Japanese Traditional Sweets Wagashi

Hello everyone.  It’s been a while.  How are you?  I hope you are doing well.  After all there was no post last year:-( I used to write my blog on the pc, but today  the app was installed in my device! so I’m trying to write… The first posting is a picture of Japanese traditional sweets ”wagashi”.

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Transformers

I went to the movie “Transformers: Age of Extinction” this month.   It was the first time for me to watch this series.   In the movie, some unknown words and names came up.   Therefore I couldn’t follow the story enough, but enjoyed it.   I’m a little hooked on the various transforming scenes.    Why don’t you watch  them?

 

 

Rice-Cake Making By Firefighters

Hello, everyone.   It’s been a while.   How did you spend your holiday season?   I hope that you’ll find hapiness and success in 2014.    For Japanese, New Year’s day is more important than Christmas.    Till the end of the year, we clean our house and prepare “osechi” the special dishes for the coming year.   On New Years,  we eat osechi foods with family and relatives.   One of New Year’s foods is “zoni” vegetable soup.   Japanese eat “mochi” rice cakes boiled in zoni on New Year’s Day.    Not only that, we eat mochi with ground soybean, or sugar and soy sauce, in winter.

Near the end of the year, I happened to see rice-cake making (pounding boiled rice into mochi) festival by firefighters when I went to a shopping mall.   Firefighters served rice cakes out to shoppers.  Besides, they were giving a chance of riding a fire ladder truck to them.

Tsujunkyo Bridge

– A continuation of the last story –
After leaving Heitate Shrine I visited Tsujunkyo Bridge.  Both are located in Yamato-cho.
Tsujunkyo Bridge is Japan’s largest stone-arch aqueduct bridge, which was built in 1854 for water supply to local farmers. For more information  please click Japan Web Magazine.

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Fancy meeting Kumamon there!
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Fortunately, I was able to see the waterfall which is a rare occurrence.

A Spiritual Place – The Heitate Shrine

The other day, I drove to a country side “Yamoto-cho” where it took an hour and a half to get from Kumamoto city.   There are several sightseeing spots in Yamato-cho.  One of them is the Heitate shrine.   Most people living in Kumamoto don’t know it.   However it is famous among some Japanese because it is known as a spiritual place, where a mystic force provides energy, good luck and healing to a person who stands there.   It seems that many people outside Kumamoto visit there.

You have to go up a long stone stars to reach the shrine.

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This is the main shrine.

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The history of the shrine is written on the board.   It has a long history as nobody knows when it was founded.   It worships several Shinto gods.

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There are many huge trees around the shrine.   Somehow I felt refreshed.

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The Shinto priest was performing a purification ceremony.    Some Japanese go to shrine to pray or purify something such as wishing their happiness, good health, or exorcising a person or place of evil spirits.   I’m not a religious person, but I have also gone to a shrine for a purification ceremony a few times before.

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American Cartoons

When my family stayed in Hawaii, my daughter found a funny American cartoon on TV.  Does anyone knows the title of it?  Please leave a comment.  I want to watch it !  The story was very interesting.   The father turned out to be a gay, then he got a sex change surgery and became a female!  lol   What a story!  I’ve never heard the story like that even on a TV program for adults in Japan.  In addition, pictures of American cartoons are very different from Japanese ones.   They are very unique.     Some of American cartoons are available to watch on pay-TV in Japan.

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The Dialects Are Interesting

Although I had thought the Canadian dialect is only “eh” at the end of the sentence,  one of my blog readers told me about the Newfoundland English.

Newfoundland_and_Labrador-map

The red part is “Newfoundland and Labrador”, the easternmost province of Canada.  It reminds me of the breed of dogs with the same name.  Yes, they are from this province.   It seems that their accent is very similar to the people of the west of England and the southeast of Ireland, because Newfoundlanders originally came from those areas.   Some examples are “a vine summer” for a fine summer, “tree of dem” for three of them, “helbow” for elbow, “eel” for heel  from Newfoundland English.

Even in Japan, there are many dialects despite it being a small country.   English has a larger variety of accents worldwide.   I feel that dialects are very interesting, but can be difficult to understand.   This is a funny video.  The comedian, Mark Critch, is lovely.