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Archive for the 'Social' Category

2/18/2009

Pachinko, Japan’s favorite pasttime

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At first thought, Pachinko seem to be like the Japanese version of the pinball except that it’s not. It is actually a cross between a slot machine and a pinball machine. You amass these balls and then you win and if you’re lucky you get trays full of them. Pachinko is fun and so addictive it should be illegal because people are gambling money away for that euphoric feeling of WINNING.

I found an article which teaches even FOTB gaijins proper Pachinko etiquette, and was rather amused at the matter-of-factly tone of the write-up. It’s serious business when it comes to Pachinko, don’t let the colorful lights fool you.

Pachinko feature article at Metropolis.co.jp

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Etiquette, Japanese Culture, Misc, Nightlife, Social | 4 Comments »

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11/17/2008

Useful Japanese Expressions

Guys, if you’re new in Japan, these Japanese expressions will get you blend in, in no time.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Etiquette, Japanese Culture, Misc, Social | 2 Comments »

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11/5/2008

Hiroshima Peace Caligraphy Exhibition

Does this look like the works of a 3rd year student?
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This beautiful work of caligraphy is to commemorate the peace exhibition in Hiroshima.

Winners of the 26th “Hiroshima Heiwa Shodo-ten” (Hiroshima peace calligraphy exhibition) were announced on Tuesday, Oct 28. This year’s exhibition drew some 4,889 entries from around Japan, which represent messages of peace.

About 900 works, including 303 winners of the exhibition’s Special Award, will be on display at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum from Nov. 2 to Nov. 4.

The exhibition is co-organized by the Mainichi Newspapers and the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation.


Mainichi

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Japanese Culture, Misc, Social | No Comments »

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10/31/2008

Super Foods – How to shop for your well-being

I am an advocate for eating healthy and I believe, very deeply, that food can heal you as well as medicine can. To rely completely on medicine to get well may not be as healthy as you think – if medicines are good for you (and I believe some truly are), would they have all these side effects? Going holistic when it comes to health is still the best way, which is why i endorse Satoko Ozawa in her quest to educate people about super-healthy-foods that they can find in their local supermarket.

Satoko Ozawa knows her food. The board-certified Holistic Health Counselor and member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners is a master of the art of “defensive shopping.” This means treating the grocery store as a one-stop pharmacy.

Believe it or not, whether you’re battling diabetes, skin disorders, depression, cancer, heart disease or the common cold, Ozawa says all Holistic Health Counselors will prescribe roughly the same regimen:

* Eat less food (five small meals a day) so that you only ever feel 75 percent full
* Decrease intake of animal protein
* Increase fresh fruits and veggies
* Eat whole grains whenever possible
* Reduce or avoid refined and processed foods

Of course it’s not that simple. Certain medical conditions come with food restrictions, and others require boosting or reducing intake of this or that vitamin or mineral. But the best way to stay fit and healthy, Ozawa argues, is to eat healthy foods that are unprocessed. These days, shoppers have such an extensive choice of products, each with increasingly confusing labels boasting dubious health-related claims. Ozawa jokes that ingredient lists now read like a newspaper article.

Companies have integrated additives so well into our food supply that many of us can no longer tell the difference between processed and non-processed foods. Add the fact that you are living in a foreign country and sometimes not sure of what you are actually buying, and the above guidelines become a little tricky. That’s where Ozawa can help.

Read more..

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Food, Social | No Comments »

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9/4/2008

8 Days of Paid Vacation, yearly

In Japan, the average paid vacation taken by the Japanese is only 8 days per year. That is astoundingly low as compared to France with 34 days paid vacation, followed by Italy and Spain with 27 days of paid vacation taken each year.

Among the reasons why Japanese employees can’t take paid holidays were, “Too busy with work” and “Their bosses and colleagues have yet to take their paid leave,” the survey found. When asked what countermeasures should be introduced to deal with the problem, most people said, “Managers should encourage workers to take more paid holidays.” The survey has underscored the importance of creating an environment that makes it easy for employees to take paid leave.

Read the rest…

Full Japanese story here.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Daily, Japanese Culture, Social, Work | No Comments »

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8/27/2008

Name this dance

What festival is this dance related to?

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Posted by The Expedited Writer in Daily, Festivals, Misc, Social | No Comments »

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7/31/2008

Fireworks on display

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Festivals, Misc, Social | No Comments »

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7/30/2008

Events Calendar: Catching fireworks at play

During summers in Japan, a line of firework displays are scheduled weekly for the public eye in Tokyo. And usually these fireworks are a wrap up to festivals during the summer so here is a list of events to check out and mark on your calendar if you want to catch these work of art in the sky.

Yokohama 150th Anniversary Fireworks Festival
Sun July 20. Boom Factor: 6,000. 7:30-8:40pm. Nearest stn: Sakuragicho (JR Negishi line); Minato Mirai (Minato Mirai line). Tel: 0180-99-4045.

Katsuhika Noryo Fireworks Display
Tue July 22. Boom Factor: 10,000. 7:20-8:20pm. Nearest stn: Shibamata (Keisei Kanamachi line). Tel: 03-3838-5558

Sumida River Fireworks
Sat July 26. Boom Factor: 20,000. 7:10- 8:30pm. Nearest stn: Asakusa (Tobu Isesaki line, Ginza line, Asakusa line); Kuramae (Oedo line). Tel: 03-5608-6951.

Teganuma Fireworks Festival
Sat Aug 2. Boom Factor: 13,500. 7-8:30pm. Nearest stn: Abiko (JR Joban line); Kita- Kashiwa (JR Joban line). Tel: 04-7182-3131.

Sakura Shimin Fireworks Festival
Sat Aug 2. Boom Factor: 10,000. 7:20-9pm. Nearest stn: Usui (Keisei Main line). Tel: 043-4866-6000.

Ageo Fireworks Festival (Saitama)
Sat Aug 2. Boom Factor: 13,000. 7-9pm. Nearest stn: Ageo (Takasaki line). Tel: 048-775-5917.

Atsugi Ayu Fireworks Festival
Sat Aug 2. Boom factor: 10,000. 7-8:40pm. Nearest stn: Hon-Atsugi (Odakyu line). Tel: 046-295-5496.

Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival
Sat Aug 2. Boom Factor: 8,000. 7:15-7:30pm. Nearest stn: Sakuragicho (JR line, Yokohama Municipal Subway); Minato Mirai (Minato Mirai line). Tel: 045-227-0744.

Edogawa City Fireworks
Sat Aug 2. Boom Factor: 14,000. 7:15-8:30pm. Nearest stn: Shinozaki (Shinjuku line); Koiwa, Ichikawa (Sobu line); Keisei Edogawa, Konodai (Keisei Main line). Tel: 03-5662-0523.

Seiseki Tama River Fireworks
Tue Aug 5. Boom Factor: 4,600. 7:30-8:30pm. Nearest stn: Seiseki Sakuragaoka (Keio line). Tel: 080-6574-1404.

Enoshima Fireworks
Tue Aug 5. Boom factor: 5,000. 7:15- 8:15pm. Nearest stn: Katase Enoshima (Odakyu line); Enoshima ( Enoshima line); Shonan Enoshima (Shonan Monorail). Tel: 0466-24-4141.

Tateyama Bay Fireworks Festival
Fri Aug 8. Boom Factor: 10,000. 7:30-8:45pm. Nearest stn: Tateyama (JR line). Tel: 0470-22-8330.

Tokyo Bay Fireworks
Sun Aug 10. Boom factor: 12,000. 7-8:20pm. Nearest stn: Kachidoki; Hamamatsucho; Toyosu. Tel: 03-3248-1561.

Nikkan Sports 2007
Jingu Gaien Fireworks Festival Thu Aug 7. Boom Factor: 10,000. 7:30-8:30pm. Nearest stn: Sendagaya; Shinanomachi (Chuo-Sobu line); Yoyogi (Chuo-Sobu, Yamanote lines); Gaienmae, Aoyama-Itchome; Omotesando (Ginza line). Tel: 03-3547-0900.

Chofu City Fireworks
Sat Aug 23. Boom Factor: about 12,000. 7:20-8:30pm. Nearest stn: Keio Tamagawa. Tel: 042-481-7311.

Festivals
August
Hachioji Festival
Fri 1-Sun 3. Some 1,500 participants stomp around carrying a flotilla of four-ton portable shrines. Day three is the highlight, when the six floats start a running battles, or buttsuke (literally, “hitting”). Nearest stn: Hachioji (Chuo line). Tel: 042-648-1531. www.hachiojimatsuri.jp

Asagaya Tanabata Festival
Sat 6-Wed 10. The highlight of this Tanabata “Star Festival” is the elaborate kusudama decorations. Nearest stn: Asagaya. Minami-Asagaya Tel: 03-3312-6181. www.asagaya.or.jp

Fukagawa Hachiman Festival
Wed 13-Sun 17. One of the three biggest Shrine festivals in Tokyo. Also known as the water-covering festival: water is splashed while the crowd carries 120 portable shrines calling out “Wasshoi!” Nearest stn: Monzen Nakamachi (Tozai line or Oedo line). Tel: 03-3642-1315.
www.tomiokahachimangu.or.jp

Azabu-Juban Festival
Fri 22-Sun 24. Hundreds of food stalls, plus traditional dancing and music. Expect large crowds. Nearest stn: Azabu-Juban. Tel: 03-3578-2111. www.azabujuban.or.jp

Asakusa Samba Carnival
Sat 30. Interesting combination of traditional Brazilian dance in Tokyo’s most traditional town. 1:30pm. Nearest stn: Asakusa. Tel: 03-3847-0038. www.asakusa-samba.jp

Koenji Awa Odori
Sat 23-Sun 24. A huge traditional summer dance festival in this vibrant area of western Tokyo. 6-9pm. Nearest stn: Koenji (Chuo line). www.koenji-awaodori.com

Super Yosakoi Festival 2008
Sat 23-Sun 24. The Tokyo alternative to the southern island of Kochi’s traditional dance festival featuring about 80 amateur teams. 10am-6pm. Nearest stn: Harajuku; Meiji-Jingumae; Omotesando. Tel: 03-5766-1320. www.yosakoi-harajuku.com

Katsushika Noryo Fireworks Display
Kicking off Japan’s hanabi season, the Edo River lights up with about 10,000 fireworks. Head over early to beat the crowds. July 22 7:20-8:20pm, free. Shibamata Baseball Field. Nearest stn: Keisei Kanamachi Line, Shibamata.

The list is courtesy of Metropolis.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Festivals, Japanese Culture, Misc, Nightlife, Social | No Comments »

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7/24/2008

In the hands of robots

Music conductors will be the first to be out of work. Check it out.

Soon, dancers too:

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Daily, Misc, Social | No Comments »

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7/23/2008

Up close and persona with Miss Japan

You better understand Japanese to listen to this. Miss Universe organizers are too cheap to have her translated. But really, they could have done better in my humble opinion. I think the best candidate Japan sent for the Ms. Universe pageant will always be Ms. Kurara Chibana – the epitome of smart and beautiful.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Misc, Social | 1 Comment »

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