Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Eve

On New Year's Eve, families gather around and eat toshi-koshi ("year-crossing") buckwheat noodles in the hope that one's life will be stretched out as long as these noodles. As midnight approaches, Buddhist temples around the country begin ringing out the old year, sounding the temple bell 108 times that is struck for the 108 earthly desires believed to cause human suffering. © Motoko Shimizu

Friday, December 27, 2013

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Autumn Appetite

There are lots of delicious foods in Japan in autumn: fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, fish and
new harvest rice. People often say "autumn appetite." Bon Appétit!©Motoko Shimizu

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tsukimi(Moon Viewing)

The full moon around the middle of the eighth month of the lunar calendar was called the mid-autumn moon(9/19 this year), and it became a custom to arrange Tsukimi (Moon Viewing) parties to appreciate its beauty. Houses are decorated with pampas grass and dumplings are made and offered to the moon together with samples of crops from the autumn harvest.
© Motoko Shimizu

*For Coloring Fun!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Japanese Summer Festival

© Coloring by Yasuko Hirukawa & Drawing by Motoko Shimizu.

Japanese Summer festiva! People gather in their local communities and enjoy Bon dancing to rhythmic music, stroll around in a light summer kimono (yukata) , eat different foods offered at stalls, and cheer at fireworks. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Suika-wari (watermelon-cracking)

* For coloring fun!

Japan has many wonderful beaches since it is surrounded by the sea. Suika-wari (watermelon-cracking) is one of the most popular of beach games: a person with a stick is blindfolded, spun around a few times, then guided by the audiences' directions towards the watermelon. Everyone gets one swing, and whoever cracks it open, wins. Of course, participants eat the watermelon after the game!! © Motoko Shimizu

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Rainy Season!

 For Coloring Fun!

From around early June to mid-July, most of Japan is subject to a period of rainy weather called tsuyu. Day in and day out, the sky remains gloomy, and temperatures and humidity rise. But the early summer rain helps plants grow and flourish, and it's a valuable source of drinking water. © Motoko Shimizu

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

More Coloring Fun!!

 By Yasuko Hirukawa

 By Ma-kun, 3-year-old

 By Yamato, 7-year-old

By Ree

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Children's Day!

For Coloring fun!

May 5th is Children's Day in Japan, when families celebrate the healthy growth and happiness of children. Families with boys fly huge carp-shaped streamers (koinobori) outside the house and display dolls of famous warriors and other heroes inside.

Sunday, March 31, 2013