The Weekly Bulletin: Week 7, 2015

Almost halfway through February, and just a couple of days away from Valentine’s Day! If you’re not sure how the Japanese celebrate this commercial holiday of luuurve, don’t forget to check out Monday’s post about the origins of the celebration in Japanーand why it’s a little bit “off”. But on to our regular weekly bulletin, with its mix of random news mostly from Japan! ^^


  • A friend of mine posted this cute Honda commercial from Australiaーnot so into the car, but very in love with the Shiba dog in it. (This should come as no surprise…)

  • An American completed level 1 of the Japanese kanji character exam, Kanji Kentei. The clincher? This is the highest level of an exam aimed at Japanese people’s mastery of the characters. An educated Japanese person will have at least some familiarity with 3,000 kanji (of which deep knowledge is required for the pre-1 level), while 2,136 characters is the total learned for kids finishing high school. You need to know 6,000 to pass the level 1 examーwith characters most people will never even have seen before! Pretty impressiveーespecially since he’s only been working towards the goal since 2008 and passed in 2012. That’s only 4 years! He’s now (unsurprisingly) a certified kanji instructor. ….I feel like I need to study harder. ^^;
  • Sapporo Snow Festival finishes today, but the lovely lady who makes all the red panda videos I love dropped by and shared some clips from the event. Whatever did we do before 3D projection mapping??

  • As for music, I’m on a Swedish vibe this time around: one of my absolute favorite artists, Lykke Li. She’s a total oddball with tremendous talent and a fantastic voice. (Fans of The Fault in Our Stars may recognize her from the soundtrackーshe sang “No One Ever Loved”). This song though, is “I Know Places (Live on the Moon)”

But if you want something with a little bit more of a beat, “I’m Good, I’m Gone” is a mighty bit catchier. ^^ (And also features a bunch of old ladies beating up men which shouldn’t be funny, but it is.)

Our Stuff

  • YJ and I popped by the Setagaya Ume Matsuri over the weekendーcold but really lovely! Hoping to go back in a couple of days once the there are more flowers in bloom. That is, if the rain since then decides to wane… >_>


  • According to English-language Swedish news site TheLocal.se, Urban Swedes are getting into beekeeping lately. If that’s true, it would be a dream come true for YJ if/when we ever move there… It’s one of his weird “if we ever…” ideas. I’m not opposed to free honey, as long as I don’t have to handle the bees myself. Incidentally, did you know there’s a beekeeper in the heart of Tokyo’s posh district, Ginza? Crazy, but true:

Hope you’re all having a great week! Any signs of spring yet?

8 responses to “The Weekly Bulletin: Week 7, 2015”

  1. I enjoyed reading your update! I adore Lykke Li, I wish more of her songs were in the karaoke places here.

    I can’t wait for flowers to start blooming here too.
    Miyagi Mermaid recently posted…The Good News 1:22

    • Ri says:

      Yes, she’s wonderful! I’ve never tried looking for her songs at karaoke at all. Now I’m curious if there are any of her songs at our local spot… Will have to check. 🙂

      Spring will be here and there soooon! I saw the first sign of Tokyo Spring the other day: A gyaru with an off-the-shoulder top and shorts on. I was in my coat, scarf and hat and still shivering. D:

  2. I am sure that learning Japanese is as hard as learning Chinese so an American passing that test is very impressive.

    Loved your plum blossom post and look forward to your cherry blossom one [I am sure you will give us a peek of the pretty blooms.]
    Constance – Foreign Sanctuary recently posted…My Taiwanese Husband & His Major Present Flop [What NOT to Give a Woman]

    • Ri says:

      Yes! I can’t imagine what he’ll do with all that knowledge of obsolete kanji, but very impressed he could do it all. ^^

      There will absolutely be cherry blossoms galore! 😀 Watch this space! (Well, around near this space. XD

  3. Helen says:

    Urban beekeeping. I’ve been semi-obsessed with the Ginza set-up for a while. When we were in Koganei, a farmer there had a (normal) beekeeping thing going, and once K got bigger, I fully planned on helping. But then we moved. Can’t really complain, but there go my beekeeping dreams. >< …for now.
    Helen recently posted…Photo of the Day: Painted Panel

    • Ri says:

      Awww, bee keeping dreams shattered! (For now!) Are there any bee keepers about the new place? I feel like there has to be some seriously good honey around thereーso much greenery and flowers and all. 🙂

  4. Nina says:

    I love Lykke Li :]
    And I didn’t know there was such thing as an Ume Matsuri wtf T__T
    Nina recently posted…love yo’self fool.

    • Ri says:

      She’s awesome, isn’t she? 😀
      Haha aww, there don’t seem to be many places that do the full matsuri thingーHanegi Park had yatai and various stallsーand even sold tiny plum trees you could try to grow at home! I guess in most places it’s just “Hey, here are some plum trees!” XD

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