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everyday life

Kumagai Jin’ya(熊谷陣屋)

soleil1soleil2   Yesterday, I saw the play “Kumagai Jin’ya(熊谷陣屋)” at Kitakyūshū Soleil Hall. At the same time, they staged the Dance “Onna date(女伊達)”. I think this is first time for the hall having a kabuki play. I am not a kabuki crazy, but like to watch it. This program I have not seen before.

   When the show began, I confused this with “Terakoya(寺子屋)”. They have the same theme, I think. These stories I don’t like very much. I feel they are very tragic and cruel. The show was held as a weekday matinee performance, perhaps for that reason, the hall had plenty of room. The audience was a quarter of full house.

   The performance was acceptable for me. But the dance was not good. The main dancer, actually he is one of my favorite kabuki actors, danced without feeling. Was I the only person there who had such feeling? SIGH!!

Edit(Sep.28):
   I mistook Terakoya(寺子屋) for Kurumabiki(車引). Today, I’ve fixed it. Sorry!

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everyday life

Polar Bear’s Café(しろくまカフェ)

Polar Bear’s Café   Recently I’m totally hooked on this (^o^). It’s an Anime. If you live in Japan, you can watch it on some TV stations or Gyao. If you are in USA, Canada, UK & Ireland, AUS & NZ, South Africa, Netherlands, Scandinavia, you can see it at crunchyroll. If you are in other areas of the Earth, I’m sorry I don’t know how you can see it.

   It’s a very relaxing, lighthearted and funny comedy. After watching this, I renew myself in spirit (^o^). When you are depressed about all small things of your everyday life, please see it (^_~;). Of course, you like it or not, it depends on you.

   And I recommend this for people just starting to learn Japanese. This series contains a lot of puns, so it might be difficult for beginners. But except this, it’s very easy to understand. Let’s try it!!

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everyday life

My handwriting.

   Nowadays, when I write something, I usually use a digital equipment like a computer. I don’t hand-write very often. How is your case?

   A few people visit my blog by key-wording ‘japanese writing style’, ‘manuscript japanese’ or something. What do they want to know really? Though I have no idea about it, I’ve decided the following thing.

   Japanese traditionally respect the person who can write a good hand. I do NOT have a good hand. But, for visitors’ convenient, I will post my handwriting as the images. Maybe this post will satisfy a few visitors on some level.

   One of the images I wrote vertically, the other I did horizontally. The material of the handwriting is from the original of this translation.

   The sheet is a piece of the notebook. When I hand-write something, I usually use a ball-point pen or a pencil. I like a fountain pen and an ink brush, but I don’t use them very often. The sheet has horizontal ruled lines. When I write vertically, I rotate the paper 90 degrees. Usually Japanese write something, we use at least Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana. In some cases, we additionally use Alphabet.

   Now, I’ll show you my handwriting. Voilà!!

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everyday life

The heating of my house.

   Last week, it was very cold in Japan. My town, which is on the Kyūshū(九州) island, was no exception. On Thursday temperatures were 2 ℃(36℉), and On Friday 0 ℃(32℉). What time? Around 8a.m. Where? My living room(茶の間). (^^)

   I rebuilt my house about 20 years ago. It is, if anything, a traditional Japanese-style. My old house was built in the early 1880’s. It was a traditional Japanese-style house for me. But for people in the early 1880’s it might be a modern house because it was a two-story one. When it was built, the first two-story house in my town, I hear.

   When I decided to build a new house, the old one was almost 100 years old. Actually, the decent traditional Japanese-style house stands more longer time. But my town was old coal mine lands. It has a lot of tunnels under the ground. So the ground isn’t firm, which makes a house lean. Rain has harmful effects for the house because a traditional one is made of wood, paper, and soil. Result of that, its life goes shorter.

   Until an air-conditioner invented, how to build a house in Japan makes it a principle to how to live out Japanese summer. (^^;) About it, Yoshida Kenkō(吉田兼好) wrote in Tsurezuregusa(徒然草), section 55(第55段).
   Even now, almost everywhere in Japan except for Hokkaidō(北海道), a house is not sealed in a high level. Most of them don’t have a central heating system. So does mine.

   The heating system of my living room(茶の間) is an oil heater and a electric kotatsu(電気ごたつ). Main is kotatsu and sub is oil heater. When I relax in the living room, I use these devices and wear a wataire(綿入れ). In many cases 綿入れ might be called as 綿入れはんてん.

   Now i.e. 10p.m., temperatures are 18 ℃(64℉) in my 茶の間. I feel a little bit too warm. So, I turned off the oil heater. (^^)

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everyday life

Last night, I couldn’t, so……

   Last night, I couldn’t. So, I do “Otsukimi” tonight. We call the moon after “full moon(十五夜)” by “Izayoi(十六夜)”.

   Chinese characters(十六夜) mean sixteenth night. And 十六夜 as a word is “the sixteenth night of a lunar month”.
   But “Izayoi” has another mean. “Izayoi” originated from a verb “izayou”. “Izayou” means “hesitate”. The moon after full moon rises a little bit later than the full moon, as if after some hesitation.

   I took a picture of 十六夜の月. Like this.

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everyday life

I can’t do ‘Otsukimi’, tonight.

2010.09.22   Today, it’s 15th of August by our old calendar(旧暦). By tradition, we do ‘Otsukimi(お月見)’ at the night every year.
   When we do ‘Otsukimi’, we decorate Japanese pampas grass(すすき), moon-offerings of sake and dango, and we view and admire the full moon and enjoy an autumn evening.
   Recently, this custom is fading out. I don’t make decorations anymore, but I still remember the full moon of this night.

   A little minutes ago, though I stood in my garden and looked up the sky, I could not find the moon because of thick cloud. Last year, at the night I had a cloudy day, too. But at that time, I could see the full moon and take its picture like the right.

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everyday life

Do you know “Koinobori”?

   We have two kinds of traditional children day a year. One is for girls and is called “Hina Matsuri(雛祭り)” on 3rd of March. The other is for boys and is called “Tango no Sekku(端午の節句)” on 5th of May. We display a lot of kind dolls called “Hinaningyo(雛人形)” in the house on the girl’s day and we set up “Koinobori” as right-side shown in the garden on the boy’s day.
   Now April. We can see a lot of “koinobori” all over the Japan.

   Btw, we have two school songs about “Koinobori” like this.

1.  こいのぼり 作詞:近藤宮子/作曲:不明
    やねよりたかい こいのぼり
    Yaneyori takai Koinobori
    おおきいまごいは おとうさん
    Ohkii magoiwa otosan
    ちいさいひごいは こどもたち
    Chiisai higoiwa kodomotachi
    おもしろそうに およいでる
    Omoshirosoni oyoideru


2. こいのぼり 作詞:不詳/作曲:弘田龍太郎
   甍(いらか)の波と 雲の波                   Irakano namito kumononami
   重なる波の 中空(なかぞら)を             Kasanaru namino nakazorao
   橘(たちばな)かおる 朝風に                Tachibana kaoru asakazeni
   高く泳ぐや 鯉のぼり                           Takaku oyoguya koinobori

   開ける広き 其の口に                          Hirakeru hiroki sonokuchini
   舟をも呑(の)まん 様見えて                 Funeomo noman samamiete
   ゆたかに振(ふる)う 尾鰭(おひれ)には Yutakani furuu ohireniwa
   物に動ぜぬ姿あり                               Mononi dozenu sugataari

   百瀬(ももせ)の滝を 登りなば              Momoseno takio noborinaba
   忽(たちま)ち竜に なりぬべき              Tachimachi ryuuni narinubeki
   わが身に似よや 男子(おのこご)と       Wagamini niyoya onokogoto
   空に躍るや 鯉のぼり                         Sorani odoruya koinobori

Please someone, translate these songs, ha!!  🙂
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everyday life

Origami animals.

   Since last autumn, I’ve made some kind of paper animals by a little necessity. Several years earlier, if I wanted to do so, I should have learned them from someone, looked for books, or thought how to make them by myself. But these convenient days, I can find a lot of kinds on the net.

   Among them, I used these six. Can you tell me what they are? Great? Actually, the center of them is a cat. But most of my friends said it’s a dog. :-p

   They are wonderful, aren’t they? They are not Japanese traditional origami but new ones which someone invented. We only sighed when looking the highest level origami, but these six are great in another way because even an ordinary elementary school child can make them.

   The size of paper is the same as the rabbit and the elephant. So, the completion became a biiiiiiiiiig rabbit and a smaaaaaaaaaall elephant.

Edit : The reference sites are as follows.
rabbit::penguin::elephant::cat::camel::giraffe