Author Archive

#808 Haniwa fever ~ from puddings to “Haniwa bu-cho”

Haniwa doll figure pudding cup

Yesterday I bought a pudding at a limited event at a department store.
The design of the pudding cup was a haniwa doll figure. Since it was a pottery, I decided to keep it after I finished the pudding, so that I could use it as a cup. It was not very big. The height was around the length of my index finger. It was very unique.

The burial mounds in Sakai was designated as a World Heritage site this year.

This year, the burial mounds (Kofun) in Sakai city was designated as a World Heritage site. Thanks to this honor, I can see a lot of related goods in the shops. For example sweets, stationery, clothes and books. Most of the goods have haniwa doll figure and tomb designs.

“Haniwa Bu-cho” (Chief Haniwa Officer)

When I was buying the pudding, I saw the business card of Chief Haniwa Officer at the cashier. Chief Haniwa Officer, short for CHO, is the official PR Yuru-chara for the burial mounds in Sakai. He is 1600 years old and is still single.

“He visited our shop and left his business card here,” the shop staff was very excited, “ I even took a picture with him!”

I didn’t know that he was recently promoted. Originally he was only a manager (Haniwa Ka-cho). Then on August 28(We can call the day “ha-ni-wa” in Japanese) this year, he was promoted to general manager (Haniwa Bu-cho).
I am not sure why he was promoted. Maybe he contributed a lot of his time to promote the burial mounds, which led to the recognition.
Good job!

Small joy!!(2019.10.4)

2019-10-10 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#809 The aquarium “Umigatari” in Nigata ~ You can see a compete view of the Japan Sea

The aquarium “Umigatari”

I went to the aquarium “Umigatari” in Joetsu city, Nigata. This Japan sea facing aquarium was renovated just last year. It was a modern and cozy aquarium in the city.

The water tanks looked like they were joined to the ocean!

The “Sea of Japan” and the “dolphin stadium” were two of the most popular attractions. Both places were designed in such a clever way that in the water tanks looked like they were joined to the ocean. You can see a complete view of the Sea of Japan and the beautiful sky above it.

↑The “Sea of Japan”

↑the “dolphin stadium” Can you see a dolphin?

You can also see two beluga whales and many Magellanic penguins. They were so cute and very popular.

↑A beluga whale

↑many Magellanic penguins

↑Wearing beluga whale hat Magellanic penguins

A cute guide

This time, my 6 years old nephew-in-law showed me around in the aquarium. He has an annual passport.
I bought a penguin umbrella, which he wanted, for him. That was a token of my gratitude for his nice and cute guide.

Small joy!!(2019.9.15)

2019-09-27 | Posted in English4 Comments » 


#810 The book written by Mr. Maric ~「超魔術の裏技術」(The trick of super magic)

Mr. Maric’s book

One day I was at the bookstore. I saw a book and an old song immediately came to my mind. It was the theme song used by the famous psychic entertainer Mr. Maric. He was very popular on TV in the 1980’s.
The book was written by him. The title is 「超魔術の裏技術」(The trick of super magic).
I bought the book since I am a fan of him.

What is the key of super magic?

This book doesn’t reveal any magic tricks.
He says that the key of super magic is not only the magic skills but also the presentation skills. They include the part of conversation and presenting yourself.
He would change the way to speak based on the number of customers. One to one, one to a few, one to tens of people and one to many and unspecified. The explanations are detailed and easy to understand.
One section describes the way to give a good impression to your partner is by looking at one of their eyes. (Not both eyes)

Mr. Maric’s theme music

I liked his theme music. Actually the music originally was from the song “Legs” composed by the famous English band “Art of Noise”.
Mr. Maric’s iconic phrases are “Kite-mas! Kite-mas!”(It’s coming!) and “Hand-Power!”. Those phrases were social phenomenon back in the days.
I think he is the best performer in Japan because he chose such unique theme song that sticks to your head and the catchy phrases.

↑The Art of Noise – Legs (from Official Video)

Small joy!!(2019.9)

2019-09-19 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#811 The Rugby World Cup in Japan is coming soon!!

I bought tickets to the Rugby World Cup on the internet.

The Rugby World Cup will be held in 12 different stadiums across Japan in September and October.

I chose the game that is the most convenient to go to. It is the game between USA and Tonga at Hanazono rugby stadium on Oct. 13th.

The ticket price was 7000 yen per person.

I am a longtime fan of rugby. I have watched rugby games at many stadiums but I’ve never been to Hanazono in Osaka.
So I’m quite looking forward to going to Hanazono.

I haven’t decided which country, USA or Tonga, to support yet.

Maybe I will support the weaker team.

Small joy!!(2019.9)

2019-09-04 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#812 Eating grilled eel in hot summer gets me energy

To eat grilled eel in hot summer is popular in Japan from a long time ago. It is because eels have good nutritions like vitamin A and B.

I went to my parents’ home in Chiba for obon holiday.

Since eel cuisine at restaurant is sort of expensive, we went to buy grilled eels without seasoning at fish shop.

We bought 2 grilled eels. Each grilled eel costed 2100 yen.

There were also fresh loaches and crayfish in the buckets at the shop.

The shop staff gave us a recipe on how to make delicious eel.

After we got home, my mom steamed the eels with sweet soy sauce.

Then we ate the cooked eel on rice. The three of us shared two eels.

It was so delicious! I like “sansho” seasoning on the top of eels. It smells really good, too.
I really enjoyed eating eels with my parents this obon holiday.

2019-08-27 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#813 Miso-making challenge~the third time~

Miso-making challenge

I made miso paste from scratch in a miso cooking lesson last Sunday. It was the third time to make miso paste for me. So this time, I could be more relaxed and get used to it than before. I made 5kg of miso paste.

A Tupperware container

I bought a Tupperware container to store the miso paste. I heard that Tupperware is a good container that can keep the miso dry and avoid mold. After making it, all I can do is just waiting for it to ferment for 3months. After 3 months, I can eat it. The miso paste was light brown when I put them into the Tupperware. The color would turn brown when I open the lid of the Tupperware next time.
Unfortunately I can’t open the lid and see the paste because the Tupperware is not transparent.

I’m a little worried about mold because it is summer time now. I hope it would turn into some good and yummy miso paste.

Small joy!!(2019.7.28)

↓Here is my previous post about “Miso-making challenge”(2017)

2019-08-22 | Posted in English4 Comments » 


#814 A book “Hito wa kagaku ga nigate” (People are not good at science~reported from USA~)

Some people believe the earth is flat!?

I read a book called “Hito wa kagaku ga nigate” (People are not good at science~reported from USA~).

  • Some people doubt that global warming is caused by human activities.
  • Some people believe the theory of creation, not the theory of evolution.
  • Some people believe the earth is flat not round.

Why do they think so? I was wondering.
This book answered it for me.
I’d like to share with you what the book says.

They don’t like science because it opposes to their philosophy.

The global warming skeptics, flat-earth believers, and the creationists also tend to support President Trump and the Republican party. They may also be pious Christians, evangelicals or conservatives. Some of them don’t like science because it opposes to their philosophy.
The fossil fuel industries also don’t believe in science, because they don’t want any regulations to reduce their profit. They doubt about science and scientists.

People only see what they want.

The book author says people are irrational. People only see what they want. We have emotional bias and confirmation bias. We are also surrounded by filter bubbles on the internet.

Thus, it is important to choose who to listen from. We must listen to those who are reliable and trustworthy. Your family, school and other environments educate your mind and lead you to become who you are. Unfortunately, some teachers are teaching the theory of creation in the US.

It’s very hard to persuade and change people’s mind. Because knowledge reaches the mind through the heart.

Scientists are trying to improve their communication skills and to interact with the public.

Now scientists have realized that it is important to educate the public about science. When something is incorrect, they must speak up. Scientists are trying to improve their communication skills and to interact with the public. Even though they may not be able to change people’s mind right away, they want to share the knowledge and make it easier to understand, so that more people can believe in science.

Small joy!!(2019.7)

2019-08-06 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#815 I went to ko-do master’s house. ~Japanese incense art and “misogi” custom~

Ko-do master’s house

I went to Ko-do master’s house last Sunday.
Ko-do is a traditional Japanese incense art. My friend, she is one of the Ko-do master’s students.
She invited me to join a Ko-do game at her master’s house. Although it was rainy, some people were wearing kimono, my friend too when I got to the house. The master’s house was so tidy and stylish.

Ko-do game started

10 people sat down on tatami mat and the Ko-do game started. My friend being the presenter, served us 3 types of incense, each in a koro, in order. A koro is an incense pot. We smelled three koros and tried to identify the difference. The first time was a rehearsal. Then the actual gameplay started.

She served four koroes in random order. We smelled each koro. One of them was a new incense that we haven’t smelled before.
Every time after I smelled, I wrote down the name of incense on a small piece of paper. It was difficult for me to memorize each smell.
When it is time to reveal the answer, the assistant wrote down our answers individually on a paper with a brush pen. My answer was 50% correct. Nobody answered perfectly.

June 30th is “Nagoshi no harae”(夏越の祓)

It was June 30th. the day is called “Nagoshi no harae”(夏越の祓). It is summer purification rites held at shrines on the last day of the sixth lunar month. Although I didn’t know the custom very much. We Japanese have a custom to stay away from bad evil things by using a paper doll in some areas of Japan.
One of the guests was a Shinto priest. She kindly prepared some paper dolls for us. I wrote my name and age on it. Then I chose 3 places on the paper doll to blow gently on. By doing so, it is supposed to relieve any pain and improve the body part’s functions in my body. She collected our dolls and headed to shrine to pray for us.
I really appreciated what the priest, the kodo master and my friends did. They taught me some very interesting Japanese traditions.

Sweets named ”Minazuki”

Afterwards, the kodo master served some sweets and maccha tea to us. Actually, there is a special traditional sweet for the day of “Nagoshi no harae”. It is originated from Kyoto but nowadays it is sold in many places in Japan. It is called “minazuki”. It is uiro(sweet rice jelly) with red beans on the topped shaped as a triangle. It is believed that red beans can scare away evil things. However we didn’t have “minazuki” at the kodo master’s house because she didn’t like it. We ate warabi-mochi jelly instead.

Small joy!!!(2019.6.30)

↓Here is my previous post about “Kodo”~traditional Japanese incense art~

2019-07-22 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#816 Strawberry paste and baby nephew

Baby nephew

I have an eight months old nephew.
I can’t see him very much because we live kind of far away from each other. His mother who is my sister-in-low, sometimes sends me his pics and videos. My favorite video is when he ate strawberry paste for the first time in his life. His mother is trying to wean him from breast milk.

His wry face is so funny!!

She gave the strawberry paste using a spoon to his small mouth. He tasted it and suddenly made a wry face. He swayed his head away. It seemed the strawberry paste was too sour for him.
I feel sorry for him, but that’s so funny!
I can’t stop laughing to see his face every time when I watch it.
He is so cute and adorable.

Pay more attention to try to feel more deeply and intensely

Babies and kids remind us of the moments when we experience things for the first time. Doing something new is always exciting.
As we get older, there are less new things we can experience. But maybe that’s not true. If we pay more attention to try to feel more deeply and intensely, we may be able to discover something new from the plain old day-to-day things. Having the right attitude and mindset can make our lives fun.

I am jealous of my nephew that there are so many things waiting for him to discover and experience.

Small joy!!(2019.6)

2019-07-10 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#817 A fragrance bracelet

Fragrance bracelet

I found a nice bracelet at a department store. The bracelet was made form Japanese glass beads and was made by a Nepalese woman by hand. There were many kinds of design and they were colorful and cute. The most charming point about these bracelets is that you can smell the fragrance when wearing it.

aroma bottles

The shop had many varieties of aromas. I smelled a lot of aroma bottles. Then I chose one named “chakra balancing essential oil”. It is a blend of 25 essential oils that will help to rebalance and harmonies one’s chakra energy centres.

My purchase helps a Nepalese woman

I also chose a colorful bracelet. There was a name card in the bracelet’s package. I can read the name, Seema. I think she made the bracelet. And my purchase helps to improve the quality of life for her in Nepal.

Young people tend to have sharper sense of smell

I added 2 drops of oil to the bracelet and I really enjoyed the smell.
Some young ladies standing around said it smelled good too.
But kids at my cram school, especially boys don’t like the smell.
Finally I found that young people tend to have sharper sense of smell and more straightforward.
Sorry kids! I’ll try another smell which is more kids-friendly next time!

Small joy!!(2019.6.14)

2019-07-03 | Posted in English2 Comments »