LINE

LINE 1Nowadays, we can see a lot of young Japanese people who chat with their friends, parents via smartphone in train. Almost all of them use “LINE” for chatting. LINE is the most popular chat application in the world. Approximately 70percents of teenagers and also 80 percent of twenties’ Japanese use it. From the research, teenagers use LINE almost one hour on weekends. Moreover, some schools uses chat application for contacting between teachers and students. Teachers send instant short message about schedule and important things. When I heard this news, I thought this is one of big issues for young generations. I know this is the easiest way to make “relationship”

With “someone”, and I can tell what I feel and do without face to face communication. However, I think young generations are going to be hard to speak in front of people or think deeply. I also turn into parts of this. Looking back over my daily life, I spend more than one hour to use iPhone for searching unknown words, watching movies, chatting with my friends, tweeting, and posting Face Book. Therefore, I think I will try to do other things such as reading books instead of using iPhone.

Japanese Kotatsu

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Japanese Traditional Kotatsu

Japanese cannot spend winter without Kotatsu.  Kotatsu is known by some European and American countries, even though they have never used.  It was said as the great invention same as Washlet.  Kotatsu is wooden table with an electric heater underneath covered by a quilt.

Kotatsu is originally invented by Zen priest in Muromachi Era.  The attractive points are the electricity bill is cheaper than air conditioner or floor heating, and it is very comfortable because you can feel warm directly.  So it has been loved for long time by Japanese.  Kotatsu represents Japanese winter and the happy time with family.  A French man, Olivier Caramelle is trying to sell Japanese Kotatsu in Europe.  According to the website, he was studying Japanese furniture for 20 years, and he thinks only 1 of 1000 people understand how Japanese furniture is great.  It sounds like it is difficult to spread this culture, but he says, about half of European people has habit of taking off their shoes in the house.  So he believes it is easy to spread Kotatsu in the world.  It costs lots of money if you buy Kotatsu out of Japan, so I hope it will be easy to get this convenient and great invention.

The video by a man exciting with Kotatsu is interesting, so please watch it!

Japanese toilet

washletI think all foreigners have been surprised at least once Japanese toilet system in Japan. And most Japanese may wish Japanese toilet were in overseas when they travel.  What is special about the toilet in Japan? That is bidet which is toilet system with washing feature.  Then, how has been the bidet system developed and what is special about bidet?

First, it actually was invented by an American company, “American Bidet” for medical purposes.  Then, Japanese TOTO was first took over the patent by America and started to import and sell them in 1967.  However, it was not adopted because of difficulty to maintain its temperature and direction of water.  After spending lots of time developing the system, TOTO finally spread “Washlet” to Japanese houses in 1980.  While “Washiki” (Japanese style) toilet is gradually disappearing, “washlet” instantly has became popular to foreigners as well as Japanese.

Second, the special features that TOTO developed are not only bidet system.  One is the system which the toilet lid automatically opens as soon as you go into the toilet.  Second is the many buttons like seat heating, nozzle position control and water pressure adjustment, so you can adjust many systems as you want.  After learning them, I see TOTO’s effort for people’s satisfaction.

I wonder why it is not be positively imported to overseas.  I think one of the reasons is because the quality of water.  I really want to encourage people to once experience it and they will be attracted by it.  I think this feature is the represent of Japanese particular cultures, such as cleanly people, enable to use pure water and the nationality which Japanese can easily talk about “toilet” in public.

This is a video which American couple enjoy Japanese toilet first time(from 6:40~), it’s very funny  so check this out!

Volcanic ashes from Sakurajima go to…

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Sakurajima explosion

Nowadays, Sakurajima in Kagoshima prefecture is erupting repeatedly.  All of Japan is worried about the eruption, while the local people take it well as usual.  They know how to get along with the natural disaster for a long time, even though the traffic light went down and tons of ashes covered their houses.  By the way, do you know where the volcanic ashes go to after eruption?  In the fact, the ashes can be changed as resources which are good for ecology.  The local people know how to reuse the troublesome ashes and they actually make soaps, beauty goods, and blocks which the grasses will be planted to.

 

 

 

 

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A mug made of volcanic ashes

Then, there is a male designer who runs a ceramic wares shop named ONE KLIN, and he uses volcanic ashes from Sakurajima as the material of making the products in Kagoshima.  His name is Yusuke Shiroto and was born in Kagoshima.  The ceramic wares which are used volcanic ashes create rough and characteristic texture of the material as if it was made of ironware.  This is a blog post introducing Mr. Shiroto and his product, so please check this out.

Because of the ashes, most of local people were in trouble even though they are used to.  I hope this kind of ceramic ware will be known as the local specialty in Kagoshima, and a part of the sales or advantages will be helpful for getting along with the natural disaster.  Troublesome ashes can be changed to the great products and it might be change the future of the world, too.  Don’ you think it depends on how you look at it?

New Year’s greeting

New Year's card
New Year’s card
Mourning card
Mourning card

The season of New Year’s cards called Nengajyo is coming.  We send New Year’s postcards to our friends, relatives to express our resolutions or recent news.  By the way, have you received mourning cards?  It is called “Mochu-hagaki”.  And I wonder what exactly Mochu-hagaki  means in Japan.

Until Meiji era, people were visiting house to house which they received favor to tell them thank.  Its custom changed to postcards gradually.  Then, they became to inform mourning by cards as well as New Year.

I guess some people may miss understand what mourning cards meaning. Mourning cards means to tell people to refrain from sending New Year’s greeting which they suppose to feel happy.  It does not mean that they try to tell people “I’m mourning.”  Or it does not mean they express they don’t want New Year’s cards from others.  To speak of extremes, it is not taboo to send New Year’s greeting to people who is mourning.

If you received mourning cards, you don’t have to response to it soon.  After New Year’s week is over, as a matter of courtesy, it is better to send winter greeting called Kanchu-mimai(寒中見舞い).  Kanchu mimai has close meaning to sympathy cards.

 

I think sending New Year’s and mourning cards is great culture and winter tradition.  Then, it cannot be changed to any convenience of social network services like Facebook or e-mail.  I hope this tradition will be continue forever in Japan.

More talking possible with LINE

LINE

Women (including girls) like taking very much. They are talking wherever they go. Of course I also like talking. When I see my friends, we often spend a lot of time for just talking. We have many kinds of topic to talk. For example, about hobbies, relationships with friends, love…and so on. Recently, my friends and I often talk about part-time jobs! We started part-time jobs most of the same time because we were in Boston until this February. Everyone has different jobs so I can know about a variety of jobs.

In addition, we can enjoy talking using LINE. LINE is an application which was made by Korean company. This app is so popular from smartphone users in Japan. We can text easily and speedy. Domestic LINE users are 45 million. But the application is being popular in south-eastern Asia now, and the users are 200 million in the world. When we use LINE, we feel that we are talking because of so speedy.

Our talking style is changing. It is modernistic and interesting!

LINE for online life

imageDo you usually use LINE? It’s a Japanese application which is similar to  SMS and now it’s spreading over the world. Actually my foreign friends such as Korean, Chinese, Thai, Turkish, Colombian, etc. use LINE to keep in touch with me. The speed of  sending and receiving is really smooth and you can see if the receiver already saw the message or not. Of course, you can send picture or short movie same as e-mail. Also it has some other functions like cute stamps, free call and sound message. It’s very useful and fun to use. I think LINE is better than SMS today. If you’re still not LINE user, just try once. You’ll be a slave of LINE!

IKEA

ikea-logoIKEA is a famous and biggest furniture shop in the world. IKEA comes from Sweden, so you can get Swedish furniture here. IKEA’s sakes point is good price, good design and good after care. You can get cute furniture cheap price. If you can’t construct furniture, you call IKEA and they teach how to construct. All furniture in IKEA is named by Swedish. Swedish, German and Japanese say “IKEA”, but American say “AIKEA”. You can enjoy not only shopping, but also eat Swedish food. There is a restaurant in IKEA. Food is also good. Now, there are five IKEA in Japan. If you want to get cute furniture, you should go to IKEA!

Call from Demon

download (1)Most people use smart phone these days, so you can find and get some interesting  App from the store, like “Call from Demon (Oni kara denwa)”. This App for mostly little kids. It will be helpful when kids don’t listen to their parents. You can pretend that some demon or ghost rings your phone. Demons face and name will show up on the screen. It’s very realistic so kids will be very surprised or scary. Also it’s fun so when you have chance, just try to download this App.

Call from Ogres

keyDo you know “Oni-kara-denwa”?  It is the free application software.  Mothers who have little children are helped by this software.

 This software has variety of situations, for example, when children don’t study, when they don’t go to bed and when they help their mothers.  This is to discipline children, so it is included not only bad situations, but also good situations.  Sometimes you would feel scary even you are adults…

 First, you choose one situation.  Next, Ogres call you and you can see a scary illustration on a screen.  So you show little children it.  If they feel scary, you push a button of “Rejection”.  If they don’t feel scary, you push a button of “Call”.  After that, ogres start speaking with an illustration, so you make them listen it.

 If you are interested in “Oni-kara-denwa”, please try downloading it!!!