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January 2010 Archives

日本人[にほんじん]は麺類[めんるい] (menrui is all sorts of noodles)がとても好[]きです。このブログの名前[なまえ]も、ソバ。私[わたし]もソバだけではなく、ほかの麺類[めんるい]も大[だい][]きです。日本人[にほんじん]が夏[なつ]によく食[]べる麺[めん] (men is noodle)に、そうめんがあります。食[]べるのは夏[なつ]ですが、作[つく]るのは寒[さむ]い冬[ふゆ]がいいそうです。それは空気[くうき] (kuuki is air)が乾燥[かんそう]している(kansou shiteiru means dry)から。三重県[みえけん]の四日市[よっかいち][]では今[いま]、そうめんを作[つく]っています。この新聞[しんぶん]サイトにそうめんを作[つく]っている(乾燥[かんそう]している)写真[しゃしん]がありますよ。

Japanese people love noodles. As you know, I named this blog “SOBA” (= buckwheat noodle). I like not only soba but also all sorts of other types of noodles. One of the noodles Japanese people often eat in summer is somen. We eat this in summer, but winter is the best season to make it. It is because the winter air is dry and it’s convenient to dry somen noodles. I read a newspaper report on this site showing somen noodle making right now at Yokkkaichi-city, Mie prefecture. You can see the picture on the site. Apparently many somen makers nowadays dry the noodles inside, but this photo shows the traditional way – to dry noodle outside under the sun. Please have a look!
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日本人[にほんじん]はとてもブランド品[ひん]が好[]きです。海外[かいがい]旅行[りょこう]をすると、ブランド品[ひん]の店[みせ]でたくさん買[]い物[もの]をします。しかし! 今日[きょう]、ちょっと信[しん]じられない(shinjirarenai means unbelievable)ニュースをこのサイトで読[]みました。

As you might know, Japanese people really like expensive big name brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada and so on. But I just read a kind of extreme case related to this Japanese  weakness on this site.
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とんど焼き by Makoto Kaga resized for web.jpg (c) Makoto Kaga

お正月[しょうがつ]の注連[しめ][かざ]りについて、[まえ][]きました。あの、注連[しめ][かざ]りをどうするか知[]っていますか。
 
I wrote about Shimekazari, sacred rice-straw ropes, before. Do you know what people would do with it after the New Year season?
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Raglan 02 (flower) resized for web.jpg

 

これはポフツカワというニュージーランドの花[はな]です。先月[せんげつ]から、いろいろなところで咲[]いています。花[はな]の形[かたち]がなんとなくボトルブラシと似[]ていますね。花[はな]の色[いろ]や花[はな]が咲[]く時期[じき] (jiki means time)から、「NZのクリスマス・ツリー」とも呼[]ばれています(~tomo yobareteiru means it is also called ~)

 

This is Pohutukawa. We enjoy this beautiful flower in December and January. This looks a bit similar to Bottle brush, don’t you think? Because of its flowering season as well as the colour, it is also called NZ Christmas Tree.

 

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1週間[しゅうかん][まえ]、ハイチで地震[じしん] (jishin is earthquake)がありました。15年と3日前、つまり1995年1月17日、日本でもとても大[おお]きな地震[じしん]がありました。

A big earthquake hit Haiti a week ago. 15 years and three days ago, namely on the 17th of January 1995, a big one hit Japan as well.
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Water restrictions resized for web.jpg 今日[きょう]ハミルトンでは久[ひさ]しぶりにたくさん雨[あめ]が降[ふ]っています。

We have a lot of rain today!
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お箸 01 resized for web.jpgマイ箸[はし]って知[]っていますか。Do you know “MAI HASHI”?

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soba 2009 resized for web.jpg

写真[しゃしん]は、去年[きょねん][]べた私[わたし]の年越[としこ]しそば(= New Years Eve soba, buckwheat noodle)です。年越[としこ]しそばについては[まえ]にも書[]きました。去年[きょねん]は、ざる(zaru is a bamboo colander)を買[]ったので、冷[つめ]たいそばを食[]べるためにざるを使[つか]いました。この料理[りょうり]は日本[にほん]では「ざるそば」と言[]います。おいしかったですよ!
 
The photo shows my New year Eve’s soba, buckwheat noodle dish 2009. I wrote about this type of soba before. I finally bought a bamboo colander last year so used the colander, which is called as zaru in Japanese, to serve cold cooked soba. Because of this way of serving, this dish is called as zaru soba in Japanese. It was yum!
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 書道by Totoro! resized for web.jpg (c) Totoro!

 

この写真[しゃしん]は、日本[にほん]の伝統的[でんとうてき]な書道[しょどう] (shodo means Japanese traditional calligraphy)の写真[しゃしん]です。チリでの写真[しゃしん]です。そしてこの朝日[あさひ]新聞[しんぶん]サイトでは、熱田[あつた]神宮[じんぐう]での「書[かき][]め」のニュースがあります。
 
「書[かき]」は書[]く、そして初[]めは初[はじ]めて、という意味[いみ]です。ですから、書[かき][]めは1年のはじめの書道[しょどう]のことです。書道[しょどう]は、日本[にほん]では学校[がっこう]のカリキュラムの一部[いちぶ]です。ですから、子[]どもたちは、毎年[まいとし]1月のはじめに書[かき][]めのイベントによく参加[さんか]します。
 
The photo above shows Japanese traditional calligraphy taken in Chile.  And this site shows “kakizome” held at Atsuta Shinto shrine, in Japan the other day.
 
 “Kaki” means to write and “zome” means the first time – so when you do your first calligraphy in a year, it is called “kakizome”. Since the traditional calligraphy is still part of our school curriculum, kids are encouraged to participate in a "kakizome" event at the beginning of January.
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マフラー犬 by chinirashka resized for web.jpg (c) chibirashka

 

日本[にほん]は今[いま][ふゆ]で、とても寒[さむ]いです。写真[しゃしん]を見[]てください、犬[いぬ]も寒[さむ]いのでしょうか。日本[にほん]では、犬[いぬ]のためのグッズ(guzzu means goods)がたくさん売[]られています。犬[いぬ]の服[ふく]やグッズは決[けっ]して安[やす]くありません。犬[いぬ]は嬉[うれ]しいのでしょうか…。

[わたし]はニュージーランドで服[ふく]を着[]た犬[いぬ]を見[]たことがありません。このような、犬[いぬ]の服[ふく]は他[]の国[くに]ではふつうなのでしょうか。
 
It’s winter in Japan and cold! Do dogs feel cold, too? Many dog owners in Japan like to buy all sorts of “goods” for their dog. One of them is this type of “dog clothes” and they are not cheap… I am not sure if the dogs really appreciate it…
 
I have never seen dogs wearing clothes in New Zealand. How common is this in other countries?
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今年、日本へ行きましょう!! 2010 is the year to visit JAPAN!!

I just happened to find the following information:

"The Japanese government has designated 2010 the "Visit Japan Year" and as part of special promotions lots of great prizes are being given away. There also will be heaps of events held in Japan in 2010. That's right, there is more to Japan than temples and shrines. From outdoor sporting adventures, and cultural and historical encounters to eating and drinking, a myriad of experiences await you in Japan. The best part is that it is all very affordable!" cited from http://www.jnto.org.au/2010/

JNTO stands for Japan National Tourism Organization. Its Sydney office also has a website, which can be found at http://www.jnto.org.au/ Both sites give ample exiting information about Japan ALL in ENGLISH!

Please check these out and then you will feel like going to Japan this year!!

 

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There is a popular programme called NHK Kohaku uta gassen in Japan.  I do not know when it started, but when I was a baby, the programme was already there, I think. It is a live singing programme with professional singers and becomes on air only once a year on the New Years Eve. If you are a professional singer and chosen as an attendee to this programme, it is a sort of honour because only popular singers (around 40 people or groups) can appear in this programme. 

Anyway this year… oops, I have to say “last year” now, that Susan Boyle apparently appeared there! You can see her photo in the programme on this site.
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注連縄 by Nemo's great uncle resized for web.jpg(c) Nemo's great uncle

あけましておめでとうございます。写真[しゃしん]は、注連[しめ][かざ]り(または、注連[しめ][なわ]とも言[]います)です。ふつう、家[いえ]の表[おもて] (omote means front)のドアに飾[かざ]ります(kazaru means to decollate)。クリスマスのリースと似[]ていますが、違[ちが]うのは、注連[しめ][かざ]りはお正月[しょうがつ]のために飾[かざ]る、ということです。1月7日以降[いこう](ikoo means after)にはずします(hazusu is to take off)。きれいですよね。
 
A Happy New Year! The photo above is Shimekazari or Shimenawa (sacred rice-straw ropes). As you can see, we normally hang this on the front door. I could say it’s like a Christmas wreath, but the difference is that Shimekazari is for the New Year. We have to take it off sometime soon (after the 7th of January). Isn’t it beautiful?
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