The outstanding Art of Ukiyo-e – A Look at contemporary Pieces: ‘Ukiyo-e Heroes’

'Battle of the Bath House', who might be first in the tub?! Street Fighter
‘Battle of the Bath House’, who might be first in the tub?! ‘Street Fighter’

Another ‘accidental’ finding while browsing for material for an upcoming article. It can’t be necessarily considered news, as it made rounds about 2 years ago, yet it might be still interesting to some readers. As the images give away, I am talking about Japanese woodblock printing, or UKIYO-E (浮世絵・うきよえ), which basically means ‘pictures of the fleeting world’.
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北欧女子オーサが見つけた日本の不思議 by Åsa Ekström – Re-discovering Japan with a Nordic Girl!

Book Review
‘Nordic Girl Åsa discovers the Mysteries of Japan’ by Åsa Ekström

English Title: Nordic Girl Åsa discovers the Mysteries of Japan Vol. 1

Publisher: 株式会社Kadokawa

ISBN-10: 4040674235
ISBN-13: 978-4040674230

Language: 日本語・Japanese
Pages: 140
Price Tag: 1080 JPY

This is my first book introduction ever, or perhaps I shall say Manga introduction 🤗 It is an independent one, I just read the book, thinking to myself, this is something I want to share with other readers interested in Japan and learners of the Japanese language.

The book goes under the genre comic essays and comes in the FOUR PANEL COMIC-STRIP format (also 四コマ; Yon koma). It was published in March 2015 and somehow picked it up from the shelves some months back to keep my Japanese going, while no longer in the country. While there are no kanji readings (furigana or ruby characters) provided, the stories are not too hard to follow. I suppose that everyone with a JLPT 2 level will read through fairly smoothly.

I had to pull out the dictionary a couple times, but it didn’t hinder me from reading it all the way … やる気さえあれば (if only one has the motivation to do so). Even though there is no version other than Japanese (not yet), I think it is probably the most fun to read it in the one language because certain references and nuances of contents just come across best.
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On the move

 On the move March 19, 2015 chris.b A picture taken in the vicinity of Nagoya Castle, Aichi Prefecture. The bike abandoned in the front, a photographer taking aim in the shade of the cherry trees in the background. All this on a sunny day. One of my personal favorites.
A picture taken in the vicinity of Nagoya Castle, Aichi Prefecture. The bike abandoned in the front, a photographer taking aim in the shade of the cherry trees in the background. All this on a sunny day. One of my personal favorites.

As the warm winds blow in to lift the veil of dullness that winter imposed on everything, the newly inhaled life invigorates humans and nature alike. A feeling of encouragement and zest holds sway, things are on the move. In Japan this sentiment is emphasized by the fact that spring often marks the end and the beginning of terms. Students graduate or change schools (卒業; そつぎょう and 転校; てんこう respectively), businesses welcome new employees or rotate roles (incl. 転勤 tenkin, job relocation within the firm to other prefectures or even countries), others search for new housing (引っ越し; ひっこし). Thus, the period may be considered as a time of transitions to the unfamiliar, but also goodbyes to established habits.

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Happy New Year, Everyone! – 明けましておめでとうございます、皆さん!

個人的に言えば、2014年は素晴らしく、ダイナミックな年でした。2015年もきっと同じように続くと信じております。昨年に亘って頂いた心遣いや優待の数々、どうもありがとうございました。今年も連絡を取り合えると嬉しいです。職場のプロジェクトと同様にプライベートの仕事の成功、ご多幸、健康をお祈りしております。

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お見送り – The Japanese Way of Seeing-off

When drawing your dictionary 見送り (みおくり; miokuri) has various meanings, however, the one referring in this article is solely about sending someone off, farewell somebody.

Miokuri

お(御; O), as seen in the title, is a honorific prefix, adding loftiness and beauty (as part of 美化語・雅語; びかご・がご) to the expression, like ‘honorable farewell’.

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