokyo until next week.
This is their first visit to Japan, so I met up with them and took them to watch the 「草鹿式」 (archery ceremony) at 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine).

I didn’t take many photos of it this year, but please read my post about last year’s ceremony. On that post, there are photos and videos that I took (click here to read it).

==================================

As I wrote in an earlier post (click here), Tokyo was a candidate city to host the 2016 Olympic Games but lost out to Rio De Janeiro.

Well, it has been announced that Tokyo plans to submit a bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games!

But Tokyo isn’t the only Japanese city that wants to host the 2020 games.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki have announced their plan to submit a bid to co-host the 2020 Summer Olympics!

Other cities that have expressed interest in hosting the 2020 games are South Africa, Busan (Korea), Delhi (India), Rome (Italy), St. Petersburg (Russia), Warsaw (Poland), Toronto (Canada), Boston (America), and a number of others.

The candidate cities for the 2020 Olympics will be decided next year and the host city will be chosen in 2013.

==================================

Speaking of 「広島」 (Hiroshima, Japan) and 「長崎」 (Nagasaki, Japan), the city council of Rome, Italy announced their plan to rename a street in their city “Hiroshima Nagasaki Street“!

Their reason is because a 78-year old Japanese man named Hiroshi Nishioka gave a speech in Rome recently that left much of the audience in tears.

Mr. Nishioka is a survivor of the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki. He was only fourteen at the time of the bombing and in his recent speech in Italy he recalled how he refused to share the water in his canteen with any of the dying people in the streets of Nagasaki for fear that he wouldn’t have enough left for himself.

Even now, the memory of that, he said in his speech, is “like a splinter in my heart.”

Advertisements

Cell-phone Camera

25 Oct

I was looking at the pictures on my 携帯電話 (Cell-phone) camera.
I have over 600 photos on the phone’s memory disc that I’ve taken at various places (the disc still has alot of memory space left, too!)

So I made a slideshow of some of the photos:

[rockyou id=125385250]

草鹿式

14 Oct

As I mentioned in an earlier post (here), we just finished a three-day weekend because yesterday was a holiday. (It was 体育の日 (Sports Day)…(see my short FAQ about it here)).

We went to two festivals. One was on Sunday (at this post) and the other one was yesterday.

The event that we went to yesterday wasn’t really a festival but more of a ceremony.
It was the 草鹿式 (Archery Ceremony) at 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine).

The literal translation of 草鹿式 would be “Grass deer ceremony“. This is because the archers, wearing traditional outfits and speaking in traditional 日本語 (Japanese), shoot arrows at a stuffed deer. Not a real deer…a fake one.
The arrows don’t have arrowheads so that they can use the target deer every year.

Like 相撲 (Sumo), this event has alot of ritual and tradition that is done before each shooting.

It was fun to watch…not as exciting as 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery), but still fun. (Click here and here to read my posts about 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery)).

Here are a few photos I took:

Here are some videos:

Because 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) is where all who have died fighting for Japan are enshrined, it attracts Japan’s right-wing extremists.

But they are a minority. Most visitors to 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) are just like visitors to war memorials in other countries…only there to honor the sacrifice and the memories of soldiers who died in battle. (See an earlier post I wrote about 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) here).

After we left there, we went to the nearby 昭和館 (Showa-kan).

The 昭和時代 (Showa Period) in Japan was when the current Emperor’s father was alive and was Emperor. The 昭和館 (Showa-kan) is a museum that focuses on how life in Japan was during and just after World War 2.

I couldn’t take any pictures inside but it was very interesting. Japan has changed alot since then and there were many hardships back then. But some things, like the food that Japanese people eat, is still quite the same.

The museum’s website is here (日本語 (Japanese) only).

Over the years I have seen many American celebrites do television commercials in Japan. (Kinda like in that overrated movie “Lost In Translation“. (I thought that was a painfully boring movie…but some people, it seems, liked it alot. C’est La Vie. Did you like it?)).

Tommy Lee Jones has been making humorous commercials for Boss Coffee for awhile now.

Most of the American celebrities just say a few lines in English or they may say a couple words of Japanese…but they usually slaughter the language if they do. Tommy Lee Jones speaks Japanese pretty good in his commercials though.

From there, we walked past the 日本武道館 (Nippon Budokan Arena). Along the walk, I took these pictures:

On the way home, we stopped for a break at the Lotteria Fast Food Restaurant. We ate dinner at home, but just took a “coffee break”. They sell Japanese style snacks…Green Tea Shake, and An-bean and mochi pastries. So we had one each.

Photos

28 Aug

I went thru some of my photos and decided to post a bunch of them on my blog. Mostly as Slideshows.

For convenience, here’s a menu of the pictures, slideshows, and video on this post:

Turtle Butterfly Beetle
Cicada Kawasaki Halloween Kamakura Horseback Archery
Asakusa Horseback Archery Asakusa New Years Tokyo Disneyland
Park Cherry Blossom Viewing Ibaraki
Yokohama Kameido-Tenjin Harajuku / Shibuya
Ueno Tokyo Tower Tokyo Dome area
Tokyo Stn / Imperial Palace University of Tokyo Tobu Zoo
Ryogoku Bottom of this post

First are some of the small animals that have been living in our house recently.

Our ミドリ亀 (Red-eared slider turtle):

My YouTube video of our ミドリ亀 (Red-eared slider turtle):

Top ↑

The アゲハ蝶 (Swallowtail Butterfly) (and his (cocoon)).

Top ↑

Here’s a slideshow of our カブト虫 (Rhino beetle) eating gelatin.

[rockyou id=121255942]

Top ↑

A slideshow of our (Cicada) emerging from it’s moult (outer shell).

[rockyou id=121304472]

Top ↑

Here’s ハロウィーン (Halloween) at 川崎 (Kawasaki):

Top ↑

And here’s a slideshow of the 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) at 鎌倉 (Kamakura):

[rockyou id=121313498]

Top ↑

And the 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) at 浅草 (Asakusa):

Top ↑

And here’s a slideshow of New Years at 浅草 (Asakusa):

[rockyou id=121314652]

Top ↑

東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland):

[rockyou id=121257747]

Top ↑

A park near our house:

[rockyou id=121256593]

Top ↑

花見 (Cherry Blossom Viewing):

[rockyou id=121263734]

Top ↑

茨城県 (Ibaraki) is a countryside prefecture to the north of 東京都 (Tokyo):

[rockyou id=121260602]

Top ↑

横浜 (Yokohama):

[rockyou id=121261159]

Top ↑

亀戸天神 (Kameido-Tenjin Shrine):

[rockyou id=121269921]

Top ↑

原宿 (Harajuku) and 渋谷 (Shibuya):

[rockyou id=121271108]

Top ↑

These photos are from 上野 (Ueno):

[rockyou id=121304850]

Top ↑

東京タワー (Tokyo Tower):

[rockyou id=121315444]

Top ↑

The 東京ドーム (Tokyo Dome) area (including the amusement park and 小石川後楽園 (Koishikawa-kourakuen Japanese Gardens)). There happened to be a cosplay event on the day I took these photos:

[rockyou id=121316712]

Top ↑

東京駅 (Tokyo Train Station) and the 皇居 (Imperial Palace):

[rockyou id=121320484]

Top ↑

東京大学 (The University of Tokyo):

[rockyou id=121322650]

Top ↑

東武動物公園 (Tobu-Doubutsukouen Zoo):

[rockyou id=121323921]

Top ↑

両国 (Ryougoku), the area of Tokyo with the 国技館 (Sumo Arena):

[rockyou id=121324845]

Please leave a comment of what you think of these photos!

Top ↑

鎌倉

21 Apr

Today we went to 鎌倉 (Kamakura).

Kamakura was once, long ago, the capital of Japan. It’s not too far south of Tokyo in 神奈川県 (Kanagawa Prefecture).

Kamakura is my favorite part of Kanagawa Prefecture.

It’s still very “traditional” Japan. There’s a nice beach, 大仏 (Great Buddah), many shrines and temples, lots of great souvenirs and food to buy, and 江ノ島 (Enoshima) and 横浜 (Yokohama) aren’t far.

One reason we decided to go to Kamakura today was because they were having a 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) show (like the one I watched in Tokyo yesterday) today.

My wife’s aunt wanted to join us today. So we woke up early and met her at the train station at 7:30AM and the six of us (my wife and I, our three kids, and my wife’s aunt) got to Kita-Kamakura Station at 8:45AM.

From there, we walked to 浄智寺 (Jyouchiji Temple).

Then we walked to 源氏山 (Genji-yama Mountain) and followed the hiking course.

And we walked to the 高徳院 (Koutokuin Temple) with the 大仏 (Great Buddah).

At the 高徳院 (Koutokuin Temple), there were some children dressed in kimono who were learning 茶道 (Tea Ceremony) (In Japan, preparing and serving Green Tea properly involves an elaborate ceremony). The children and their 茶道 teachers were preparing and serving tea for free. So we decided to have some.

It was very good!

The tea ceremony teacher:

From there, we walked over to 長谷寺 (Hase-dera Temple), which is a beautiful temple with a beautiful garden and Koi (Carp) pond.

The temple is up on a mountain with a beautiful view of Tokyo Bay.

In addition to that view, on the way up to the temple we were able to see 富士山 (Mt. Fuji).

At Hase-dera Temple, we ate a picnic lunch.

After lunch we headed to the 長谷駅 (Hase Station) on the 江ノ電 (Enoden Train Line) and rode the train to 鎌倉駅 (Kamakura Station) and then we walked down the 小町通り (Komachi-doori) shopping street which is lined with many great traditional Japanese shops. We bought some freshly cooked おせんべ (Rice crackers) at a shop here.

We went to the 鶴岡八幡宮 (Tsurugaoka-hachimanguu Shrine) which is where the 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) show was. Since it was extremely crowded and I watched Horseback Archery yesterday, we didn’t stay for the entire show.

After that, we went back to the shops and got a few bottles of “Kamakura Beer” and some famous “Hato Sable” cookies from the 豊島屋 (Toshimaya) store for souvenirs.

Then we headed home. It was a fun day.