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Buntaro

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Japanese Buddhist Statues In Japan Japanology

We can see a representation of the hierarchical differences between Nyorai, Bosatsu, Myo-o, and Tenbu at 2:55.

 

Buntaro

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More than 1,000 Buddhist statues in one Buddhist temple. Take a look from 3:10. I have visited this temple in Kyoto and the sheer number of statues is quite impressive.

 

Buntaro

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Jingu vs Jinja

Both of the words jingu and jinja refer to Shinto shrines, but I had trouble having my Japanese friends explain the difference. Jinja refers to shrines for 'mythological beings' whereas jingu are shrines dedicated to human beings who have died.

Meiji Jingu is a large Shinto shrine right in the heart of Tokyo, and is often visited by foreigners in Japan. Here is a video of a walk at Meiji Jingu in Tokyo. Meiji Jingu is dedicated in memory of Emperor Meiji (1852-1912).

 

Buntaro

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Exchanging business cards while doing business in Japan is extremely important. I strongly advise everyone who plans to visit Japan to bring business cards, even if you have to buy blank cards and write them out in ink by hand. (I even know of college students in Japan who have their own business cards, because these cards are that important.) Even the act of physically exchanging business cards is highly ritualized. Take a look.

 
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Buntaro

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Japanese people are notoriously horrible at speaking English. Many Japanese people have studied English for six years (college students for ten years) but they cannot speak English! How is this possible, you may ask. Several times I tried to talk to Japanese people in English, they could not, then I wrote down what I wanted to say, they wrote down their answers, and we communicated this way. Sounds impossible, don't you think? Shogo-sensei explains this problem.

 

Buntaro

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The discussion of religion in Japan is a complicated topic. Here are some quotes from Shogo-sensei's video below.

"The word religion has a bad connotation in Japan."

"Most Japanese people avoid discussing religion."

"…Japanese people feel…resistance towards religions in general."

 

Buntaro

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Here is a YouTuber I would like everyone to take a look at. His name is Nobita and he has posted a number of videos on social problems in Japan. (Yes, Japan has social problems, just like any other country.) I hope everyone takes the time to look at some of Nobita's videos. (Warning, some of his videos are on adult topics.)

Here is Nobita's video on hikikomori (ひきこもり), about people who are social recluses and are afraid to go out of their homes. Some hikikomori go years without ever going outside.

 

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Thatched roofs used to be common in Japan but now are slowly disappearing. Take a look at this roof from the inside from 6:51.

 

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There are a number of cities outside of Japan with sizeable Japanese immigrant populations. Here is a video of Japanese-Americans doing Bon Dance in Hawaii. I lived in Hawaii years ago, and at that time Japanese-Americans were the largest ethnic group in Hawaii at 40 percent of the population.

 

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There is a large Japanese temple in Hawaii named Byodo-in Temple.

 

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Little Tokyo

There is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California USA called Little Tokyo. There are a number of Japanese restaurants, shops, hotels, etc., in the area. It is a great place to have a Japanese experience for people unable to make the trip all the way to Japan.

Here is a Google map showing the location of Little Tokyo in Los Angeles,.


The center of Little Tokyo is a shopping area called Japanese Village Plaza.

The narrator exits Japanese Village Plaza and enters Little Tokyo Mall at 2:24.

Take a look at a map of Little Tokyo at 7:00.

From 9:25 check out the surprisingly large Buddhist temple right in the heart of Little Tokyo. (It is in the middle of the block and there is only one alley that people can walk down to get to it, so it is a little hard to find.)

From 8:10 we see the large and very modern Miyako Hotel. (It is well over ten stories tall, and it is a bit of a surprise to find this nice of a hotel in Little Tokyo.)

Take a look at the Japanese-American National Museum from 10:27. It documents the lives of Japanese-Americans who were incarcerated in relocation camps during WWII. The narrator mentions that George Takai, Mr. Sulu in the original TV series Star Trek, lived in one of these camps.

 
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Buntaro

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If you are thinking of going to Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, there are a couple of places I'd recommend visiting. One of them is Nijiya Supermarket in the Japanese Village Plaza Mall. They have a large selection of Japanese items. It is worth going there just to look around.

They also have Japanese knick-knacks besides groceries. (I once bought a Japanese-style coffee-maker there.)

 

Buntaro

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Here is a video on the Koyasan Shingon Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles that I mentioned in a previous post.

Here is a video of the alley you have to walk down to get to the temple.



Check out the large crowd of people who visited for New Year's.

 

Buntaro

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There is another place in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles that I recommend visiting. It is The Japanese American National Museum, which documents a dark piece of American history. Over 100,000 Japanese-Americans were incarcerated during WWII in 'relocation camps' without being charged with a crime or receiving legal due process. (Many of the internees spent over three years in the camps.) Most people today are not aware this happened and the memory that this ever happened is slowly slipping away. The museum contains a realistic mock-up of what it looked like inside a typical internment-camp barracks. This museum was established so we will never forget this horror that these American citizens were forced to endure.

 

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Japan Guinness Record (1997) Longest Wooden Bridge in Shizuoka, Japan livestream

This is the Guinness World Record Longest Wooden Bridge which is about 900 meters in Shizuoka, Japan.
I took a walk there and enjoyed the river views. It's about 100 yen or a small charge to cross, bicycles can cross as well.
The small fee is for maintenance of the bridge which was constructed for pedestrians to walk over strong river waters to cross over to the team farms nearby!
 

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Manzanar is the name of a Japanese-American relocation camp that was in California. A movie was made of the struggles Japanese-Americans endured in the camp, and the name of the movie's name is Farewell to Manzanar. Here is a clip of the first 20 minutes of the movie.

 

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George Takei (Mister Sulu on the original TV series Star Trek) lived in a Japanese-American relocation camp during WWII. He tells his story in this video. Two things really jump out at me. One is, at 3:29, he tells how the soldiers who arrested him at his home had bayonets on their rifles. The other is how, at 4:59, searchlights that followed him as he would walk from his barracks to the latrine at night and how, in his child’s innocence, he thought, “How nice, they are lighting the way for me!”

 

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The first annual Japan Day parade in New York City was held this summer (2022).

 

Buntaro

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There is a sizeable Japanese-immigrant community in Brazil. Take a look at the history of their immigration.



This video has more detail on the actual immigration.

 
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