Posted by: voyagerguide | December 10, 2007

What kind of food do the Japanese eat?

Now and ancient Japan has rice farming culture. Rice was incorporated in the late Jomon period(about 8000 B.C. – 300 B.C.) from China or Korean Peninsula. Since them the Japanese have been making livelyhood from rice crop. And so, the Japanese eating life rests on rice. These days, howerer,  most of young Japanese hardly eat rice for breakfast, everyone eat rice for lunch and dinner. Each household has one or two rice cooker which can boil rice about in 30 minutes. And with rice the Japanese eat dish using fish, vegetables and dairy products. Among them, Western foods such like hamburgers, curry and rice, and spaghetti appeal to the Japanese. But I want to reccomend Sukiyaki to visitors to Japan. Sukiyaki  is a dish cooked in a pot at table with beef and bean curd and seasoned soy sause and sugar. This dish goes better with rice and deep-rooted popular food in winter. Writing about Sukiyaki temps me to eat Sukiyaki.  

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Posted by: voyagerguide | December 8, 2007

The Japanese abductee issue

The many Japanese citizens were abducted by agent of the North Korea government during a period of six years from 1977 to 1983. The North Korean government officially admited the abduction of the thirteem Japanese citizens. But there may have been as many as 70 to 80 citizens kidnapped by North Korea. Currently, the Japanese government claims that the issue has not been properly resolved, and passed two laws designed to restrict trade with North Korea. Afterwards,  U.S. President George W. Bush met Sakie Yokota, mother of abductee Megumi Yokota and said, “one of the most moving meetings “. The pressure from all over the world against North Korea had increased. But now, the world focuses on the nuclear issue of North Korea, the abductee issue is beside the point.

Posted by: voyagerguide | December 6, 2007

The local municipalities of Japan

There are 47 prefectures in Japan. The term “prefecture” is used in France and Italy. In Japan, the admistrative segregation of the country is trifold: the state, large-area local governing units, and basic local-level governing units. The 47 prefecture are the large-area local governing units. And cities, tows and villages are affiliated with prefectures. “To(都)”, “Do(道)”, “Fu(府)” and “Ken(県)” are Japanese for the term “prefecture”. “To” is exclusively used for Tokyo. “Do” is use only for Hokkaido. There are two prefectuers with “Fu” attached to them, which are Osaka and Kyoto. And there are 43 “Ken”.  The way to designate is simply a matter of their historical bachgrounds. They are subject to the same law, the local autonomy law.

Posted by: voyagerguide | December 4, 2007

Debatable argument about the location of Yamatai Country

First of all, Yamatai Country(Yamataikoku in Japanese) was an ancient country in Japan during the Yayoi Period(from about 400 BC to about 300 AD) . The Japanese usually associate Yamati Country with Queen Himiko, who ruled about 30 small countries as a shaman queen. The Chinese histrorical records describes that Himiko dispatched a mission to the Cao Wei kingdom(220-265) in China. And the location of Yamatai Country is one of the most contentious topics in Japanese History. Many histroians have debated “the Yamatai controversy” and hypothesized numerous locations, such like Okinawa. But general consensus centers around two likely locations of Yamatai, either northern Kyushu(the south-west Japan) or  Yamato Province in the Kinki region of central Japan. According to the Chinese materials, the Cao Wei kingdom was said to present one hundreds mirros to the mission dispached by Himiko. And in the recent excavations of a Kofun tomb at the Yoshinogari site in Saga Prefecture in the northen Kyushu archaeologists found 33 “Wei-style” bronze mirrors. And so the “Kyushu theory” is thought to be the most probable in Japan.

Posted by: voyagerguide | December 4, 2007

Birth of Japan

In Japan, February 11th is the National Foudation Day. This date is based on the legends in the Nihonshoki text and the Kogiki text which were both compiled in the 8th century. Therefore there are doubt over the histrorical accuracy of the national foudation day.In Japan, there is no histrocial materials which recorded by the 5th century, and we can probably learn more from Chinese text. According to the Chinese text Gokanjo(Histroy of the Later Han Dynasty) the king of Na in Japan dispatched a mission to China. And also The Account of the Wa People in the Wei zhi (The Wei Chronicle) wrote that Himiko, the queen of Yamatai Country, rules some 30 coutries. These materials poin that ancient small countries were gradually unified into one polity, which served as the basis for current Japan.  

Posted by: voyagerguide | December 3, 2007

What is the longest river in Japan?

Japan is called the moutanious country. And so there are many compartively short rives in Japan. Among them the Shinano River is the longest in Japan. It rises from Mount Kobushi, runs through central Niigata, and flows into the Sea of Japan. It is 367 km from source to mouth. By comparison with other rivers all over the world, it may be short, but it is relatively long for the size of Japan. In addition the Shinano River enables the Niigata Plains to be filled with rich rice fields where Koshihikari rice is harvested. Koshihikari is a most popular variety of rice cultivated in Japan.

Posted by: voyagerguide | December 1, 2007

How do the Japanese feel about earthqukes?

I live in the center of Japan. Averagely in a year I experienced two or three earthquakes which are sufficiently strong to be generally noticeable. When the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, which killed more than 6,000 people in January 1995, I live in the place 50 km from the hypocenter. I didn’t got injuried but I was scared and couldn’t stop shaking. Like this the Japanese people are used to earthquake from the ancient times but it isn’t true that they can shrug off earthquakes. In reality the emergency earthquake warning system has lauched these days. This system enable us to be ready for a large earthquake, for this warning is released ten ro twenty minutes before a large earthquake occures. I don’t know the details of this system. The Lauching of the system points that the Japanese fear a looming earthquake.   

Posted by: voyagerguide | November 30, 2007

What is the highest mountain in Japan?

It is of course Mt.Fuji, which is 3,776 meters high. By comparison with the world’s highest peaks such as Mt. Everest (Chomolungma 8,848 meters), Mt.Fuji seems to be a low mountain. But why this mountain is loved by the Japanese and some visitors to Japan is it has a nearly perfect conical profile and wide-flowing skirt. The admiration of this beauty has been not changed ever since ancient Japan. In fact many renowned artists of the Edo period (the feudal period of Japan 1603-1868)have taken up the challenge to depict Mt. Fuji. In particular “Fugaku Sanju-rokkei”(36 scenes of Mt.Fuji) in which Mt. Fuji was painted from various perspectives at various hours of the day in each season by Hokusai Katsushika has won great acclaim from various worlds.  Like this Mt. Fuji have been loved by not only present people but also the then people.

空から見た富士山

空から見た富士山

Mt. Fuji from sky (fromWikipedia Japan)

Posted by: voyagerguide | November 18, 2007

Japan on the map

Maps sold in Japan place the Japanese archipelago in the center. On the map with England in the center Japan is set on the edge of east. And so Japan is said to have been in the Far East as well as China and South Korea. In terms of the latitude, New York is on the same latitude as Aomori Prefecture, the northern part of Honshu(the main island of Japan) and Paris is on the same latitude as the nothern part of Hokkaido. London is located north of the northernmost tip of Japan. Wakayama Prefecture where I live is on the same latitude as Los Angels. And the land area of Japan is approximately 378,000 sq km. It isn’t very well known that Japan is smaller than California in the United States, which has a land area of about 411,000 sp km. 

画像:Satellite image of Japan in May 2003.jpg

the Japanese Archipelago (from Wikipedia Japan)

Posted by: voyagerguide | November 18, 2007

Hello world!

This site is the first blog which express myself in the world. In Japan where I live, I experiesed writing on my blogsite in Japanese. My broken English makes me feel nervous that I couldn’t make myself understood. But I am determined to a tourconductor speaking English, and so I want to keep writing reports conserning Japan on this blog. I hope a number of people wanting  to know Japanese culture and to go to Japan will visit this blog. Let’s get together soon.画像:紅葉の松原湖.JPG

from Wikipedia Japan

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