Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The 25th Yokohama International Women’s Ekiden

On February 25, Yokohama International Women’s Ekiden was held in Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture(Ekiden(駅伝) is long-distance relay footrace).The Ekiden started in 1983, and this time is the 25th meet.

The length of the Ekiden course is the same as full marathon, 42.195km. The 25th participating teams are China, England, Kenya Romania, Russia, the U.S, Japan international team, seven area picked teams. The course starts and finish at Yokohama Aka-renga Souko (Yokohama red-brick warehouse), and turn at Hakkeijima Sea Paradise. Since my living place is close to Hakkeijima, I decided to wait athletes there.

There were many cheer people and cameras because this Ekiden is live broadcast by Nihon TV for 30 broadcasting stations and on air at Radio Nippon.

I also took several exciting photos of great athletes.

The final result is Russia is 1st, the U.S is 2nd and Japan international team was 3rd.

That was nice experience for me to see marathon athletes who participate actively in the world; they ran so fast that the real time I cheered was short though. I who is now distant from sports is quite impressed facing the seriousness of international athletes.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Abbreviated Words in Japanese

Japanese people like to shorten long words and say them simply. Those abbreviated words include many different things. For instance, nobody call “television” but “telebi” instead in Japan.

There are abbreviated words for electrical things

1.Digital camera....Dejikame(デジカメ)

2.Remote control…Remokon(リモコン)

3.Air conditioner…Eakon(エアコン)

4.Personal Computer…Pasokon(パソコン)

5.Keitai Denwa(Mobile phone)…Kêtai(ケータイ)


7.Floppy disk…Furoppî(フロッピー)

8.Word processor…Wâpuro(ワープロ)



Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine and Chocolate Tendency

How will you spend February 14th this year? Needless to say, February 14th is St. Valentine’s Day in the world. This is not of course original from Japanese culture, but the day is in fashion since 1958 in Japan, and she created new style of celebration in different way from other countries.

In western countries or others, people send a card or flowers to people they love or is attracted to on St. Valentine’s Day. In Japan, the day turns into the day for couples completely. On the day, girls present chocolate to their favorite men, and show their feeling how mush they love their men. The day is used to confess one’s love to someone as well.

There are actually two chocolates on St. Valentine’s Day in Japan. One is Honmei-choko(本命チョコ) which is for favorite man, of course only one man. Another is called Giri-choko(義理チョコ) that is for men friends, boss and colleagues in one’s office. I am not sure how to explain Giri, but it means like an obligation. To be sure, Honmei-choko is gorgeous and more expensive than Giri-choko, and Giri-choko should be small and reasonable price chocolate. Girls especially in school enjoy exchanging chocolates one another among girl friends in recent years.

Men in Japan are glad and sad by turns if chocolates they were presented by girls are Honmei-choko or Giri-choko on St. Valentine’s Day. Which chocolate do you want to get?

Friday, February 09, 2007

I Can Hear You

As I mentioned at the last article, there will be National Sports Festival, Kokutai at Akita. To liven up the all year round festival, Kokutai association created its image song called, “make IT real”. You can hear the song from here (3rd WMP from the top).

Besides, to support the Kokutai, my father and his band, Hotline composed a song called,”Kikoeteruyo Kiminokoega” which means “I Can Hear You” This is not an official Kokutai image song, but has been spreading through the media ,and fortunately, its popularity is getting high in Akita. The article about the song was picked up at local papers, television, and radio.

A president of Akita biathlon association (the vice-president of all Japan biathlon association at the same time) saw one of the papers, and gets found of the song very much; therefore, the song became the official image song for Akita biathlon association. Since my hometown is the place for biathlon games, the song was broadcast all day long during the rehearsal competition. Now all people hope the song will be all Japan official biathlon song in the future. The song is free, so you can download it from the band official homepage if you are interested in.

There was a live concert to announce “I Can Hear You” at a pub. It was a great success, and all audiences were singing and dancing with the song. Here are some photos at the live. I joined the live as a chorus.

It would be great if the song spread throughout the world with this weblog.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

National Sports Festival is Ready

The National Sports Festival is going to start from February 10th in Akita. This festival is annual and held in one prefecture. Games are held all over the prefecture making the most of its lands or places. The official name of the festival is Kokumin Taiiku Taikai(国民体育大会);however, it is shortened as Kokutai(国体) to call it easily.

The National Sports Festival has its original name every year for one prefecture. For instance, the festival in Hyogo last year was called, Nojigiku Kokutai. Nojigiku is prefectural flower in Hyogo. In Akita case, the name is Wakasugi Kokutai. Wagasugi means young Japanese cedars. Since Akita is famous for good quality of Japanese cedars, the word was used in the festival name.

In Kokutai, the association make various symbols. Sugicchi(スギッチ) is a mascot for Wakasugi Kokutai. As stated above, Akita Sugi(Japanese cedars) is popular in Japan, the association made use of Sugi in Sugicchi.

In winter time, Alpine events, Nordic events, and biathlon will be held first. My hometown is the place for biathlon (a sporting that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting). During biathlon games, there will be Kenji Ogiwara who was the Olympic skiing athlete, and now the vice-president of all Japan biathlon association.

I hope the biathlon game place will gather people from all over Japan, and have hotly contested games!

Friday, February 02, 2007

One Touch!

Experimentation is put into operation in Narita air port. To make departure formalities electronize, the novel system is used at Narita since January 30th.

All travelers have to do is to hold IC tip which records face photo and other information, and both right and left forefinger over an automatic gate. Then, registered information and the information is compared, and departure formalities are completed.

The experimentation is practiced by March 23rd at JAL and ANA for people who use mileage fliers program and who want to use the system.

The system will be to put into full-scale operation at Narita since November.