News List

2018.01.26
Japanese Culture

January 2018 Guide Sign

Dear All,

Happy New Year!

We wish for great happiness in 2018, the year of the dog according to Chinese zodiac.

We do hope that 2018 has begun in a really good way for all of you.

“Hatsumode” the first visit to a shrine or a temple,

either grand or small is one of the most exciting and meaningful New Year’s traditions in Japan.

Meiji Shrine, one of the most famous shrines in Japan

boasts over three million worshippers during the first three days of New Year of 2017.

This act can be performed on any day throughout the year,

but hatsumode is considered to be a particularly important time to pray for good luck in the coming year.

People throw coin or bill into the offertory box.

No specific amount. Heart is important.

People clap their hands twice and then pray with their hands together silently.

Traditional luck charms (omamori) and fortune telling slips (omikuji) are available at a shrine or a temple.

If they want to secure a wish, people write their prayers on ema, a votive wooden plaque.

It is typically 15cm wide and 9cm high and costs from 500yen to 1000yen.

It is offered to a shrine or a temple whenever people feel they need a little help

from the deities for worldly benefits such as a swift recovery from illness,

a job promotion, and success in entrance exams.

Visiting a shrine or a temple is different from being religious.

Yet religious belief and rituals have long been an important part of Japanese people’s life.

The majority of Japanese are born Shinto, marry Christian, and die Buddhist.

Such Japan’s blend of religious practices might be hard to understand from a western point of view.

Many people of all ages in Japan seem to be seeking some sort of spiritual advice by visiting sacred places,

as exemplified in a huge number of ema with closely hand-written hopes, found in the precincts of a shrine or a temple.

https://www.nicjapanese.com

 

2017.12.28
Lessons

Japanese Language Lesson Beginners’ Course【LevelⅠ Step3】

Japanese Language Lesson Beginners’  Course【Level 1 Step3】

Monday & Wednesday  /7:30pm – 9:00pm
January 22 – March 14, 2018 (except February 12)

Tuition Fee : 45,900 yen for 15 lessons (3,065 yen per lesson)

If you are interested please contact us by e-mail.
info@nicjapanese.com

2017.12.12
Japanese Culture

December Guide Sign

Time has come for bonen-kai or a year-end social gathering held usually among co-workers in December

for forgetting unpleasant memories of the outgoing year.

A party organizer needs to spend a lot of time to choose what to eat and decide where to eat,

as there are a large number of eating places offering a huge variety of food in Japan.

The Japanese are good at combining foreign food with theirs, creating a unique food culture.

Okosama lunch (kids’ lunch) is a part of such food culture and found only in Japan.

It’s a special menu for kids decoratively arranged on one plate with a tiny flag chosen on the top of rice,

and served at a restaurant on the top floor of the building.

Okosama lunch was introduced by a chief manger of the restaurant

in main Mitsukoshi Department Store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo in 1930

after the Great Depression also hit Japan and the country was in an uncertain mood.

The restaurant manager thought that it would be nice to have something for kids to enjoy looking and good for their health.

In 1960s,Okosama lunch was very popular

and the rooftop restaurant offering the menu was very crowded with families with small children.

The menu included kids’ favorite foods such as a hamburger and fried prawn,

and enabled Japanese children to try Japanese style western foods

when they daily ate traditional Japanese meals at home.

Moreover, there was an amusement park on the top floor where children enjoyed games or a ride on a merry-go-round.

For a break, they had kids lunch. The place was really a wonderland for them.

A visit to a department store was an exciting experience to adults too.

Everything was new to them, as Western-style buildings were a showcase of the latest Western technology and imported good,

enhancing Western lifestyle.

Through the passing of time the department store has lost its original meaning.

The rooftop amusement park was a thing of the past with all of them being closed.

But Okosama lunch nonetheless exists with the food prepared for the menu unchanged ever since it appeared.

If you are lucky (as some restaurants have no age limit),

you can enjoy a diversity of Japanese food on one plate even for dinner at a very reasonable price.

 

忘年会の時期になりました。会社の同僚と過ぎゆく年に起こった不快な思い出を忘れるための歳末の社交的な集いです。

忘年会の幹事は料理や場所選ぶのに時間がかかります.

料理の種類も多くまた食事処が多数あるからです。

日本人は自国のものに外国の料理を取り入れるのが得意で、独特の食文化を作り上げています。

お子様ランチもそうした食文化の一部で日本でしか味わうことができません。

子供のための料理で綺麗に一枚のお皿に盛りつけられ、小さな旗がご飯のうえに立てられてだされてきます。

お子様ランチが食べられるレストランはデパートの最上階にありました。

お子様ランチは1930年東京日本橋の三越本店のレストランのシェフが考え付いたものです。

当時は大恐慌のあとの不安な時代でした。子供が見て楽しく体に良いものをと考えたのです。

1960年代には大人気になりデパートのレストランは子供連れの家族で大盛況でした。

子供の好物のハンバーガー、エビフライなどがお皿に盛られて出されました。

お子様ランチにより日本の洋食を子供たちは口にすることができました。

家庭で食べていたのは伝統的な日本の食事でした。加えてデパートの屋上には遊園地がありました。

こどもたちはゲームやメリーゴーランドを楽しんだ後、お子様ランチを頬張るのでした。

デパートはまさに子供にとっての素晴らしいワンダーランドでした。

子供ばかりでなく大人にとってもデパートはわくわくする場所でした。

すべてのものがとても新鮮でした。洋風な建物は西洋の最新技術や輸入品の陳列棚であり、

西洋のライフスタイルを憧れをもって見ていました。

時代の流れデパートが持っていた従来の存在感が失われてしまいました。

屋上の遊園地はすべて閉園されてしまいました。それにもかかわらずお子様ランチはいまだに健全です。

内容は1930年以来、基本的には変わっていません。

レストランによっては年齢制限がないので運がよければお子様ランチを楽しむことが出来ます。

ワンプレートに盛りつけられたいろいろな種類の日本の食べ物を夕食としてもいただけます。

値段もお手頃ですよ。

 

http://www,nicjapanese.com

2017.11.17
Japanese Culture

November Guide Sign

Now is a time to enjoy autumn colors with eyes, and two types of winter-grown citrus in mouth,

i.e. one variety that is sweet, juicy easy to peel and another that is tart and bitter with thick and flavorful peel.

The former includes the tangerine called mikan in Japanese .

The latter is called yuzu,. Yuzu is not really edible,

but its fragrant peel and juice are widely used to flavor and color dishes of Japanese cooking.and indispensable in traditional Japanese cuisine.

Japan is the fruit’s largest producer and consumer.

Nowadays yuzu can be available in many convenient forms such as spice paste, sauces and freeze-dried throughout a year,

but fresh yuzu can be savored only during the winter time.

In Japan,the yuzu has been valued for its refreshing and sweet fragrance since ancient time.

The yuzu is rich in vitamin C and used in many recipes of cooking.

In this respect, yuzu is very similar to lemon,but it was cultivated in Japan around 1870s, brought here with western dishes.

While the lemon has a relatively short history for Japanese food culture,

yuzu has been associated not only with seasoning over centuries but also with soaking.

Soaking in a hot fragrant bath with fresh yuzu floating in it on the winter solstice is Japan’s long tradition for enjoyment and medicinal purposes,

as the citrus fruit is believed to prevent colds.

Yuzu bath dates from the Edo period (1603–1868) and may have been inspired by Japanese wordplay—the characters for

“winter solstice” and “hot-spring cure” can both be read as tōji.

Yuzu soak is perfect on a cold day. So you can take a yuzu bath whenever you want to.

Fresh yuzu soaking and seasoning is really a winter pleasure in Japan.

 

目では紅葉を、口では冬の柑橘類二種類を楽しめる時期になりました。

二種類のかんきつ類は甘い果汁がたっぷりで皮は楽にむける種類と、皮は厚くて香りが良く酸味の強い種類とです。

前者はみかん、後者はゆずと呼ばれています。ゆずは果物として食されていませんが、

その芳しい皮と果汁は料理の味付けや色どりに広く生かされ、特に伝統的な日本料理にはかかすことができません。

日本はゆずの最大生産者かつ消費者です。

今日ではゆずは香辛料ペースト、ソースまたフリーズドライのような便利な形体で一年中手に入れることができます。

しかし生のゆずは冬の季節にしか味わうことができません。

日本では大昔からその爽やかで甘い香りが愛されてきました。ビタミンCに富んでいて、いろいろな料理に使われて来ました。

この点ではレモンにとても似ています。しかし1870年代に洋食とともに日本に紹介されたレモンが日本食文化として歴史が浅いのに対して、

ゆずは何世紀にもわたり料理の味付けに使われてきました。またその香りは風呂にも生かされてきました。

冬至に生のゆずを浮かべたゆず湯に入るのは日本の古くからの伝統です。

ゆず湯は楽しみでもありまた薬用目的でもありました。ゆず湯に入ると風邪をひかないと言われていたからです。

その始まりは江戸時代で、冬至と湯治の語呂合わせとも言われています。

寒い日にゆず湯は最高です。いつでも入りたいときにゆず湯を楽しむことができます。

ゆずの香りの料理と風呂。これぞ日本の冬の醍醐味です。

2017.09.26
Japanese Culture

Japanese Language Lesson Beginners’ Course 【Level1 Step2】

Japanese Language Lesson Beginners’  Course【Level 1 Step2】

Monday & Thursday  /8:15pm – 9:45pm
October 2 – November 22 (except Oct. 9)

Tuition Fee : 45,900 yen for 15 lessons (3,065 yen per lesson)

If you are interested please contact us by e-mail.
info@nicjapanese.com

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