Author: Ed

Pre-school Paddy Wagon

Most pre-schools in Japan use these mini-paddy wagons to transport toddlers to and from the park. Editor’s note: this post was originally published in March 2008 and has been updated. _ Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new...

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Panty Bag at Awashima Shrine

Awashima jinja (Awashima shrine) in Wakayama attracts many female visitors who come to pray for safe childbirths, pregnancies, and cures for feminine troubles. This votive plaque says, “I wish for a healthy baby. I hope the baby will be born as soon as possible.” Editor’s note: this post was originally published in March 2008 and has been updated. _ Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in...

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Chiemi Jones

Lead singer Chiemi Jones of an alternative group called Chiemi Jones Band (Japanese only). Click here for a page with some music samples (click on the ‘MP3’ links to listen). Editor’s note: this post was originally published in March 2008 and has been updated. _ Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket...

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Happy Pineapple Day!

On August 7 this month, I found a huge bunch of about 15 bananas for only 120 yen at my local supermarket. Looking around, I noticed a sign saying that Aug. 8 was “Banana no hi” (Banana Day). This is a kind of Japanese wordplay involving numbers where the numbers’ sounds are used to make words. For example, my old homestay families phone number was 931-8782, which they remembered as “kusai iyana yatsu.” It meant “a stinking jerk.” The numbers it is made of are: 9=ku, 3=sa (san), 1=i (ichi), 8=ya (hachi), 7=na (nana), 8=(i)ya (hachi), 2=tsu (two). Here...

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Ameyoko-cho By Night

Ueno’s Ameyoko-cho started as a black market for American goods after World War II (hence the Ame in the name). It’s still a very lively, photogenic place to wander through, taking in the exotic foods, the bizarre English on the T-shirts, and colorful characters selling them. Editor’s note: this post was originally published in March 2008 and has been updated. _ Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit...

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