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!:

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Our Stuff

  • 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.)

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  • 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??

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  • 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. ^^;

5 responses to “The Weekly Bulletin: Week 46”

  1. Marta says:

    Oh yes, sometimes I remember a word in English or in Chinese but not in Spanish :_ That sucks…

    I can’t believe it is November already, the year passed so fast!!

  2. Once again, thanks so much for mentioning me in one of your posts – really, truly appreciate it. I have to say I loved Grace’s post too – it has inspired me to make a lot of changes over at Foreign Sanctuary but there are a few posts that need to be publish first. I love how you know so much about Japanese pop culture and what’s going on there – I really need to keep up with the latest in Taiwan. The lucky charms are so cute and as for the squid ink bagels, I think I will passed. However, I did eat the black and white mini-burgers they had at McDonalds in Taiwan last year (the black had squid ink) and I don’t know why I tried it because I never eat at McDonalds (maybe once a year) – I guess I was sucked in by the ad on TV!!

    • My pleasure~ Your flower post inspired me to check out the first Chrysanthemum exhibition in the first place! Otherwise I probably would have dismissed it and walked by.
      Agreed regarding Grace’s adviceーgoing to have to do it bit by bit! ^^
      Thank you! I really enjoy reading about weird newsy stuff, and especially the quirky things that aren’t so sensationalist. Japan is a funky countryーbut often not as weird as people like to make it out to be.
      Oh! Black and white burgers? What was the white part?? I get the squid ink thing for color (my aunt used to love themed dinner parties and used squid ink pasta more than onceーHalloween, black-and-white, winter darkness themes…) but otherwise I just don’t see the point to it. ^^;

  3. I would give away all my lucky charms Sing got from Japan (that lucky smelly bean was there few times T_T ) for the one with Rilakkuma. I’m a sucker when it goes to Rilakkuma. If I was as rich as Bill Gates I would lose all my fortune buying Rilakkuma related stuff haha

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