Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cat Legends And Imagery In Japan

There are lots of cat-related items in Japan, and people tend to be fond of cats. This fondness may date well back in the past, since mice are a predator of silkworms, which the Japanese have raised for silk since long. Cats used to be protected to reduce the mouse population. Also, some Japanese legends relate cats to good fortune, which makes them popular. Maneki-neko is a symbol of good luck.

Kasha is a cat-like demon coming from the sky and taking away corpses. Other “cats” are downright ominous. Bakeneko are monster-cats that menace households, having some supernatural powers similar to the kitsune, fox, and tanuki, the raccoon dog. Especially old and/or heavy cats can transform into bakeneko. They can grow a second tail. This story, as well as that of an ancient cat that set its tail on fire and ran through the town, burning down many buildings, may have made people cut the cats’ tails off. Though the Japanese Bobtails, cats without tails, are considered to be a mutation.
One cat in Kurashiki City:




Near Osaka Castle:










Akashi fish market:




Monday, July 29, 2013

Fish Wall Near Ryukyu Mura, Okinawa

Ryukyu Mura – Ryukyu Village – is a theme park about the traditional culture in Okinawa. There are traditional residences in the village, with red tiles on the roof and stone walls around them to defend them against typhoons, and some workshops are also available for visitors. It is located in the north of Naha.

I noticed this wall nearby - it is quite long and depicts lots of species of fish, with their names in Japanese. (^_^)














Saturday, July 27, 2013

Frozen Yogurt Partyland, Namba, Osaka

For the hot summer days, visiting this place can be a delight. You will be impressed by the number of flavour choices, from plain to cheese cake. All have the caloric value mentioned, as usually in Japan. And the biodegradable spoons are so pretty.






Sunday, July 21, 2013

Kokusaidori In Naha, Buku Buku Tea And Okinawan Symbols

Kokusaidori 国際通is a famous shopping street in Naha, the capital and largest city of Okinawa. It is the city’s main street. It is 1.6 km long. Kokusai Dori means International Street. Apart from department stores, there are shops with souvenirs and Okinawan crafts as well. There are also so many places to eat on this street. You can enjoy Buku Buku Tea, literally "bubbly tea" - made of rice, fried and then boiled in water for about half an hour, and in its water jasmine tea is added, and also some smashed peanuts. The purple Okinawan sweet potatoes are a highlight in the local desserts. Also, the traditional clothes of Okinawa come in vivid designs of Ryukyu bingata. The traditional costume is called ryuso, and you can see it below. The Okinawan hat is called hanagasa. The local alcoholic drink is called awamori. Another symbol of Okinawa is the komainu lion dog, called shisa, a local cultural artifact that I described in a previous post. Here it is, guarding this famous street in Naha.