Celebrate: Foundation Day

Today is a holiday in Japan, but not that you'd really notice. And frankly, given Japan's somewhat inglorious history in the first half of the 20th century, that may be entirely by design. Foundation Day (Kenkoku Kinen no Hi) makes no secret of what it celebrates - the foundation of the nation of Japan and the... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Oshogatsu

Akemashite Omedetou, everyone ... Happy New Year! Did you all make it to midnight in your respective time zones? We did, though not by design. (I had done laundry earlier and the sheets still needed time to dry. Oops.) New Year's is starting to wind down here for my family at least. We did partake... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Bonenkai

Despite my longing for the colors of autumn, winter is upon us. Like clockwork, the calendar switched to December 1st and the temperature here dropped to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. That's cold for Kyushu! But it gets me in the holiday spirit, as did my bonenkai today. What's a bonenkai? In case you missed my... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Labor Thanksgiving Day

Well, my fellow Americans, you are probably just as confused as I am about the upcoming Japanese holiday on November 23rd. For us, Labor Day was celebrated back in early September. And you're probably all currently searching pinterest for the perfect turkey recipe for next Thursday's Thanksgiving feast. So what's the deal with this dual... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Culture Day 2014

As you read this, I am probably recovering from a wet and rainy weekend on the Kumano Kodo, the old pilgrimage path on the Kii Peninsula (Wakayama Prefecture, south of Osaka). Last year, I read that Culture Day is statistically one of the sunniest days of the year. This year it more than made up for... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Sports Day 2014

Sports Day is coming up on Monday (October 13th) but in a sense, I have already missed it this year. My daughter's preschool held their annual Sports Day celebration the day after we returned from the US. We could have attended but since she missed the month of practices beforehand (and jet lag was still... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Tsukimi (Moon Viewing) 2014

By the time this entry publishes today (September 8th), I will be traveling through the night on my way to the United States for a three-week trip. Sadly, it's nearly impossible to see the moon from the airplane window, which means that I'll be missing out on this year's Tsukimi. Here's some information about the holiday from... Continue Reading →

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