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Japanese Tea Ceremony in Nagano

I hope you all had a great New Years. I spent mine in Nagano. It was very cold, but it was also very beautiful. It snowed the first night I was there and reached below 0 degrees Celsius every night. The last day we were there we visited my Aunt in law who teaches tea ceremony. We actually went there to eat Sukiyaki, but she also made us tea.

I recorded the entire thing and made a video. I hope you enjoy it. Japanese tea ceremony is very unique and each movement  has a meaning. The room itself is designed in the traditional style and has a very old feeling to it.

Please leave any questions below and I will do my best to answer them.

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Japanese Videos of Nagano

During my trip to Tokyo and Nagano I took a ton of video. My ideas was to use this video to show you some different places in Japan, teach some Japanese words, and show a bit of Japanese culture. What I didn’t think about so much, was that all the HD video I took would be almost un-editable to my 4 year old computer. The video editing program I used just couldn’t keep up and it would skip several frames at a time.

However, I still wanted to make the Japanese videos, so I ordered some memory and am now back in business. It is still slow going (rendering a 5 minute video takes about 4 hours), but it is doable.

At the moment I am rendering a really cool tunnel I found in Nagano. In the meantime, I have already put up a few videos of some very beautiful parks I visited.

You can find them here:

Japanese Video

Japanese Park

 

 

 

 

 

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Japanese Music: Shima No Utta

This last weekend we had the Miyakojima Music Convention. It is is a three day long convention held at the beach with artists coming from all over Japan.

I didn’t have the chance to attend the first two days, but was able to go on Sunday. Below is a video of Kazufumi Miyazawa singing “Shima No Uta”. It is probably his most famous song.

The Japanese word (島 しま shima) means island. (の no) is a word for possession), and (歌 うた uta) means song. So it translates as the “Island Song”. Island referring specifically to Okinawa.

The common lyrics you will here is “Shima no kaze, which means “island wind” or “island breeze”.

Okay, here’s the video:

 

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8 Days in Tokyo/Nagano/Nagoya

 

I got back from my trip to Tokyo, Nagano, and Nagoya (just an afternoon in Nagoya) a few days ago. I wasn’t used to the cold and dry weather, so it’s quite nice to be back in Okinawa again.

Tokyo was fun, but it has been a while since I lived there and getting used to all the people wasn’t that easy. I did get to see the new Skytree tower and took a ton of video and pictures.

Of course it will take me a little bit to get the editing done and figure out how I want to layout the series of videos, but I think I will have some interesting video for you.

Also, thanks for everyone who submitted the survey. It was very helpful in choosing what to shoot.

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Three days in Tokyo

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I arrived in Tokyo just a few days ago and after tomorrow I will be heading for Nagano.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I am taking video and a ton of pictures.

Most of the time I have spent has been with friends and going to restaurants, but I did get to go see the new Sky Tree building. I’ll put up pics when I get back.

Today I went to a wedding in Roppongi hills and am now sitting in my hotel’s lobby writing this post on my iPhone. It’s the only place I can get wifi.

I have four more days left before going back to Okinawa, so lots more video and pictures to take. I also have a few gifts I will be giving away when I get back.

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Ukulele For Beginners: Hobbies in Japanese

How can I make Japanese friends? This is something that people ask me constantly and is something that can be difficult when learning Japanese. Even living here in Japan, it can be difficult to make Japanese friends. And having friends will help you learnt he language even faster.

So what does ukulele for beginners have to do with learning Japanese. Everything! It’s how you make Japanese friends. You find people with common interests.

The biggest problem I see with those that are having difficult making Japanese friends is that they look for anyone who they can speak Japanese with. Rather than a friend, they tend to view people as Japanese speakers. By joining a club or participating in something you are interested in, you will find people who have the same interest and friendship becomes much more natural.

Recently, I have been learning to play the ukulele and joined an ukulele for beginners group. Some of the people I already knew, but I ended up making a couple new friends as well. I didn’t have to work at it. We just started talking about ukuleles and Hawaiian music, and pretty soon we were friends. I don’t think of my friends as ways to practice Japanese, but as interesting people who I can talk about things that I enjoy.

So go buy yourself an ukulele and join your local ukulele group (that is a metaphor for joining your local club to meet knew Japanese friends)!

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