2013/12/25

Year-end parties

Most Japanese people enjoy several year-end parties with friends, colleagues and members of various social groups during December. The purpose of the parties is to forget all about the bad memories from the previous twelve months and to say goodbye to the passing year. These parties are usually held in pubs and restaurants. People have a good time eating, drinking and sometimes singing karaoke. A year-end party is considered a significant opportunity to build up a sense of fellowship and unity within the group.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/12/20

Sukiyaki

Sukiyaki is an internationally known Japanese dish. It is one type of “nabe ryori.” The ingredients are thinly sliced beef, tofu, strips of devil’s tongue, shiitake mushrooms, chrysanthemum leaves and leeks, They are seasoned with soy sauce, sugar and sake and cooked in a cast iron pot at the table. When the ingredients are ready, they are dipped in raw beaten egg, which is served in small individual bowls.

See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/12/15

Year-end gift

Japanese have a gift-giving season in the middle of December, too. The year-end gift is called oseibo. This gift-giving custom is to show appreciation to those who have been kind and helpful in business or privately during the year. The gift items for oseibo are almost the same as those given for mid-summer gifts.

See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/11/27

Tempura

Tempura are deep-fried dishes of vegetables, fish and shellfish. The ingredients of tempura are dipped in a thin batter and fried until crisp in high temperature oil.

Tempura is eaten with salt or dipping sauce called “tentsuyu”, which is made with broth and soy sauce.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/10/27

Juku

Juku refers to private tutoring schools. There are two major roles in the education at jukus. One is to provide supplementary lessons for at-risk students who fall behind others in the school classroom. Another is to offer special courses for students preparing for entrance exams to junior high, high schools or universities.

See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/10/26

Personal seal

A personal seal is an essential item for everyday life in Japan, because seals are a legal means of identification used instead of a signature. Seals are roughly classified into two kinds, jitsuin and mitome-in. Jitsuin is a registered seal, which you need to have registered in your local government office. Mitome-in is ready-made, unregistered and for everyday use. For example, you can use it for receiving parcels.

See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/10/25

Sensu

"Sensu" are folding fans. A general fan was present in the world. But everyone didn’t think to try fold alternately a flat fan. Conversely, Japanese thought to try fold, and the folding fan was invented in Japan, with date ranging from the 6th to 9th centuries. The sense is reflected Japanese way as smaller and more elaborately.

Sensu are made of paper and a bamboo framework. One side is decorated with beautiful pictures of scenery, trees, flowers and animals. Sensu are indispensable accessories for traditional performing arts.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/10/24

Sento

Sento is a paid public bathhouse. Since most households today have baths, the number of customers is decreasing year by year. So many sento are making effort to attract people by providing saunas, massage chairs and other relaxation equipment.

See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/10/23

Steamed red rice

Sekihan is glutinous rice steamed with red beans. The Japanese word sekihan literally means “red rice” because the beans give a purple-red color to the rice. Sekihan is eaten on special and festive occasions such as birthdays, weddings and holidays.

See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


Tokonoma

The tokonoma is a raised wooden alcove in a tatami-floor Japanese-style room. It is the focal point of the interior and is used for displaying pottery, flower arrangements or hanging scrolls of paintings or calligraphy.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/09/27

Tatami

In Japanese-style rooms, rectangular mats called "tatami" are used as a floor-covering. A tatami consists of a thick rice straw base and finely woven rush cover with cloth borders.
You can feel good to sit and lie down on a tatami. It is cool in summer and warm in winter.

See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/09/25

Conveyer belt sushi restaurants

A conveyer belt sushi (kaitenzushi) restaurants is popular in Japan.  The customers sit at a U-shaped counter or at a table there. Around the counter and the tables, a conveyer belt slowly and constantly rotates and carries plates with sushi, salads, and desserts. Customers are supposed to pick up whatever plates they like from the conveyer belt.

See also
*Sushi
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/09/24

Demae

Demae is to deliver prepared dishes to an address that have been ordered by telephone. There are various kinds of delivery services for food in Japan. Noodles, rice bowls, Chinese dishes, sushi and pizza are common for home-delivery. The payment has to be made in cash at the time of delivery.

See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/09/23

Shochu

Shochu is not a kind of sake. It is a distilled spirit. The alcohol content is typically around 25%. It is made from one of several raw materials such as rice, buckwheat, barley, sweet potatoes and the like.

Each of them gives a distinctive flavor and aroma to the final product. Shochu is drunk by mixing with hot or cold water.


See also
*Sake
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/09/22

Sake


Sake is a Japanese traditional alcoholic drink. It is brewed from fermented rice and water. It contains between 15% and 17% alcohol. Tastes range from sweet to dry. You can enjoy sake either warm or slightly chilled. Sake is also used as a flavoring in Japanese cooking.


See also
*Shochu
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/09/20

Natto

Natto is made from soy beans that are fermented by the natto fungus. Before eating, natto should be stirred until you produce many like spider threads. Then a little bit of soy sauce is added. Some people like to put in chopped green onions, Japanese mustard and other condiments according to taste. Most commonly, natto is eaten with steamed rice.

Because of the strong smell and sticky appearance, non-Japanese often have trouble when trying natto for the first time. “Mito natto” made in Mito city, Ibaraki prefecture is very famous.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/08/27

Ramen

Ramen's origin is in China. They have been altered and refined to suit the Japanese palate and have become very popular in Japan. Ramen noodles are made from wheat flour, egg, salt and soda water. They are cooked in a meat-based soup which is seasoned with soy sauce, miso paste or salt and served with various toppings such as sliced pork and vegetables.


See also
*Udon
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/08/14

Japanese pickled plums

Japanese pickled plums called umeboshi are the most unique tsukemono (pickles) in Japan. They are reddish, round plums pickled with salt. They are extrimely sour and so are usually eaten with rice or just a little amount is used in cooking after they have been strained. The umeboshi of Wakayama prefecture is very famous.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/08/10

Obon


Obon is a Buddhist memorial service for the ancestors and the deceased of the family. It takes place from the 13th through to the 15th of July or August. During the period, spirits of the dead are believed to return to their families. Japanese people visit the family grave, offer flowers, burn incense sticks and pray for their souls to rest in peace.

In time of Obon, companies and schools become a rest. So recently, many people enjoy the overseas and domestic travel.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*Mid-summer gift
*List of Japanese culture

Mid-summer gift

Ochugen is the tradition of gift-giving and is observed from early in July through to the 15th. The word ochugen means the Buddhist obon day, which is celebrated on July 15th on the lunar calendar.

On this time Japanese people send a gift to one's elders or betters or to someone to whom you are indebted. Popular gift items are gourmet food products, ham, alcoholic drinks, canned goods, cooking oil, sweets, tea and washing detergent.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*Obon
*List of Japanese culture

2013/08/01

Yukata

The yukata is an informal kimono for summer use. Today people wear yukata at summer festivals, Bon dancing, fireworks events and other summer events.

See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*Fireworks display
*List of Japanese culture

2013/07/27

Udon

Udon are major kinds of noodle which have long been loved by Japanese people. Udon are made from wheat flour. Generally, udon are thicker, and are whitish in color. This is eaten hot or cold with soy-sauce-based broth. Various condiments such as chopped green onions, and sesame seeds are usually provided on the side.


See also
*Ramen
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/07/25

Rice balls

Rice balls (Onigiri) are a convenient take-out food, like sandwiches. The most common shapes are round, oval and triangular. To make a rice ball, you squeeze lightly salted steamed rice into the desired shapes with your hands. Also, it is popular to put pickled plums, chunks of salted salmon in the middle of a rice ball. Rice balls are often wrapped in dried laver seaweed so as to make handling them less sticky.

See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/07/19

Kyogen

Kyogen is a classical comic drama with spoken lines, which developed during the 14-15th century(Muromachi period). The Kyogen actors perform in the simple, realistic kimonos of the ordinary people of medieval Japan. The stories are usually about the character’s daily events. The dialogue are easy tounderstand and include lots ofhumor and caricatures.

See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/07/12

Noh

Noh is Japanese oldest form of musical dance-drama. The Noh actors wear rich, heavy, ancient costumes and masks. They express emotions only through dancing and gestures. Accompaniment is provided by traditional instruments such as drums(Tsuzumi and Taiko) and flutes(Nokan).

Noh is originally known as sangaku or funny parodies. It was brought from China to Japan around the beginning of the 8th century. It gradually became a more subtle and profound story-telling art form. In the 14th century, a father and son combination named Kan’ami and Zeami that were patronized by third Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimitu established the stylized tradition known today as Noh. While Kabuki was for the common people, Noh was a ceremonial drama performed on auspicious occasions for the warrior class.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/07/07

The Star Festival

July 7th is the Star Festival called Tanabata. This seasonal event originated from both an ancient Chinese legend and Japanese mythology. In China, it is said that the Herdsman (the star Altair) and the Weaver (the star Vega) can meet only once a year on this day over the Milky Way.

People celebrate the day by decorating big branches of bamboo with colored oblong cards. Poems and wishes are written on them. The Star Festival held in Sendai-city, Miyagi Prefecture is very famous. 


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/06/23

Kabuki

Kabuki is one of the major types of classical theater in Japan. It was developed as a form of popular entertainment for common people in the Edo period. The history of kabuki began in the early Edo period when Izumo no Okuni, possibly a miko of Izumo Taisha, began performing a new style of dance drama.

Time has passed, Kabuki’s rule was changed, male actors played both female and male characters. And now, Kabuki is very popular from foreign tourists.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


Sumo

Sumo is the national sports of Japan. Two wrestlers wearing only loincloths, fight in a sumo ring. Each match is over very quickly. One wrestler wins when he pushes his opponent out of the ring or forces him to touch the ground with any part of his body.

These are 700 sumo wrestlers, in ascending order of the ranking system, zyonokuchi, zyonidan, sandanme, makushita, zyuryo, komusubi, sekiwake, and ōzeki. At the pinnacle of the ranking is yokozuna. Six great championships are held every year. The bout lasts for 15 days.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


Shogi / Japanese chess

Shogi is a Japanese form of chess. It originated in India and was introduced to Japan via China and Korea. Shogi, like chess, is played by moving pieces on a board. The board has 81 squares, 9 by 9. Each player has 20 pieces, which vary in power.

The distinctive difference of shogi from chess is that you can use captured enemy pieces as your own pieces. The final object is to checkmate the opposing king.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture

Rock-scissors-paper

Janken is played to decide who goes first, how to choose turns, or who will be "it" in a game of tag. Janken is a one-handed gesture game with three different signs which represent rock(called gu in Japanese), scissors(choki) and paper(pa).

Everyone has to make one of those three signs at the same time after shouting "Jan-ken-pon!" Rock wins against scissors, and scissors wins against paper, and paper wins against rock. When everybody makes the same sign or when there is at least one of all three signs shown, it is called aiko or a draw and everyone tries again until someone wins.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese


Haiku

Haiku is one form of Japanese short poetry. It is very compact and consists of only 17 syllables. They are arranged in three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables each.

The basic rule is to include a word reflecting one of the four seasons. Thus the themes of haiku are mainly nature and life. The great haiku poet Matsuo Basho(1644-1694) elevated haiku to a highly refined art. Even today Haiku is enjoyed by many people in Japan.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture

2013/05/26

Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku is a singing synthesizer application with a humanoid persona, developed by Crypton Future Media in Sapporo, Hokkaido. You can make original music by the synthetic sound if you input a melody and a text by this software.

Since release of 2007, music and animation made with this software spread explosively in YouTube. Hatsune Miku becomes a super famous virtual idol now. Hatsune Miku is also popular abroad. She appeared in CM of Toyota in U.S.A. in 2011 and attracted big attention.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese subculture

Hyakunin-isshu

Hyakunin-isshu is an anthology of one hundred waka poems by one hundred well-known poets between 7th and 13th century. All the poems took tanka style or 5, 7, 5, 7 and 7 words. Hyakunin-isshu are also used for a card game.It is customary to play the games during the New Year holiday.



See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture


2013/01/03

Prefectures of Japan

Hokkaido and Tōhoku region
Hokkaidō  Aomori  Iwate  Miyagi  
Akita  Yamagata  Fukushima

Kantō region
Ibaraki  Tochigi  Gunma  
Saitama  Chiba  Kanagawa
Tōkyō
  Ueno Zoo  Akihabara

Chūbu region
Niigata  Yamanashi  Nagano
Toyama  Ishikawa  Fukui
Gifu  Shizuoka  Aichi  Mie

Kansai region
Shiga  Kyoto  Osaka
Hyōgo  Nara  Wakayama

Chūgoku region
Tottori  Shimane  Okayama
Hiroshima  Yamaguchi

Shikoku region
Tokushima  Kagawa
Ehime  Kochi

Kyushu region and Okinawa
Fukuoka  Saga  Nagasaki  Kumamoto
Ōita  Miyazaki  Kagoshima  Okinawa



See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture
*List of Japanese subculture

2013/01/01

List of Japanese culture

Welcome to this site

Hello, everyone! Do you know anything about Japan? Ninja? Samurai? Yes, they are famous Japanese culture. And, we hope you will understand Japanese culture more. We introduse Japanese culture which traditional culture, food culture, sub-cuuture and others on this site.




Japanese history
Ninja  Samurai  The Three Great Spears of Japan

Japanese traditional culture
Kabuki  Kyogen  Noh  Rakugo  Sumo  Haiku  Hyakunin-isshu  
Kimono  Yukata  Shogi  Sensu

Tourism
Mount Fuji  Hot springs  Sento

Japanese food culture
Conveyer belt sushi restaurants  Demae  Instant noodles  Japanese pickled plums  
Natto  Ramen  Rice balls  Steamed red rice  Sukiyaki  Sushi  Tempura  
Udon  
Awamori  Sake  Shochu  

Japanese seasonal events
New Year
Hatsumōde  Hatsuyume  New Year dishes  New Year monetary gift  
New Year’s party  The offerings rice cake  
Spring
Coming-of-Age Day  Setsubun  The Doll festival  Haru-ichiban  
Cherry blossom viewing  Koinobori  Mother’s Day
Summer
Rainy season  The start of the mountain-climbing season  The Star Festival  
The start of the sea-bathing season  Mid-summer gift  Fireworks display
Uchimizu  Kakigōri  Obon  

Year-end
Year-end party  Year-end gift

others
Juku  Personal seal  Tokonoma  Tatami  Rock-scissors-paper



See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese subculture
*Prefectures of Japan