The Weekly Bulletin: Week 46
We’re solidly into November, the last month of the year. How did this happen? There are only a few more weeks left! But I have so much to do! So little time. And then there’s the Christmas shopping… argh! The end of year panic has officially set in. I hope all of you are holding up well, and not worrying unnecessarily over things. In Japan, they say “Autumn is for eating”, and “Autumn is for reading”ーI’m definitely doing a lot of both! How about you? ^^
- There was an absolutely fantastic article in The Japan Times on Monday where real foreign wives of Japanese men acted as soundboards and gave feedback to “Massan”. Most of it was positive, but there was of course criticism about Ellie’s clothing (which is far too dated, I agree) and her sometimes “stereotypical foreigner” portrayal which is not only unrealistic, but unfairーNHK has the chance to educate viewers on Scottish culture and customs, but seems to be generalizing a lot. Mostly, though, like YJ and I mentioned, there are a lot of parallels and situations that many intercultural couples can relate toーnot just in Japan.
- On the topic of “Massan” (spoiler alert?), there’s a nude photo shoot in one of the episodes, to help improve the image of Taiyo Wine. This is based on a true event! The nude model was Emiko Matsushima, and the photo was taken by Toru Kawashima in 1922 for Akadama Port Wine. It was the first ever photo advertisementーand definitely the first nude oneーin Japan. I couldn’t find a good English source, but you can find photos of the posterーincluding 90-year-old Emiko along with itーon this site.
- Japanese group World Order has a new songーand they filmed it in London! For the uninitiated, their style is a kind of like trance-pop, but what makes them awesome is their sweet dance moves. Check it out here!:
- Fluent in 3 Months had a cute post about polyglot problemsーlots of things to relate to, but the most familiar one for me was “When you try to think of a word and can only remember it in another language.” It happens more than I’d like to admit… ^^;
- This was originally posted on the Ichigoichielove blog Facebook page, but bento blogger Momo featured the cutest bear-shaped grated daikon (Japanese radish) I’ve ever seen! Okay, okay… so maybe I haven’t seen that many bear-shaped grated daikon dishes… but still! It’s one of the latest cute foodie trends in Japan, and is perfect for winter, as root veggies are in season. Maybe I’ll share one of my attempts in, say, 3 years… You know, once I’ve gotten good at it. (-^^-)b
- Speaking of postings on the Facebook page, I also have to share this gem: There will be a pink Pepsi on sale in Japan from December 9th! It will be strawberry milk flavored (ewww??) and of course, available for a limited time only. I’m intrigued, but grossed out at the same time. Would you try it?
- Grace from Texan in Tokyo posted a really great list of tips for bloggersーI’ll be striving to follow more of these as I progress with this blog! ^^
- I mentioned the chrysanthemum festival craze this season in Japanーbut it looks like Japan’s not the only flower-focused nation this season: Constance from Foreign Sanctuary posted some beautiful photos from last year’s Taichung Flower Festival in Taiwan. Looking forward to seeing pics from this year’s too!
- Even though the Santa below seems to think it’s already his time to shine, there’s one more event before we can deck the halls with boughs of holly (although I always seem to want to sing “poison ivy”-just me?) and it’s not Thanksgiving. Gasp! It’s not Black Friday, either. Nope, it’s Autumn Color…leaf…spotting. It’s such an awkward term in English. Basically, “the leaves are turning stunning red, yellow and orange colors, let’s go look at them!” is the name of the game. We probably have a week or two before that season hits Tokyo, but Japan Australia listed some great spots in Kanto as well as in Gifu to go check out. ^^
- YJ and I went to Kawagoe (also known as “Little Edo”ーdetailed post to come in a few weeks) where we spotted these lovely items (sadly bad photo, but you can click on the character names for links to better photos!) at Narita-san, a shrine in the area. (Not to be confused with the more famous Narita-san in Chiba.) These are good luck charms you can buy there and that in itself isn’t so strange, but the fact that they have famous charactersーRilakkuma, Capybara and Nameco (mushrooms from a popular mobile game)ーis. I still have mixed feelings about this. I get that it’s a big seller, but… I dunno, if I was superstitious, I’d feel it wasn’t as effective. Tainted by consumerism? Is that a thing? Am I thinking too much about this? Most likely. (I’ll be doing a post on what else is special about charms at this shrine, as they’re quite different! And not just because they have cute faces on them.)
- Also on our trip to Kawagoe, we found these bagels: (again bad photo, ugh!) left: Squid ink, pollack, potato and cheese bagel. Right: Squid ink bagel. It seems like the squid ink trend continues. YJ and I weren’t feeling so adventurous so we bought the apricot and blueberry bagels… How about you, would you try eating either of these??
- I thought YJ and I had seen all the red panda videos on the Internet worth watching, but a welcome email from a dear friend of mine proved me wrong! Here’s “Red Panda Cubs Explore The Outside World”ーand it’s even cuter than it sounds! Red panda cubs are so fluffy and delightfully clumsy, you can’t help but go “Awwww” in adoration. Or maybe that’s just me, much to the confusion of the woman I was sitting next to on the train the other morning. ^^;