Death penalty

  • 2009.10.06 Tuesday
  • 22:59
Some countries still keep the death penalty as a farm of punishment, however some countries stopped it. In Japan, now we have started the jury system so it might be a good time to think about the idea having the death punishment or not.

Nowadays, almost all developed courtiers have stopped death penalty. Their reason is mainly that it is not acceptable by human right’s point of view. Moreover, the death penalty is not related with crime late. In fact, some U.S. states do not have the death penalty and compared with keeping the penalty states have higher criminal rate then the stetes not having.

For countries who maintain Capital punishment, they say that having the penalty keep their society peaceful and that it’s kind of restitution for the victims’ family. By Cabinet Office’s opinion pull around 80% is pros death punishment on the other hand cons are only 6% (the other are no idea) in Japan in 1999.

All things considered and in my opinion, I can’t support the death penalty. The main reason is that we can’t find the correlativity between the punishment and crime rates. Another point is that I believe all life in jail is hard as the death punishment. I also want to give a chance to criminals to regret that he or she has done. If criminals are sorry for their actions, why must we give a death punishment? Their victim’s family also needs to forgive for regulated people. Otherwise they have to their whole life with anger. We Japanese should know this allowance’s idea more. People need a second chance, don’t we? Of course our government should give special aid for the victim’s family to overcome the sadness. I also think many politicians use the Japanese high rate(s contras feeling for their election campaign. It is not the human right!

I am also fun of this schooler's idea.

Anyway I have to get more infometion and see the reality. I have been a justise court once and now I am planing to go to see the new jury system's one.

How can Japanese keep morality without religion?

  • 2009.02.13 Friday
  • 19:27
You may know Japanese don’t have a certain religion. At new year, we go to a Shinto shrine, the most popular wedding style is western style which means Japanese go to a Christian church and for a funeral, most Japanese chose Buddhism. It might be true to say that we are not religious.

If I say “Japanese don’t have any religion” in general, I often get this question in repsonse, “how do Japanese keep their morality without religion?” It is a tough question for me to answer. I would like to say it's because of “family” or “tradition” but that doesn't seem to be true any more.

In my case, I went to a Christian school for 16 years and my family is still in the traditional style. So these things influenced me a lot. However now I don’t go to church any more and I have many chances to meet many people and get good and bad influences more easily.

I thought, ”I have to make a good motto to keep morality” At the Shodo exhibition, I wrote my motto from an ancient Chinese book called 千字文 

What I wrote is;

知過必改   得能莫忘   

when you find a mistake, you need to correct it immediately  
When you learn a good thing, you should never forget it

徳建名立   形端表正

When you cultivate high virtue, you will get a good reputation and your appearance and behavior will become beautiful.

I especially value and appreciate the last one.

“Do what I believe is the right thing, and naturally my appearance and behavior will become beautiful and I will get high virtue ”

I am ageing but want to keep my beauty! So this is kind of my beauty salon treatment!

Please do not think of me like that...

  • 2008.11.23 Sunday
  • 21:25
I have founded this text and I am not such a parson. So please don't expect me like that even I am wearing Kimono which is a symble of a traditonal Japnaese ladies. However it might be true, there many such ladies in Japan since it is easy to live for them, less responsiblity. But in my case, I want to enjoy my life positively and independetly.

Stereotypes, whether they aresexyal or gender-related, create images that relate personal characteristics to the positions that women and men hold in society. Unfortunatly, some gender stereotypes are hard to remove. Such stereotypes tend to interact with stereotypes we have that are related class, race, adn sexual feelings.

Society has made use of stereotypes not only to fix women's roles but also limit them to those very same ones. This has served not only to limit how women see their futures, but also to keep them from fulfilling other potentialroles in society. Suffering from such limited choices, women have been driven to alcohol and drug abuse, low self-esteem, and suiside. Unlike men whose world goes beyond their relationship to other men, women are stereotypically kimited to their relation to men. This limitation of their role to their relationship with men holds true for all women, but it is especially true for nonwhite women who not only are controlled by their relationship to white men but also to white women and men of their own race.

Women of Asia are unfairly considered to all be quite, small and passive, thier roke being to follow men. When it comes to stereotypes of women, Asian women are perceived to fit the stereotype that many people have of the ideal women, although it has a negative sense of being very accessuble sexyally, an image that is much like that of geisha or so-called picture bride. This does difffer somewhat from other sexual images in that Asian women are just seen as accessible and not demanding. Addordingly, Asia women are someites sought out as brides because of the streotype that they will be esasy to control, won't complain, and will take good care of their man. Although they are looked upon very favorably, the persistence of these stereotypes of Asian women has led to their being kept on the sidelines both politically and economically.


Stand up Japanese women! Open your eyes!

I aggree with it!

  • 2008.11.18 Tuesday
  • 23:32
I have found a text and I love them. Let me show you:)

The most powerful method of understanding a culthure is to find its outside in some way. Culture can only be fully and deply understood when it is seen by another culture, though even then there is the potentional for yet another culture to perceive more. Cultural significances and meanings can only be revealed when they are seen in relation to other meanings, held by others in difffrent situetions. Such cultural contacts are like a kind of conversation or dialogue, whihc brings out meanings of which people within a culture may not be aware. When we come into contact with a foreign culture, we can ask new quetions, and these quetions may not be ones which come from the pople of that culture. At the same time, the answers from a foreign culture will often ask questions about our own culture, and these questions, and the answers we give, might not be ones we would have condidered without the contact and dialogue with an outside culture. However, this dialogue between cultures does not necessarily cause thouse cultures to become one unified whole, but insted each culture keeps its own identity, and each gorws and becomes more open though contact.

Kimono made in Saitama

  • 2008.10.27 Monday
  • 18:24
Kimono made in Saitama

It's become 4 years since I decided to work for the Kimono industry. Time flies. Although I was born as a Kimono shop's
daughter, I have never had any interest in Kimono. My knowledge of
Kimono was almost nothing. I am studying Kimono to catch up, but even
now I don't think I can make it and I'm not sure when I can find my
self "I done!" since Kimono is so deep.

Kimono has over 1000 years history and before our modernization,
every region were making their own original Kimono that fit their
climate and life. Futuremore, Kimono production is completely divided
into specialized labors so it became more and more complicated and
sophisticated. Therefore a variety of Kimono exists and the ideas are
deep. When I started working as a Kimono shop owner, I thought, "Maybe Kimono made in Saitama is good stepping stone since it is easier to find article about them and to meet someone who is related Kimono in Saitama" then I had started to study it.

Thanks to the subject, there has never been someone who studied it
(to my knowledge). TV Saitama introduced me when our shop had a
demonstration of Honjyo Ori. This year, I wrote about the crisis of
Yukata dying which was "Kagozome" on my blog. I got many positive
comments. These cheered me up a lot.

But I'm sure some of you might think, "Kimono made in Saitama
sounds strange". I can't deny that Saitama has litte character but
just another town close to Tokyo. But is it really so? Think about
Saitama, it is just next to Tokyo / Edo where has been a big and
important town and there were enough land to for silkworm raising, and some clear rivers for indigo dyeing. These circumstances were very good for Kimono making! Yes, we had Kimono in Saitama it support
Saitama people's life both then and also now.

I can only make a little exhibition about Kimono made in Saitama.
Saitama doesn't have world famous Kimono such "Oshima-tumugi" and
"Kaga-yuzen", but I'm assume if you know the background of them, you
may feel something special. This is what I wish more Japanese today
would feel!

Also, please come and have a look around and see the attendeed.
Including perhaps someone like you, who are not Japanese. You may
learn how Kimono has a cultural significance. Kimono attracts people.
Races, nationality, languages, gender, and generation have doesn't

My message for this exhibition is "From a Saitama micro point of
view, you may feel how Kimono is friendly. From a macro point world
view, you may feel how kimono gets attention and respect". I would
also like let Japanese know more about them and make Kimono more
popular among Japanese. I hope you enjoy this exhibition and support
Exhibition at our 50 years anivesary event. This Kimono is Honjo-kasuri


Honjo-kasuri started in Honjo City and Kodama County in the northern part of Saitama Prefecture, an area especially active in silk farming. Originally the daughters of farming families wove their own clothes for everyday use, but now it has fallen almost completely out of production, and those who are still able to make Honjo-kasuri are all over eighty years old.

On May 27, 2006, Sakaeya welcomed Mr Akira Arakawa, a traditional craftsman, and his wife to show their weaving technique to our customers and let them try it for themselves. TV Saitama also came and broadcasted the event.

How Kimono is important for Japanese

  • 2007.10.13 Saturday
  • 22:04
How Kimono is important for Japanese

I have never thought about this question since I believed the answer was too apparent. But I was assumed to say the fact that I could not replay this answer at once when my friend, Karryn, asked me. Thanks to Karryn, she gave me a chance to think it deeply. So now I am going to explain how kimono is important for Japanese from my point, Kimono shop owner, of view.

At the beginning, I would like to focus on the meaning of Kimono when we wrote it in Chinese character. Every Chinese character has meaning so we can infer how ancient people wanted to describe. In Chinese characters, Kimono means "things to wear". Kimono was used to be only the thing which Japanese ware able to wear until we opened our country around 1900. Before opening our country, ordinary Japanese had nothing idea to wear without Kimono.

Secondly, Japanese still wear Kimono when we have annual event and ceremony. For example, most of parents put babies a special Kimono and take them to a Shinto shrine which is our Japan's natural religion, in order to grateful to god for getting babies and pray for baby's health after one month their born. Going to Shrine is holly, even though now Japanese are not so religious, Kimono is appropriate wear for showing babies to god for the first time. Besides, when sons become five years old or daughters become three and seven years old, parents put them on Kimono and take them a shrine again, to celebrate their health and ask god to get his protect for children. We call it Shichi(7) Go(5) San(3), because of the age. Boys had started wear divided skirt called Hakama when his five, which ware for adults. Girls had started to wear adult type of Kimono from seven. Moreover, to celebrate the coming age, 20years old, Japan have a special type of Kimono especially for girls. It is with long sleeves. And of course, even trough nowadays western still is poplar, but there are Japanese style wedding which braid and groom wear Kimonos. 
(my friend's wedding)

It might be true that the most traditional family in Japan is Japanese royal family. So this is the last reason why I think Kimono is important for Japanese. One of their important works is keeping traditional rituals, which have around 1000years history. At some of these rituals, emperors wear Sokutai, which is origin of Hakama, and empress wear Jyunihitoe, which is primary type of Kimono for aristocrat men. In Heian era, around 1000years ago, Jyunihitoe had 12 layers! Another ritual related to Kimono for empress is to raise silk worms at royal palace, since silk was Japan's main and fundamental industry. Why Japan was able to create Kimono, such a gorgeous and beautiful clothing is because Japanese can make silk. Silk is very long flexible thread and can be easily dyed. Thanks to Japan's climate! Our climate is good for making silk !
(empress Michiko gives mulberry blade silk warm)
In my conclusion, Kimono is Japan's fundamental element. It has long history and supported Japan's economy and our daily life. How can we deny Kimono is important for Japanese?

What is globalization?

  • 2007.04.04 Wednesday
  • 23:00
I would like to talk about what happed to Japan in the period of through globalization, because, in spite of reading the texts, I could not understand what happed. All I can do is showing my opinion from an Asian point of view and perhaps from an objective point of view as well. As our teacher has said before, globalization was caused by Western countries.

First of all, I would like to talk about economy. Through American pressure, Japan had to deregulate its economy deregulation and have an open economy market from around 1988. Many foreign companies came to Japan and brought new standards with them. Japanese companies had to compete with them. Some Japanese companies consolidated and merged to some to with foreign companies. At that time Japanese companies consolidated didn’t fellow global standards. Some companies went out of business and were bought by foreign companies. For example, Nissan Japanese the second biggest car company, made an alliance with Renault; a French Company. Now the president of Nissan is French. Following the trend, Japanese economy is challenged to meet global standards. I think the teacher said globalization came to Japan in 1970 but I think in 1970 internationalization came to Japan and not globalization. Because at that time we didn’t need to make a new standard. Internationalization and globalization are different. Internationalization means that we don’t need to change our standard but globalization requires us to create new standards, as this should and is a global standard.

Secondly, I would like to focus on culture. Because of globalization we need to communicate more with other nations. So we use English as a common language, I think Japan is reconsidering English education in the country. Studying English starts from at age 10 since 2002, but when I was a student, teaching English started in 13 yeas old. As you know, I can’t pronounce some of your names correctly, because I started studying English is too late. According to linguist, we have a time limit to lean correct pronunciation. Linguist call it’s time limit “the wall of 9 year old”. After the age of 9, recognizing new sounds becomes difficult. Japanese language has only 5 vowels and 10 consonants. English has more than double the around. So that way I can’t differentiate L from R Lord and Road is same for me. Th, S, Sh and Bi, Vi and Fu, Hu, and U , Wu, and Di , Ji Zi as well. But the Japanese language is very complicated; I think studying English and Japanese at the same is too difficult. Japanese language is written using ideographic Chinese characters and two phonetic characters. And phonetic character has 50 words each. Chinese character has 1945 words. There are all of them ( show the document). Even if you have the same sound, the meaning is changed (show the word), if we write it down. These words are same sound “ Kakou” but the meanings are completely different. And we must change speaking forms up to who talks to you. If you talk with elder then you, you must use polite words. In my opinion, Japanese compulsory education should be started from the age of 5 or 6, and you need to take time to study both English and Japanese as early as possible to do well in globalization era.

Finally I would like to show what happened to my mother. Now she is involved in globalization because I come her to the ISS. She is 71years old. It means she experienced WW2. For the battle’s Japan lost, she has a strong complex to Western countries. But this is not only limited to her. Japanese tend to have a complex to Western countries and culture. I think this is a port of Japanese culture. She still believes every Western person is richer than the average Japanese. For example, she thinks you have many formal parties and do a lot of social dancing, therefore she sent me a Kimono as a birthday present and said to me “put on the Kimono for the party”. Every Western guy is a gentleman and according to her, they often ray ladies first. Additionally, she thinks daughter should follow her parents’ requests. When I decided to come here, she said to me” I allow you to go to Europe for 3 months, but when you come to back to Japan, you have to get married”. But now I changing my mind I will stay Europe longer than 3 months. When I told her, she said to me “ I don’t allow you to change the day you were planning to come back to Japan”. Then I told her “Mama! I became 30 years old and I use only my own money! I am not a child any more!! I made many friends and they inspired me. I want to be more independent and I want to see other countries. It is best chance to go there!” Hearing that, she asked me “The friends are guys? If they are guys, you should not go!” Even though she is against my plane, I decided to go. She must acknowledge my plans. She has to accept Western mother’s philosophy, so now globalization is coming to her.

In conclusion, in my opinion, it is true that the Western created the globalization, but I believe Japan and other countries influence globalization as well. Every country is suscepoble to inverted the globalization and we are influencing the globalization together. For example, the Internet was started by western people. At the beginning internet was for personal interests only, and the next stage of internet was development lead to the reduction of jobs, because of excessive personal salary. But Japan is using the Internet to inspire consumers to buy. If you have a look Japanese internet sites, you might be surprised because they are so fancy. Japanese internet sites try to catch the costumer’s attention. I think this trend is coming to Western internet web site.

Finally, I wish to have more ideas on globalization. I think we can get these by communicating with other nations. I’m not good at English but I want to inspire mutually. I think this is an aspect of globalization and international relations. Studying in this class is not a competition for me. I think study here out of interest. However I want to give attending this class a meaning. If you have time, let’s have a chat. I am only Asian, I hope I could give you new ideas. I hope these ideas help you to create global standards.

Kahori OCHI 2005.July at the intarnational summer school at universtiy of Oslo

Fomarl or Casual?

  • 2007.02.15 Thursday
  • 22:26
Kimono can be divided into two types, the ”Ori” and the “Some”.

The type of kimono, somewhat like a “tweed” fabric, is called ORI or TSUMUGI, which means “weaving”. First, threads are colour-dyed and put on a loom. Then the pattern is made by weaving different colored threads together. This method of making kimono is less advanced than “SOME”, which is why working people wore this type of Kimono. They made ORI-style Kimono by hand. The threads used were not the more expensive silk, but plants which they could pick around their house. (The silk Kimono was used only by the aristocracy)

2 ( I am in Ori and my mother in Some)

The other kind of kimono is SOME, which means “dye”. First of all, we make a white single bolt of kimono fabric, which has never been dyed, then draw a pattern on the fabric. The most famous of this type is “Yuzen-some”, which gave the kimono a more vibrant free style design. In the past, “Some” were only for rich people, because only silk could be used. This method of drawing a picture on fabric needs silk, so this type of Kimono was often given as a gift.

hata This is weaving machine [loom]

Customarily, woven patterns and repeat dyed patterns, as is commonly found in the ORI style of kimono, are considered informal. Formal kimono, having free-style designs dyed over the whole surface or along the hem, is usually the SOME style.

If I could change one thing about my country Japan, what would it be?

  • 2006.12.05 Tuesday
  • 23:55
This is that I wrote for studying English before going to Norway.
I think my English was better than now!

If I could change one thing about my country Japan, what would it be?

Japan is doing its best to maintain its economic growth on an upward scale. Unfortunately that’s a tough task. We used to think it was best for Japanese men to become company workers or “soldiers” and to devote their whole life to their jobs. While constant growth is a positive objective, achieving this goal in Japan comes with a heavy human price tag. Our blind devotion doesn’t make sense anymore. Working 15 hour days and weekends is not really helping the economy anymore.

I think it is time to consider what Japan could change.

In my opinion, ethical education in Japan should change. We Japanese have been educated to be amenable – to follow social norms without complaint. At the end of World War II, our country was completely destroyed. We had nothing at all. So at that time, happiness meant having same values of life as the Western countries. The thought was that if you had economic power, you would be happy. In fact, the government has indicated that Japan is an economic leader and we have obtained this goal. However, what about the citizens’ happiness?

For instance, we Japanese work too hard and don’t have quality private time. Many office workers leave their homes while their families sleep and come back after they have gone to bed. Working on weekends is the norm. Loyalty to the company is measured in how many hours you spend at the office. 9-to-5 jobs are unheard of. Stress levels are high and Japan has some of the highest rate for adults in the world. Is this really success or happiness?

Japan is now in the next phase- it is an economic leader. Therefore, people should have a new goal in mind. Achieving “quality of life”, in my opinion, is what people in Japan must aim for. Self-realization is essential for having a good quality of life, but first we should know what is important for ourselves. This process of finding out what is you need in your life to be happy is an individual and private process. Therefore, the Japanese government should try to make people aware of the value of finding a good balance between compiling to social norms and enjoying private time.

Along with the balance, I would like to say that the Japanese should be proud of their cultural identity. At the end of WW II, we considered the Western lifestyle as the best way to live. However I think Japan has a unique culture and we should preserve it, celebrate it. There is some truth to the argument that following social norms is a powerful and important aspect of being a citizen- If we cooperate with others, changes are powerful. Social harmony is a prerequisite for any nation’s success. On the other hand, Japan is already developed nation. It is time for the government to think about its citizens’ welfare.

In conclusion, in my personal opinion, Japanese society should educate its citizens to have individual thoughts and critical views. Along with that, it should encourage people to try and realize their dreams. This approach allows for a good balance between being amenable in society and having rights as an individual.

Most importantly, I believe that if we accept these thoughts, my country Japan will be recognized not only as a big economic power in the world, but also as a country with a high quality of life with happy citizens as well.

Japan and the Kimono.

  • 2006.10.05 Thursday
  • 21:24
Japan and the Kimono.

“Kimono” the Japanese national costume, originated from China. About 14000 years ago, during the Asuka era (around 600 to 700), the Kimono was introduced with Buddhism. At that time, Kimonos were worn by some aristocrats as a political strategy. By wearing the Kimono they were showing their faith in Buddhism.

Great changes to the Kimono were made during the Heian era (around 900 to 1200). About this time, the Japanese envoy to China was abolished and Japan’s own culture was ready to flourish. We already understood the techniques of Kimono making from the Chinese and soon the Kimono was accepted by the Japanese as their own.

A ceremonial dress of a Japanese court lady, which consisted of 12 layers of Kimono and long sleeves signaled the acceptance of the dress. These costumes were for the privileged class (upper class). This fantastic and luxurious costume was a symbol of the powerful and prosperous Heian era.

After the Heian era ended, the Warring State period (around 1300 to 1700) began. For 500 years, regime change was constant. It was an unstable time. Therefore, practicality prevailed and the kimono became simpler. The short sleeves which can be seen on today’s kimonos were introduced during this period. With trade with the rest of the world beginning again the Kimono changed again. Chinese, Indian and even European culture all had some influence on the Kimono – woolen cloth is an example. How the Kimono is international.

Finally came the Edo era (around 1700 to 1800). The Edo era was the florescence of Japanese culture. With Japan’s isolation from the rest of the world combined with over 200 years of peaceful existence, our agriculture techniques improved and allowed us to harvest more than ever before. Thus our culture grew and bloomed during this time.

Moreover, hierarchies understood the importance of fostering a culture for their people. Focusing on different areas allowed peoples work to become sophisticated. The idea of painting the Kimono began during this period of sophistication, called Yuzen-zome. Through using gold and silver, embroidery and tie-dyeing skills flourished.

The making of a kimono is a detailed process and requires many hands. One craftsman making the thread, one is weaving cloths, one is dyeing cloths and the other is painting and so on. I do not know of another national dress that requires the time, technique and attention to detail that the kimono does. It’s no surprise the kimono is not viewed just as a piece of clothing but a piece of art as well.

The end of the Edo period saw the opening up of trade with the West. Japan got a glimpse of what was available in the industrialized world and was surprised and impressed by the possibilities. We were of the belief we had to become westernized or risk being westernized by the west. At that time the thought was, “We must escape from Asia and enter the western world.” As a result part of our culture was forgotten as we strived to accept western ideas (values).

If you look at the current Japanese way of life, you cannot deny how westernized it has become. Especially, clothing. When the kimono is compared with western style dress it seems quite impractical. It is disappointing that many Japanese today do not know how to dress the kimono properly. Kimono traditions have been forgotten and disconnected in some families. This is the reason we do not wear the kimono so often today.

But there is another reason, that is, the kimono became a moneymaking business. We stopped wearing the kimono as our daily dress and therefore we stopped making an affordable version. In turn the kimono was only worn for special occasions and became very expensive to own. Moreover, since the tradition of learning how to wear the kimono throughout families has been lost, private kimono dressing schools have been founded. Now there are many rules to follow when dressing the Kimono and it is something that is complicated and time consuming. As a result the kimono has become to be seen as something that is expensive, difficult and only for old people and is not worn by many.

However, as I mentioned above, the kimono is a great reminder of a peaceful and prosperous time in Japan’s history. The kimono has become a symbol of equality in Japan. In the past (until the end of the Edo era 1867), the Kimono was used to distinguish one’s socio-economic status. Fortunately, nowadays Kimonos are accessible to the whole spectrum of Japanese society and are not seen as a wealthy garment. How wonderful the Kimono is.

Therefore, I now do my best to preserve and spread Kimono culture not only amongst Japanese but all over the world. Strangely we tend to have an inferiority complex when it comes to our own culture. If the Kimono had a good reputation and was popular all over the world I think younger Japanese would come to embrace the Kimono again. This international Kimono event is very important.

I am trying to encourage others to adopt and wear the Kimono more often. Nationality is not important. If you like the Kimono, contact me! Let’s enjoy it together.



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