Tag Archives: culture

Frozen Transcends Religion & Culture

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A pink tudung with Elsa and Anna

‘No child can resist a Frozen movie star’ is the marketing idea behind this character tudung I suppose. Perhaps I’m the only one left who haven’t seen the movie yet.

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A purple tudung with Elsa and Anna

Sakura

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I have never heard of any other culture that give that much reverence to a certain flower, plant, or tree like how the Japanese adored the cherry trees and its blooms. Only in Japan where viewing of a certain flower is being done countrywide.  They even coined a term for it – hanami. As far as I know, viewing of cherry blossoms in certain spots of other countries was introduced, if not influenced by the Japanese.

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Appreciation of the cherry blossoms is like a festival that entails a picnic, party or a quiet reflection of its positive symbolic meaning. Only in Japan where the blooming forecast of cherry trees is a major news item. That is how much they look forward to its annual beauty, and for it to be short-lived makes the level of anticipation very high. Moreover, their love for cherry blossoms is deep enough for it to be a constant subject in poetry, arts, food, and in almost every aspect of their lives. They even regard it as valuable enough to be offered as gift to other nations, a national pride. With this, I can never doubt the significance of the cherry tree to them.

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The Japanese love for their cherry blossoms spread to visitors of their country

I’m inclined to think that the Japanese are deep people. Who would have thought of planting cherry trees in great numbers at most parks, temples, and public roads as part of urban planning. The foresight to beautify the cities at spring because everybody feels so much joy viewing the cherry blossoms makes them quite a profound culture.

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Cherry blossoms on a sidewalk floor tile in Tsuchiura

 

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One of the roadside poster stand on cherry tree varieties

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Another cherry tree variety in this stand

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Outside this school in Taito-ko was where I spotted those cherry tree poster stands during my morning run

Gimba

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Front cover

Putting up with the crowd at last month’s International Book Fair and at the same time feeling a bit despondent that I was at MOA on a weekend (though I didn’t set foot inside the mall), was compensated when I acquired few books from small time publishing houses such as UP Press et al, and some old PCIJ magazines and one old magazine on Mindanao Culture called Gimba (the only edition I found).

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Back cover

Gimba is the musical instrument of Manobo tribe in Mindanao, hence the magazine logo is an illustration of this drum. Subscription rate is 10 pesos per copy, 40 pesos for a year’s subscription as stated in the first page of this third quarter 1985 edition. It has 32 pages only but there is substance in every page. How I wish this kind of reading material is still in circulation today.

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An article about education among the Ata Manobo

Healthy Seniors

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Ageing workers are a common sight in Japan, whether self-employed, or employed in some sort of physical job like park maintenance. Perhaps older people in Japan are healthier as compared to other countries for they seem to be free from all sorts of old age disabilities.

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Making sure that water flows unimpeded

I think it’s a wise move to do physical work to retain strength, earn at the same time, and make themselves productive members of society even long past their retirement age. Generally, Japanese work longer and it’s a cultural thing.

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She works in that shop

Kawaii Omiyage

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A box of 10 streetcar cakes

Omiyage culture of Japan is akin to the oleh-oleh habit of Indonesians and the customary pasalubong in the Philippines. 

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A wrapping paper for the streetcar box with cute map of the Toden Arakawa Line

A souvenir from a trip is something you buy for yourself while an omiyage (or oleh-oleh or pasalubong) is something you buy for others. Normally something edible, a food specialty.

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Five streetcar designs

Whereas the oleh-oleh and pasalubong have normal packaging, Japanese cuteness reflects on its omiyage packaging. So cute. So kawaii.

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A streetcar box for the streetcar cake

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Streetcar cake. Wafer-like on the outside with red bean paste filling. It's like mochi or hopia

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Candies packaged like ekiben from a confectionery shop in Kawagoe

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Kawaii candies

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More candies in cute packaging

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