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Artist/ Architect/ Novelist

Architect

Tadao Ando
安藤忠雄
(1941- )
Japanese architect whose approach to architecture was once categorized as critical regionalism. 
Here are his famous works around Osaka, Kansai.

*Row house (nagaya) Sumiyoshi, Osaka
*Rokko housing I, kobe, Hyogo
*Church of the light, Osaka
*Water temple, awaji island, Hyogo
*Naoshima contemporary art museum
*Toto seminar house,awaji, hyogo
*Hiroki oda museum, gamo-gun, Shiga
*Awaji island project, Awaji shima, Hyogo

Kenzo Tange
丹下健三
(1913-2005)
He was one of the most significant architects of the 20th century, combining traditional Japanese styles with modernism, and designed major buildings on five continents. Kenzo Tange was also an influential protagonist of the structuralist movement. 

SANAA SANAA is an architectural firm based in Tokyo. It was founded in 1995 by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. In 2010, Sejima and Nishizawa were awarded the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest honor.
Famou project
*21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa
*Dior Omotesando Store in Tokyo, Issey Miyake Store in Tokyo

Kisho Kurokawa
黒川紀章

(1934-2007)
He was a leading Japanese architect and one of the founders of the Metabolist Movement.
Kurokawa graduated from Kyoto University’s architecture department and then did his master’s and doctoral studies at Tokyo University under Kenzo Tange, who was hailed as the architect of some of the most remarkable structures of the 20th century.



Novelist

Haruki Murakami
村上春樹
(1949- )
Hr is one of the most popular and controversial of today’s Japanese authors. His genre-defying, humorous and surreal works have sparked fierce debates in Japan over whether they are true “literature” or simple pop-fiction:

*Norwegian Wood ノルウェイの森
*Dance Dance Dance 
ダンス・ダンス・ダンス
*The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle 
ねじまき鳥クロニクル
*Kafka on the Shore 
海辺のカフカ
*After Dark
アフターダーク
*1Q84

Banan Yoshimoto
吉本ばなな

(1964- )
She is a Japanese contemporary writer. She writes her name in hiragana.Her works, including “Kitchen”, are translated and published in more than 20 countries.

Natsume Sōseki
夏名漱石
(1867-1916)
He is often compared with Mori Ōgai, wrote I Am a Cat (1905) with humor and satire, then depicted fresh and pure youth in Botchan (1906) and Sanshirô (1908). He eventually pursued transcendence of human emotions and egoism in his later works including Kokoro (1914) his last and unfinished novel Light and darkness (1916).

Artist / Musician

Yoko Ono
小野洋子
(1933- )
A Japanese-American conceptualartist, musician, author and peace activist, also known for her marriage to John Lennon and her groundbreaking work in avant-garde art, music and filmmaking. Ono brought feminism to the forefront through her music, and is also considered a pioneer and major influence of the 1970s new wave genre. She is a supporter of gay rights and is known for her philanthropic contributions to the arts, peace and AIDS outreach programs.

Yoshitomo Nara 
奈良 美智
(1959- )
He is one of the most influential artists to emerge from Japan during the Pop art movement of the nineties. Yoshitomo Nara’s paintings and sculpture of stylized cartoon children and animals evoke a range of memories from childhood, “both sad and fantastic.”

Yayoi Kusama
草間弥生

(1929- )
She is a Japanese conceptual artist whose paintings, collages, soft sculptures, performance art and environmental installations all share an obsession with repetition, pattern, and accumulation.

Nobuyoshi Araki
荒木 経惟

(1940- )
He is a Japanese photographer and contemporary artist. He is also known by the nickname Arākī.

samu Noguchi
野口 勇
(1904-1988)
He was a prominent Japanese American artist and landscape architect whose artistic career spanned six decades, from the 1920s onward.[1] Known for his sculpture and public works, Noguchi also designed stage sets for various Martha Graham productions, and several mass-produced lamps and furniture pieces, some of which are still manufactured and sold.

Issey Miyake 
三宅 一生

(1938- )

He is a Japanese fashion designer. He is known for his technology-driven clothing designs, exhibitions and fragrances.Mr. Miyake “oversees the overall direction of all lines created by his company”, even though the individual collections have been designed by his staff since his ‘retirement’ from the fashion world in 1997.

1月 28th, 2012 | 未分類 | posted by guesthouse_u-en _staff

Japanese traditional sports

 

Sumo 相撲
Competitive full-contact sport where a wrestler (rikishi) attempts to force another wrestler out of a circular ring (dohyō) 
or to touch the ground with anything other than the soles of the feet
Judo
柔道
Judo or Jūdō (meaning “gentle way”) is a modern Japanese martial art and combat sport created in Japan in 1882 by Dr Kano Jigoro. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw one’s opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one’s opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an opponent to submit by joint locking or by executing a choke.
Kendo

剣道
Kendo, meaning “Way of the Sword”, is a modern Japanese martial art of sword-fighting based on traditional Japanese swordsmanship, or kenjutsu. Kendo is a physically and mentally challenging activity that combines strong martial arts values with sport-like physical elements.
Horse Racing (keiba)
競馬
The federalgovernment, through an organization called the Japan Racing Association, operates all major horse racing in Japan.
Keirin (bicycle racing)
競輪
Keirin is a track cycling event in which racing cyclists sprint for victory, mass-start track cycling event in which 6-9[citation needed] sprinters compete at one time in a race with a paced start.
Ninjyutsu
忍術
Ninjutsu sometimes used interchangeably with the term ninpō (忍法) is the martial art, strategy, and tactics of unconventional warfare and guerrilla warfare as well as the art of espionage purportedly practiced by the shinobi(ninjya).

1月 28th, 2012 | 未分類 | posted by guesthouse_u-en _staff

Japanese Film / Movie

Spirited Away 千と千尋の神隠し
Directerd by Hayao Miyazaki. In the middle of her family’s move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and monsters; where humans are changed into animals… (2001)
Princess Mononoke もののけ姫
On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami’s curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest and Tataraba, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.(1997)

The Last Samurai ラスト・サムライ
Directed by Edward Zwick. Starring Ken Watanabe, Tom Cruise, William Atherton.
An American military advisor embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle. (2003)
Seven Samurai 七人の侍
Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Starring Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima. A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves. (1954)
Yojimbo 用心棒
Directed by Akira Kurosawa. A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.(1961)
HANA-BI はなび
Released in the US as “Fireworks”, is a Japanese film written, directed and edited by, and starring Japanese filmmaker Takeshi Kitano. Hana-bi (花火) is the Japanese word for “fireworks”.(1997)
Lost in Translation ロスト・イン・トランスレーション
A movie star with a sense of emptiness, and a neglected newlywed meet up as strangers in Tokyo, 
Japan and form an unlikely bond.(2003)

1月 28th, 2012 | 未分類 | posted by guesthouse_u-en _staff

Manga / Anime in Japan

NARUTO Shippuden
ナルト(疾風伝)
An ongoing Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. The plot tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki.
ONE PIECE
ワンピース
a long-running shōnen manga written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda, that has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since 1997. This story follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy whose greatest ambition is to obtain the world’s ultimate treasure, One Piece, and thereby become the next Pirate King.
Bleach
ブリーチ
Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo. Bleach follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper from Rukia Kuchiki.
Akira アキラ
a black and white serial manga or graphic novel by Katsuhiro Otomo. Set in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo, the work uses conventions of the cyberpunk genre to detail a saga of turmoil. Initially serialised in the pages of Young Magazine from 1982 until 1990, the work was collected in six volumes by Japanese publisher Kodansha.
Studio Ghibli
スタジオジブリ
Japanese animation film studio run by Hayao Miyazaki. 
Famous movie lists:
Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind (風の谷ノナウシカ)
Laputa: Castle in the Sky(天空の城のラピュタ)
My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ)
Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓)
Kiki’s Delivery Service (魔女の宅急便)
Porco Rosso (紅の豚)
Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫)
The Borrowers(借りぐらしのアリエッティ)

1月 28th, 2012 | 未分類 | posted by guesthouse_u-en _staff

Japanese food

Ramen ラーメン
Japanese noodle dish that originated in China. It is served in a meat- or fish-based broth, 
often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as sliced pork, dried seaweed, kamaboko, green onions, and occasionally corn.
Wasabi わさび(山葵)
Japanese horseradish. It is most famous in form of a green paste used as condiment 
for sashimi (raw seafood) and sushi. However, wasabi is also used for many other Japanese dishes.
WasabiDomburi 丼ぶり
Donburi is a general term for “bowl”. It also popularly refers to a bowl of cooked rice with some other food served on top of it. 
Oyakodon, Katsudon, Gyudon, Tendon, Unadon, Tekkadon.
Korokke コロッケ
Japanese name for a deep fried dish originally related to a French dish, the croquette.
Nikujaga 肉じゃが
Japanese dish of meat, potatoes and onion stewed in sweetened soy sauce, sometimes with ito konnyaku and vegetables. Generally, potatoes make up the bulk of the dish, with meat mostly serving as a source of flavor.
Okonomiyaki お好み焼き
Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki meaning “grilled” or “cooked” (cf. yakitori and yakisoba). Okonomiyaki is mainly associated with Kansai or Hiroshima areas of Japan, but is widely available throughout the country.
Sashimi 刺身
Sashimi primarily consists of very fresh raw seafood, sliced into thin pieces, and served with only a dipping sauce (soy sauce with wasabi paste or such condiments as grated fresh ginger, or ponzu), and such garnishes as shiso and shredded daikon radish. 

1月 28th, 2012 | 未分類 | posted by guesthouse_u-en _staff

Lodging style in Japan

Hostel ホステル
Hostels provide budget oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, sometimes a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are generally cheaper for both the operator and the occupants; many hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk clerks or housekeeping staff in exchange for free accommodation.

Guest house ゲストハウス
Guesthouse is similar to a hostel, bed and breakfast, or inn whereas in other parts of the world (such as for example the Caribbean), guest houses are a type of inexpensive hotel-like lodging. In still others, it is a private home which has been converted for the exclusive use of guest accommodation.

Ryokan 旅館
Ryokan is a type of traditional Japanese inn that originated in the Edo period (1603–1868), when such inns served travelers along Japan’s highways. They typically feature tatami-matted rooms, communal baths, and other public areas where visitors may wear yukata and talk with the owner.

Minsyuku 民宿
Minsyuku is a budget version of ryokan, roughly equivalent to a British boarding house or a bed and breakfast. The facilities are similar to a hotel or may simply consist of spare rooms in a family home. Minshuku often serve as the only type of accommodation in towns or villages too small to warrant a dedicated hotel or ryokan.

Capsule Hotels カプセルホテル
Capsule Hotel is a type of hotel in Japan with a large number of extremely small “rooms” (capsules).hese capsules are stacked side by side and two units top to bottom, with steps providing access to the second level rooms.

Bed and breakfast (B&B) B&B is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and breakfast, but usually does not offer other meals. Typically, bed and breakfasts are private homes with fewer than 10 bedrooms available for commercial use.

Inn イン
Inns are generally establishments or buildings where travelers can seek lodging and, usually, food and drink. They are typically located in the country or along a highway.

Pension ペンション
A pension is a family-owned guest house or boarding house, which is comparable to minshuku, except that they offer rooms in Western style rather than in Japanese style.

Hotel ホテル
Hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. The provision of basic accommodation, in times past, consisting only of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand has largely been replaced by rooms with modern facilities, including en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning or climate control. Additional common features found in hotel rooms are a telephone, an alarm clock, a television, and Internet connectivity; snack foods and drinks may be supplied in a mini-bar, and facilities for making hot drinks. Larger hotels may provide a number of additional guest facilities such as a restaurant, a swimming pool or childcare, and have conference and social function services.

Shukubo 宿坊
The lodging at temples is called shukubo. It originally began in the Heian period (794-1192) as a lodging for worshippers to temples. Shukubo is similar to traditional Japanese inns, and anyone can stay regardless of his or her religion. In temples, you can join in their Zen meditation. Also, in some shukubo, shojin ryori (vegetarian meal for monks) is served. Koyasan is famous forShukubo.

Love Hotel ラブホテル
“rabu hoteru” is a type of short-stay hotel found in Japan operated primarily for the purpose of allowing couples privacy to have sexual intercourse. This is sometimes good and cheap accommodation option for couples.Love hotel architecture is sometimes garish, with buildings shaped like castles, boats or UFOs and lit with neon lighting.[5] However, some more recent love hotels are very ordinary looking buildings, distinguished mainly by having small, covered, or even no windows.

Weekly and Monthly Apartments ウィークリー、マンスリーマンション
Apartments and shared apartments, rented on a weekly or monthly basis, are among the most inexpensive ways of staying in Japan for an extended period.

1月 28th, 2012 | 未分類 | posted by guesthouse_u-en _staff

Travel / Transportaion in Japan

Useful items

JAPAN RAIL PASS JRパス
The JAPAN RAIL PASS offers an incredibly economical way to travel throughout Japan by rail. Please be aware, however, that some restrictions apply. The pass is not valid for “NOZOMI” trains on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines.
Seishun 18 Kippu 青春18切符
a discount rail ticket offered by Japan’s JR network. When available (three times a year), it is easily the cheapest way to get around Japan, costing only ¥11,500 for five days of unlimited travel.
Kinken shop 金券ショップ
There are many discout ticket stores which is called “Kinken shop” around the stations in Japan. 
These shops essentially deal in the buying and selling of all kinds of tickets, gift certificates, discount cards and other items.

Transportation

Highway bus (kosoku bus) 高速夜行バス
Highway buses (kosoku or yakou bus) are an inexpensive alternative to trains for long and medium distance travel in Japan. While buses tend to be slower than express trains, they are usually considerably cheaper.
Shinkansen 新幹線
High speed trains (bullet trains) are called shinkansen and are operated by Japan Railways, often abbreviated as JR.
Japan’s main island Honshu is covered by a network of high speed train lines that connect Tokyo with most of the island’s major cities and Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu.
Domestic Ferries フェリー
Consisting of several thousand islands, Japan has variety of ferry routes.
The main routes of practical use to visitors would be from Osaka/Kobe(Honsyu) to Beppu/Oita(Kyusyu), Niigata on the Japan Sea coast to Otaru/Sapporo(Hokkaido).
Also the boats to Naha in Okinawa from Nagoya, Tokyo, Osaka and Kagoshima are popular among young people, as well as rapid international boat from Fukuoka to Busan in Korea.
Ferry reservations are necessary at weekends and on public holidays.

Airplane 飛行機
With some 90 airports serving domestic and overseas flights, Japan is highly convenient for the air traveler.
Because of the deregulation of Japan’s airline industry, domestic airfares have dropped dramatically in recent years,sometimes cheaper alternative to the shinkansen (bullet train) on some routes.
Overnight Trains 夜行列車
Though all trains are not covered by the Japan Rail Pass orthe Seishun 18 Kippu, it worth finding trains that run through the night. All night trains are operated by the Japan Railways Group (JR). Due to competition by cheaper highway buses and low domestic airfares, the number of night trains in Japan has been decreasing steadily in recent years.

Rental cars レンタカー
Renting a car is an option worth considering if you plan to explore rural Japan, where access by public transportation can be inconvenient and infrequent. A rental car can also be an economical alternative, if traveling in groups.

1月 28th, 2012 | 未分類 | posted by guesthouse_u-en _staff

Japanese souvenir

There are traditional Japanese gifts! Suitable gifts of Japan to the world.

Katana 刀 
Ktana is a type of Japanese sword (nihonto), also commonly referred to as a “samurai sword”.
Scroll painting (Kakejiku) 掛け軸
A hanging scroll, wall hanging, or wall scroll, is a type of traditional scroll, with rods on the top and bottom, usually hung on walls.
Kimono 着物
Japanese traditional garment worn by women, men and children.Kimonos for men are available in various sizes and should fall approximately to the ankle without tucking.
Chokin 彫金
Metal engravings from Japan are created by the ancient art of Chokin. The engravings were orginally created to decorate the armament of SAMURAI warriors.
Japanese Doll (Nihon ningyo) 日本人形 
Known by the name ningyō in Japan, which literally means human shape. There are various types of Japanese dolls whichi are made for household shrines, for formal gift-giving, or for festival celebrations.
Yukata 浴衣
Yukata is casual summer kimono usually made of cotton. People wearing yukata are a common sight in Japan at fireworks displays, bon-odori festivals, and other summer events. The yukata is also frequently worn after bathing at traditional Japanese inns.
Samurai Doll 侍人形
Japanese musha ningyo, Japan samurai dolls or warrior dolls, are displayed during Boys’ Day festival. (5th day of the 5thmonth)
Happy (Happi) coat 法被, 半被
Traditional Japanese straight-sleeved coatwhich is Usually made of indigo or brown cotton and imprinted with a distinctive mon (crest). Originally, these represented the crest of a family, as happi were worn by house servants.
Wooden Doll (Kokeshi) こけし
apanese dolls, originally from northern Japan. They are handmade from wood, have a simple trunk and an enlarged head with a few thin, painted lines to define the face.
Traditional Toy (Mingei gangu) 民芸玩具
Traditional toys are particularly popular among both children and adults during the holiday of the Japanese New Year. These toys reflect the spirit and history of Japan throughout the ages.
Chopstics (Hashi) 箸 
Chopsticks are small tapered sticks used in pairs of equal length as the traditional eating utensils of Japan.
Curtain (Noren) 暖簾
Noren are traditional Japanese fabric dividers, hung between rooms, on walls, in doorways, or in windows.
Wrapping Cloth (Furoshiki) 風呂敷
furoshiki is a traditional japanese wrapping cloth, use it to wrap everything. Furoshiki can be used for gift wrapping, grocey shopping or even as clothing.
Byōbu Screen 屏風
Byōbu are Japanese folding screens made from several joined panels bearing decorative painting and calligraphy, used to separate interiors and enclose private spaces, among other uses.
Geta Sandal 下駄
Geta is a form of traditional Japanese footwear that resemble both clogs and flip-flops. They are a kind of sandal with an elevated wooden base held onto the foot with a fabric thong to keep the foot well above the ground. They are worn with traditional Japanese clothing such as kimono or yukata.
Zori Sandal 草履
Zori is flat and thonged Japanese sandal made of rice straw or other plant fibers, cloth, lacquered wood, leather, rubber, or synthetic materials.

Visit and check this website “Souvenir Japan” to see more!

1月 28th, 2012 | 未分類 | posted by guesthouse_u-en _staff

Festival (Matsuri)

There are countless local festivals (Matsuri) in Japan because almost every shrine celebrates one of its own. Most festivals are held annually and celebrate the shrine’s deity or a seasonal or historical event. Some festival are held over several days. 

We are going to intoroduce you the list of some of Japan’s most famous festivals and celebrations.

Sapporo Snow Festival 札幌雪まつり
One week in early February 

Large snow and ice sculptures are built in the city’s centrally located Odori Park during the festival.

Omizutori 
東大寺お水取り
March 1-14

Omizutori is a Buddhist religious service rather than a festival, held every year at the Nigatsudo Hall of Todaiji Temple (東大寺二月堂). The most spectacular among its many ceremonies, is the nightly burning of torches on the balcony of the wooden temple hall.

Takayama Matsuri
高山祭
April 14-15 and October 9-10 

This festival is is ranked as one of Japan’s three most beautiful festivals held in spring and autumn.

Sanja Matsuri 
三社祭
Weekend in mid May

The festival of Asakusa Shrine, the Sanja Matsuri is one of Tokyo’s three big festivals by the Ujiko (inhabitants of the neighbouring community) at Asakusa Shirne. Mikoshi are carried through the streets of Asakusa.

Kyoto Gion Matsuri 
祇園祭
July 

The festival of Yasaka Shrine, Gion Matsuri is ranked as one of Japan’s three best festivals, featuring over 20 meter tall festival floats. Gion Matsuri takes place annually in Kyoto and is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. It spans the entire month of July and is crowned by a parade, the Yamaboko Junkō (山鉾巡行) on July 17. It takes its name from Kyoto’s Gion district.

Nebuta Matsuri 
青森ねぶた祭り
August 2-7 

The Nebuta Matsuri features festival floats with huge lanterns, some measuring more than 10 meters. The festival attracts the most tourists of any of the country’s nebuta festivals, and is counted among the three largest festivals in the Tōhoku region.

Kanto Matsuri 
秋田竿燈まつり
August 3-6 

Over two hundred long bamboo poles with up to 46 lanterns attached to each are balanced by the members of this popular festival’s nightly parades.

Awa Odori
阿波踊り
August 12-15 

The Awa Dance Festivalis held from 12 to 15 August as part of the Obon festival in Tokushima, Shikoku prefecture. Groups of choreographed dancers and musicians known as ren (連) dance through the streets, typically accompanied by the shamisen lute, taiko drums, shinobue flute and the kane bell. Performers wear traditional obon dance costumes, and chant and sing as they parade through the streets.

Nagasaki Kunchi 
長崎くんち
October 7-9 

The festival of Nagasaki’s Suwa Shrine, the Nagasaki Kunchi features Chinese style dragons and floats shaped like ships.

Jidai Matsuri
時代祭り
October 22 

The Jidai Matsuri Festival of the Ages is a traditional Japanese festival held on October 22 annually in Kyoto, Japan. It is one of Kyoto’s renowned three great festivals, with the other two being the Aoi Matsuri, and the Gion Matsuri.

Chichibu Yomatsuri
秩父夜祭
December 2-3 

Chichibu Yomatsuri (which means Chichibu Night Festival) is a festival of Chichibu Shrine which has a history of more than 2,000 years. This festival is considered one of Japan’s top three festivals to feature floats, the others being Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri and the Takayama Matsuri.

1月 28th, 2012 | 未分類 | posted by guesthouse_u-en _staff

National holidays / Annual events in Japan

[JAPANESE NATIONAL HOLIDAYS]

January 1 – New Year’s Day

The second Monday in January – Adult’s Day
February 11 – National Founding Day
March 20 or 21 – Vernal Equinox
April 29 – Showa Day
May 3 – Constitution Memorial Day 
May 4 – Greenery Day
May 5 – Children’s Day
The third Monday in July – Marine Day
The third Monday in September – Respect-for-the-Aged Day
September 23 or 24 – Autumnal Equinox
The second Monday in October – Health/Sports Day
November 3 – Culture Day
November 23 – Labor Thanksgiving Day
December 23 – Emperor’s Birthday  

*When a national holiday falls on Sunday, the next Monday becomes a holiday.

[ANNUAL EVENTS IN JAPAN]


Some festivals (Matsuri) and holidays are more correctly included in the nenchu gyoji or annual events originally observed by the Imperial court.

The New Year
正月
1st January
The Japanese celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1 each year on the Gregorian Calendar.
It is considered by most Japanese to be one of the most important annual festivals and has been celebrated for centuries with its own unique customs.
Kagami Biraki

鏡開き

11th January
Kagami Birakiis a Japanese traditional ceremony which literally translates to “Opening the Mirror” (from an abstinence) or, also, “Breaking of the Mochi.” It traditionally falls on January 11 (odd numbers are associated with being good luck in Japan) but, in practice outside of Japan, generally occurs around that date. It is generally the first important event of the year after New Years Day. It refers to the opening of a Kagami mochi, or to the opening of a cask of Sake at a party or ceremony.
The Valentine’s Day 
バレンタインデー
14th February
The Japanese celebrate St. Valentine’s day in a rather unique fashion. 
In Japan, Valentine’s Day is observed by females who present chocolate gifts, usually to a male, as an expression of love, courtesy or social obligation. ]
The white Day
ホワイトデー
14th March
On White Day, the converse happens: males who received a chocolate on Valentine’s Day are expected to return the favor by giving gifts, usually more expensive.
Girls’ Festival
ひなまつり
3rd March
Japanese Girl’s Festival known as hina matsuri (hina doll festival) or momo no sekku (peach flower festival). It’s common for families of girls in Japan to have a set of hina dolls wearing ancient kimono which is displayed at homes.
Boy’s festival
こどもの日
5th May
Children’s Day is a Japanese national holiday and is part of the Golden Week. It is a day set aside to respect children’s personalities and to celebrate their happiness. It was designated a national holiday by the Japanese government in 1948. The day was originally called “Tango no Sekku”(端午の節句), and was celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th moon in the lunar calendar or Chinese calendar.
Golden week
ゴールデンウィーク
29th April to 3-5th May
Goldenweek is a Japanese term applied to the period containing the following public holidays:

April 29 Shōwa Day
May 3 Constitution Memorial Day 
May 4 Greenery Day 
May 5 Children’s Day
Mother’s Day
母の日
the second Sunday of May
“ha no hi” was introduced after World War II. Nowadays it is rather a marketed holiday, and people typically give flowers such as red carnations and roses as gifts.
Father’s Day
父の日
the third Sunday of June
In Japan, “Chichi no hi” is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday.
Obon
お盆
mainly 13th-16th August
Bon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the departed spirits of one’s ancestors. This Buddhist custom has evolved into a family reunion
holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors’ graves, 
and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars.
Full Moon Festival
十五夜
around Middle of September
In Japan they celebrate Jugoya – the Full Moon Festival. It’s also a celebration of the harvest. The day of the celebration varies since it’s on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar.
It’s usually on the night of the full moon in August or September.
Christmas
クリスマス
24-25th December
Christmas celebrations take place on Christmas Eve and not on December 25, the actual Christmas Day. Preparations for Christmas begin here several weeks before December 24. Retail stores and shopping malls are seen to be thronged by a great number of people who spend quite a sum on Christmas trees, Santa clauses, Christmas gifts and other seasonal decorations.
New Year’s Eve
大晦日
 31st  December
Ōmisoka is the second-most important day in Japanese tradition because it is the final day of the old year and the eve of New Year’s Day, which is the most important day of the year. People tend to be very busy on Ōmisoka because they have much to do to prepare for the new year. After cleaning called ōsōji , Japanese have the largest dinner of the year. Around 11:00 pm on Ōmisoka at home, people often gather for one last time in the old year to have a bowl of toshikoshi-soba (年越しそば) or toshikoshi-udon (年越しうどん) together.

1月 28th, 2012 | 未分類 | posted by guesthouse_u-en _staff