Have You Met Pikachu?
It was such a scary moment.
The earthquake hit Japan on March 11th Friday, 2011, the fourth most powerful earthquake in the world.
The 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake
It was the biggest and longest earthquake we have ever experienced.
Even in Tokyo area, we still feel many aftershocks everyday, and our
office will be affected by the rolling blackouts.
We were so grateful for the condolences and compassion received
from many countries, that surely encouraged us.
This event made us think deeply about the meaning of life and feel
how affluent life we have been living surrounded by sufficient supplies.
There still are so many missing people and evacuators in disaster areas.
To support the reconstruction of Japan, we decided to give financial
assistance as donations through Japanese Red Cross Workers' Union.
We wish to extend our heartfelt sympathies to all those affected by
The Land of the Rising Sun, there is always tomorrow.
July 7th is the day of Tanabata, the Star Festival.
The event was introduced into Japan in the 8th century and became popular during the Edo Period.
This is the only day in a year when a pair of lovers, stars separated by the Milky Way, can see each other.
It is said that the event is a combination of Chinese tradition with beliefs peculiar to Japan. So, now on the day of Tanabata, people in Japan write their wishes on strips of colorful paper and hang them from bamboo branches.
Here at Trinity office, we do not have bamboo branches, so we hang our wishes from a foliage plant.
Let's see what our wishes are...
Want to have everything I want!
No more working over time :'(
World Peace :)
What are your wishes?
Trinity will be closed from May 1st to May 9th due to Japanese national holidays.
We call this consecutive holidays "Golden Week".
May 1st: Trinity's Birthday
May 3rd: Constitution Memorial Day
May 4th: Greenery Day
May 5th: Children's Day
On the Children's Day, families often fly the carp-shaped streamers called Koinobori outside their homes to represent strength and success in life because Chinese legends say carps become dragons when they swim up whitewater rapids.
Trinity just celebrated its 4th birthday on May 1st, hoping that we continue to be successful like waving carps in the spring wind, a symbol of a successful career.
We will be back again on May 10th, Monday.
Trinity is closed on March 22nd for our national holiday "Shunbun",
Vernal Equinox Day.
It is the day when the sun reaches the vernal equinox, and it is the day when day and night are of equal length.
It snowed in Tokyo last week, and we are having very unstable weather recently. However, I can now see, feel, and smell signs of spring everywhere.
AND, I can taste the spring already :)
For many of Japanese Olympics fans, today is a big day.
The women's figure skating short program.
7PM in Vancouver is 12AM in Japan, our lunch time.
We gathered in our theater room to cheer for the skaters in front of the 80-inch screen.
Kim Yu-Na came out on top, and Mao-chan came in second after the short program.
Can't wait to see tomorrow's free skate program!
February 11th is celebrated as National Foundation Day in Japan.
In the the Kojiki and the Nihonshoki, the Japanese ancient chronicles written in the eighth century, it is recorded that the first emperor of Japan was Emperor Jinmu, and he was a descendant of Amaterasu, the Goddess of the Sun. It is said that he ascended to the Imperial Throne and built his capital in the Yamato district (current Nara prefecture) on this day in the year 660 B.C.
The present Emperor Akihito is said to be the 126th from Jinmu Emperor in the direct line.
We will be closed for tomorrow February 11th and will be back again on February 12th, Friday.
After Mamemaki ceremony, when you clean your room few days later, you often find some beans hidden in your room, like under a fridge or behind a sofa. We usually use dried soy beans for this Bean-Throwing ceremony, but soy beans are too small and they like to hide in corners.
So, it is a smart idea to use shelled peanuts instead, and you can even have fun with those peanuts like this!
.... Unidentified mysterious animal???
You can also use shelled peanut as a chopstick rest.
February 3rd is Setsubun in Japan.
Setsubun literally means "the day between two seasons", and according to the lunar calendar, winter ends on this day.
On Setsubun, Japanese people participate in traditional events to drive away evil spirits and bring in good fortune. One of the events is Bean-Throwing Ceremony called "Mamemaki", and people throw beans at home or temples while shouting "Fortune in and demons out." After the ceremony, people eat the same number of beans as their age to wish for good health
Here at Trinity office, we also enjoyed this "Mamemaki"!
Devils Out! Good Luck In!
Labor Thanksgiving day (勤労感謝の日) is celebrated on November 23rd in Japan.
It became a holiday in 1948 as a day to honor labor, celebrate production and give thanks to one another according to the national holiday law.
It originates from a Japanese harvest festival called Niiname-Sai, and
Niiname means the first harvests of the year.
Yes, we have been working very hard and deserve a day off :)
Trinity will be closed on Nov 23rd and will be back again on Nov 24th.
In Japan, we have consecutive national holidays that are so-called "Golden Week", which runs from the end of April to the beginning of May every year.
If you are lucky, you can have a nine-day-straight holiday.
Why we call it Golden Week?
After the National Holidays Law was brought into effect in 1948, the number of people who went to see movies at theaters was increased during this holiday week. So, the owners of movie theaters started to call this week "Golden Week", which meant "supremely wonderful week".
Since then, this word has become popular and now everybody uses it.
This year 2009, we have another five consecutive national holidays in September, which we call "Silver Week".
Sep 19th: Saturday
Sep 20th: Sunday
Sep 21st: Respect-for-Senior-Citizens Day
Sep 22nd: National Holiday
Sep 23rd: Autumnal Equinox Day
Not as supreme as Gold, but Silver is still wonderful.
Trinity will be closed from Sep 19th till Sep 23rd, and we will be back again on Sep 24th.
Trinity will be closed for summer holiday from August 8th to 16th.
This time of the year in Japan is called "O-bon".
O-bon is a religious event dedicated to the deceased, which is held around July 15 of the lunar calendar. Since the solar calendar was adopted, it has been held around August 15. It is said that old Japanese folk rituals and Buddhist events were mixed together and formed the present form of O-bon.
During O-bon, the spirits of the deceased are said to return to their families. People light lanterns in order to lead the deceased to their families and perform Bon dances in order to entertain them.
When O-bon is over, the spirits are sent on their way. This is called the escorting of the spirits and fires to speed their seeing off are lit at entrances of homes and offerings are floated on rivers and the ocean.
Although this is one of the beautiful Japanese traditional events, these days, we rarely see families actually light lanterns to welcome the spirits....
We will be back again on August 17th!
Today, July 22nd, 2009, the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century passed over Asia. The eclipse had its peak duration over southern Japan, and we were able to view it in some of the southern parts of Japan.
Unfortunately, it was raining in Japan this morning, was also raining in Saitama, the city where Trinity is located.
Around 11:30 am we looked up the sky, and luckily we were able to observe the partial eclipse of the sun even though there ware still clouds in the sky.
What a wonder of nature!
Around this time of the year, we have the rainy season called "Tsuyu" in Japan, which usually lasts for about one month from early June.
Tsuyu in Chinese characters is 梅雨.
梅 = Japanese apricot
雨 = rain
Why apricot rain?
According to Wikipedia....
There are several theories about the origin of 梅雨, and one of them is that the apricot reaches peak ripeness during this rainy season.
I see, that's true.
I usually make my Plum Sake around this time!
We are expecting more rainy days this week....
When this rainy season ends later this month, we will have the hot summer!