Discuss Japan > Archives > Culture
LinkedInTumblrDeliciousYahoo Bookmarks

Archives : Culture

No.9
No.9 ,Culture  Jan 27, 2012

[SERIES: INTERVIEW] “DIET AND LIFE” — FOR HUMANS TO BECOME PEOPLE

Photo : Fukuoka Shin-Ichi

Tatsumi Yoshiko: Last year, I conducted a food lifestyle survey centered on different municipalities. I was shocked when I saw the results from 500 people aged 20 to about 60. Singles in their 20s and 30s skip breakfast, or would eat something like snack rolls or a Chinese dumpling together with a bottle of water. Lunch would be a slice of pizza. Dinner: ramen. Not once during the week did they eat cooked food or ohitashi (boiled vegetables). That’s how they live. They eat just enough so they don’t die. They don’t have a clear understanding on food, self, and life. How did we get to this point? Fukuoka Shin-Ichi: It’s probably because as the act of eating became associated with the notion of improving... [Read more]

No.9
No.9 ,Culture  Jan 25, 2012

[SERIES: INTERVIEW] “DIET AND LIFE” — FOR HUMANS TO BECOME PEOPLE

Photo : Kawashima Midor

Kawashima Midori: The modern day nursing scene undervalues the significance and importance of eating through the mouth. Being in a position to coach and encourage nurses in the field, I always tell them, “Think more about the meaning of eating through the mouth. That’s where you find the role of nursing.” Tatsumi Yoshiko: I think it was in Ohmi, Hikone that there was a patient who had completely given up on eating, saying he didn’t want to do it anymore. The doctor said, “Think of something, anything you would want to eat,” and the patient said, “I want to eat funazushi [a type of fermented sushi].” So he ate a piece, and his body... [Read more]

No.9
No.9 ,Culture  Dec 09, 2011

JAPANESE WINES YOU SHOULD TRY

In the last ten years, Japanese wine has improved significantly in quality and offers a greater selection in terms of price and variety. Instead of, “Maybe I’ll give Japanese wine a try for a change,” you can now say, “Tonight we’re having Hamburg steak, so let’s go with a Nagano Merlot” or “The Kellner will go with this Chinese cabbage and pork nabe,” and color your daily meal solely with Japanese wine. Selection has spread most notably for wine in the 1,000-yen range, and I have many to recommend. There are also excellent wines in the 2,000- and 3,000-yen range, and some in this price range have competed against foreign wines of the same grape variety in international wine competitions and won medals. When you drink Japanese wine, take your time tasting it and imagine the land the grape was grown on and the ... ... [Read more]

No.9
No.9 ,Culture  Dec 05, 2011

TURNING EARTH’S HISTORY INTO PARKS: REVITALIZING REGIONAL COMMUNITIES WITH GEOPARKS GEOLOGY IS A NEW TOURISM RESOURCE

Photo : Oketani Hitoshi

People have become well acquainted with the World Heritage designation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and municipalities in all parts of Japan are now looking to World Geoparks as a means for revitalizing regional communities and attracting tourists. The “geo” in the term represents features such as the ground, geology, the planet Earth, and Geopark literally means parks of the earth; geological parks. This is UNESCO’s new plan for protecting and utilizing the natural environment. The Global Geoparks Network (GGN; secretariat in Paris) established in 2004 has certified regions with important natural heritage from an earth... [Read more]

No.9
No.9 ,Culture  Dec 03, 2011

UE WO MUITE ARUKOU (SUKIYAKI)

Photo : Sato Go

Ue wo Muite Arukou (Looking Up As I Walk) was a big hit for the Japanese singer Sakamoto Kyu (1941-1985). The lyrics by Rokusuke Ei were set to music by Nakamura Hachidai. As Sukiyaki, the song made it big in the United States, ranked No. 1 by Billboard magazine for the week ending June 15, 1963, and entering the Top 10 in the annual rankings for the same year. Here, we get to the bottom of the background and creation of a work that became a pioneer of Japanese content export, as it were. It was Kuwashima Akira, currently living in Camarillo in the suburbs of Los Angeles, who told me about Dave Dexter, Jr., the A&R man for Capitol, one of the Big Four record labels. A&R is the abbreviation of Artist and Repertoire, and it is a job that only exists in... [Read more]

No.9
No.9 ,Culture  Dec 02, 2011

HOW J-POP COULD CONQUER THE ASIAN MARKET

Photo : Mamiya Fumiko

The Japanese music market is number one in the world Japan’s music market will claim the world’s top spot this fiscal year. This reflects the decline of the U.S. market, which long held the lead, giving way to second-ranked Japan. Unfortunately, the Japanese market is also shrinking–the CD and music video market, 500 billion yen at its peak, is now around 300 billion yen–so this is no great cause for celebration, but we should applaud Japan’s achievement in overcoming a population difference close to three times its own to claim the top position. The shrinking market scale has much to do with the increase in music downloads via computers and cell phones. Downloads continue to expand, seemingly in inverse proportion to the drop in CD and package sales. Yet... [Read more]

No.8
No.8 ,Culture  Nov 30, 2011

REASSESSING POST-3/11 JAPAN FROM AN AESTHETIC PERSPECTIVE

Viewing 3/11 as an intersection HAMANO Yasuki: A number of people have suggested that the Great East Japan Earthquake, or “3/11,” has provided an ideal opportunity to take a fresh look at Japan. You have summed up the issue very elegantly with the phrase “reassessing Japan from an aesthetic perspective.” What exactly did you mean by that?Hamano Yasuki HARA Kenya: I would just like to start by saying that 3/11 was a terrible disaster, so we need to make sure that we talk about it with the utmost respect. With that in mind however, I personally feel that 3/11 was a key intersection, or turning point. I’ll come back to this in more detail in a moment, but there have been other major events that have become turning points... [Read more]

No.8
No.8 ,Culture  Nov 24, 2011

THOUGHTS ON YAMAMOTO SAKUBEI’S COALMINE PAINTINGS MODERNIZATION THAT DISAPPEARED AND UNESCO MEMORY OF THE WORLD

Photo : Arima Manabu

Painted records of coalmining now registered as Memory of the World The news that Yamamoto Sakubei’s painted records of coalmining were added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World (MOW) register on May 25 this year remains fresh in our minds. Accurately termed The collection of annotated paintings and diaries of Yamamoto Sakubei, this record includes 585 paintings, six diaries and 36 manuscripts among other documents at the Tagawa City Coal History Museum, together with four paintings, 59 diaries and seven manuscripts/documents donated by the Yamamoto family to Fukuoka Prefectural University (in Tagawa), for a total of 697 items. Yamamoto, who worked as... [Read more]

No.8
No.8 ,Culture  Oct 04, 2011

MUSIC DOCUMENTATION AT THE NATIONAL DIET LIBRARY

We can find out about music and the history of its culture with the help of a range of resources including records, DVDs and other recordings, or audio-visual materials, musical scores, concert programs and so on. These materials about music are referred to as “music documentation”[1. In this article, music documentation is classified as follows on the basis of its content and format. Instruments are not included.The music itself: a) Recordings and audio-visual materials (documentation of actual performances of sounds or settings that have been recorded on some kind of medium such as records, CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray etc.), and b) musical scores: Documentation about music, materials relating to themes and activities where music is concerned (including books and magazines on music themes, lyrics, concert pamphlets, posters etc.)] at the library. Music documentation at various institutions in Japan... [Read more]

No.7
No.7 ,Culture  Sep 30, 2011

UMESAO TADAO AND 3/11

Photo : Umesao Tadao

Introduction Umesao Tadao (1920-2010) was a Japanese anthropologist and ethnologist, in addition to being an intellectual who strongly influenced Japanese society in the 1970s to 1990s. His activities were not confined to ethnology but extended to social commentary and studies on civilizations around the world. In his earlier years, Umesao predicted the arrival of an information society as seen today, being endowed with foresight into future society and culture. He also had significant influence in business and political circles. He proactively supported Japan’s cultural diplomacy and contributed greatly to the establishment and operation of the Japan... [Read more]

PAGE TOP