Sunday, April 22, 2007

Baby, I'm grieving~~

Today, the world seems to be in utter chaos because of the unexpected tragic incidents has been occurred one after another.

As you already know, a massacre in Virginia Tech University, the coverage I popped up on my last updates, was one of the most horrible incidents. The figure indicated the worst record of amount, which counts 32 casualties as well ever since the murder cases had been occurred in the U.S.

In other cases, a mayoral assassination had occurred back and forth during the election campaign here in Japan. Namely, it was the incumbent Nagasaki's mayor, 61, currently in his 3rd terms while taking the office. He was running for his 4th terms for the sake of peace and human dignity. On the way back to his office after making an election campaign, he was abruptly shot by a gangster, 59. That incident threw us voters into an uproar.

In the past time, people had taken the safety for granted in our country in comparison with other nations like the Middle East. Now that many tragic cases had been occurred one after another over the past decade and it still continues, the myth of safety in Japan is getting collapsed nowadays. Especially after the 9.11, Japan is no longer a safe country. It is said that Tokyo is targeted as the place where Al-Qaeda scheme an act of terrorism as well.

In Iraq, a long spell of bomb attacks has been occurring in the guise of "jihad". But I think the Islamic dogma is completely distorted and is just only taken advantage of as to justify the conflicts between the Shiite and the Sunni. It makes no differences among Iraq, U.S, and Japan in which such barbarity was allowed almost at the same time and left many casualties dead, or seriously damaged.

And in my last word to all the viewers, I'd like to express my condolences to all the bereaved families who have lost their beloved folks. I have an eager wish to the governments of respective countries as to take further steps into skirting around such losses immediately. People should abandon offensive weapons, and should be aware of the fact that nothing is settled and make the world safer unless you avoid an armed crash...because no one want to see such a bloodshed any further.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Here's an other meaning for “Children's Day”

Remember the last time, I referred to the Children's Day, a national holiday, which is on May 5 in my country?

After I scrutinized what I had written on my previous updates, I've found that I needed to add more. Which is...what this national holiday originally meant to be, where you can figure out why people celebrate by hanging the Carp Streamers on that day. In order to explain it more accurately, I had to cite a material for that...sorry for making an excuse!!

According to the Wikipedia, it was originally called "Tango no Sekku", which may originally be the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival. Although it is not known precisely when this day started to be celebrated, it was probably during the reign of the Empress Suiko (593-628 A.D.). In Japan, Tango no Sekku was assigned to the 5th day of the 5th month after the Nara period. Until recently, Tango no Sekku was known as Boys' Day (also known as Feast of Banners) while Girls' Day (Hinamatsuri) was celebrated on March 3.

Ok, enough of citation...if you'd like to learn more historically, just click the following URL;

Sekku is translated "a seasonal festival " in English, while tango is separated into 2 words, tan-go. Those are "first" or "edge", and "five" or "noon", in which you can explore 2 meanings, respectively.

In short, May 5 is regarded as boy's festival in general, while March 3 is considered to be for girl's ceremony. And the Carp Streamers symbolize their own family...say, mom and dad, also their son. As is often the case with parents, they have the best wishes to their son to be grown up vigorously.
What is more, they are basically faith in their religion, that's why people in the suburbs are considered to abide by this old customs.

In contrast, people living in the urban areas seem to be against it. I think this tendency can be attributed to the bulk of citizens who are atheists, and seems apathetic to that stuff. To make matters worse, juveniles tend to commit suicide across the country in recent days, regardless of their parent's devotion to bring them up. The school- bullying well explains it.
The environments where the kids were brought up are totally different from those of the country-bred.

It is hard to believe kids kill themselves easily. I don't know why they have to be succumbed to death just because of this. Seems like the Carp Streamers is grieving such tragic circumstances as well. The reason is only that the Carp Streamers hanging over the blue sky represent the peace and the prosperity in any period.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Giving my heart to “Koinobori”

Carp Streamer is often compared to the human's life from long ago.

It is also a pastime that gives poetic charm to spring season here in Japan. Every year in Japan, people make it a rule to hang their own Carp Streamers on top of the roof to celebrate the Children's Day, which is on May 5, one of the national holidays out here in my country.

I'm not sure exactly when this custom came out and where it was derived from. But it is said this tradition was one of the ancestral estates that symbolizes Japan's culture. It was taken over to us descendants over hundreds of years in hope of children's growth and the prosperity of tribes.

At first glance, it is grateful to us generation that such kind of tradition is still taken place somewhere especially in rural areas. You can take a look here and there while taking a journey in the suburb as well.

On the contrary, however such sort of custom went out of date over the past few decades in urban areas, even hard to find out whereabouts. I'll miss that a bit even I grew up.

Looking back the history, so called "Shinto"― polytheism indigenous to this country― seems likely the key to solve the mystery why this practice had been penetrated, then petered out over the period.

Meanwhile, a variety of religion in this country has become more prosperous before and after the world warⅡ. According to one theory, Japan was defeated in the world warⅡ because of "Shinto". But I don't intend to mention too much about it.

When I was a little boy and it was during in early 1970s, kids would admire the Carp streamer (or koinobori in Japanese) as their hope to become stronger, or regarded it as the symbolic term that represents the manly spirit. We would run about from place to place all the time watching and comparing with our own which one was the bigger.

But as years passed by, such kind of game was no longer their cup of tea. Kids are hooked on computer games and stuff nowadays instead of playing outside and having a lot more fun.

The Koinobori's season is now coming around. I am wondering how many kids will get the kick out of it, and completely get on like a house on fire all day long.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

What do you say to feeling at ease in the suburb?'s still full blooms out here in Tokyo. But some cherry flowers were already fallen because of the unexpected weather early this week. There were heavy rains with thunder storms on Tuesday through Wednesday, and some people those who had already taken a day off during the either days must have missed the full cherry blossoms as well.

Gradually, the cherry front is heading all the way up to Tohoku region, which is Northern part of Japan, and now the cherry flowers in Tokyo or some other parts are turning into leaves in bits and pieces.
I'll miss that a bit when all the cherry flowers were fallen...but honestly...what makes me more attractive is the season when the scenery turned into completely changed, like full of greens!!

It is said that the climate is most moderate from the mid April through the early May throughout a year in Japan. The temp is around 65 through 70 (18 to 21) during this season that makes you feel most comfortable day and night. There are also a long Holidays of Japan, called "The Golden Week" and the views you can command is the magical beauty that allows you to take a walk in the woods for long.

So called "a therapeutic walk in the forest" (or "Shinrinyoku" in Japanese) is said to be not only the most luxury way of spending holidays, but has many efficacy that keeps you healthy in your real life. Being soaked in the nature actually takes mind off work, or it enables you to regain your energy just by taking a deep breath in the forest. You can also skirt around such kind of exhaust gases where you usually get across in the city, when you take the plunge to go out there.

There are bunch of beautiful forests within 30 miles radius around Tokyo. It's not far out from the downtown area. So I'll strongly recommend you guys to take the mass transit like trains and stuff instead of using vehicles, and reach the suburbs.
Heading for the Disney Land or other stuff in the traffic congestion is actually one way for spending holidays...but anything will never do after wasting a hefty sum for your spouse and the kids!!

Just think for yourself especially if you were already in your late 40s, 50s or so...walking in the forests makes your days sometimes without other parties involved. But it's just my point of view.
It might be less spectacular than those of the soaring Rocky Mountains in North America, the Colorado Springs in the U.S, the Great Wall of China, or wherever in overseas since Japan is said to be a rabbit hutch in the first place. But at least you can command a nice view, and it does surely prevent you from such as adult diseases by taking a brisk walk in the woods.

So why not give it a shot sometimes to feel at ease you really want?


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Hooked on “Sakura”?

Wow...It's beautiful out there!

You know what it means?

So fabulous...full of cherry blossoms! It's an amazing...'cause most people hang out and kick up their heels, drinking and singing and do chatting and stuff under the cherry's trees around throughout a nationwide. Or lying on the lawn, heeding the voice of nature at times does undoubtedly comfort you.

Night view also makes the landscape so fabulous…what's more, temp is still around 65 in Fahrenheit (18 in Centigrade) on average, and the wind is soft and cool.
Under the moonlight, you can discover a different nature of your own by interacting friends or some sweet.

I'm not sure whether its phenomenon is peculiar to my own country Japan or not, but at least it could be said it's one of our culture that characterizes Japan itself.
Also Cherry is featured on many other scenes like movies, dramas, or songs whatever. Especially in Japanese songs, there are so many songs titled Cherry (or Sakura in Japanese term) in connection with loving someone in the course of starting up a new life, for example like graduating and entering schools, or joining a company.
Whenever you hear these songs, they move you to tears with your overlapped memories sometimes.

Moreover it is said that Sakura is one of the symbolic terms when you illustrate the country Japan on the whole. What sounds more realistic is Sakura is regarded as the best hope here in Japan. It makes you activate even though you lose ground at times. I don't mean to exaggerate at all, but it definitely helps brighten yourself in your real life.

Oh...yes, I remember...and so is the cherry blossoms in Washington D.C.!! It's unforgettable when considering the strong ties between Japan and the US as well as reminding me of my passing days staying in the U.S when taking a look at pictures of the blossoms along the Potomac River.
Yes, it's breathtakingly beautiful as well.

So anyway it's about time for me to take off the ground as to make a brighter life.