Sunday, January 24, 2010

She may be thinking her baby's name・・・・・

She will be a young mother this spring.

After birth, mothers and babies are kept in the Deer Pen in Kasuga Grand Shrine for a while. New-born babies make a debut in the Nara Park late spring or early summer. How cute they are! Come and see them!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Garden of Painting Japanese Art of the 00s

What do you make of this picture? Is this a drawing of a manga, Japanese animation, character? Or a piece of art?

To find out go to the National Museum of Art in Osaka. The museum is now holding its fifth anniversary exhibition titled "GARDEN OF PAINTING Japanese Art of the 00s"

In the exhibition you will be able to see some 200 recent and new works done by 28 Japanese artists including Atsuchi Tomoko, Goto Yasuka, Kobayashi Takanobu, Kusama Yayoi, Nara Yoshimoto, O JUN and Sakamoto Natsuko.

As those names indicate the exhibition focuses on new figurative paintings by younger generation of Japanese artists.

Whether you like modern art or are interested in Japanese pop culture, this exhibition has something to catch your eye and imagination.

Duration: ~ 2010.4.4
closed on Mondays (except for March 22) and March 23
Hours: 10:00–17:00, Fridays until 19:00
admission until 30 minutes before closing
Admission Fee: Adults 1000yen, University students 400yen

*Children (up to High school students), under 18, people with disability with one attendant are Free (need to prove their age or status)
**advance tickets sold at major train stations of Kintetsu line and other are 200-100yen cheaper.

By the way, while the National Museum of Art, Osaka is celebrating its fifth anniversary year, Nara is also celebrating its 13ooth anniversary year...1300th year of what? Can you guess? You can find it out during our tour.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kimono! Kimono! Kimono!

Even though Kimono, the traditional dress of Japan, is becoming less popular, there is a day when many young women wear Kimono all over Japan.
It is Coming of Age Day! This day is a national holiday, the second Monday of January. Local governments hold large-scale ceremonies for all the young men and women who have turned 20 in the pervious year. Many women wear beautiful Furisode, which is a formal kimono with long sleeves, while majority of men are dressed in suits.
At the age of twenty, the young men and women get the right to vote, smoke and drink. Also they obtain the freedom to marry without their parents’ permission.

At a station
At Kasuga Grand Shrine


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tigers Everywhere

As this year is the year of a tiger, even Starbucks coffee shop is selling a mug with a decoration of a tiger, a stuffed tiger and packed coffee beens with a picture of a tiger.
This custom of twelve zodiac animal signs indicating years was introduced to Japan from China. The twelve animals are; mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep ,monkey, rooster, dog ,and wild boar. It is said that each animal sign determines the character and destiny of a person born in the year.

People who were born in the year of a tiger are supposed to have such personalities; thoughtful, passionate, generous, heroic, challengeable, vigorous, and stimulating, but unpredictable, competitive and short-tempered. Do you know anybody who was born in the year of a tiger? The years of a tiger are following,
2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926, 1914 ・・・・・

In Japanese there is an interesting expression - “Tora( a tiger) ni naru- become a tiger”. Can you guess what it means? When you get dead drunk, people say you become a tiger. This time of the year, there are a lot of New Year’s parties producing another tigers!

Friday, January 1, 2010


A happy new year to everyone! In Japan, we exchange greeting cards with friends, relatives and colleagues on new year's day. The pictures above are greeting cards from my family. These cards are usually decorated with the zodiac animal of the year. This year it is a tiger!

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