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Buntaro

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Japanese board games — Hasami Shogi

Another simple game which uses Shogi pieces and Shogi board is Hasami Shogi (はさみ将棋) (はさみしょうぎ). (Go pieces and a Go board can also be used.) Strategy is fairly simple, move your pieces on the board. When you place two of your stones on both sides of your opponent’s stone(s), you remove their stone(s). (In this way, the idea is similar to Checkers.)

Here is a video on Hasami Shogi.

Hasami Shogi


Here is another video containing information on Hasami Shogi. (Hasami Shogi is explained from 0:00 to 1:47.)

How to play Shogi (将棋) – Lesson #36 Other Tactical Games Played with Shogi Instruments



This is a Hasami Shogi game being televised, with play-by-play commentary!

はさみ将棋対決!002谷川浩司vs米長邦雄永世棋聖
 

Buntaro

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Japanese card games — the deck of cards called Hanafuda

One of the best-known deck of cards in Japan is Hanafuda (花札) (はなふだ).

It is my understanding that はなふだ cards are mainly played during Japanese New Years but I am not sure about that. (Can someone confirm this for me?)

The following is a video on the deck of cards. The deck was sold by Nintendo in the late 1800's and is one of the first products sold by Nintendo. The following is a video on the Nintendo deck including history of the deck. During the Edo Period some playing cards were illegal because they were used for gambling. This modern deck even includes a replica of the tax stamp the government required playing cards to have at that time.

The video includes an image of playing instructions at 3:14 in Japanese. Here is a link to a PDF file on the Nintendo server of instructions in English.


 

Buntaro

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Japanese card games — Koikoi (こいこい)

Here is a Wikipedia page with all of the はなふだ cards.


All these years I thought はなふだ was the name of a card game. It is not, it is the name of a deck of cards. One game played with はなふだ is called Koikoi (こいこい).




In this video, two Japanese women play こいこい. Note the slapping of the other person's hand at 2:03.



Here is a video (in Japanese only) of two people playing こいこい.

 

Buntaro

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Japanese cards games — Millionaire (大富豪 ) (だいふごう) or (大貧民) (だいひんみん)

I feel one card game that uses the traditional western 52-card deck should be mentioned because I believe it is well-known in Japan. Actually, I have never played the game, but I heard the name mentioned numerous times when I was in Japan.

The name I actually heard was だいひんめ or だいひんめい. (Does anyone know which is the most commonly-used name for this game?)

As you can see from the video, it is played with four people, so it looks a little like Bridge or Hearts.



Here is a video of people playing the game.

 

Buntaro

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Japanese literature — Tales of Genji

I thought it would be good to mention the best-known book in Japanese literature, The Tales of Genji. It was written by Lady Murasaki in 1021 during the Heian Period (794-1185). It was the world's first novel. It is even more impressive because it was written by a woman. It is a tale of court romance and intrigue.



The Tale of Genji is a large work, with over 1,000 pages in 54 chapters (more than double the length of War and Peace). Take a look at the following video at 1:08 to see the amazing stack of chapters. In addition, take a look at 1:18 to see the way she wrote in Hiragana, in a very flowing writing style. (Please note the following video is damaged in that parts of the video have no audio, but this video and its accompanying part two are quite good despite the audio problems.)

 

Buntaro

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I should add that Lady Murasaki wrote in Hiragana because it was illegal at the time for a woman to write in Kanji!
 

mdchachi

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Egui is not in my repertoire. Is it area or age specific? I don't even recall coming across it.
 

Buntaro

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The Tale of Genji was written during the Heian Period (794-1185), an important time in Japanese history. Here is a video on Heian Period history. The video talks about how the Heian Period in Japan was heavily influenced by the Tang Dynasty in China. At the bottom of this post is an image of Japanese and Chinese eras. Note that the Heian Period and Tang Dynasty overlap significantly. One point made in the video is that, at that time, the heavy influence of the Tang Dynasty on Japan (and the Japanese court) was beginning to wane and the Japanese court moved in a direction to establish its own identity independent of China.

 

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Buntaro

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In the post just above this post, in the video Early Heian Period | Japanese Art History | Little Art Talks, Karin makes a fascinating point about Japanese history. She says the main reason the Emperor moved the capital from Nara to present-day Kyoto was because Buddhist monks had too much power in the government. (The act of moving the capital from Nara to present-day Kyoto had the effect of ending the Nara Period (710-794) and beginning the Heian Period (794-1185).) I had never heard this before.

In another one of Karin's videos, Kamakura Period | Japanese Art History | Little Art Talks, she makes a point about the end of the Heian Period and the beginning of the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). She says this, too, was largely because of political forces in that it was a decline in the Emperor's power and a rise in the power of the Samurai. The following is that video. (I think it's very cool to get such good history lessons from art history videos!)

 
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Siface

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Egui is not in my repertoire. Is it area or age specific? I don't even recall coming across it.
Hey! Nope neither age nor area specific! I think it’s a more modern word thats just become more used over the last few years. Thanks for the question :)
 

Lothor

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Hey! Nope neither age nor area specific! I think it’s a more modern word thats just become more used over the last few years. Thanks for the question :)
It is a modern and age-specific word. My 14 and 12 year old sons use it but my wife doesn't, and I didn't hear it until a couple of years ago.
 

Buntaro

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I mentioned in a previous post the importance of Buddhism in Nara, Japan. One of the most amazing Buddhist temples in the world is in Nara, called Todaiji Temple (東大寺). Simply put, it is the world's largest bronze statue of Buddha in one of the world's largest wooden buildings. The wooden building, as large as it is, is only two-thirds the size of the original building. (The original building burnt down long ago and the present building was built 300 years ago.) The statue itself is huge — 50 ft or 15 meters tall. The temple grounds is equal in size to 50 baseball stadiums. When I first walked into the temple, I could not get a good feel for how tall the statue really is partly because of the dim lighting. But as I walked around the statue in a circle, I began to realize just how big it is. (There is room inside the temple to completely walk around the statue.)


 

mdchachi

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It is a modern and age-specific word. My 14 and 12 year old sons use it but my wife doesn't, and I didn't hear it until a couple of years ago.
Looks like the word is old but the newer colloquial usage is new. Just like in English now younger people say "sick" to mean "cool." Note, meanings (3) and (4) are opposite of each other.

えぐい; エグい 《刳い; 蘞い; 醶い》 (adj-i) (1) (uk) harsh (taste, feeling, etc.); acrid; pungent; astringent; (adj-i) (2) (uk) (col) sharp (language, question, etc.); biting; harsh; (adj-i) (3) (uk) (col) nasty; gross; disgusting; brutal; (adj-i) (4) (uk) (sl) awesome; amazing; incredible; cool
 

Buntaro

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This next video will give you a feeling for how large the Buddha statue in Todaiji Temple really is. Once a year, monks and lay workers climb and dust the statue. Take a look at how small the people look in relation to the statue. The statue is so large some people have to hang from ropes in order to reach certain parts of the statue.

Giant Buddha statue cleaned in Nara
 

Siface

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It is a modern and age-specific word. My 14 and 12 year old sons use it but my wife doesn't, and I didn't hear it until a couple of years ago.
The use is definitely more modern, but age wise I’d say it’s a personal preference. Masako said age doesn’t matter, and I know a 45 year old guy who loves to use it so to each their own i guess lol
 

Siface

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Also Masako started a new series of short videos teaching Japanese phrases in English if anyone’s interested!

 

mdchachi

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Also Masako started a new series of short videos teaching Japanese phrases in English if anyone’s interested!

Tell Masako that these short form videos are perfect for TikTok. I guarantee that she will get many more followers on TikTok if she posts there. She may need to use VPN to trick TikTok into thinking she's in the U.S. though. Instructions here. Just setting her App Language to English may be enough to keep her from getting stuck in Japan region.
 
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Tell Masako that these short form videos are perfect for TikTok. I guarantee that she will get many more followers on TikTok if she posts there. She may need to use VPN to trick TikTok into thinking she's in the U.S. though. Instructions here. Just setting her App Language to English may be enough to keep her from getting stuck in Japan region.
Agree about Tiktok and other similar apps, it fits a lot

Dont know how the location settings work though, but I believe people can see videos from any country, when I use it I sometimes rarely get random videos from Japan and Korea for e g (besides US)

And IF will use VPN or similar its better to see well how it works because some apps ban the account for good once they detect it
 

Buntaro

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I previously posted a video on the big Buddha statue in Nara, so I think it is only fair I post a video that talks about the big Buddha in Kamakura. This is a video of various tourist spots in Kamakura and the part about the big Buddha statue starts at 5:51.

 

Siface

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Thanks for the suggestions guys! To be honest the tiktok idea was just something i did for a laugh and damn did it work! Nearly 2000 views in 2 days! I set it up from Ireland so not sure how that works with location settings!
 

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Photojournalist and filmmaker team Keith Bedford and Shiho Fukada are married. They met in New York. Fukada is originally from Japan and started to miss her family when they were living in New York with their young son. Fukada and Bedford wanted him to learn more about Japanese culture so they decided to move back to Japan three years ago. Bedford is African American. He says he likes living in Japan but there is a sense of being an outsider or a sense of being the other. He says this is a lot of what Fukada went through living in America.

 
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