January 25, 2008

My New Friend

To tell the truth...I'm not good at waking up in the morning :S Though I have low blood pressure, I'm not bad at moving from early time, however, I can't wake up even I set my alarm, and make it ring again and again (I'm using my cell phone). I used to use an alarm clock long long time ago, however, don't remember if I woke up when it rand. But, I wanted to buy a loud alarm clock and found it, so, I bought it yesterday. :D I like analog clock more that digital clock, because I like the sound of clocks that have bells. The alarm clock that I bought was definitely one with two bells. Mentioning about the sizes, there are almost two sizes of this type of alarm clock, and bigger ones looked more noisy, however, I bought one of smaller ones. It was just because I thought that the smaller one looked better.

So, I got my new friend who will (may?) wake me up everyday. Of course I set the time last night and it woke me up at time today!! 素晴らしい!!(笑)I got a good friend. :D I went to sleep at 2 am last night. Normally, if my mom doesn't wake me up, I'll sleep until 9 or 10. However, I could wake up at 7!! I thought that I should take care of this small noisy friend. :P Especially about food? Because it wouldn't wake me up if it is hungry. XD

January 22, 2008

Want to Know How Much They Are

There are many bar code guys in Japan. They lost hair on top of their head, so they bring their little hair of the side to the other side via top of the head. Of course, it is not enough to cover all of their head, and seem unnatural. So, it's look like "bar code".Therefore they are sometimes called "バーコードオヤジ(bar code man)" or "バーコードハゲ(bar code bald)". However, you must not say the "bar code" when a man who has the hair is beside you. He may get shocked...or angry and you would involved in a trouble.

Most people who have little hair look that they don't have confidence about their looks. Maybe they think only if they had lots of hair...bla bla bla. Why do I think so is because a lot of people who don't have hair is trying to hide it by making their head like bar code. It may be a good way to hide their skin of top of their head, however, so UNNATURAL. Hair like kappa (it is a imaginary living that lives in rivers, and has a plate on its head) looks poor, however, bar code hair is so too. At least, I think so. Bar code hair makes us pay attention to his head. Think that a man who has poor hair on his side head, washing it carefully and setting the hair with a hair spray to bar code shape. Hmmm....looks soooooo poor. :S To people like that, it is better not to mention about hair. They will get upset. :( I would think that it is better not to hide the bald head, if I were a man, and noticed that my hair was decreasing. I'd rather shave all of my hair than hiding it with making bar code! Isn't it sportsmanlike? lol.

One day, I saw a man who has poor hair on the train. I was surprised his skin around his hair was so red. I thought that he tried using some strong medicine for growing hair. Of course it is not sure...but I thought people can try so hard like this when they want to take their hair back.

By the way, I want to do one thing to バーコードハゲ. It is...READING THEIR PRICE WITH A BAR CODE READER!! Do you think that it is possible? How poor he is if he were only ¥100? He can be sold at a 100 yen shop then. :D I'm sure that I'm too naughty and rude in this archive. What I have to say is...I'm sorry for bar code people all over Japan. Or all over the world, if they exist out of Japan.

January 14, 2008

How Do You Pay Money?

When I visited Canada, money annoyed me. Because in Japan, the size of coins is in order of the value of the coin, however, Canadian $ was different. And about Japanese coins, the number of the coin is very easy to see, however, Canadian coins are not so. It took for a while until I recognize which coin is which quicker.

In Japan, we usually pay money in the way to lose small coins as many as possible because it is troublesome to have a lot of same coins in the wallet. For example, if the things what I want to buy are totally ¥2,623, and if I don't have ¥623 exactly, I will pay ¥3,123 and will get one coin back as the change, so ¥500. We don't like having small coins like ¥1 or ¥5 or ¥10 so much. In Canada, I also tried to pay in such way, but, I couldn't since I haven't got used to their coins. I also thought that maybe I shouldn't pay in that way because we have to pay tips in Canada. When we first got to the hotel, a porter took our baggage, I thought that I should pay him tips, however, I didn't know the value of each coins yet and therefore couldn't do it well. I even couldn't use vending machines enough at that time! I was trying to put big paper money into it, however it didn't accept it. I was in a hurry, and didn't know what to do. While I was flustered in front of the vending machine, the porter came back and helped me! I was very ashamed at that time. I wanted to hand the porter tip for carrying our baggage, however, maybe I was acting weird because of getting strained and being ignorant.

After all, when I went to our room, I noticed that I did something wrong...I was shocked because I thought that I did some rude thing because of the ignorance and impatience. And I was a little bit shy to see his face whole the days at the hotel, lol.

Anyway, I learned that, in foreign countries, it is better to pay with big money and get big coins back as the change for tips :S However, the problem is, I will get small money that I can't use as tips a lot. So, I thought Japan is nice. However, it is just because we don't have to pay tips, and I've just got used to Japanese money :P

January 10, 2008

Written Oracles

In connection with the last archive, I wrote about Written Oracles. They are called "おみくじ (omikuji)" and it is very popular to consult an oracle (in Japanese, it is called おみくじを引く") especially in the new year season. People go to a Shinto shrine or temple...especially Shinto shrine, and pray for good luck of the year. And they consult an oracle to know their fortune of the year. The best one is "大吉 (daikichi)", and we are glad if we get it, lol. After reading the small piece of paper, we tie it to the trees or some places there.

What is written on an omikuji is complicated because it is written in old style Japanese. However, it is not too difficult to understand. The picture is the omikuji that I got last year, and it is "大吉"!! lol.

On the top, there is a song...that is in "短歌 (tanka)" style. Tanka is a style of old Japanese songs. it consists of 5 parts with 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 sounds. About this omikuji, the tanka is,

渦を巻く 谷の小川の 丸木橋 渡る夕べの こゝちするかな

explanation: 初めは危ない谷の小川の橋を渡るような心配事があるが驚き迷うことはありません。後には何も彼も平和に収まります。凡て小さいことも用心してすればよろしい。

At first, you will have some uneasiness like going on the bridge above a small stream of a dangerous valley , however, you don't have to get surprised and worry. Later, everything will fall into place peacefully. It will be all right if you do things carefully however small they are.

And the main part is from here.

願望 できかねるように危険を覚えるが後調う
待人 さわりあり 来たらず
失物 出がたし 下にあり
旅行 吉日をえらべ
商売 買うのは損控えよ
学問 安心して勉学せよ
相場 売れ 大利益あり
争事 時を待たねば勝てず
恋愛 将来幸福になる
転居 さわがぬ方がよし
出産 産前を用心すれば安産
病気 信心すれば治る
縁談 他人の口舌に惑わされるな

Wishes: It looks that won't granted, however it will be all right later.
The person you wait for: You can feel, but won't come.
The things you lost: They are hard to find. It is in the bottom.
Traveling: Choose a lucky day.
Business: It will be a loss. Keep from buying.
Study: Study without anxiety.
The market price: Sell. It will bring you a big profit.
Arguments: You can't win if you don't wait for an opportunity.
Love: You will be happy in the future.
A move: Better not to be noisy.
A childbirth: You will have an easy delivery if you take care beforehand.
An illness: It will get well if you believe in it.
An offer of marriage: Don't be confused by others talking.

That's on the omikuji I got last year. I'm not sure how many things hit. And of course I don't believe in things like that seriously. However, consulting an oracle is fun for me, and maybe for many people too. It is one of cultural things of Japan. And I know, some temples have omikuji for foreigners...like Sensouji temple in Tokyo. The omikuji is written in English. Maybe it is because many foreigners visit there. Go there and try it if you find omikuji in Japan. It will be a topic for conversation at least :P

January 4, 2008

What Do You Believe in?

According to the statistics of Japanese government, Shintoists are 160 million, Buddhists are 96 million, Christians are 200 thousand, who believe other religions are 1,100 million in Japan. So, the total is 250 million and this number is much more than Japanese population. Even only the sum of Shintoists and Buddhists is more than 200 million, and this is because Japanese join plural religion's events. We cerebrate festivals or events at Shinto shrines, and hold funerals or Bon festival in Buddhist style. In other countries, they become to the religion's believer when they are baptized, however, in Japan, we are considered as the religion's believer when we pray to the god. So, who pray to a god and Buddha has two religions.

As my feeling, Japanese have no religion. We originally have the recognize that everything has own god and we respect each god (it is values of Shintoism)...like, the sun has sun's god, trees has trees' god...so, even the Buddha or Christ are one of these gods if they come to Japan. Maybe we accept this style and believe all the gods. I think that Japanese don't believe gods so eager too. Maybe especially young people...of course it depends on the person, however old people look much more pious than young people.

We also have Christian events like Christmas or St. Valentine's day. However, about Valentine's day, it is the day that girls give their boyfriend a chocolate in Japan, so, it is different from western countries :P And about events like them, we don't feel religious meaning. I guess, some people may not even know these events are from Christianity. Events like them are known as important events for love here.

Thus, Japanese don't strongly believe only one god. We believe every god that is around them and also don't believe any god. Or, we may just accept what is here. It may sound contradictory, however, it is what Japanese are I think.