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腹切り ~ Harakiri ~

One day, I was in abroad with non-Japanese friends...One of my friends jokingly asked me, " Have you ever seen harakiri?" " Ah...yeah...my dad did it..." I answered it with a small voice and a grief-stricken face.An awkward silence filled …

歌舞伎町 ~The Place I Hate the Most ~

Oh my gosh! I hate this place - 歌舞伎町 (Kabukicho). It's infamous for its red light district and is one of the most dangerous places in Japan.However this place full of desires fascinates many people and draws them in every day, every ni…

絵馬 ~ Votive Picture of a Tablet of Horses ~

Don't forget to pray when you visit a Shinto shrine! There are tablets hanging on boards or strings and spread on a frame. Those are called 絵馬 (ema). But why are they called that? ; 絵 ( picture ), 馬 ( horse) In ancient times, the weath…

Hashi ~ My Favorite Word ~

Do you know what Hashi means? Perhaps it's written as 橋 ( bridge ) or 箸 ( chopsticks ).Nowadays it has different characters and accents. The sound of Hashi originally meant "connection". 橋ーBridge is a connection from one bank to anothe…