Category Archive: Japanese Culture

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 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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Sep 22

Fly Catcher Boy travels to Japan….and ends up in a museum!

Being married to a Japanese national has some definite perks when it comes to sourcing out marketing opportunities in Japan. Takeshi has found a variety of great locations there, intent on introducing Fly Catcher Boy, my bi-lingual English/Japanese book for children, to millions of kids in his homeland. The OSHIMA MUSEUM OF PICTURE BOOKS, located …

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Nov 24

Kamishibai Theatre Launch November 2010

  The 10th Annual Nikkei Place Craft & Bake Sale kicked off Saturday, November 20th for two days of power shopping and great food! Together with Takeshi, we launched our “kamishibai” (paper theatre) storytelling of Fly Catcher Boy.  In the space of 4 hrs. I read the story three times to kids of all ages, …

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Aug 23

The ancient art of storytelling in Japan…

  Kamishibai (kah-mee-she-bye) originated in Japan but are part of a long,  Asian picture storytelling tradition beginning as early as the 9th century when priests used illustrated scrolls combined with narration to convey Buddhist doctrine to lay audiences.

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Aug 23

Moving week….

  I sit surrounded in a sea of boxes. Moving. That dreaded word. You all know what that entails, I’m sure. I can hardly find my toes but somehow I’m finding time for my blog this week. It’s a diversion. It’s postponing the inevitable waiting drawer, filing cabinet, and that not-to-be-forgotten “junque drawer”. Guilty. This …

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