Category Archives: history

Japanese eat a sushi roll in a bold way on Feb 3!

Setsubun is the day before the first day of spring according to the lunar calendar. Setsubun falls on February the 3rd in 2013. There are some traditional practices to be done on the occasion. One of the popular practices is … Continue reading

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Gyokusenji temple where the first American consulate in Japan was placed

A zen temple, Gyokusenji is located in Shimoda, Shizuoka.  This was where the first American consulate in Japan was placed.  Japan had closed the country from the 17th to the mid-19th centuries.  During that period, Japan developed in the unique way but fell far behind Western countries in … Continue reading

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Yakushiji temple, a temple with many beautiful Buddhist statues

Yakushi-ji temple, a UNESCO world heritage site is located in Nara prefecture.  This temple was established by Emperor Temmu about 1350 years ago.  Emperor Temmu is one of the most famous powerful emperors whom Japanese always learn in school.  Most emperors have been a boss in name only through … Continue reading

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Asagao, morning glory

Asagao, morning-glory is a typical summer flower here.  Japanese sweets served at a tea ceremony usually represent the season.  Asagao is often used as a summer theme for the sweets. The flowers open only in the morning and close in the afternoon.  Now elementary students often grow this flower … Continue reading

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raccoon dog pottery doll

A raccoon dog pottery doll is often seen in Japan along with beckoning cat dolls.  You could find one or two in a private home’s garden or other places. This doll originates from Shigaraki, a famous pottery town in Shiga prefecture.  It became popular all over … Continue reading

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The grave of a famous thief

Eko-in temple in Ryogoku (famous as the sumo area) has the grave of a famous thief of the 19th century.  The famous thief  ‘Nezumi kozo’ was regarded as a hero at the time.  Because he was believed to steal money from rich families (who earned in a … Continue reading

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The women give chocolate to the men on February 14th

February 14th is Valentine’s day in Japan, too.  But our way of doing Valentine’s day is quite different from other places. In Japan the women give chocolate to the men on this day.  It is often said that this practice was promoted by Morozoff, … Continue reading

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