culture

Do Japanese people have a prejudice against tattoos? History of Japanese tattoos

2020/10/19

In Japan it is common to see a "no tattoos allowed" signs at establishments such as restaurants, public bathing areas (Onsen), gyms, public swimming pools. But why is this? Tattooing is the most misunderstood form of art in contemporary Japan. Demonized by centuries of prohibitions and rarely discussed today in civilized circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in their own country — banned from many beaches, pools and public baths.   Reason Ask anyone to explain the reason for this vilification and most will blame the yakuza and their penchant for body ink; better-informed itizens may even trace the roots of negative attitudes to the 17th century, when criminals were tattooed as a form of punishment. However, such explanations for Japan’s longstanding animosity toward tattoos are, at best, an oversimplification — and, at worst, most incorrect. Instead of targeting wrongdoers, Japanese prohibitions against tattoos have historically been aimed at the working classes, women and ethnic minorities, and today the bearer of a full-back tattoo is increasingly likely to be a sensitive salaryman rather than a punch-permed thug or criminal.   Japan has had a long tattoo history. The history of body modification in Japan is long and vibrant, dating back to the Jomon Period (roughly 10,500 B.C. to 300 B.C.), when clay figurines were molded with marks that modern historians interpret as either tattoos or scarification. There isn't any physical proof that the Jomon people tattooed themselves; however, a Chinese historical record written at around 300 A.D. said all Japanese men tattooed their faces and ...

ReadMore

Japan

Why can't Japanese speak English? The reason is education? National character?

2019/8/7

The Japanese Speaking English It is a question that has been asked many times. Why do some Japanese people struggle to communicate in English? Even though English is taught in junior high school and there are thousands of English conversation schools all over the country, the level of English in Japan remains low compared to other developed countries. This is especially problematic when Japanese students travel to study abroad. A number of professors at various school surveyed said that their Japanese students often have difficulties communicating in English. These are not students from the rural Inakadate, Aomori region of Japan but rather international students pursuing doctorate degrees, so it is pretty serious issue.   What is the problem? Why is it that some Japanese students can’t communicate clearly in English? It is the Japanese education system? It is cultural? Or a mixture of both?   Japanese education system   Although Japanese students learn English for six years (starting the first year of junior high school), many of them still can’t communicate in even basic English. It is possible that this is because the English education in Japanese schools is mainly geared towards helping the students to pass the written university entrance exams. Japanese students who want to get into national universities have to do well on the “center” exams that are administered throughout Japan once a year. The center exams do not test communication skills, only writing and grammar. Thus the students spend hours memorizing complex English grammar rules but never spend anytime actually using ...

ReadMore

Food

Miso: One of the basic seasonings in Japan

2020/10/15

Soy bean paste : Like soy sauce, miso is made from soy beans.It is a paste-like condiment mostly in a brown color. It's a thick paste, usually some shade of reddish-brown, made by mixing crushed boiled soybeans with salt and a koji fermenting agent produced from rice, barley, wheat or beans. Traditionally the mix was wrapped in straw and left to ferment for between two months and two years. Protein-rich miso is one of the essential elements of Japanese cuisine. It has been around since at least the 7th century, and the standard fare of rice (barley for the poor), miso soup and pickles was established by Buddhist monks around the 13th century. Soy bean paste is also an important condiment that is indispensable to the Japanese people. Recently, miso soup in particular has been valued as a health food that contributes to a balanced diet. Miso is both nutritious and adds very distinct savory flavors, especially in the universally-popular miso shiru soup.   Many Japanese have miso soup for breakfast The basic breakfast version of miso shiru is made by adding several ingredients to broth, for example, tofu, seaweed, or vegetables, then stirring in the soy bean paste. In addition to soup, it is used as seasoning for rāmen (a Chinese brand of noodle), rice balls, and all kinds of cookpot dishes.   Misozuke It's also used for preserving vegetables, fish and pickles (misozuké). Fish or meat pickled in this miso keep for a long time and yet with enhanced taste.   Different varieties ...

ReadMore

Drink

Tap Water in Japan: Is it okay to drink directly? Is the taste different?

2019/8/7

Japan's tap water is very drinkable. The national water infrastructure is reliable and purification facilities are well-maintained, so the tap water is of good quality and easy on the stomach. Though in the north of Japan (which would include Tokyo), the water tastes slightly more mineralised. In fact tap water is sold in Japan. Bottled Tokyo tap water is available for sale. This product was created for Tokyo PR purposes, so it can be purchased for around 100 yen a bottle.   Is the taste different? Some visitors to Japan, particularly those from Europe, may notice something strange when they drink Japanese tap water for the first time. This is because the water supply in Japan has a different 'hardness level' compared to the supply in Western countries. The hardness level is an indication of the amount of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, dissolved in water. Including tap water and spring water sources, the water in Japan is mostly 'soft water,' which has a low hardness level; this is in contrast to the water in European countries. Soft water has a milder flavor than hard water and is easier to drink, but to someone used to hard water, soft water can taste inadequate. Unfortunately, hard water is difficult to obtain in Japan. If you want hard water during your trip, it would be easiest to purchase a mineral water such as Evian from a store. You can find at most Japanese convenience stores, hard mineral water is comparatively easy to purchase.   Japanese food ...

ReadMore

Tool

Toliets In Japan:Where are you aiming for? The unique evolution of the toilet does not stop

2019/8/3

Some Japanese toilets are an attraction all in their own, with a range of technological features that are sure to alarm the first time user. The high tech toilets, which are in most homes, hotels and shopping centres, feature an electronic panel that controls an array of handy features including seat warmers, hot air dryers and tiny robotic arms that squirt warm water at the guest. These technological marvels have become commonly known as washlet, a name that is the trademark of Toto, the largest manufacture of these high tech bidets. Japan is the world’s leader of toilet technology, some toilets can have up to 30 buttons, the majority only in Japanese but most have a few somewhat humorous graphics to give the novel user a bit of an idea what the button is for. Usually only three buttons are required The Oshiri, which means “Honorable Buttocks”; No Joke, it sprays the rear and the icon looks like a butt. Then there’s the Bidet, this is shown in pink for the woman. Then the Kanso, this is the dryer and it usually is a yellow wavy air icon. There can be various other buttons that operate things like water and blower pressure, temperature and angle.   Expensive models Some of the expensive models can automatically lower the seat or lid at a touch of a button, one of the reasons why it’s not a bright idea not to play with buttons when your mid stream. If you get into trouble there is often a red ...

ReadMore

未分類

Escalator in Japan: Do not ride in the middle?

2019/8/3

Escalators are used around the world in places where elevators would be impractical. Principal areas of usage include department stores, shopping malls, airports, transit systems (railway/railroad stations), convention centers, hotels, arenas, stadiums, and public buildings. An escalator is a vertical transportation device in the form of a moving staircase – a conveyor which carries people between floors of a building. Like vending machines, canned coffee, and convenience stores, escalators seem to be ubiquitous in modern Japan. This is especially true in Tokyo, with its many multi-storied buildings with basements, and if you take public transportation, as you descend (and ascend) into the deep underground to ride on the many subway trains. In most major countries, there is an expectation that escalator users wishing to stand will keep to one side to allow others to overtake them. There is little correspondence between elevator etiquette and which side of the road traffic drives on in a particular country. Practice may also differ from city to city within countries. In Osaka in Japan, riders stand on the right, whereas in Tokyo (and most other Japanese cities), riders stand on the left side of the escalator.   Safety measure As a safety measure, escalators are required to have moving handrails that keep pace with the movement of the steps. This helps riders steady themselves, especially when stepping onto the moving stairs.   Puchicalator? The shortest escalator in the world is the "Puchicalator" in the Okadaya Mores shopping mall in Kawasaki Japan. Its vertical rise is only 32.8 inches (83 ...

ReadMore

Drink

Iced coffee is my buddy? Japanese summer too hot!

2019/7/31

In Japan, iced coffee has been drunk since Taishō period (around the 1920s) in coffeehouses. It is served with gum syrup and milk. Japan's summer is very hot and iced coffee is loved by many people. Cold tea was already popular, so it was natural to drink cold coffee. Freshly brewed and full of flavor, Iced Coffee is the perfect pick-me-up any time of day or night, giving you the boost you need to keep on running! It takes some planning, but its full, rich flavor makes the wait worthwhile.   How is it made? The ideal coffee for this cold drink is a blend of mid-roasted beans with moderate acid. Using a dark roast and beans high in acid produces a sharper, more bitter result. Iced coffee are made in a variety of ways, but essentially they come down to two formats. Iced coffee may be served already chilled, or poured hot over ice. First, you can make hot coffee the way you normally would and then cool it by letting it drip directly into ice.   The second format is a cold-brew. Cold brew coffee is also common in Japan, where it is known as Dutch coffee, due to the historical Dutch coffee trade from Indonesia. As the Summer warm weather slowly graces us with her presence, there's one thing on all our caffeinated minds -- a nice ice cold brew of coffee. With this method, as the name indicates, the coffee is never hot. You put grounds in cold water and let ...

ReadMore

culture

yukata: Japan's summer special attire!

2020/10/16

Yukata is one of the traditional clothing in Japan that wears in the summer. It has a shape similar to a kimono and is made mainly of thin cotton fabric, but there are fabrics mixed with hemp and silk. Yukata is cheaper than kimono and it is easy to wear. Therefore, it is popular among a wide range of age ranging from children to elderly people.   History of Yukata Originally Yukata wore to take off the moisture of the skin after taking it from the bath. Yukata wearing as a bath robe. Afterwards, when public baths were spread, they use it as a common cotton clothes. Yukata was well breathable and was excellent in perspiration, so it was also established to wear at bedtime. Therefore, it was considered rude to go out to places where many people gather in a yukata leave. However, as in summer festivals and fireworks appreciation, the trend has come to the point that casual scenes after evening are good. After that, Yukata will become established as a summer casual clothes.   Yukata design Yukata design has been devised to comfortably spend the hot summer of Japan. The white yukata is made for daytime, and it is cool in summer even if you cut it in the house. In the case of a yukata dyed in dark blue, I have been worn in the evening when many insects come out by using a dye that smells insects dislike.   Japanese clothing went to Western style After the Second World War, ...

ReadMore

Tool

HASHI: Chopsticks and Japanese

2019/5/4

Haushi, chopsticks, are tableware, but they have symbolic caning for the Japanese. It is said that the Japanese start and end their lives with chopsticks. At each turning point in life, there is a ceremony using chopsticks. A baby and its parents celebrate me 100th day after its birth as kuizome (first meal) and the baby meets chopsticks. Other celebratory hashi are enmusubi (match-making) hashi, meoto (married couple) hashi at the wedding, and chõju (longevity) hashi. In Buddhism, when one dies, his/her family members moistens the lips of the deceased with matsugo no mizu (last water before death) applied using a cloth or a piece of cotton attached to the end of a chopstick. A bowl of rice with one chopstick standing in the middle is placed near the head, so one won't starve in the next world. It used to be said that one's soul went into one's chopsticks. When you used disposable chopsticks and left them, part of your soul remained there. So they were broken and thrown away after use. Even now everyone has his own chopsticks to use. The New Year is celebrated using special unvarnished chopsticks made of willow wood. Willow (yanagi) is favored because it is a homonym for other Chinese characters meaning "joy in the home." These chopsticks are thinner at both ends, so that man uses one end, and the kami (gods) use the other end. This fulfills the old Shinto idea of people and kami eating together.   Is it only Japanese that use "Hashi"? Not ...

ReadMore

Drink

The Japanese and Sake: RICE WINE

2019/4/29

Sake is made from rice. Kõji (malted rice) and water are added to steamed rice, and this mixture placed in a vat is left to ferment with yeast for 20 days. After fermentation the mixture is ready for pressing, filtration and heating. Sake, often called seishu (lit. clear sake), is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from rice. Of all brewed alcoholic beverages, it is the highest proof. this has been a Japanese alcoholic beverage since ancient times. Sake has a wine-like aroma When drunk cold, good sake has a taste similar to fine quality wine. As a result, there are some kinds of sake that have won prizes when submitted for exhibition at European wine competitions. Some kinds of sake are massproduced and sold throughout Japan. However, there are local sake breweries in every region across the country, which make their respective characteristic tastes based on the quality of rice and water and differences in brewing processes. This is called “jizake” (locally brewed sake) and has played the main role in the recent sake boom. With the alcohol concentration at around 15%, it is comparatively easy to drink, resulting in increasing numbers of female fans.   It is often said that where there is good water there is good sake. Nada in Hyōgo and Fushimi in Kyoto are well known for their good sake, and sake from local breweries in various parts of the country has also become popular, much like wines from various vineyards around the world. Sake is traditionally made in wintertime. In addition ...

ReadMore

NEW ENTRY

2020/10/19

Do Japanese people have a prejudice against tattoos? History of Japanese tattoos

In Japan it is common to see a "no tattoos allowed" signs at establishments such as restaurants, public bathing areas (Onsen), gyms, public swimming pools. But why is this? Tattooing is the most misunderstood form of art in contemporary Japan. Demonized by centuries of prohibitions and rarely discussed today in civilized circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in their own country — banned from many beaches, pools and public baths.   Reason Ask anyone to explain the reason for this vilification and most will blame the yakuza and their penchant for body ink; better-informed itizens may even trace the roots of negative attitudes to the 17th century, when criminals were tattooed as a form of punishment. However, such explanations for Japan’s longstanding animosity toward tattoos are, at best, an oversimplification — and, at worst, most incorrect. Instead of targeting wrongdoers, Japanese prohibitions against tattoos have historically been aimed at the working classes, women and ethnic minorities, and today the bearer of a full-back tattoo is increasingly likely to be a sensitive salaryman rather than a punch-permed thug or criminal.   Japan has had a long tattoo history. The history of body modification in Japan is long and vibrant, dating back to the Jomon Period (roughly 10,500 B.C. to 300 B.C.), when clay figurines were molded with marks that modern historians interpret as either tattoos or scarification. There isn't any physical proof that the Jomon people tattooed themselves; however, a Chinese historical record written at around 300 A.D. said all Japanese men tattooed their faces and ...

ReadMore

2019/8/7

Why can't Japanese speak English? The reason is education? National character?

The Japanese Speaking English It is a question that has been asked many times. Why do some Japanese people struggle to communicate in English? Even though English is taught in junior high school and there are thousands of English conversation schools all over the country, the level of English in Japan remains low compared to other developed countries. This is especially problematic when Japanese students travel to study abroad. A number of professors at various school surveyed said that their Japanese students often have difficulties communicating in English. These are not students from the rural Inakadate, Aomori region of Japan but rather international students pursuing doctorate degrees, so it is pretty serious issue.   What is the problem? Why is it that some Japanese students can’t communicate clearly in English? It is the Japanese education system? It is cultural? Or a mixture of both?   Japanese education system   Although Japanese students learn English for six years (starting the first year of junior high school), many of them still can’t communicate in even basic English. It is possible that this is because the English education in Japanese schools is mainly geared towards helping the students to pass the written university entrance exams. Japanese students who want to get into national universities have to do well on the “center” exams that are administered throughout Japan once a year. The center exams do not test communication skills, only writing and grammar. Thus the students spend hours memorizing complex English grammar rules but never spend anytime actually using ...

ReadMore

2020/10/15

Miso: One of the basic seasonings in Japan

Soy bean paste : Like soy sauce, miso is made from soy beans.It is a paste-like condiment mostly in a brown color. It's a thick paste, usually some shade of reddish-brown, made by mixing crushed boiled soybeans with salt and a koji fermenting agent produced from rice, barley, wheat or beans. Traditionally the mix was wrapped in straw and left to ferment for between two months and two years. Protein-rich miso is one of the essential elements of Japanese cuisine. It has been around since at least the 7th century, and the standard fare of rice (barley for the poor), miso soup and pickles was established by Buddhist monks around the 13th century. Soy bean paste is also an important condiment that is indispensable to the Japanese people. Recently, miso soup in particular has been valued as a health food that contributes to a balanced diet. Miso is both nutritious and adds very distinct savory flavors, especially in the universally-popular miso shiru soup.   Many Japanese have miso soup for breakfast The basic breakfast version of miso shiru is made by adding several ingredients to broth, for example, tofu, seaweed, or vegetables, then stirring in the soy bean paste. In addition to soup, it is used as seasoning for rāmen (a Chinese brand of noodle), rice balls, and all kinds of cookpot dishes.   Misozuke It's also used for preserving vegetables, fish and pickles (misozuké). Fish or meat pickled in this miso keep for a long time and yet with enhanced taste.   Different varieties ...

ReadMore

2019/8/7

Tap Water in Japan: Is it okay to drink directly? Is the taste different?

Japan's tap water is very drinkable. The national water infrastructure is reliable and purification facilities are well-maintained, so the tap water is of good quality and easy on the stomach. Though in the north of Japan (which would include Tokyo), the water tastes slightly more mineralised. In fact tap water is sold in Japan. Bottled Tokyo tap water is available for sale. This product was created for Tokyo PR purposes, so it can be purchased for around 100 yen a bottle.   Is the taste different? Some visitors to Japan, particularly those from Europe, may notice something strange when they drink Japanese tap water for the first time. This is because the water supply in Japan has a different 'hardness level' compared to the supply in Western countries. The hardness level is an indication of the amount of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, dissolved in water. Including tap water and spring water sources, the water in Japan is mostly 'soft water,' which has a low hardness level; this is in contrast to the water in European countries. Soft water has a milder flavor than hard water and is easier to drink, but to someone used to hard water, soft water can taste inadequate. Unfortunately, hard water is difficult to obtain in Japan. If you want hard water during your trip, it would be easiest to purchase a mineral water such as Evian from a store. You can find at most Japanese convenience stores, hard mineral water is comparatively easy to purchase.   Japanese food ...

ReadMore

2019/8/3

Toliets In Japan:Where are you aiming for? The unique evolution of the toilet does not stop

Some Japanese toilets are an attraction all in their own, with a range of technological features that are sure to alarm the first time user. The high tech toilets, which are in most homes, hotels and shopping centres, feature an electronic panel that controls an array of handy features including seat warmers, hot air dryers and tiny robotic arms that squirt warm water at the guest. These technological marvels have become commonly known as washlet, a name that is the trademark of Toto, the largest manufacture of these high tech bidets. Japan is the world’s leader of toilet technology, some toilets can have up to 30 buttons, the majority only in Japanese but most have a few somewhat humorous graphics to give the novel user a bit of an idea what the button is for. Usually only three buttons are required The Oshiri, which means “Honorable Buttocks”; No Joke, it sprays the rear and the icon looks like a butt. Then there’s the Bidet, this is shown in pink for the woman. Then the Kanso, this is the dryer and it usually is a yellow wavy air icon. There can be various other buttons that operate things like water and blower pressure, temperature and angle.   Expensive models Some of the expensive models can automatically lower the seat or lid at a touch of a button, one of the reasons why it’s not a bright idea not to play with buttons when your mid stream. If you get into trouble there is often a red ...

ReadMore

© 2020 YUNOMI Powered by AFFINGER5