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It is 2018, and I am going to be 36 years old in this September.
So, yes!! I am a “Toshi-Otoko.” Toshi-Otoko(年男) is a man who born in the same earthly branch with that of this year. The same thing for woman is called “Toshi-Onna(年女)”
I born in 1982. The earthy branch of 1982 is dog. And 2018 is the year of Dog. So I am called “Toshi-Otoko” this year.
In December, Japanese people give gifts called “Oseibo (お歳暮）” to someone who who has shown you kindness during the year. People give food, beverages, or alcohol with special gift-box putting a piece of paper written words that are “Oseibo” and sender’s name.
Every larger supermarket and department store prepare a special place for customers who are looking for the gifts. According to google, its market size is about 400 billion yen ( about 4 billion USD). Wow! you see how popular Oseibo is in Japan.
Hi everyone! It is November!! 2017 is ending after 2 months. Time flies, isn’t it?
Today, I want to share a Japanese tradition that we find it in big elections as an example. That is “Ban-Zai.”
According to Wikipedia, Banzai was introduced by Chinese people in 8th century and was used to express swear allegiance for the emperor. Banzai still remains in 21st century, but it is nothing to do with the emperor.
Nowadays, banzai is done to simply express enthusiasm for celebrating someones big achievements. I assume that politicians do banzai way more often than other people. In every big election, a person who wins always do banzai with his/her followers, and we watch it on TV.
Banzai is a cohesion of vocal and body actions. Shouting “ban-zai” at loud as arms stretched out above their heads. It sounds quite simple, right? But there is an argument around the manner of banzai.
Some people insist that when your palms reach at the top position, your palms must be facing each other. If not, it shows surrender pose. This argument is mainly take place on internet, and most Japanese people do not care much.
I personally assume that since banzai is according to the emperor, all those things happens. Anyways, I am very happy if my article gives you another perspective when you observe Japanese people.
Weather is getting cooler and colder day by day here in Fukuoka. It is October. When I hear the word October, one thing comes up to my mind very quick. That is the beautiful moon.
Somewhere in the first week of October, the very beautiful full moon is on the sky. So Japanese people have been enjoying this moon sitting on the chair and eating some sweet at evening. We call that activity “Tsu-Ki-Mi (月見：つきみ）” and that day “Jyu-Go-Ya (十五夜：じゅうごや) or “Chu-Shu-No-Mei-Ge-Tsu (中秋の名月：ちゅうしゅうのめいげつ).”
This year, 2017, was on 4th of October. The full moon was very very beautiful. Modan Japanese people are very busy for work and few people enjoy Tsu-Ki-Mi. So Tsu-Ki-Mi activity is getting less popular generation by generation.
Summer is ending. Fall is around the corner. Yes!! It is September. The sticky humid hot weather is going away, and the dry, cool, and comfortable weather brings people to have more exercise and appetite. But do you know how Japanese realize the coming of the fall? Actually, it is cicadas.
In summer, cicadas are very very busy for singing. You will hear cicadas making very loud noise on trees everywhere in Japan. They make monotonous and loud sounds from morning till evening. Yet, somewhere around the end of August, noisy cicadas stop singing, and a type of cicada starts singing, and it is the very beginning of fall. The cicada is named “Tsuku-tsuku-boushi (ツクツクボウシ)” due to its song. I like the way it sings because it is like a piece of music. It slowly starts, gradually loud, and last long. Elegant, isn’t it?
Cicadas are known as the creatures having short lives. It is said that a cicada’s life is only a week after they came up from underground. So Japanese feel evanescence to them.
Following video shows how Tsuku-tsuku-boushi sings. Please check out.
It’s August!! Vacation, yay!! Although it brings super heat days, we are all forward to August. Why? Of course, it comes with Summer Vacation!! What are Japanese people doing on the vacation? Most of people are going home, more specifically, going home to see parents and ancestors. Ancestors?? Yes. According to Obon(“お盆”）custom, spirits of our ancestors come back from heaven on Obon days which is between August 13th to 15th. I’m going to visit my ancestors graves and clean them up to ready for our ancestors feel comfortable.
The rainy season is finally over and the shining sun brings summer and joy! People start going out for activities, like camping, hiking, or sports. Going for the beach is also one of the most popular activities in hot summer. You will find crowds of young people and kids having fun on famous beaches in Japan. You will also find shacks along the beach. These shacks are called “海の家（Umi-no-ie:海=ocean, 家=house）” and mainly function as a place for rest . It also roles as a bar, a rental store, a shower room, and a restaurant.