National Palace Museum
Mar 11, 2014
Here is a report about a visit to the National Palace Museum from my friend T who lives in Taipei. My friend T is half Taiwanese and half Japanese and grew up in Tokyo. From a few years ago, he began living in Taipei.
Long time no see. This is T.
I heard that the collections from the National Palace Museum will be exhibited in Japan soon.
I went to the National Palace Museum for the first time the other day. The National Palace Museum is popular among the locals of Taipei as well. It is said to be one of the four most important museums of the world.
The vast collection includes over 700,000 items. One of the most popular pieces from the collection is the “Jadeite Cabbage,” from the Qing Dynasty. I had imagined something small, but the carving was actually about 20cm.
Another popular piece is the “Meat-shaped Stone.” This carving is also from the Qing Dynasty. The “Jadeite Cabbage” and “Meat-shaped Stone” are planned to be exhibited in Japan soon. It will be the first time for these two pieces to be exhibited at an overseas exhibition. But please come visit Taiwan to see the actual museum too!
The “Treasured Masterpieces from the National Palace Museum, Taipei” exhibition will be held at the Tokyo National Museum from June 24th, 2014. Please check out the below link for further details.
Mar 7, 2014
Hello everyone! This is Bruno.
On February 28th, lots of people filled the cafeteria within Fuji Television
Network’s headquarter building. To celebrate its 55 year anniversary
of broadcasting, the menu here was served free of charge.
Of course I enjoyed a meal here too, although I ate too much.
Fuji Television began broadcasting on March 1st 1959. 2014 marks its
memorial 55 year anniversary.
Within the posters hung around the office, one might notice that the numbers
“5539” are written on many of them. It is to commemorate our 55th anniversary,
and the number “5” is read in Japanese as “go,” whereas the “3” and “9” read
together sound like “thank you.” Therefore, “5539” can be read aloud as “Go!
Go! Thank you.”
“5539” is written on our business cards too.
The next milestone will be in 2019 for the 60th anniversary. How
will society have changed within the next 5 years?
What about the relationship between people and television?
It may be that I’ll find the answer in this cafeteria once again.
Hina Matsuri - The Girl’s Day in Japan
Mar 4, 2014
Yesterday, March 3, was Girl’s Day!
In Japan, families and communities hold Hina-matsuri, or Doll Festival, on March 3 every year to wish for the good health and future happiness for girls. Each family sets up a display of hina dolls clad in colorful kimono and the whole family enjoys eating delicious food. The festival is celebrated not only within the family but in communities as well. The colorful and happy mood of the festival covers the whole county.
In the past, the festival was also a day to thank women who are usually busy working for the family. This was a day when women could enjoy themselves, doing nothing and eating delicious food. Even today, families celebrate the day by serving hina-arare (rice crackers coated with sugar), hishi-moshi (diamond-shaped layers of colorful thin rice cakes), and chirashi-zushi (sushi rice mixed with colorful ingredients) and other traditional food.
○Peach blossom: Wards off evil
○White sake: Purges evil from the body
○Kusa mochi: Aroma of the wormwood purges evil
○Hishi mochi: Symbolic of the heart, represents the longing of parents when thinking about their kids; white symbolizes the snow, green symbolizes the buds on the trees, pink symbolizes peach flowers in bloom; it symbolizes the arrival of spring!
○Clam: Two shells only overlap perfectly when they are from the same clam, thus it signifies a happy marriage.
As the day had passed, my biggest duty was to put away the hina dolls as soon as possible. It is believed that displaying the dolls after March 4th will mean late marriage for the girl. Mothers are always busy!!!
A Taste of NYC in Tokyo
Feb 28, 2014
Speaking of "morning"...I love to eat breakfast in the morning and it has to be a quality time. I also think that it’s the most important meal of a day. It’s so much nicer to start a day early in the morning with a hot latte, mocha or other coffee drink with your favorite morning pastry to start your day off right.
So ever since I heard that New Yorkers’ favorite breakfast/coffee spot The City Bakery has opened its doors at Shinagawa Station in Tokyo (the very first worldwide branch was in Osaka), I had been yearning to check out this stylish café/bakery and sample their specialties such as the rich and thick brownie and their unique “pretzel croissant.”
Just as it sounds, “pretzel croissant” is a hybrid of a soft pretzel and a croissant. The crust studded with sesame seeds is a flavorful and salty that reminded me of a pretzel, and the interior is soft and retains the flakiness of a croissant. It’s snackable and addictive.
They offer more than their signature “pretzel croissant.” The City Bakery is a real bakery and offers lots of pastries, cookies, and other goodies that are all super-tasty as well as amazing coffee & hot chocolate. And if you are looking for “real” food, the savory soups, fresh colorful salads, and decadent sandwiches are all very satisfying.
A cozy space full of deliciousness and conveniently located inside Shinagawa station, it’s a perfect spot for not only breakfast but for a break of any kind. I'll say The City Bakery is a must-stop for any local or tourist alike. In fact, I'm already thinking about going back there again sometime real soon!
Thinking of disaster prevention
Feb 25, 2014
Good day, mate.
I hope you are well.
In February, it snowed in most areas of Japan and new records of snow accumulation have been established in some areas over the two weekends. This caused several highways to close, and a number of trucks and cars to be stuck in the snow. A lot of vegetables being grown in plastic greenhouses were damaged because of heavy snow crushing them. As a result, food shortage in the Kanto and large urban areas were getting more serious. I heard it was very surprising that one convenience store chain chartered helicopters to deliver their food and products into Yamanashi prefecture which was isolated due to most roads being closed not only for their franchised stores, but also for the people living there.
When I hear news about these snow attacks for 2 weeks, I sometimes wonder if my prevention measures against disasters are O.K. We need to prepare some water, portable gas stove with gas cartridges, lights, instant foods, batteries, activated carbon filters, portable radio sets and so on.
I had a chance to listen to a lecture by Ms. Satoko Ohki, a seismologist and associate professor of Keio University about which items we should carry at any given time and any place in preparing for a big earthquake a few years ago.
She said that there needs to be an LED light, whistle, and sneakers beside the bed. I deeply agree that an LED light is helpful in finding things in a dark place, and to allow someone to find me when I am in a visible situation.
A whistle is also a nice item to let someone do so invisibly. The last item, a pair of sneakers should be worn because you could easily imagine that there would be a lot of stuff including tiny pieces of broken glass on the walkway, road and even on the floor of your own room after such a disaster.
I am always carrying an LED light and a whistle which has a piece of paper with my personal information written in it all the time.
By the way, our company’s emergency drill used to be conducted in autumn with the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 in mind, before the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11th, 2011. Fuji TV has already improved their disaster prevention measures with an addition of several AED sets and emergency evacuation chairs to our buildings. We have also reconsidered how to stock survival food and water to keep televising under even the worst situations. A spring emergency drill will be held this year as well.
Finally, I recommend that a tooth brush is a very important item to survive. If you are careful about oral care even in an emergency situation, you can eat anything served at a safe shelter with your healthy teeth.
I think people’s minds about disaster prevention is changing for the better when we experience big disasters that mark history.
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