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January 18 2013

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CONCERTO MOON - SAVIOR NEVER CRY (full version) - YouTube a japanese song per day

January 16 2013

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HINOI Team - IKE IKE (English subbed) - YouTube a japanese song per day

January 15 2013

Hundreds of statues with hats - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Jizo statues, Osaka

In many Japanese Buddhist temples, you will notice rows of dozens or even hundreds of cute stone statues, “dressed” with bibs, various hats and beads… Usually the garments are red, because in the Japanese tradition red is the color used to ward off evil spirits and to cure illness.

At the first glance, it is quite a cheerful view, filled with cuteness. But actually it has a very sad role: the statues are representing Jizo Bosatsu (Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva), the guardian of children in the Japanese tradition… The Jizo statues are cute, because they are made to resemble the protected children, but the garments are usually offered by grieving parents, as part of the prayers for the lost children… However, there’s also a slightly brighter side: sometimes, the garments are offered by parents as thanks to Jizo for saving their children from a life-threatening illness.

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Time Travel (Budokan'78 ver.) / 原田真二 - YouTube a japanese song per day

January 13 2013

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Dance In The Vampire Bund: Friends (Full Opening) - YouTube a japanese song per day

January 12 2013

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Fujita Maiko - Nee (Engsub) Hiiro no Kakera Opening - YouTube a japanese song per day
Reposted bydonotmindme donotmindme

January 11 2013

Tokyo Sky Tree's giant shadow - via A Japan Photo per Day -

View from Tokyo Sky Tree, Sumida

Tokyo Sky Tree, opened to the public in May last year, with its 634 meters is the tallest tower and the second tallest construction in the world. But why the builders chose to make it 634 meters tall? They wanted a height to be easily remembered and, by using old Japanese numbering, “634″ can be read as mu-sa-shi, the name of the old Musashi Province - which included the tower’s location, the Sumida ward from Tokyo.

While visiting Tokyo Sky Tree, one of the views I enjoyed a lot was from the first observation deck (located at the height of 350 meters) towards the Sumida River. The tower’s giant shadow cast over the city is quite impressive and you can easily identify the first observatory, the second observatory (located at 450 meters) and the 184 meters antenna.

January 10 2013

Eating roasted mochi at Dondo Yaki - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Dondo Yaki, Matsumoto

In Japan, many religious events, especially the Shinto ones, are ending with a popular party, usually with some specific food. This is by no means a trivialization, everything simply becomes friendlier and more enjoyable… That’s a part of Japan’s charm!

That’s what happens at Dondo Yaki 「どんどやき」, a festival which takes place all over Japan during the first half of January. The event is the ceremonial burning of the last year’s good luck charms (like omamori, Daruma Dolls) and decorations (Shimenawa, Shimekazari or Kadomatsu), burning that signifies the desire to go on and cutting with the past.

And after the charms are burned, mochi rice cakes are cooked on the embers of the fire - it is said that eating them will bring you good luck and protection against illness - and they are delicious too…

January 09 2013

Yokozuna Restaurant Shinsekai - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Yokozuna Restaurant, Shinsekai, Osaka

Japan is renowned for its restaurants… there are many fancy and expensive restaurants, but for the regular traveler they are not very important. What is really important is the great number of regular priced restaurants and the fact that this is one of the few countries where you can eat at any restaurant and you don’t have to worry about the food and the cleanness. Plus, you can be sure that you will be served with the utmost care…

The area of restaurants from Shisekai, near the Tsutenkaku Tower in Osaka, is a good example of a neighborhood filled with inexpensive restaurants with good food, like the one from my photo, called Yokozuna. Here you can taste a great variety of kushikatsu (katsu is a deep-fried meat cutlet, and kushi means “skewers"). If you don’t want meat, you can also try kushikatsu variants with mushrooms, seafood or vegetables (potato, onion, pumpkin), served as is or with tonkatsu sauce. Delicious!

Reposted byEpitaph Epitaph
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Onmyouza - Nemuri (PV) - YouTube a japanese song per day

January 08 2013

Japanese Koi and some photo tips - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Japanese Koi

The common carp was domesticated in Japan at the beginning of the 19th century and soon several ornamental varieties were bred. 100 years later, at the beginning of the 20th century, these colored carps, called nishiki-goi - “brocaded carp” - or simply koi ("carp") were already presenting a wide variety of patterns and colors, so after being presented at an expo in Tokyo, the koi became popular all over Japan.

Today, the Japanese koi is popular all over the world, while in Japan it’s almost impossible to find a garden pond without koi. Interestingly, though, koi are still just regular carps: if allowed to breed without control, they will revert to their original, bland color… Even in Japan, I saw some ponds full of koi, where 90% of them where without any interesting color or pattern.

In many gardens there are vending machines selling food for koi and if you want to photograph them, these are good places, because koi are gluttonous, so you can photograph them swarming.

Photo tips:
- In order to capture their beautiful colors, be sure to have with you a polarizing filter. That way you will reduce the water glare and you will be able to see deep into the water (in my photo you can see the coins from the bottom of the pond).
- Use an aperture of at least f/7.1, it will give you sharpness and even better colors and contrast. If you have enough light, it is better to have an even smaller aperture (I usually prefer f/8).
- However, the polarizing filter will severely reduce the amount of light entering the camera, so you will need to increase the exposure. Here’s a trade off: that’s why I took this photo with just f/7.1, the shutter speed was 1/60s, a bit too long for some fast moving koi, and I didn’t want to increase the ISO.

January 07 2013

not a single fuck was given that day
6671 eb96
xkcd: Sick Day

Wikipeida path: Virus -> Immune system -> Innate immune system -> Parasites -> List of parasites of humans -> Naegleria fowleri -> Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis -> Deciding I DEFINITELY shouldn't connect an aquarium pump to my sinuses
Tags: xkcd: Sick Day

January 05 2013

Chinowa - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Imado Shrine, Asakusa, Tokyo

One of the most common customs after the New Year is to buy omamori, small amulets for protection or good luck that can be bought from Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. In fact, the Japanese tradition places a great deal of emphasis on protection against bad luck and the small omamori are not the only artifacts created especially for this purpose.

Other examples are huge rings, over 2-meters-diameter, like the one in this photo, made from braided reeds called chinowa and decorated with shide (the Shinto strips of zigzag paper). These are raised twice a year at the entrance to the shrines and by passing through them, the visitors receive purification and protection against misfortune.

January 03 2013

Japanese customs and traditions - 7 Lucky Gods Pilgrimage - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Hashiba Fudo-in, Asakusa, Tokyo

As I was writing a few days ago, I attended a couple of times to the New Year’s Japanese traditions, starting with the Joya no Kane and continuing with the Hatsumode. But the most special experience was to follow, like many Japanese people, a 7 Lucky Gods New Year’s pilgrimage.

There are many versions of this pilgrimage in Japan, only in Tokyo I know of 20 such routes: groups of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples from the same neighborhood, each dedicated to at least one of the Lucky Gods, are grouped together in a single route. Visiting all of them can take a couple of hours or more and sometimes it can be quite tricky to find all the locations, even though the area is often marked with especially made maps.
But it is a very rewarding experience if you want to feel the local touch…

Here is a photo taken at one of the temples from the most famous pilgrimage route in Tokyo, the one in Asakusa. The temple is called Hashiba Fudo-in and it is dedicated to Hotei. You can see in front of the temple votive plaques with the 7 Lucky Gods and to the left of the photo you can also see the dedicated map…

January 01 2013

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An Cafe - Snow Scene with lyrics - YouTube a japanese song per day
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KOTOKO - Fuyu no Shizuku Live - YouTube a japanese song per day

December 30 2012

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D - Snow White [PV] - YouTube a japanese song per day

December 29 2012

Hagoita - via A Japan Photo per Day -

If you’re watching Jidaigeki “period dramas” or other Japanese historical movies about the Edo period, you may have noticed brief scenes with girls playing a kind of badminton. That is a traditional game called Hanetsuki, played with hagoita, rectangular wooden paddles often decorated with colored paintings.

In time, hagoita became a lucky charm and also a decorative collectible item. So today hagoita have been designated as traditional products of Tokyo and they are a lot more sophisticated than the original paddles, adorned with intricate details and textures made from washi Japanese paper and silk, representing kabuki stars or geisha…

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La'cryma Christi - Warm Snow - YouTube a japanese song per day
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