Sports in Japan

You might be wondering what kind of sports they have in Japan. Would it surprise you to learn that the sports in Japan are mostly the same as the rest of the world? Pro wrestling was introduced to Japan early in the twentieth century, but did not catch on until 1951. Boxing has been a major sport in Japan since 1854. The Japanese boxers don’t normally fight outside of Japan and the Japanese championships are not recognized around the world. It should come to no surprise that golf is also played in Japan. Golf is one of those sports that transcend cultures around the world.

Auto racing has even found a home in Japan. In the 1920’s auto racing came to Japan. However, it wasn’t until 1936 that it became a permanent fixture in Japan when a permanent track was built. Probably the biggest sport in Japan is Baseball. Baseball is widely considered to be America’s favorite pastime. In Japan it is jokingly recognized as a national sport even though Japan does not recognize any sport as a national sport.

Two of the more traditional sports of Japan are Sumo and Judo. Judo was first created in 1882 by Kano Jigoro. Judo translates in English as the gentle way. Judo consists of three techniques known as throwing, striking, and grappling. In a way it sounds like pro wrestling. Judo is an Olympic sport and it is highly contested as such. The first Judo school was called Kodokan and was run by Kano Jigoro.

I have written about Sumo wrestling before. Sumo originated in the ancient times and was meant to entertain Shinto deities. The rules to Sumo wrestling are by far the most simple of those I have spoken about. All that is required is to knock your opponent out of the circle. There are no weight limits. This means at any given time a sumo wrestler could find himself against someone who is much bigger than he is. For this reason, sumo wrestlers tend to gain weight so they can be more competitive.

As I said earlier, Japanese sports are not much different than anyone else’s. They do have a few sports like Judo and Sumo that are unique to Japan. If you are interested in knowing more about Judo or Sumo wrestling I have put links below.

http://factsanddetails.com/japan/cat21/sub138/item756.html

http://www.worldjudoday.com/en/The-History-of-Judo-55.html

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Cash Japan

It seems that every day America is becoming a cashless system more and more. Meanwhile Japan has remained a cash system. If traveling to Japan, be sure to take plenty of cash with you. You will not find many locations if any at all that take credit card. In fact one of the only times you will see anyone using their debit card is if they are taking money from an ATM.

Due to the cash oriented system the Japanese people walk around with large amounts of money in their pockets. When they get paid it is usually in the form of cash or by bank transfer to their savings account. Checking accounts are not the norm in Japan. When paying bills many Japanese use bank transfers, post offices, and convenience stores. This does come at a cost. There is usually a service charge of five hundred and sixty five yen. That would be five dollars usd.

Here in the US families tend to manage the finances together. However, in Japan it is usually the wife that handles the money. The husband would get an allowance at each payday and it is expected to last him all month. It may seem a little different to us, but it works for the Japanese people. It seems like an interesting concept and I for one know I would spend way less if I had cash on me. It seems like it is way too easy to swipe a card without thinking about the money.

Anime for 2018

Twenty seventeen is coming to a close in a few weeks. It has been a roller-coaster of exciting news of new anime and of unexpected loses of figures in the anime industry. We can only hope that twenty eighteen is a lot better and with a lot of new anime coming our way next year; it is off to a good start. Below are a few of the new anime that I am really looking forward to.

Grancrest Senki

Grancrest Senki

 

Violet Evergarden

Violet Evergarden

 

Beatless

Beatless

 

Dagashi Kashi 2

Dagashi Kashi 2

 

The Seven Deadly Sins Revival of The Commandments

The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of The Commandments

 

DARLING in the FRANXX

DARLING in the FRANXX

 

Did I forget to mention this is only a small portion of the new anime? Also, this is only from January of twenty eighteen. Go check out the rest of what January has to offer here. https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime/upcoming/tv

Updates in the J-Pop \ J-Rock Industry

The bestselling J-Pop artist Utada Hikaru has returned to Japanese music as of April 2016. She returned with two songs; one being called Hanataba wo kimi ni after being gone for five years. Utada Hikaru was born and raised in the United States. She first debuted in 1998 with an English album called Precious. A year later she came out with an all Japanese language album called First Love. It went on to become the highest selling album of all time in Japan; a feat that has not been matched by any other artist since. Below are links to her music and website.
 

https://open.spotify.com/artist/7lbSsjYACZHn1MSDXPxNF2?autoplay=true

http://www.utadahikaru.jp/music/

 

As one artist returns, another retires from the industry. In September of this year Namie Amuro announced she was going to retire in one year after spending twenty five years making music. In her career Namie has sang songs for many Anime titles including One Piece and Inuyasha. She will be creating one more album before she retires. You can find her site below along with a link to listen to her music.

 

https://open.spotify.com/artist/4BmWSGKG6HiYvLuJvZ9afa?autoplay=true

http://namieamuro.jp

 

AKB48 is in the news again. Firstly, the members of AKB48 did an amazing event in Akihabara to help prevent online crime. This one kind of hits closes to home since I work in IT. The three members of AKB48 that were there spoke about keeping your computers secure and the antivirus up to date. The other event in the news for AKB48 was a more tragic one. Well kind of funny, yet tragic for AKB48. You see a man trashed 585 AKB48 cds. Here’s the thing though. He didn’t put them in a trash can, or dunp them in a land fill. He left them sitting on a mountain. You can stop laughing now. The only reason he got caught is that, he forgot to remove the mailing label from them. OK you can laugh again.

 

https://open.spotify.com/artist/01wau5CL3Z1vfJJWkzBkqg?autoplay=true

https://www.akb48.co.jp/about/chronicle/

 

Now for anyone who has read my blog you know I am a big Scandal fan. If you are like me and follow them on social media then you know they are working on a new album. They haven’t released any information on the new album just yet. Not that I have heard anyway. I can tell you that they are touring across Japan right now when they are not in the studio. On their website they have their tour dates listed. Below is a link to their site and a place to listen to their music.

 

https://open.spotify.com/artist/7hTZwqQILVH4bAbN67CeEz?autoplay=true

http://www.scandal-4.com/

Schools in Japan

When we think of schools we see a building full of students walking from one class to the next trying their best not to miss that all important bell that rings in the start of the next class. Or we see the kids who just don’t care. They walk in after the bell, or skip class all together. Some see it as a rite of passage to skip a class and go hang out. I’ve even done it a few times in my high school life. That’s not something you will see in a Japanese school.

Students in the Japanese school system never skip a class. They don’t even arrive late to their next class. To be fair, arriving late to the next class is kind of impossible. You see, Japanese students only go to one classroom. It is the teacher who moves from class to class after each period. Japanese students never arrive late to school either. You see students in Japan have a feeling of belonging. When in school Japanese students feel less like an outsider than they do any other time. This has been contributed to the way things are done in school.

The Japanese try to build comradery among their students. You see, the Japanese schools do not have cafeterias like schools in America do. In Japan the students put on white gloves, head covers, and aprons and serve their fellow students lunch in the classroom. By doing this the Japanese are teaching their students about work ethics and to show humility in oneself. As for eating in the classroom, this is something that even the teachers get involved with. They eat the same lunch as the students do right there in the classroom with them.

This isn’t the biggest difference in Japanese schools and ours. The biggest difference is in who cleans the schools. Here in the US we have janitors that do all the cleaning in the school. In a Japanese school it is the students and faculty who clean the school. Each person is given an assigned area to clean. In the classrooms, students take turns in cleaning it. It’s no wonder schools in Japan have a better education record than schools in the US.

Questions

I have noticed recently that my posts are not doing as well as I would have hoped. The last three blog posts I put up have had a combined two views at the time of this writing. My goal is to provide you all with content you will find enjoyable. If I am not providing that then I need to adjust what I write about. I want to hear from you all.

How can I improve my blog posts to make it more enjoyable for you all? Among the topics I cover what do you want to read about? I cover Japanese Pop and Rock music, anime, manga, and the culture of Japan. Among these topics what do you all care about the most? What do you want to read about? I truly want to hear from you all. What can I do to make this blog more enjoyable for you? I look forward to hearing your responses.

Japanese Gardens

When we think gardens we think of flowerbeds, maybe a tree or two. Or we envision a garden full of vegetables. The Japanese have a much richer understanding of gardens. For the Japanese gardens are a place for reflection and growth. A place they once entertained royalty and the elite of society. The design of a Japanese garden may have a flowerbed but, they completely leaves out any vegetable patch.

The concept of a Japanese garden started back before 794. Back before the influences of China had reached Japan. The first Japanese garden consisted of a single building in the middle of nature surrounded by pebbles. I’m not talking a few pebbles like we see on gravel roads. These pebbles were all white and of average size. These locations were considered to be sacred. Some aspects of this type of garden can be seen in ancient Shinto shrines.

Between 1603 and 1867, known as the Edo period, saw the creation of strolling gardens. Gardens with ponds and small islands; and man-made hills were created for the enjoyment of the ruling class. Many of these gardens also included a small tea garden in them. There were also much smaller gardens created called Tsuboniwa. The Tsuboniwa garden is probably the one Japanese garden you have seen the most and not realized it. Ever watch one of those shows that showed a Japanese style home with a tree and small patch of grass on the inside of the house? Well that small patch of earth is a Tsuboniwa garden.

The Meiji period 1868 to modern times showed a period of westernization and the modernizing of Japan. Along with this came new concepts of gardens. Parks were built for the public to enjoy. Many of the concepts of a Japanese garden were included in the design of these parks. Zen garden ideas were included in the designs of the modern parks. You can see images and read more about the history of Japanese gardens if you follow the link below. If you liked this post, be sure to give this blog a follow to keep up with my other posts.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2099_types.html

https://www.kyuhoshi.com/2015/10/31/japanese-gardens/

Japanese Related Christmas Ideas

Christmas is a few weeks away. Some have finished their shopping already, others are just getting started. Either way we all have that one family member we always have trouble picking out a gift for. We always end up waiting until the last minute to pick something out. Most times the gift ends up getting returned. So I might have a solution for you.

For that perfect gift for the Otaku in your life I got some great ideas for you. Below you will find images of items that are made in Japan. Some may seem out there, but that’s one of the joys of buying things from other countries. So have a look and if you find something you like, look through the links at the end.

https://shop.whiterabbitjapan.com

http://www.japantrendshop.com/index.php

http://www.blippo.com

Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist started out as a Manga written by Arakawa, Hiromu. It was first published on July 12, 2001. The last manga was published on September 11th 2010. It ran for one hundred and sixteen chapters. That is twenty seven volumes. The written form of Fullmetal Alchemist did not end with the manga series. There was also a novel series that ran from 2003 to 2010 for seven volumes. The novel series was just as engaging if not more so than the manga series. I had read both the manga series and the novel and I fell the novel was more enjoyable. I believe this is due to the fact that I had read the manga and watched the anime series by the time I read the novels. The novels added to the rich world of Fullmetal Alchemist.

The anime series, or rather the first anime series, Fullmetal Alchemist first aired October 4th, 2003 and ended less than a year later. With 51 episodes Fullmetal Alchemist tells the story of two brothers Edward and Alphones Elric. This series spawned several movies, collectables, and even an alternate telling of the anime series. The alternate series was called Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. This series ran from April 5th 2009 until July 4th 2010. It ran for an amazing 64 episodes. That’s 13 more episodes than the original. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a closer retelling of the manga series.

The franchise did not end with the manga series, novels, or either anime series. While researching for this post I learned that there are two more chapters of the series coming. Not only that, but there is a live action movie in the works. To learn more about the new chapters you can go here https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-07-12/hiromu-arakawa-draws-new-fullmetal-alchemist-manga-for-live-action-film-screenings/.118721

You can check out the live action trailer below.

Marriage in Japan

Japan has a unique problem. Their younger generation does not want to get married. Before you get worked up you should know they have a really good reason for it. Many Japanese men don’t want to get married since they cannot afford to support a family. You see the pay rate for Japanese workers is not that good right now. Due to this men have put off getting married until they feel they are financially stable and can afford a family. This has caused another issue I have spoken about before, the declining birthrate.

One company has found an unorthodox way to resolve the marriage issue. Although to be fair, as one article I read on the subject said, it may just be a way to advertise their business. You see the company in question is called Gatebox. What they did was offer marriage certificates to perspective employees. The catch is that these marriage certificates are to 2D women. Yep, you read that right. With the marriage license also comes a 45 dollar a month extra pay to help “support” your 2D wife, and an extra day off each year.

This however does not stop with 2D women. They also offer marriage license for 3D women. The race of women is also open. According to the license, your wife can be elves, science fiction characters, and other forms of non-human beings. It is certainly an unorthodox means of gaining employees. I know the two topics in this post do not given the topics; however it does give two sides of the marriage crises in Japan.

http://www.dw.com/en/why-fewer-japanese-are-seeking-marriage/a-19349576

https://kotaku.com/japanese-company-will-pay-employees-extra-money-if-they-1820702832

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Image credit belongs to Gatebox Lab