Archive for June, 2007

bishoujo – japanese for beautiful girl

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Bishoujo (literally, “beautiful girl”) is the Japanese term used to refer to pretty girls. Since bi- (derived from bijin, beautiful person) refers to feminine beauty, the meaning is more poignant for bishoujo, unlike the male term, bishounen, which tends to mean male with a more effeminate beauty.

Bishoujo are used in almost all genres of anime, ranging from shoujo to mecha.

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ganguro – japanese fashion trend of black make-up

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Ganguro, literally “face-black,” is a fashion trend among Japanese girls, an outgrowth of chapatsu hair dyeing. The basic look is bleached-blond hair and a deep tan, produced by tanning beds or makeup. The intent is to produce the tanned, blond California beach girl look or a black woman. Accessories include high platform shoes or boots, purikura photo stickers, and cellular phones.

The Shibuya and Ikebukuro districts of Tokyo are the center of ganguro fashion. It goes against the grain of the usual Japanese standard of female beauty, which calls for skin as white as possible. The roots of the trend are said to be in the mid-1990s, starting with a popular tanned Okinawan singer named Amuro Namie and black British fashion model Naomi Campbell.

Some sources say that the “gan” syllable in ganguro is actually from the term “gan-gan”, a vulgar emphasis word somewhat like the British use of “bloody.”

Ganguro taken to the next level is called yamanba. The Gothic lolita style can be seen as a counter-reaction to ganguro style.

gaku-ran ( japanese schoolboys uniform )

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The gaku-ran is the uniform for middle school and high school boys in Japan. It is usually worn at an all-boys school, and the color is normally black but some schools have navy.

The top has a standing collar and it button downs from the top to bottom. The pants are straight leg and are one color. Boys usually wear penny loafers or sneakers with this uniform.

cosplay – japanese ” costume play “

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Cosplay is a Japanese subculture centered around dressing as characters from manga, anime and video games, and, less commonly, live action television shows, movies or Japanese pop music bands.

The term is a Japanese contraction combining the words “costume” and “play” which accurately describes the hobby of having fun by dressing up as one’s favorite characters. Besides dressing up for public events such as anime conventions, it is not unusual for teens in Japan to gather with like-minded friends just to do cosplay.

The main difference between cosplay and costuming in the United States is that in Japan people typically dress up as characters from Japanese animated films (anime), Japanese comics (manga), or Japanese video games, as compared to dressing up as Star Trek characters or in Renaissance-era costumes. The other difference is that most costuming in the United States is centered around particular events such as conventions or festivals.

Cosplay has spread across the world in recent years, joining with costuming at science fiction conventions in North America and Europe.

erika toda

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  • Name: Erika Toda

  • Birthdate: August 17, 1988

  • Birthplace: Hyogo Prefecture, Japan

  • Bloodtype: AB

  • Height: 5’4 (162cm)

  • Star Sign: Leo

  • Talent Agency: FLaMme

  • + Dramas +

    + Movies +

    jin akanishi

  • Name: Jin Akanishi

  • Nicknames: Bakanishi, Bakajin

  • Height: 176cm (5’9″)

  • Weight: 64kg (141 lbs)

  • Birthdate: July 4, 1984

  • Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

  • Blood type: O

  • Siblings: Younger Brother, Reioh.

  • Akanishi is the “A” of KAT-TUN and one of the two most popular members. He became a member of Johnny’s Entertainment via audition on November 8, 1998, at the age of 14. He was voted as the best looking member in “KAT-TUN wo Abake“. Koki Tanaka from KAT-TUN stated that Akanishi is suitable for female roles. Akanishi’s weakness is his collarbone. His nickname Bakanishi was given to him by Tomohisa Yamashita (baka in Japanese means stupid or foolish; because he often acts childishly). He has written the lyrics to many songs for himself and KAT-TUN, including Care, Hesitate, Love or Like, and Murasaki (the last of which he also composed). He plays the guitar. He is good friends with Yamashita Tomohisa and Nishikido Ryo of NEWS; as well as actor/singer Shirota Yuu.

    Hanetsuki

    Hanetsuki is a traditional Japanese New Year‘s game, played with a wooden paddle called hagoita (see picture on the left) and a shuttle called hane (see picture below). The game resembles badminton, played without a net. While the game’s popularity has declined in recent times, beautifully ornamented hagoita are still a popular collection item.

    In the middle of December, the Hagoita Market (Hagoita-ichi) is held at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo, where ornamented wooden paddles (hagoita) are sold at numerous stands. The paddles come in different sizes, and most of them feature portraits of kabuki actors and beautiful Edo ladies. But also portraits of celebrities from entertainment, sport and politics such as Prime Minister Koizumi, Harry Potter, soccer players Nakata and Beckham and fantasy characters such as Kitty-chan and Spiderman can be found on some hagoita.

    Japanese Calendars

    With the year 1873, the Gregorian calendar was introduced to Japan. While the Christian way of numbering years is commonly used in Japan today, a parallel numbering system for years according to the reigns of current emperors is also frequently applied (see year converter above). The year 2000, for example, which happened to be the 12th year of reign of the emperor whose posthumous name is Heisei, was called “Heisei 12”.

    Before 1873, lunar calendars, which were originally imported from China, were used in Japan for many centuries. The lunar calendars were based on the cycle of the moon, resulting in years of twelve months of 29 or 30 days (the moon takes about 29 1/2 days to circle the earth), and an occasional 13th month to even out the discrepancy to the solar cycle of 365 1/4 days, i.e. the discrepancy to the seasons.

    Various features of the lunar calendar remain intact in today’s Japan. For example, years are still commonly associated with the twelve animals: mouse, cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

    Another aspect of the lunar calendar that survives into modern Japan as a kind of superstition, is the subdivision of the calendar into six days (rokuyo), similar to the subdivision of the modern calendar into seven weekdays. The six days are called taian, butsumetsu, senpu, tomobiki, shakko and sensho, and they are associated with good and bad fortune. Taian, for example, is considered the most auspicious of the six days and ideal for holding business or personal events such as wedding ceremonies, while butsumetsu is considered the least auspicious day, and holding funerals is avoided on tomobiki.

    Public Bath

    In past times, when many houses in Japan were not equipped with private bathtubs yet, public baths (sento) provided people with a place to wash themselves and meet neighbors.

    Nowadays, as most households have an own bath, the number of traditional sento has been decreasing. On the other hand, new types of public baths and bath complexes, which feature a range of different pools, saunas, fitness centers, etc. have been emerging.

    In hot spring resorts, public baths are usually provided with hot spring water, while normal water is used elsewhere.

    Natural hot springs (onsen) are numerous and highly popular across Japan. Every region of the country has its share of hot springs and resort towns, which come with them.

    There are many types of hot springs, distinguished by the minerals dissolved in the water. Different minerals provide different health benefits, and all hot springs are supposed to have a relaxing effect on your body and mind.

    Hot spring baths come in many varieties, indoors and outdoors, gender separated and mixed, developed and undeveloped. Many hot spring baths belong to a ryokan, while others are public bath houses. An overnight stay at a hot spring ryokan is a highly recommended experience to any visitor of Japan.

    With the exception of some new-type bath complexes, public baths are separated into a section for women and men, and no swimming suits are worn.

    Sword

    The Japanese sword (nihonto) has been internationally known for its sharpness and beauty since feudal times. The sword used to be the distinguishing mark of the samurai.

    Since swords are dangerous weapons, a permit is required to own one in Japan today.

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