Category Archive: All Things Japan

Nov 15

Shichi-go-san celebrated today in Japan

Shichi-go-san is a festival celebrated by parents on the 15th of November in Japan, to mark the growth of their children as they turn seven, five, and three years of age. Shichi-go-san literally means seven, five, and three. These ages are considered critical in a child’s life. Particularly, at the age of seven, a young …

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Oct 09

National Sports Day in Japan~another national holiday

Canadian’s celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday while Japan celebrated Sports Day, a national holiday on the second Monday in October. This holiday was first observed in 1966 to mark the opening day of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. To commemorate the first ever Olympic games to take place in Asia, October 10 was made a national holiday. …

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Sep 23

Autumn Equinox Celebration in Japan

Right on the heels of Respect-for-the-Aged Day comes Autumn Equinox Day, another national holiday celebrated on September 22 or 23rd in Japan. It’s a day not just to mark the changing of seasons but also to pay respects to deceased parents, grandparents, and other family members.

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Sep 21

Celebrating National Holidays in Japan

I arrived in Japan in the fall of 1994 and with the help of good friends I settled into my new life and began working as an English teacher.  It soon became apparent that Japan likes to celebrate….most anything, really!  Each month of the year a national holiday is celebrated…..many fall on a Monday, whether they like it …

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Sep 05

Full moon viewing (tsukimi) in September in Japan

Tsukimi (moon viewing) is a Japanese custom to appreciate and honour the full moon in the middle of September.  The moon is called “chuushu no meigetsu.” The custom was introduced from China, and spread in the Heian period (794-1192). The full moon in the clear autumn sky looks especially beautiful, and  hidden slightly by thin cloud is …

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Jul 17

Behind the scenes with iBook vocabulary

I was visiting with a friend the other day.  He’s got a young son and was curious to see my new iBook so I opened it up and began walking him through it.  He engaged right away, enjoying the “read-to-me” audio and the “touch-to-play” pronunciation glossary feature.  “This is great; I think my boy will like this.  Looks …

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Jul 12

Meet Jacquie Pearce, BC author

I met Jacquie Pearce at my first CWILL (Children’s Writers and Illustrators of BC) meeting in 2007.  My book was in the hands of Gumboot Books Publishing and Crystal Stranaghan, Founder, happened to be the president of CWILL.  After the meeting I got to know Jacquie as we shared experiences about Japan. We continue to have a personal and professional relationship …

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Jul 06

Tanabata in Japan

Tanabata, also known as the “star festival”, takes place on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year, when, according to a Chinese legend, the two stars Altair and Vega, which are usually separated from each other by the Milky Way, are able to meet. Because the 7th month of the year roughly …

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May 03

Girls rule in Japan!

Today, March 3, is known as “hina matsuri” (hina doll festival) or momo-no-sekku (peach flower festival) in Japan.  Although not a national holiday, it’s an important celebration for girls, wishing them happiness and healthy growth. Hina matsuri’s origin dates back to ancient Chinese purification rituals for getting rid of bad luck.  During the Heian period …

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Nov 17

Shichi-go-san celebrated November 15th in Japan

Shichi-go-san is a festival celebrated by Japanese parents on the fifteenth of November, to mark the growth of their children as they turn three, five and seven years of age.  In my book, Fly Catcher Boy, Sumiko is celebrating her special day at the Shrine!  Kenji praises how “kawaii” (cute) she is as the families …

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