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The Almanac That Fixes Time

Updated on December 13, 2012

An Almanac of Time ... Truth, Superstition or Tradition?

A YOUNG man from rural Japan moved to Tokyo to attend college. There he met a pretty, intelligent girl and planned to marry her. But his family so vehemently opposed the courtship that the young man was forced to give up his love. Why? Because his year of birth and her year of birth, according to the traditional Japanese calendar, were considered incompatible.

On June 13, 1985, a company wanted to start work on the structural steel for a new residence building in Japan. However, the steel construction company preferred not to do so on the suggested day because it was a "bad luck day" according to the traditional Japanese calendar.

There is no doubt that the Japanese are an intelligent, industrious, and educated people. Yet, there is a deep-rooted tradition that prescribes an auspicious time for every undertaking. In Japan there is a time to do or not to do everything. How did such a regimented, superstitious concept of time originate? To what extent is life in modern Japanese society affected? And how will an understanding of the matter benefit us?

The Traditional Japanese Calendar

MONTHS IN THE JAPANESE CALENDAR

Although the Western-style calendar is in common use in Japan, an ancient lunar calendar, adopted from China in 604 C.E., is often used alongside it. This system of counting time is based on a sexagenary cycle, or a cycle of 60, formed by the permutation and combination of two sets of symbols called the 10 celestial stems and the 12 terrestrial branches.

In the Japanese version, the former (the ten stems) are based on the Japanese concept of the universe, which is said to consist of five elements-wood, fire, earth, metal, and water-and each element has two aspects: yang (male, or such positive traits as brightness, warmth, dryness, action) and yin (female, or such negative qualities as darkness, cold, wetness, passivity). The 12 terrestrial branches are represented by a sequence of 12 animals: rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and boar.

The cycle begins with the combination of the first stem with the first branch, namely, wood-yang rat. Next is the combination of the second stem with the second branch, or wood-yin ox. Then follows fire-yang tiger, fire-yin hare, and others. The total combination in this fashion is 60, hence the sexagenary cycle. Days, months, and years are all counted by the same cycle of 60. The year 604 C.E. started the first cycle, and a new cycle began every 60 years after that. The present cycle began in 1984. So, what will 2013 be? Since it is the ninth year in the cycle, it is the year of the black water snake.

IZUMO SHRINE

People believed that in NanaTsuki (October), all the gods and deities gathered at Izumo Shrine (near modern Matsue in Shimane Prefecture). In a sense, for other Prefectures, it was a "Month of No Gods."



Even today, many Japanese people still consult the almanac to try to determine good or bad luck, success or failure, in all sorts of activities in everyday life.

For example, many people in Japan still believe that a person born in a certain year takes on the characteristics of the animal represented in the combination for that year. Those born under the sign of the rat, for instance, are said to be restless and stingy.

So you were born during the Year Of The Rat. Well now, how about that? One thing going in your favor is your ability to see the humor in the situation. This makes it easier for you during the times you put other than your best foot forward.

Legend has it that in the year that Buddha called all the animals that he had assigned to the different years, it was the Rat who came first to him. This led people to believe that the Rat year is lucky and would be a year of good fortune with many opportunities.

Disney heirs will testify how lucky rodents really are. The Rat is sociable and blessed with many friends.

Those born in the year of the OX are patient and slow; the TIGER, gruff and harsh; the SNAKE, suspicious and unable to get along with others. 'Oh, she's born in the year of the snake - that's why she's the way she is!' Expressions like that are still commonly heard in Japan.

According to the almanac, women born in the fire-yang-horse year (43rd in the cycle) are supposed to be especially headstrong, with a tendency to kill their husbands. Consequently, people, especially those in rural Japan, avoided having children in that year, resulting in marked decreases in the size of school classes. Thus, in October 1985 the newspaper Asahi Shimbun, under the headline "Bankruptcies of the Cramming Schools Soaring," explained that in 1966 (a fire-yang-horse year), births in Japan were markedly lower than normal, and children born in that year would normally have supported the schools in 1984 and 1985.

Certain days of the cycle are considered auspicious or lucky, and others just the opposite. Among the latter are the Gomunichi, or five tombs days, on which the earth must not be disturbed or moved. Many people cautiously avoid holding a funeral on such days, for no one wants to end up with five tombs, that is, with five people dead. Just to be sure, before any major undertaking, some must consult the almanac.

The Yearly Almanac That "Fixes" Time

Because of the obvious astrological connections, the symbols in the cycle soon came to have superstitious meanings attached to them.

These various cycles and observances were eventually printed in a yearly almanac. A prime example of this is: The Shinto kami O-Kuni-Nushi-no-Kami is also called Onamochi or O-Mono-Nushi-No-Kami. His name is often translated as Prince Plenty or the Great Landlord God. The myths about O-Kuni-Nushi come from two primary Japanese sources:

Kojiki -

(Records of Ancient Matters), written in 712 C.E. and the Nihon Shoki

Nihongi -

(Chronicles of Japan), written around 720 C.E. Lafcadio Hearn, in Japan.

An Attempt at Interpretation, observes that though these manuscripts are supposed to be histories (and were taken to be such by generations of Japanese), they obviously contain a large amount of mythology. The writings come from an oral tradition passed on for many generations.

Kabuki Theatre

Full size replica of a Kubuki Theatre - by hawk684-flickr

Japanese Kabuki

Kabuki literally means, song and dance. It is one of the old traditional forms of theatrical entertainment developed by a temple dancer, Izumo no Okuni, in the early 17th Century.

The traditional white japanese wedding kimono is called shiro-maku.Shiro meaning white and maku meaning pure.

The wedding kimono actually consists of two different kimono. The white wedding kimono is worn for the wedding ceremony and an elaborate rich patterned silk brocade kimono called uchikake is worn over the white kimono at the wedding reception.


The bright and colorful uchikake kimono originated in the Edo era and originally only worn by court nobles. The kimono is made of silk and silk brocade. Rich in fine embroidered patterns, the uchikake is embellised with scenes of flowers, cranes, pines, flower carts or nature motifs. While red is the most popular color for the uchikake kimono, there are many different colors available from a stunning imperial purple to sea green. The bridal kimono is sometimes handed down in the family or made into futon bedding later in life.

In a traditional Japanese wedding, the brides hair is also styled in the traditional hair style called bunkin-takashimada and adorned with beautiful gold combs and accessories called kanzashi. The white wedding hood called tsuno kakushi is meant to hide two front golden "tsuno" or horns during the wedding ceremony to symbolize obedience.

Like American weddings, there are traditional wedding accessories that are worn for tradition and are said to bring good luck. The bride carries a small purse style sack called hakoseko and a small encased sword called kaiken. Lastly, a fan is worn in the obi belt for tradition holds that the gradual widening of the open fan implies happiness and thus brings a happy future

.

For weddings, the complete bridal kimono and kimono apparel is usually rented. Kimono are also very rarely worn as every day clothing anymore. If you go to a small rural town in Japan or one of small islands like Okinawa, you will see the traditional every day kimono worn mostly by elders.

Traditional Japanese Wedding

Japanese Kimono - Did you know?

The word kimono simply means "things to wear" and is pronounced kee-mo-no. The plural of kimono is simply kimono. The kimono has had a long history in Japan and the kimono has changed over time to reflect the society and culture of that period.

Kimono for the children - They are soooo cute

I am impressed with the apparel and costumes Amazon has for both adults and children and they look comfortable too. Check it out!

Kojiki - Volume I - by Basil Hall Chamberlain

The Kojiki (Records of Ancient Mariners) is a classic. It is the oldest connected literary work and the fundamental scripture of Shinto.

Accepted as fact until quite recently, it is a key to the historical roots of the Japanese people - their early life and the development of the character and institutions - as well as a lively mixture of legend and history, genealogy, and poetry. It stands as one of the greatest monuments of Japanese literature because it preserves more faithfully than any other book the mythology, manners, language and traditions of Japan. It also provides a vivid account of a nation in the making.

The work opens, "when chaos had begun to condense, but force and form were not yet manifest, and there was nought named, nought done...." Epic material is complemented by a fresh bucolic vein expressed in songs and poetry.

The Kojiki: Records of Ancient Matters (Tuttle Classics)
The Kojiki: Records of Ancient Matters (Tuttle Classics)

This famous translation by the British scholar Basil Hall Chamberlain, who "taught Japanese and Japan to the Japanese," is enhanced by notes on the text and an extensive intro. discussing early Japanese society, as well as the Kojiki and its background. The Kojiki is important for its wealth of information.

 

Kojiki: Webster's Timeline History - 712 - 2006

Webster's bibliographic and event-based timelines are comprehensive in scope, covering virtually all topics, geographic locations and people. They do so from a linguistic point of view, and in the case of this book, the focus is on "Kojiki," including when used in literature (e.g. all authors that might have Kojiki in their name). As such, this book represents the largest compilation of timeline events associated with Kojiki when it is used in proper noun form.

Webster's timelines cover bibliographic citations, patented inventions, as well as non-conventional and alternative meanings which capture ambiguities in usage. These furthermore cover all parts of speech (possessive, institutional usage, geographic usage) and contexts, including pop culture, the arts, social sciences (linguistics, history, geography, economics, sociology, political science), business, computer science, literature, law, medicine, psychology, mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology and other physical sciences.

This "data dump" results in a comprehensive set of entries for a bibliographic and/or event-based timeline on the proper name Kojiki, since editorial decisions to include or exclude events is purely a linguistic process. The resulting entries are used under license or with permission, used under "fair use" conditions, used in agreement with the original authors, or are in the public domain.

The Nihongi Chronologies.

W.G. Aston's Nihongi is the standard translation of one of Japan's greatest works of early literature. For those studying early Japanese history or folklore it is a must read. It describes the creation myths of Japan, the origin of Amaterasu, the sun goddess and the descent of the emperors from the gods (kami). It transitions slowly from myth to history somewhere around 400 AD as it begins to describe the acts of the emperors and Japan's interaction with its neighbors, most notably the kingdoms of Pekche, Silla and Koryo in what is now Korea.

Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest of Times to A.D. 697 (Tuttle Classics)
Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest of Times to A.D. 697 (Tuttle Classics)

It appears that the Nihongi was written to provide the back-story to the role of the emperor as it existed circa 800 AD. Thus genealogical information forms a large part of the book and there are a lot of names in here. Aston also points out, with considerable annoyance, that many of the speeches and acts of the Nihongi are anachronistically cribbed from Chinese material extant at the time of the Nihongi's writing. Poetry, as well, is a large component of the work, often with inscrutable translations but tempered by copious notes. It should also be noted that to avoid corrupting the morals of the youth, passages dealing with sex are translated from Japanese into Latin.

 

Everything Modern Japanese

If you are interested in Japanese culture in these modern times, here are some books worth reading.

Japanese


To understand Japanese painting, one should know that it has always been torn between three mainstreams movements - Chinese, Japanese and Western.

Brandi Milne - Unique style. of Japanese Art

Cali

I looked up on the Vox World and found that there were only two posts tagged with "Brandi Milne". I was partially disappointed but mostly happy because it leaves the void for me to put in my plug about one of my favorite artists on the scene today.

Brandi Milne's art is hard to describe, though it has a flavor to it that you won't be able to forget for a long time.

She has a very strong style that is unique and in my opinion, fresh. When trying to think of someone I could compare her work to, I came up blank. Of course people make these connections and probably will in spite of what I say, but for the most part, she has a style that says "Brandi's" and no one else's.

I love the lanky, women in the paintings. In real life, obviously they'd be clutzy trying to get around with those long legs and oversized feet, but somehow she manages to show grace in her females in spite of the slight cartoony exaggerations.

Seriously, a personal favorite of mine and I hope I'll be able to obtain some of her work. :D

As nearly all forms of art, early painting had been under the influence of the Chinese culture. By and by, new and specifically Japanese styles were developed and painting schools were established. Each school practiced their own style. But the Chinese influence remained strong until the beginning of the Edo period (1603-1867). There is a general term to describe painting in Japanese style - yamato-e.

After the opening of Japan to the West under the Meiji period (1868-1912), the early years were marked by an exaggerated embracing of Western art. The newly founded universities established departments for Western art, called Western academic artists into the country as teachers and sent out students to study art in Europe - mainly in France and Italy.

Hand in hand with a rising nationalism, the pendulum soon went back the other direction. The public opinion began to recognize the richness of the old tradition and even condemned Western art.

The twentieth century was marked by co-operation. Art colleges offer departments for both Japanese and Western painting styles.

Servings: 4

Calories per serving: 84

Prep time: 5

Cook time: 5

Ingredients

5 ounce-weight tofu, silken

1 ounce-weight Seaweed, Wakame

2 tbsp onion, green, chpd, fresh

2 ounce-weight miso, paste, dark red

2 cup dashi*

Recipe Method

1. Cut tofu into small dice, roughly 1/2 cm thick cubes, then set aside.

2. Soak wakame seaweed in cold water, and cut into 3/4 inch strips.

3. Chop green onions finely, rinse in cold water and drain.

4. Place dashi in a soup pot and bring to a boil

5. In a small bowl, soften your miso paste with some hot dashi stock before adding it to your soup pot.

5. Add tofu, wakame into soup pot and boil briefly.

How to make Dashi*

An Ingredient in Miso Soup

Dashi is Japanese stock, which becomes the base of many Japanese dishes, such as soup, dipping sauce, and nimono (simmered dishes). Since dashi is often used in Japanese cooking, it's useful to know how to make it.

There are different kinds of dashi. It can be made from kombu (dried kelp), katsuo-bushi (dried bonito) flakes, niboshi (dried small sardines), hoshi-shiitake(dried shiitake mushrooms), and more. Kombu dashi and dried shiitake mushroom dashi are known as good vegetarian stocks.

It might take extra effort to make dashi, but good dashi makes your Japanese dishes taste much better. Let's learn to make different kinds of dashi.

1. Heat Water

2. Just before the water boils, add dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi)

3. When the water boils, skim off any foam that rise to the surface.

4. Stop the heat and wait until bonito flakes sink.

5. Strain the stock through a paper towel.

And that's it. Easy breezy.

One of the most popular street foods in Japan, and for good reason. Japanese business men will flock into small restaurants to enjoy these delicious skewers before their long commute home at the end on the day.


Servings: 6

Calories per serving: 544

Prep time: 15

Cook time: 15

Ingredients

Yakitori

2 pound raw chicken thighs, boneless & skinless

1 bunch scallions

1 tsp salt, coarse

Sauce

2 cup soy sauce

2 cup mirin *

1 cup japanese saki

6 tbsp white sugar, or more to taste

2 tbsp honey

Recipe Method

You will need about 20 bamboo skewers to complete this recipe.

1. First the Yakitori. Rinse the chicken thighs under cold water and blot the dry with paper towel. Cut the chicken into pieces that are about 1.5" long and about 1/2" wide.

2. Cut the scallions crosswise into 1 1/2" pieces. Skewer 3 pieces of chicken and 2 scallions on a bamboo skewer, alternating pieces of chicken and scallion. Repeat until you use all the chicken. Refrigerate the yakitori until you're ready to cook.

3. Make the sauce. Place the soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, and honey in a deep heavy saucepan over medium heat and stir to mix. Gradually bring the sauce to a bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if necessary. Reduce the heat a simmer to reduce the sauce for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce has the consistency of heavy cream. Once it's done, split the sauce into two equal portions.

4. Season the yakitori with salt then cook them over medium heat on your grill. Once the chicken is half cooked, dip the skewers into one of the portions of sauce and return the skewer to the grill to complete cooking. Repeat for all skewers.

5. Once the chicken is done, set aside and dip into the other portion of sauce not used while cooking just before serving the skewers.

Enjoy!

*What is Mirin?

An Ingredient Used in Chicken Scallion Yakitori

Commonly called Rice Wine, characterized by a sweet taste and a low alcohol content, mirin is a popular Japanese cooking wine. While use in cooking is far and away the most common application of mirin, the wine is sometimes employed as a ceremonial drink at the beginning of the new year and a few other special occasions. The main benefit of mirin is the dash of sweetness that the alcohol provides for a number of dishes and sauces that are common to Japanese cuisine.

In appearance, mirin has a golden hue that is very pleasing to the eye. In addition, the inclusion of this sweet cooking wine will also provide slight sheen when used to prepare fish and various types of meat. Using mirin as an ingredient for coating or covering with a sauce helps to enhance the presentation of the dish, helping the food to be as visually appealing as it is flavorful.

The creation of mirin begins with glutinous rice that is combined with distilled spirits. Manufacturers of this rice wine only allow the fermentation process to go so far, since the focus is on achieving the correct level of sweetness and not necessarily a given level of alcohol content. It is the sweet property of the wine that helps to lessen the overall impact of strong fish odors in a number of recipes, while still managing to enhance the flavors of other ingredients in the recipe. Because the sweet taste is very strong, a small amount of mirin in a recipe will produce excellent results.

While mirin does not have a high alcohol content, it is often found in the liquor department of supermarkets, as well as in wine and spirits shops. This is true even for the two ceremonial versions of mirin that are used to celebrate the new year, hon and shin.

While mirin is still primarily an additive in dishes that are indigenous to Japan, more people are choosing to use mirin as a recipe in other dishes as well. Mirin is ideal for toning down strong tastes and odors with a variety of meats. This property will no doubt help this excellent Japanese sweet cooking wine to become a more common item in kitchens around the world.

Japanese-English Dictionary - Best available.

If you are a beginning Japanese student without any experience with Japanese script, this is a good book for you. However, if you are a student who has more experience with the script, a better recommendation might be Kodansha's Furigana Japanese-English Dictionary or Kodansha's Furigana English-Japanese Dictionary.

While there is no substitute for a good electronic dictionary, in terms of amount of vocabulary and compact convenience, this is probably the best paper Japanese/English English/Japanese dictionary available.

Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary (English and Japanese Edition)
Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary (English and Japanese Edition)

It is very easy to use, and contains most of the vocabulary needed for day to day interactions. It is too large to be easily portable, so if you are a tourist you may want to get the pocket-size edition.

 

Credits

Guirand, Felix. "Japanese Mythology," in New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology. New York: Prometheus Press, 1959.

Hearn, Lafcadio. Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation. Richmond, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1904.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Web Site Links

Okuninushi no kami, from Basic Terms of Shinto, by the Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, Kokugakuin University. Available on line: Okunisnushi no kami, from Basic Terms of Shinto

Kojiki: Records of Ancient Matters (complete), translated by B.H. Chamberlain. Available on line: Kojik: Records of Ancient Matters

Shinto Sacred Texts, collected by J.B. Hare. Available on line: Shinto Sacred Texts (Includes excerpts from the Nihongi.)

Oh-Kuni-Nushi, by Virtual Illusions. Available on line: Oh-Kuni-Nushi

Ohkuni-nushi. Japanese Myth Homepage, by Cycle's Square. Available on line: Ohkuni-nushi. Japanese Myth Homepage<?a>

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Your time to state your opinion. Love it or hate it?

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    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 4 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      I really like Japanese culture. The artwork, the pagodas, the martial arts and the style of dress have all caught my eye.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 4 years ago from Arizona

      What a wonderful lens! Japanese culture is so fascinating to me, I love learning more. I also love wearing a kimono:)

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 4 years ago from New York

      This is a beautiful and informative lens. I love that you have added the Japanese recipes too. BTW. I was born in the year of the Dragon and am a Gemini on top of that. *Squid Angel Blessed*

    • dotpattern profile image

      Pat Moire 4 years ago from West Village, New York City

      I thought it was weird that the Japanese school year starts in April, but that's the beginning of Spring, so there's a good reason.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      My 15-year-old grandson is absolutely fascinated by Japanese culture. He is studying the Japanese language in school and on my last visit he prepared the dishes for a lovely Japanese Tea Ceremony! This year 2012 is the Year of the Dragon - his favorite!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @chezchazz: Thank you for your Labor Day like, blessing and feature for this lens. I've always enjoyed visiting the cultures of others. I'm happy that you enjoyed your time here.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @ismeedee: I welcome a return visit. Thank you!

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 5 years ago from New York

      This is a phenomenally comprehensive lens. Blessed and featured on "Still Wing-ing it on Squidoo" in honor of my son and daughter-in-law who live in Tokyo.

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      What a truly fascinating lens! I didn't know anything about this subject. I will have to revisit when I've got more time to read, there is so much here! Also your other lenses, as I notice you've got some really unusual ones that look very interesting!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @dream1983: Thank you you so much for visiting and squidliking this lens.

    • profile image

      dream1983 5 years ago

      A wonderful lens, great job! Squidlike

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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @GeekGirl1: I appreciate your visit and Squid-like. I'll be to see you soon.

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      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Quite wonderful - thanks for sharing! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @JoshK47: Thank you for visiting this lens and blessing it. I will see you soon.

    • GeekGirl1 profile image

      GeekGirl1 5 years ago

      A lens full of information.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Rankography: Thank you, I appreciate your visit!

    • Rankography profile image

      Rankography 5 years ago

      Incredible stuff, thanks for sharing

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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Thank you. You are appreciated!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @dahlia369: I'm so glad that you enjoyed this lens. Thank you for the blessing!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Returning with angel dust for this delightful delight, guess it wore off, I'm delighted!

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      Wonderful presentation of culture and beliefs that most of us are not very familiar with. Very much enjoyed your lens, thank you!! :)

    • LaraineRoses profile image
      Author

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @miaponzo: How exciting! I'd love to read a bit about that! Thank you for the blessing.

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      miaponzo 5 years ago

      I do love the Japanese Culture! I almost became a SAMURAI!!!! But .. I quite martial arts and came to live in Kuwait :) Blessed!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Thrinsdream: I am so happy that you liked this lens. I hope you try the Yakitori recipe out. It is not difficult and definitely good!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @BodyLanguageExp: Thank you for visiting. I hope that you enjoy the recipes.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      return of a squid angel bearing some *blessings*. i worked for a japanese company and i love anything japanese too (just like irish).

    • Thrinsdream profile image

      Thrinsdream 5 years ago

      I never knew about the calendar, and am also now very hungry for Chicken Scallion Yakitori! One article I am now more informed and need to eat! With thanks and appreciation. Cathi x

    • BodyLanguageExp profile image

      BodyLanguageExp 5 years ago

      I am fascinated after reading your page. I had no idea about these traditions. I also love the recipes for Japanese food, I will be trying these out shortly! Thank you

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @goo2eyes lm: You are really exercising those wings. I know that I appreciate it, thank you.

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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Thank you for the visit. I appreciate your comments and you too.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @aesta1: Thank you, my dear friend. I'll be popping by to see you soon.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @norma-holt: Ah, thanks. I'll have to come and have a look at your Blessed lens.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Julia Morais: Thank you for your interest. I love their artwork also and the way the ladies dress at celebrations.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great that you have captured so many interesting things here in this lens.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is really very interesting. Enjoyed learning more about Japan.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      An amazing insight into Japanese culture and the almanac is incredible. *Blessed* and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012. Hugs

    • Julia Morais profile image

      Julia Morais 5 years ago

      I've always been fascinated by the country and the people. They have beautiful artwork, the kimono is awesome, and the country is beautiful. Great that you have captured so many interesting things here in this lens.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @goo2eyes lm: Interesting!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @goo2eyes lm: That is good to know. If I have made any errors or ommisions please feel free to write to me.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      by the way, they call it feng shui in chinese. if the building is not built according to feng shui, no chinese businessman will rent the office space.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      i worked for a japanese company and i am familiar to their culture.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @moonlitta: Thank you, moonlitta. I will be by to read some of your lenses soon.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @CruiseReady: Thank you for dropping in and your comments. I've been on a few cruises but never saw any kilts or kimonos 'in action.' That would be a treat!

      I'll be visiting you again soon.

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      moonlitta 5 years ago

      Impressive work and worth knowing facts! Blessed!

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      My goodness, what a nice (and very detailed) treatment of some of the aspects of Japanese culture. The kimmonos really are beautiful. On one of our cruises, formal night was really a treat, as there were Scottish gentlemen in kilts, and Japanese ladies in kimonos. I really enjoyed seeing that. Also enjoyed your description of the Japanese wedding attire.

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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: I'm happy that you enjoyed it. Thank you for your visit.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      wow. lots of details and very informative,

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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @vkumar05: Thank you, I appreciate your visit and comment. I will be visiting you again soon.

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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @SilmarwenLinwelin: Thank you for visiting. I appreciate it.

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      vkumar05 5 years ago

      An extraordinary Lens on Japanese culture. I am always fascinated by it. Great Lens.

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      SilmarwenLinwelin 5 years ago

      I am very fascinated by japanese culture and I would really like to visit Japan one day! Thank you for this lens!

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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @julieannbrady: Thank you for your visit. I'll be visiting you again soon.

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      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Ah, what a lovely page ... yes indeed, I particularly am fascinated and inspired by Japanese culture.

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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Thank you anilsaini. A labor of love.

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      anilsaini 6 years ago

      really amazing informational lens

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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Thank you. Some of my best friends are Japanese so this lens is in honor of them.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Really good lens, a lot of useful information.

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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @MargoPArrowsmith: Thank you for the blessing, Margo. I appreciate it.

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      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Lovely, Angel Blessed

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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @kathysart: I agree. Thank you for stopping by.

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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @stylishimo1: Your return will be welcome anytime.

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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Thank you Tipi. Japan has been a favorite study of mine for years.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      You have certainly fascinated me here with your knowledge of Japanese culture, thank you for all your research and giving us this wonderful peek inside.

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      stylishimo1 6 years ago

      Great lens, and really interesting reading, I think I will read it again when I get some time to myself. Thank you for stopping by my lens.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 6 years ago

      BEAUTIFUL Lens. Makes me want to visit Japan! My husband lived in Asia for a period of time and thus we decorate our house in Asian. It is so peaceful.

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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @whoisbid lm: Why, thank you ever so much! I'll be happy to help if you need it.

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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @stephenteacher: Nice to see you here, Stephen. I'll be by to see what you've been up to also.

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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @dperry1: Thank you 'Believe2255.' I appreciate your interest.

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      whoisbid lm 6 years ago

      wow.. Your lenses are good.. I need to beef mine up a bit more and learn from you!

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      Stephen Carr 6 years ago from Corona, CA

      Very cool lens! Interesting!

    • dperry1 profile image

      dperry1 6 years ago

      very interesting and informative lens. very enjoyable!

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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Thank you, my friends, I'm still tied up looking after a very ill family member, so I haven't been visiting my Squidoo friends lenses as I usually do. I appreciate your friendly comments and thumbs up. (The favorites and blessings also, of course.)

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      sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      very interesting subject and well presented lens, great work

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      Lisa Auch 6 years ago from Scotland

      Yes, I love their culture, and how their tradition has stayed strong. I absoloutley loved reading this. The quality of information here is amazing. Great work! Blessed by a SquidAngel

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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @TriviaChamp: Thank you riff999. I'll be by to visit you soon.

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      TriviaChamp 6 years ago

      Very interesting. Kudos.

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      Laraine Sims 7 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Ram Ramakrishnan: Thank you Wordwinder. I have enjoyed many of your poems. You certainly are a wordwinder. Thank you for the lensroll and stars - much appreciated.

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      Laraine Sims 7 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Lironah LM: Lironah, thank you for visiting this lens. Thank you also for choosing this lens as a favorite of yours. I have visited your lenses and rated some as well. I enjoyed them very much!

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      Laraine Sims 7 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Thanks for your comments and stars. I really appreciate you stopping by this lens.

    • Lironah LM profile image

      Lironah 7 years ago

      I love all things Japanese, and your lens has answers to a lot of things I've been curious about. Thanks!

    • Ram Ramakrishnan profile image

      Ram Ramakrishnan 7 years ago

      Love it, of course! A comprehensive lens encompassing many things in the just the right measures. Enjoyed viewing it. 5* and lensrolled to my lens "The Time-Keeper".

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      Laraine Sims 7 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Hi Deb, Thanks for the visit and comment. I've been reading your book. I, Josph Kellerman.

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      Laraine Sims 7 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Ramkitten2000: Thanks for the visit Deb. I'm enjoying your book I. Joseph Kellerman.

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      Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Wow, I learned a lot here! And I wonder what animal I'm supposed to be. (Well, I guess 1969 must have been the year of the ramkitten. Hm, I wonder if that's a good thing.) Anyhow, this is so chock-full of info. Great job!

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      Laraine Sims 7 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Thank you for visiting, commenting and rating my lens. I hope to add more in the near future so please return when you can. [in reply to jaja23]

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      This an awesome lens bursting with infos! Fantastic and complete ^_^

      Love it :) 5*

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      Laraine Sims 8 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Thank you. I love color .. so this was a favorite lens for me too. [in reply to blue22d]

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      blue22d 8 years ago

      Laraine, love your lens. Love the design and the use of red within the blocks. Japan is a very interesting country and I would like to visit. You have given me a little taste into a different world. ***** and a favorite.

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      Laraine Sims 8 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Thanks for coming and checking out my lens.

      I envy you your trip to Japan. You wouldn't have room in your luggage to hold a stowaway, would you?

      I have seen all of your lenses. Very nice!! I wouldn't call myself and expert but, if you have trouble with the HTML codes - I'll help you with some of them if I can. You know what "they" say, "Ask a busy person to do something and it will get done." I think that applys to you as well as to myself.

      Laraine

      [in reply to Groecar]

      [in reply to JeffRiveraAuthor] I'm happy you found it interesting, Jim.

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      Groecar 8 years ago

      Such an interesting lens, Laraine! Great information to know before we go on our trip to Japan. The more we know about the culture, the richer our experience will be when we visit there.

      I can't wait to try the Chicken Scallion Yakitori. It looks delicious. Thank you. :)

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      JeffRiveraAuthor 8 years ago

      Oh this is interesting!

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      Laraine Sims 8 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I've always been fascinated by Japanese culture. I wonder why people believe what they do and do what many don't understand. [in reply to LindaJM]

      Please let your daughter know that I will be adding much more to this lens in the near future.. [in reply to capriliz]

      Thank you for visiting my lens .. I will be adding more Brandi Mine's Art in future.[in reply to flipflopnana]

      Thank you for the lensroll, Bev. I'll return the favor. [in reply to BevsPaper]

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      Linda Jo Martin 8 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Fascinating! I didn't know anything about the Japanese calendar until now.

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 8 years ago

      Great lens. I showed this to my daughter. She has a big interest in Japanese culture.

    • Terry Boroff profile image

      Terry Boroff (flipflopnana) 8 years ago from FL

      Oh this is interesting! I also enjoyed being introduced to Brandi Milne's art. I was born in the year of the dog. Thanks!

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      This was very interesting Laraine! I've lensrolled it to my Birth Totem lens. I was born in the year of the Dragon.