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2020.11.30[Mon] 09:00


【Today's guest】

Kori (English Teacher)


2020.11.23[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健) , Housing(住宅)

【Labor Thanksgiving Day】

Well, we've only got about a month or so left til the end of this year.  And today is the last of the national holidays in the year. Today, November 23rd is Labor Thanksgiving Day, a holiday that was created in 1948 to commemorate labor and production and give one another thanks.

Today is also the Niiname-sai or Harvest Festival whose roots stem from when newly harvested rice was offered up to the deities of Japan to say thank you for the year's harvest and to pray for a good harvest the next year. So today, November 23rd, you should give thanks for the food that is on your table every day and all of us should show appreciation to each other for all the hard work we do day in and day out. If you think of it, Labor Thanksgiving Day is a really nice holiday, isn't it! I've got to say thank you to all the teachers I worked with when I first came here. I started off at an English conversation school and then started working in junior high schools around Fukuoka. The teachers there work so hard, every day with the students and I don't think they get enough appreciation at all! Make sure you say thank you to your teacher or to your child's teacher. I'm sure it'll brighten up their day to have their work appreciated.

Take time to appreciate yourself and those immediately around you, as well though. I guess some people might stay at home and relax, or maybe a trip to the onsen to soak the weariness away? Perhaps mom and dad might get a little thank you present from the kids. How do you think you might spend today?


【World Aids Day December 1st】

December 1st  is World Aids Day.  This day was established by the World Health Organization in 1988 with the purpose of preventing the spread of AIDS as well as eliminating the prejudice and discrimination faced by those living with and affected by the disease. Every year around the 1st of December, around the world, various events and activities, to deepen awareness and understanding of AIDS, take place.

At the health and welfare centers of each ward, HIV screening is offered. This screening is free of charge and anonymous. Early detection of HIV infection and proper treatment and management can delay the onset of AIDS. So, if you think you may be at risk, get checked as soon as possible. Screening is only on certain days so make sure you check which days before you go.

And, I don't know if you know this but the red ribbon is a symbol that shows awareness and solidarity with those affected by AIDS. The red ribbon announces to others that you have no prejudice against people affected by AIDS and gives that message that we will not discriminate against those living with AIDS. So for World AIDS Day, let's all take the time to learn the correct information about AIDS and how to prevent it.


【Beware of Fires】

As we move from autumn to winter, the air is very dry and fires happen a lot more often.  In Fukuoka City alone, last year there were 307 fire incidents. The main causes of these fires were cigarettes, gas canister stoves, and kerosene heaters. Some incidents involved drying laundry or curtains brushing against the heaters and catching fire. Others involved blankets and futons being too close to the heaters and catching fire while people were sleeping! It shouldn't have to be said, but putting anything that could burn easily should not be next to a heater. It's dangerous!

Also, make sure that you remember to switch these things off.

Gas canister fires are a big one to really be careful about as well. As it gets colder, more people pull out their gas canister stoves to make hot pots and stews. If you are using one, make sure you aren't far away from it while it is on.

I mentioned cigarettes being the cause of some of these fires. So make sure that you never fall asleep while smoking, don't collect a bunch of cigarette butts together and make sure you fully put our your cigarette when you are done with it.

Make sure that the fire alarms and fire extinguishers in your home are up to date, this is something you should do regularly. With that and being careful about how you use fire in your life, we can all work to prevent fires on a daily basis.

2020.11.16[Mon] 09:00

Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽)

【”Shichi-go-san” Seven-Five-Three】

Yesterday, November 15th was Shichi-go-san or the Seven-Five-Three event. Have you heard of this? It's a traditional event that everyone born in Japan will experience. It's an event that celebrates children as they grow, at the ages of seven, five and three.

Wearing bright clothes, families take the children to shrines to visit their local deities and thank the deities for the successful growth of their children for that year and to pray for future happiness and longevity.

Nowadays, girls visit the shrine twice, once at three and once at seven, and boys visit once when they are five. However, depending on the area, some children may go the year before they turn 7, 5 or 3. Most visits are usually made sometime from the beginning to the middle of November, but often centered around November 15th. If you have visited a temple or shrine recently, you may have seen children all dressed up in beautiful kimonos. Although the time for it is nearly over, if you do happen to see a family celebrating the event in the next few days, give them a bright smile and a shout of Omedetou, or Congratulations!

I can't say we have anything like this in the US where I'm from, although a 6th birthday seems to be a big thing for some. I guess it's kind of the time when a child transitions from being a toddler to the next stage and is usually when kids are starting primary school. I had a pretty big birthday for my 6th, actually my birthday is in November and we had loads of my school friends over to celebrate with me. If I'm honest though, I don't remember much, it turns out I had the flu that day and ended up leaving my own party early!


【The Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize】

Asia is home to a diversity of ethnic groups, languages, and cultures, which coexist with each other and depend on each other.  The Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize was established in 1990 to  honor the eminent achievements of individuals, group or organizations who create as well as preserve the many distinct and diverse cultures in the Asian region and convey these cultures to the world.

Unfortunately, this year's event was cancelled due to Covid-19, but a special website has been made looking back over the 30 year history of the Fukuoka Prize. Messages from previous award winners as well as videos of past events will be presented. The site will also introduce award winning speeches, performances of traditional Asian musical instruments and Butoh and exchanges between award winners and students. Just search for Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize and enjoy the wonderful memories and images that can only be seen on this special website.


【30th anniversary celebration of the Fukuoka City Museum】

Another 30th anniversary celebration is happening this year as well. And that is the 30th anniversary of the Fukuoka City Museum. To celebrate, the museum is holding a 30th anniversary exhibition called “Treasures of Fukuoka” at which you'll see selected national treasures and important cultural properties from the museum's own collection. Of these, two very special swords are some of the artifacts you won't want to miss. These national treasure swords, “Heshikiri Hasebe” and “Nikko-Ichimonji”, are being displayed at the same time for this exhibition, typically they are displayed separately, and you'll also see the armor with them. In addition, traditional crafts such as Hakata Dolls, paintings and old photographs related to the history of Hakata festivals and other important arts and crafts, like the cultural property designated lantern craft will also displayed. Admission is 700 yen but Jr. High School students and younger are free.

This Autumn, head to the Fukuoka City Museum to search for some of those Treasures of Fukuoka! You can also check some of the museum's displays while at home too. On the Fukuoka City Museum homepage, 7 of their well-known properties have been rendered into 3D for anyone to see. Top to bottom, left to right, you can zoom in and have a look at every little detail. At home and at the museum, there's lots to see and enjoy.

2020.11.09[Mon] 09:00

Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽)


Today, I want to introduce to you “Nijyuu Shisekki, the 24 seasonal divisions of the year based on the old, traditional calendar that was used in Japan. Of them, one is called Ritto, which means the start of winter. Every year, this day falls on the 7th or 8th of November and this  year it was on Saturday, the 7th of this month. As the chilly north winds start blowing in, it definitely starts to get colder, and we can think of it as a sign that winter is coming.

This is also the season in which homes might use fire, and so many temples and shrines hold “Chinkasai” or “Fire-extinguishing festivals”. In Fukuoka City, in the Nishi ward at Atago Shrine, the god there is a well-known fire-extinguishing and fire prevention deity and a Fire-extinguishing festival was held there on the 1st of November. Did you know about it? If you went, you would have seen a traditional Shinto ritual to help prevent fires in Fukuoka.

Of course, be careful of fires at home. Although we may not use an open hearth to warm our homes anymore, it's still important to be careful when using gas and older electric heaters. Speaking of heaters, make sure you are ready for winter when it comes! Whether that means dusting off the old heater, getting the kotatsu out or sealing gaps in the windows to keep the wind from getting in, make sure you do it before winter gets here! My dad always put up plastic sheeting over the windows in his bedroom when winter came. He made special frames to fit in the window space and used a thick, clear vinyl. It was pretty amazing how much warmer the room was than without them! I might try it on my bedroom windows this year.


【Japanese Gardens and Autumn Colors】

Before it gets too cold though, you might want to see some of the beautiful Japanese gardens that are in Fukuoka City. There are actually quite a few around town including Yusentei Koen, Shoufuen, Rakusuien and of course the Ohori Koen Japanese Garden. They're all pretty easy to get to, so when you have a chance, definitely check at least one of them out!

In these Japanese gardens, you can enjoy the beauty of the four seasons in a decided space. For just a small fee, you can also enjoy a bit of matcha while relaxing and admiring the view of the garden. This season is highly recommended as well, because the leaves will begin their transformation to the bright red, orange and yellow colors of fall. In Fukuoka City, there are some other popular Autumn color spots that you  may  or may not know about. Around the Fukuoka City Museum, Aburayama's Citizen's Forest, Momiji Hachimangu Shrine as well as a number of other places, you'll be able to see wonderful Autumn foliage from November to December. Of course, as you enjoy the splendor of Autumn in Fukuoka City, don't forget to take measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.


Go to Eat Campaign】

 Recently, it seems there are more opportunities to go out and eat. Maybe it's part of that Autumn Appetite idea that I mentioned a few weeks back. Whatever you do, when you're out and about, make sure you take measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 while enjoying your time out. When you go out to eat, the Infection Prevention Declaration Sticker may be a handy guide for choosing a restaurant. This Infection Prevention Declaration Sticker is a sticker which shows which stores and facilities have implemented measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. This may come especially in handy with the launch of the Go To Eat campaign last month. If you are planning on taking advantage of the campaign for your meals out, just look up Go To Eat Campaign on the internet to get information on how the campaign works and which restaurants are participating.

2020.11.02[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健)


Well, Halloween has well and truly established itself in Japan, hasn't it! Although we're now already into November, Halloween was just a couple of days ago,  on October 31st. And it was a Saturday to boot! What did you get up to? Did you happen to catch one of the many Halloween themed events that take place toward the end of October? Over these last few years, it seems that in Fukuoka, and a lot of other places, there seem to be a lot of pretty well established events that take place every year to really get people in the Halloween spirit.

In Japan, Halloween has the feeling of a festival where loads of people enjoy getting dressed up as their favorite characters but did you know that Halloween comes  from a Christian holiday called All Hallow's Day on November 1st. There's actually a Celtic Festival that precedes the Christian holiday, so if you're interested in the the history, do a quick internet search! Anyway, the day before the 1st of November is All Hallow's Eve and if you say it enough times, it does sound like Halloween, which is where it's said the name came from.

Usually I get dressed up for Halloween and head out into town. In past years, I've been Captain Hook, Sadako from The Ring, a Venetian Carnivale type person, a Gypsy,a witch, a crazy scientist...the list goes on. This year, I also enjoyed myself, but didn't put quite as much effort into my costume, I just wanted to have a well deserved beer...I had a full day of work and was pretty scary to look at after! Haha....

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  • Colleen
  • Colleen
  • 誕生日:11月11日
    出身地:USA Detroit, MI
    興味のある事:I'm studying patisserie and languages