Love Nippon!!
For people who have interests in Nippon. We have ancient time and modern time mixed, nature, technologies and nice people. I post pictures of my favorite Nippon which were taken by myself. If you like to be informed with new article, please subscribe this blog. Thank you!

12月
23

Today is 77th birthday of Tenno Heika.
26,300 people got together at Imperial Palace, Tokyo.
Many visitors from foreign countries were there and celebrated Emperor’s birthday with us.

Tenno Heika Banzai!
天皇陛下万歳!

11月
06

In 2010,various events will be held in Nara Prefecture to commemorate the 1300th anniversary of Nara Heijo-kyo Capital.On this special occasion, we will appreciate the fact that the ancient traditions and cultures of Japan have been preserved until today,and communicate to the world our wish to hand down those traditions and cultures to future generations.

For more details, see http://www.1300.jp/foreign/english/index.html.

YouTube – 平城遷都1300年祭.

9月
22

Tsukimi or Otsukimi, literally moon-viewing, refers to Japanese festivals honoring the autumn moon. The celebration of the full moon typically takes place on the 15th day of the eighth month of the traditional Japaneselunisolar calendar; the waxing moon is celebrated on the 13th day of the ninth month. These days normally fall in September and October of the modern solar calendar.

The tradition dates to the Jomon period, and is now so popular in Japan that some people repeat the activities for several evenings following the appearance of the full moon during the eighth lunisolar month.

Tsukimi traditions include displaying decorations made from Japanese pampas grass (susuki) and eating rice dumplings called Tsukimi dango in order to celebrate the beauty of the moon. Seasonal produce are also displayed as offerings to the moon. Sweet potatoes are offered to the full moon, while beans or chestnuts are offered to the waxing moon the following month. The alternate names of the celebrations, Imomeigetsu (literally “potato harvest moon”) and Mamemeigetsu (“bean harvest moon”) or Kurimeigetsu (“chestnut harvest moon”) are derived from these offerings.

9月
22







9月
10

YouTube – The traditional Making of a Samurai Sword (Katana).

8月
29

Do you eat Unagi?
I went to Unagi restaurant yesterday.
This restaurant serves their Unagi dish to the Royal Family of Nippon when they visit Hakone.
The combination of Unagi and Wasabi is very Japanese.
If you come to Japan, please try it.

UNAGI is the Japanese eelAnguilla japonica, is a species of eel found in JapanKoreaVietnam the East China Sea and the northern Philippines. Like the all the eels of its family, it is catadromous, meaning it lives parts of its life in both freshwater and saltwater. The specific spawning grounds have been recently discovered amongst seamounts to the west of the Mariana Islands. Adult eels migrate thousands of miles from freshwater rivers in East Asia to this location. The larvae, called leptocephali, hatch in the open sea and are carried by the Kuroshio Current to areas close to land where they consume plankton. After reaching adequate size, they enter the headwaters of rivers and travel upstream where they eventually reach adulthood. They are known to sometimes leave water at night and crawl over land. Its diet consists mainly of shrimp, insects and small fish. The eels are eaten in Japan, where they are called unagi, and also have uses in Chinese medicine.

Wasabi , originally Wasabia japonicaCochlearia wasabi, or Eutrema japonica) is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes cabbageshorseradish, andmustard. Known as “Japanese horseradish”, its root is used as a spice and has an extremely strong flavor. Its hotness is more akin to that of a hot mustard rather than the capsaicin in a chili pepper, producing vapors that stimulate the nasal passages more than the tongue. The plant grows naturally along stream beds in mountain river valleys in Japan. There are also other species used, such as W. koreana, and W. tetsuigi. The two main cultivars in the marketplace are W. japonica cv. ‘Daruma’ and cv. ‘Mazuma’, but there are many others.

8月
28

The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (Rikujō Jieitai?), or JGSDF, is the militaryground force (army) of Japan. The largest of the three services of the JSDF, the Ground Self-Defense Force operates under the command of the chief of the ground staff, based in the city ofIchigaya, Tokyo. The present chief of ground staff is General Yoshifumi Hibako. The JGSDF numbers around 147,000 soldiers.

For Imperial Japanese Army (1871–1947), please see that article.

8月
22











Yamato (大和), named after the ancient Japanese Yamato Province, was the lead ship of theYamato class of battleships that served with the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. She and her sister ship, Musashi, were the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed, displacing 72,800 tonnes at full load and armed with nine 46 cm (18.1 inch) main guns. Neither survived the war.

Laid down in 1937 and formally commissioned in late 1941, Yamato was designed to counter the numerically superior battleship fleet of the United States, Japan’s main rival in the Pacific. Throughout 1942 she served as the flagship of the Japanese Combined Fleet, and in June 1942 Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto directed the fleet from her bridge during the disastrous Battle of MidwayMusashi took over as the Combined Fleet flagship in early 1943, and Yamato spent the rest of the year, and much of 1944, moving between the major Japanese naval bases ofTruk and Kure in response to American threats. Although she was present at the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June 1944, Yamato played no part in the battle. The only time she fired her main guns at enemy surface targets was in October 1944, when she was sent to engage American forces invading the Philippines during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. On the verge of success the Japanese force turned back, believing they were engaging an entire US carrier fleet rather than the light escort-carrier group that was all that stood between Yamato and the vulnerable troop transports.

During 1944 the balance of naval power in the Pacific decisively turned against Japan, and by early 1945 the Japanese fleet was much depleted and critically short of fuel stocks in the home islands, limiting its usefulness. In April 1945, in a desperate attempt to slow the Allied advance,Yamato was dispatched on a one-way voyage to Okinawa, where it was intended that she should protect the island from invasion and fight until destroyed. Her task force was spotted south of Kyushu by US submarines and aircraft, and on 7 April she was sunk by American carrier-based bombers and torpedo bombers with the loss of most of her crew.

YouTube – 今甦る 戦艦大和 1/11.

8月
16

A little after noon, Japan standard time on August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito‘s announcement of Japan’s acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration was broadcast to the Japanese people over the radio. Earlier the same day, the Japanese government had broadcast an announcement over Radio Tokyo that “acceptance of the Potsdam Proclamation [would be] coming soon,” and had advised the Allies of the surrender by sending a cable to U.S. President Harry S Truman via the Swiss diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C. A nation-wide broadcast by President Truman was aired at seven o’clock (daylight time in Washington, D.C.) on August 14 announcing the communication and that the formal event was scheduled for September 2. In his announcement of Japan’s surrender on August 14, President Truman said that “the proclamation of V-J Day must wait upon the formal signing of the surrender terms by Japan”. The formal Japanese signing of the surrender terms took place on board the battleship USSMissouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, and at that time Truman declared September 2 to be the official V-J Day.

I go to Yasukuni Shrine on August 15th every year.
There are many relics and last words of warriors are displayed in Yushukan of Yasukuni Shrine.
The following is one from those  last words.

I respectfully say to the Divine souls of Yasukuni Shrine.
I have received my discharge order today. What could I possibly say to you, the Divine souls of Yasukuni Shrine, who believed in the certain victory of the Empire and thoroughly carried out your important duty of defending it? I simply regret that I was unable to fulfill my obligations to the Empire and I apologize through my own death.

Iwao Kondo, Sergeant, Military Police, Japanese Army

My Last Words

I respectfully say to my parents,
I have received my discharge order today. Unavoidable circumstances prevented me from returning home. I am terribly mortified. Many of my fellow soldiers have gone before me. Without having fulfilled my long-cherished desire as a soldier how could I return home at this belated hour? Please understand how I feel.
As a soldier and to advance on the great path of my convictions, I have resolved to die. Please forgive me.
It is more than twenty-four years since I came into the world. I am sincerely grateful to you for your troubles to raise me. I ask that you train my remaining two brothers well to devote to the protection of the Empire.
Please take good care of yourselves.
August 18, 1945
Iwao
To: Father and Mother

Iwao Kondo Mikoto
Sergeant, Military Police, Japanese Army
Suicide From a Sense of Responsibility on August 19, 1945 in Tokyo Metropolis
Born in Aichi Prefecture
Age: 22

[Original]

「謹みて靖国神社の神霊に申す」

陸軍憲兵軍曹 近藤巖命
(昭和二十年八月十九日 東京都にて自決 愛知県出身 二十二歳)

謹みて靖国神社の神霊に申す
本日復員の命下れり。皇国の必勝を信じ、護持の大任を完ふされし靖国の神霊に何と申し上げべきや。只、吾が責務の完からざるを思ひ、此処に一死を以て詫びんとす。

陸軍憲兵軍曹 近藤巖

遺言
謹みて御両親様に申し上げます。
本日復員の命下り、帰郷の余儀なきに至りました。真に無念に存じます。多くの戦友に先立たれ、軍人の本分を完ふせず、今更何んで帰られませう。巖の胸中、お察し下され。
武人として、又、自己の信念の大道を進むべく、此処に死を決します。お許し下され。
生を受けてより此の方、二十四余年余。此の間の御両親様の御辛労、深く深く感謝致します。後に残りし弟二人、立派に御薫陶の上、皇国護持の為に尽さしめられたくお願ひ申し上げます。
折角御自重遊されなく。
昭和二十年八月十八日


御両親様

I’m sorry that I can’t translate those words into English perfectly because the words include very rich meanings which can’t be translated easily into another language.

8月
14

The Imperial Rescript on Education (Kyōiku ni Kansuru Chokugo) was signed by Emperor Meiji of Japan on 30 October 1890 to articulate government policy on the guiding principles of education on the Empire of Japan. The 315 character document was read aloud at all important school events, and students were required to study and memorize the text.

[Original]

教育勅語

朕惟フニ我カ皇祖皇宗國ヲ肇ムルコト宏遠ニ德ヲ樹ツルコト深厚ナリ
我カ臣民克ク忠ニ克ク孝ニ億兆心ヲ一ニシテ世世厥ノ美ヲ濟セルハ此
レ我カ國體ノ精華ニシテ教育ノ淵源亦實ニ此ニ存ス爾臣民父母ニ孝ニ
兄弟ニ友ニ夫婦相和シ朋友相信シ恭儉己レヲ持シ博愛衆ニ及ホシ學ヲ
修メ業ヲ習ヒ以テ智能ヲ啓發シ德器ヲ成就シ進テ公益ヲ廣メ世務ヲ開
キ常ニ國憲ヲ重シ國法ニ遵ヒ一旦緩急アレハ義勇公ニ奉シ以テ天壤無
窮ノ皇運ヲ扶翼スヘシ是ノ如キハ獨リ朕カ忠良ノ臣民タルノミナラス
又以テ爾祖先ノ遺風ヲ顯彰スルニ足ラン
斯ノ道ハ實ニ我カ皇祖皇宗ノ遺訓ニシテ子孫臣民ノ倶ニ遵守スヘキ所
之ヲ古今ニ通シテ謬ラス之ヲ中外ニ施シテ悖ラス朕爾臣民ト倶ニ拳々
服膺シテ咸其德ヲ一ニセンコトヲ庶幾フ

明治二十三年十月三十日
御名御璽

[Modern Japanese]

教育勅語

私の思い起こすことには、我が皇室の祖先たちが国を御始めになったのは遙か遠き昔のことで、そこに御築きになった徳は深く厚きものでした。我が臣民は忠と孝の道をもって万民が心を一つにし、世々にわたってその美をなしていきましたが、これこそ我が国体の誉れであり、教育の根本もまたその中にあります。

あなた方臣民よ、父母に孝行し、兄弟仲良くし、夫婦は調和よく協力しあい、友人は互いに信じ合い、慎み深く行動し、皆に博愛の手を広げ、学問を学び手に職を付け、知能を啓発し徳と才能を磨き上げ、世のため人のため進んで尽くし、いつも憲法を重んじ法律に従い、もし非常事態となったなら、公のため勇敢に仕え、このようにして天下に比類なき皇国の繁栄に尽くしていくべきです。これらは、ただあなた方が我が忠実で良き臣民であるというだけのことではなく、あなた方の祖先の遺(のこ)した良き伝統を反映していくものでもあります。

このような道は実に、我が皇室の祖先の御遺(のこ)しになった教訓であり、子孫臣民の共に守らねばならないもので、昔も今も変わらず、国内だけでなく外国においても間違いなき道です。私はあなた方臣民と共にこれらを心に銘記し守っていきますし、皆一致してその徳の道を歩んでいくことを希(こいねが)っています。

明治二十三年十月三十日

(天皇陛下の署名と印。)

[English Translation]

The Imperial message on Education

Know ye, our subjects;

Our Imperial Ancestors have founded Our Empire on a basis broad and everlasting and have deeply and firmly implanted virtue; Our subjects ever united in loyalty and filial piety have from generation to generation illustrated the beauty thereof.This is the glory of the fundamental character of our Empire,and herein also lies the source of Our education. Ye, Our subjects,to be filial to your parents , affectionate to your brothers and sisters; as husbands and wives be harmonious , as friends true; bear yourselves in modesty and moderation; extend your benevolence to all;pursue learning and cultivate arts,and thereby develop intellectual faculties and perfect moral powers;furthermore advance public good and promote common interests; always respect the  Constitution and observe the laws; should emergency arise,offer yourselves courageously to the State; and thus guard and maintain the prosperity of Our Imperial Throne coeval with heaven and earth.So shall ye not only be Our good and faithful subjects,but render illustrious the best traditions of your forefathers.

The Way here set forth is indeed the teaching bequeathed by Our Imperial Ancestors, to be observed alike by Their Descendants and the subjects,infallible for all ages and true in all places.It is Our wish to lay it to heart in all reverence, in common with you,

Our subjects, that we may all thus attain to the same virtue.

The 30th day of the 10th month of the 23rd year of Meiji,

(Imperial Sign Manual, Imperial Seal)


8月
12

Nishiizu (Nishiizu-chō) is a town located in Kamo DistrictShizuokaJapan. As of 2009, the town has an estimated population of 9,720 and a density of 92.1 persons per km². The total area is 105.52 km².

Sandwiched between the Amagi Mountains to the west and Suruga Bay on the Pacific Ocean to the west, Nishiizu has a hill hinterland and a rocky, indented coast. The area has numerous hot springs. Warmed by the warm Kuroshio Current, the area enjoys a warm maritime climate with hot, humid summers and mild, cool winters. Parts of the town are within the borders of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park,

8月
12

Lake Ashi (Ashino-ko), or Hakone LakeAshinoko Lake, is a scenic lake in the Hakone area of Kanagawa Prefecture in HonshūJapan. It is a crater lake that lies along the southwest wall of the caldera of Mount Hakone, a complex volcano. The lake is known for its views of Mt. Fuji and its numerous hot springs. Several pleasure boats and ferries traverse the lake, providing scenic views for tourists and passengers. One of the boats is a full-scale replica of a man-of-war pirate ship.

Most visitors to Lake Ashi stay in the nearby resorts or visit some of the local attractions, including taking the aerial tram Hakone Ropeway to The Great Boiling Valley. From Togendaion Lake Ashi, the Hakone Ropeway aerial tram connects to Sounzan, the upper terminus of the Hakone Tozan Cable Car funicular railway. This in turn connects to the Hakone Tozan Line mountain railway for the descent to Odawara and a connection to Tokyo by the Tōkaidō Shinkansen.

7月
25

These pictures were taken at Shizuka Hobby Fair (2010/7/24 – 2011/3/27).
If you like toys and models, please visit there.

Mobile Suit Gundam (Kidō Senshi Gandamu, lit. Mobile Soldier Gundam, also known as First GundamGundam 0079 or simply Gundam 79) is a televised anime series, created by Sunrise. Created and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, it premiered in Japan on Nagoya Broadcasting Network between April 7, 1979, and lasted until January 26, 1980, spanning 43 episodes. It was the very first Gundam series, which has subsequently been adapted into numerous sequels and spin-offs.

The series was later re-edited for theatrical release and split into three movies in 1981. The characters were designed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko and Kunio Okawara was responsible for the mechanical designs, including the titular giant robot, the RX-78-2 Gundam. When the first movie was released on February 22, 1981, it was regarded as the new age of Anime and an event called Declaration of new age of Anime in Shinjuku and director Tomino delivered a speech questioning the then social concept in which stereotypical Anime was portrayed as being bad and poorly made to the gathered 15,000 youngsters.

The series was the first winner of the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize, in 1979 and the first half of 1980. By the end of 2007, each episode of the original TV series averaged a sales figure of 80,928 copies, including all of the different formats it was published in (VHS, LD, DVD, etc.). The first DVD box set sold over 100,000 copies in the first month of release, from December 21, 2007 to January 21, 2008.

As part of the 30th Anniversary of the Gundam series, the company officially announced a project on March 11, 2009 called Real-G, a plan to build a 1/1 real size scale Gundam in Japan. It was completed in July, 2009 and taken down later. However, Bandai now plans to rebuild it near their factory.

7月
18

Minako Honda (Honda Minako), born Minako Kudo (Kudō Minako, July 31, 1967 – November 6, 2005) was a Japanese “idol” pop-star and musical singer. She became famous and popular as “Japan’s Madonna” because of her sexy fashion and live performances in the mid to late 1980s. She was also one of the singers to sing Japanese and English languages.

As with most teenaged “idol” singers, her J-Pop career was spectacular but short. In 1989, at the advanced age of 22, she made an attempt to revive her flagging career and attain “street cred” by forming the edgy all-girl band “Minako with Wild Cats”. This effort was unsuccessful, and it seemed that she would fade into obscurity.

By 1992, however, she had reinvented herself. She took formal acting and singing lessons, and became a notable theatrical singer andactress. In auditions for the Tokyo production of Miss Saigon, she won out over 12,000 other candidates for the part of Kim, earning the nickname “Tokyo’s Miss Saigon”. She also appeared in numerous other theatrical performances.

Towards the end of her life, she released several classical albums demonstrating her soprano singing voice, including religious works such as Amazing Grace and Ave Maria. She also sang the theme songs for several anime programs.

She did not abandon pop music in her adult career; indeed, she became recognized for her vocal improvement in the adult pop genre. Her song “Tsubasa” (Wings) is famous for the “long note” that she holds for 30 seconds.

Her career was cut short by leukemia. After she became ill in late 2004, she served as a celebrity spokesperson for the Live for LifeProject, a campaign for the treatment of leukemia. At that time, she also changed her name to add a dot after the end of her name, thus increasing the number of strokes to 31. In Japanese “uranai” fortune-telling, a person’s fate is associated with the number of strokes in the name. Following a severe misfortune, many Japanese change their name to change their fortune. As a result, albums released after 2004 show her name as “本田美奈子.” in kanji and/or “Honda Minako.” in romanization.

Since her death, numerous posthumous albums and videos have been released, including some previously-unreleased songs.

YouTube – 本田美奈子 – “見上げてごらん夜の星を”.

7月
18

Mitama Matsuri is the one of annual celebration at Yasuku Shirine.
It held in mid summer and celebrates the spirits of the ancestors. The entry walk is decorated with 40 foot high walls of 29000 or more lanterns, and thousands of visitors come to pay respects to their lost relatives and friends.

For further information about Yasuku Shrine, please see this Wikipedia’s entry.