Source: Spark Blog
On this episode, Yoshio and his teammates took on a task to escort a prisoner. Meanwhile, Kensuke refuses to be in contact with Yoshio and attempts to live his own life.
Yoshio is just surprisingly becoming a way better character than Kensuke compared to the beginning where it was the opposite. I hope Kensuke can get his act together real soon before the final episode. Other than that, the current case for Yoshio is getting pretty interesting because of how he’s getting smarter to react on certain situations. Now can Yoshio do something about the prisoner and the mysterious people coming after the prisoner? I can’t wait to find out. Overall, interesting prisoner escort case.
Conclusion: Interesting prisoner escort case. …continue reading
Source: Spoon & Tamago
The Watanabes have about as much in common with the popular Japanese surname as the English band The Smiths have with, well, Smith. The 80s English band once said “[The Smiths] was the most ordinary name and I thought it was time that the ordinary folk of the world showed their faces.” And it’s with a similar dedication that British brothers Duncan and Selwyn Walsh decided to form the Watanabes and establish Japan as both their base and muse.
Active in the music scene since 2005, the Watanabes are an indie folk band who blend Simon and Garfunkel-esque melodies with the Japanese experience. It’s as if Belle and Sebastion were airlifted out of Scotland and dropped in the center of Tokyo. The brothers are often joined by Ayumi Sato on bass, Tomoyuki Yamada on drums and Lensei Nishizawa on piano.
The music is lovely but the videos, too, are essential watching for any fan of Tokyo as the band routinely films along rivers and in streets and parks that Tokyoites may recognize. Their most recent video Over Romantic is embedded above.
I would also recommend checking out some of their older stuff like Yuriko Yuriko (below). The Watanabes play live gigs around Tokyo several times a year so check them out if you’re around.
Source: 世論 What Japan Thinks
Today let’s have a ranking from Macromill Research for a change, a look at Japan’s favourite characters.
My favourite is number 10, followed by number 8 then 5, I suppose. Number 3 would be much higher-ranked if it wasn’t for the fact that in Japan it is only the Disneyfied version that does the rounds.
Let’s do this ranking graphically and in reverse order:
Between the 29th of December 2016 and the 4th of January 2017 1,000 members of the Macromill monitor group aged between 20 and 59 years old with demographics reflecting the demographics of the population of Japan according to the 2015 census.
Source: Japanese Blog
Photo by leonardohwan on Flickr.com
When learning a new language the biggest challenge one could face is improving their listening skills. Especially when they are not living in that country.
I have seen students buy listening practice materials and books for the choukai (聴解) section of the JLPT. There is no doubt that JLPT choukai (聴解) books will familiarise you with the question patterns, but I believe there is a much better way to improve your Japanese listening skills. Watching Japanese films (映画 eiga), dramas (ドラマ dorama) or anime (アニメ) series is not only interesting, it also improves you choukai (聴解) skills.
Many Japanese dramas (ドラマ dorama) are live-action adaptations of manga (漫画). In this post I am going to introduce you to 3 of my favourite Japanese dramas (ドラマ dorama). Hope you like them!
Years: 1983, 1984 Genre: Life
It is a rags to riches story of a self-made girl who was born into a poor family of a farmer in Yamagata prefecture (山形県 Yamagata-ken) of Japan. With too many mouths to feed in the household, Oshin was sent away at a young age to work as a maid, by her father.
The drama tells the life story of Oshin, her struggles and determination, as she makes her way towards becoming a strong and independent woman. Since this story is set during pre and post World War 2 (第二次世界大戦 Dainijisekaitaisen), you can get an idea about Japan’s social (社会的 shakaiteki) and economic (経済的 keizaiteki) conditions during those days.
Years: 2002, 2005, 2008 Genre: Comedy
Granddaughter of a powerful gangster (ヤクザ yakuza), Kumiko Yamaguchi becomes a high school homeroom teacher (担任の先生 tanin no sensei) after she graduated. The drama shows how she manages a classroom of unruly and stubborn kids. She bonds with her students and saves them from dangers. …continue reading
Source: Spoon & Tamago
a 700-year old camphor tree pokes its head out of Kayashima Station (photo by Kosaku Mimura/Nikkei)
In the Northeast suburbs of central Osaka stands a curious train station unlike any other. Kayashima Station features a rectangular hole cut into the roof of the elevated platform and, from inside, a giant tree pokes its head out like a stalk of broccoli. It’s almost like a railway version of Laputa.
Photos by Mizuo Watanabe/Asahi
The large camphor tree is older than most records but officials believe it to be around 700 years old. The story of how this tree and station became, quite literally, intertwined, varies depending on who you ask. It certainly has to do with a great reverence for nature, but also a fair amount of superstition.
Kayashima Station in 1968, 4 years before plans to cut it down (photo via “me de miru neyagawashi no hyakunen)
Kayashima Station first opened in 1910 and, at the time, the camphor tree stood right next to the station. For the next 60 years the station remained largely unchanged. But an increase in population and overcrowding began to put pressure on the station and plans for an expansion where approved in 1972, which called for the tree to be cut down.
But the camphor tree had long been associated with a local shrine and deity. And when locals found out that station officials planned to remove the tree there was a large uproar. Tales began to emerge about the tree being angry, and unfortunate events befalling anyone who attempted to cut it down. Someone who cut a branch off later in the day developed a high fever. A white snake was spotted, wrapped around the tree. Some even …continue reading