2018年11月15日

The area name of 'Ningyo-cho' Chuo-ku, Tokyo, has to do with that puppet play theatres stood in this vicinity in the Edo period in the 17th-19th century. *Puppet means 'Ningyo' in Japanese.

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Early in the Edo period in the 17th century, Japan's largest licensed red-light district named 'Yoshiwara', with the area of 5,000 square meters, stood here in Ningyo-cho. It was relocated to 'Asakusa' area far from then downtown after being destructed in the Great Fire of Meireki in 1657. The street name of 'O-mon' in this neighborhood is the trace of O-mon main gate to Yoshiwara. After the relocation of Yoshiwara, puppet play theaters and Kabuki theatres were built in this site with many puppeteers and puppet makers. This is whey this neighborhood is called Ningyo-cho.
As Ningyo-cho was very close to 'Nihon-bashi' fish market, which was moved to 'Tsukiji' in 1935 then to 'Toyosu' in 2018, this district became busy with the workers for the fish market and the spectators of play houses. Ningyo-cho used to be one of the busiest downtowns in Edo, present Tokyo.
Taking into account this historical background, many long-established restaurants, sweet parlors and shops are still found on the streets as shown in the picture.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:48 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年11月11日

'Sazare-ishi', which is one word of Japan's national anthem 'Kimiga-yo', means pebble.

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Japan's national anthem 'Kimiga-yo' was composed in the last half of the 19th century, and is said to be one of the shortest anthems in the world. The whole words are literally translated as follows.
"Your reign continues forever, as pebbles grow into lofty locks to be with moss taking an indefinitely long period of time"

The pebbles in these words mean sazare-ishi in Japanese. The original meaning was so though, the present meaning has turned out to be conglomerate made up of many pebbles. These sorts of conglomerates can be found throughout the country, and most of them are worshipped at Shinto shrines as they are regarded to be sacred. The picture shows one example found at Kashima-jingu Shinto shrine in Ibaragi Prefecture near Tokyo.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:58 | Et cetera | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年11月02日

The public facilities in Japan are mostly equipped with an umbrella stand with locks or the device to semi-automatically cover the umbrella with a vertically long plastic bag.

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The umbrella stand like the one in the first picture is usually found at the entrance of the public facilities in Japan. This kind of umbrella stand with locks may contribute to preventing umbrella theft and mix-up. In the case that there is not enough room to install this big umbrella stand, the unique device as shown in the second picture is found instead. This device is for covering the wet umbrella with a long plastic bag semi-automatically. Because the wet umbrella may wet other people with water in the public facilities. As Japan has relatively much rain and high temperature as well as humidity particularly in summer, a raincoat is uncomfortable. Accordingly these kinds of unique devices may be invented in Japan. These devices can be found recently in other countries in Europe and Asia.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:38 | Et cetera | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする