Shimabara Rebellion – The Christian Uprising that wasn’t One

20150929_Shiro Amakusa 5
Amakusa Shirou (天草 四郎・あまくさ しろう) as he is often portrayed – a young and handsome teenager of fair skin in Western fashion, laying his protecting hands over the lands. His is appearance in reality likely to be quite a different one – read why, later in the post.

In this post I talk about the Shimabara Rebellion (島原の乱・しまばらのらん) that took place in Japan in the years of 1637-38, pretty much at the beginning of the Edo Period (江戸時代・えどじだい; from 1603-1868), my favorite era in Japanese history. This is going to be my first historical article on MyLittle Dejima and I am happy this particular topic marks the starting point of my journey💓. I hope to be able to write more about historical accounts in the future and to share my findings with readers on this blog. Conducting research 📚🔬 was one of the main purposes in setting up this page and it is my hope that you will find the results of my first work interesting. Here we raise the curtains:

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日本のことは、マンガとゲームで学びました。by Benjamin Boas – The Power of (Pop-)Culture, Benjamin’s COOL JAPAN!

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English Title: Everything I know about Japan I learned from Manga and Video Games

Publisher: 小学館

ISBN-10: 4093883955
ISBN-13: 978-4093883955

Language: 日本語・Japanese
Pages: 143
Price Tag: 1188 JPY

While in preparation for a next extensive research project of mine, I took the time to check out another COMIC ESSAY. It is the one of BENJAMIN BOAS, which I announced in my previous post of NORDIC GIRL ÅSA DISCOVERS THE MYSTERIES OF JAPAN VOL. 2 ・北欧女子オーサが見つけた日本の不思議 2, in which he has a quick entry.

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A Year to forget – 忘年会・(ぼうねんかい)

No, no it was not all that bad, the passing year, however as we are going towards the end of it, I would like to talk about the custom of year-end parties in Japan, which are the so called BOUNENKAI (忘年会・ぼうねんかい). It is yet another and last occasion of the year for the festive people of Japan to throw their parties. The country has a vibrant festival culture, but unlike many seasonal events, bounenkai has no religious connotation or specific event protocol what so ever. Nonetheless, it can be said that it still carries a not unimportant social relevance and therefore is not to be missed out.

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北欧女子オーサが見つけた日本の不思議 2 by Åsa Ekström – A delightful Journey to continue!

Åsa made it again - ‘Nordic Girl Åsa discovers the Mysteries of Japan 2’. The cover of the second cover comes in similar fashion.
More mysteries to be revealed, Åsa made it again! – ‘Nordic Girl Åsa discovers the Mysteries of Japan 2’. The cover of the second cover comes in similar fashion.

English Title: Nordic Girl Åsa discovers the Mysteries of Japan Vol. 2

Publisher: 株式会社Kadokawa

ISBN-10: 4040679105
ISBN-13: 978-4040679105

Language: 日本語・Japanese
Pages: 157
Price Tag: 1080 JPY

I am happy to announce the second in my series of book introductions for COMIC ESSAYS (see also FUN WITH COMIC ESSAYS side page). After enjoying the first volume of Nordic Girl Åsa discovers the Mysteries of Japan・北欧女子オーサが見つけた日本の不思議 (see post) quite a bit, I got myself also the sequel, which was published back in September. Whereas I was about 6 months behind the release for the first book, for the second volume I have miraculously managed to post slightly more opportune. Then I shall get started right away with the latest book introduction of mine, with which I hope to tempt you in reading the book yourself. Continue reading

Kaki, Divine Blessing – Dried Persimmon・干し柿 (ほしがき)

Dozens of dried persimmon in front of houses are not an uncommon sight during the autumn month in Japan.
Dozens of dried persimmon in front of houses are not an uncommon sight during the autumn months in Japan.

Whenever I think I make a quick post about a topic, somehow I always end up with a full-fledged study in some way…well I shouldn’t mind, I guess, because it brings back some many cherished memories (i.e. the CAMPHOR TREE・楠). This post about the dried persimmons, sets me right back into Japan during this month of year.

October days are most pleasant with skies clear, the air refreshingly cool, leaves fiery red or bright yellow. Ideal for hikes in the countryside or leisurely walks in quite neighborhoods of the cities and towns. The autumn season has much to offer for the eye, but also comes up with many delectable amenities, of which the dried persimmon is one of them. With producing techniques nowadays in place, the nutritious treat could technically be made available all year round. However, only during the autumn months one will notice the fruits on strings hanging from below the eaves of resident housings and in front of windows on balconies of apartment buildings. So this practice of drying persimmon outdoors in the sunlight is distinctly associated to this time of year, therefore considered an aspect of FUUBUTSUSHI (風物詩・ふうぶつし; things reminiscent to seasons), in other words the emotional awareness by Japanese people for certain seasonal characteristics, apart from such things as natural phenomenons, living things or sense of taste.
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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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Aiming for Gods – Dragon Ball Super・ドラゴンボール超

Let the show begin! - Last sequence of the opening song before the curtains open to the new story arc. DRAGON BALL SUPER is being broadcasted since July 5th, 2015.
Let the show begin! – Last sequence of the opening song before the curtains open to the new story arc. Dragon Ball Super is being broadcast since July 5th, 2015.

After the movie Dragon Ball Z Resurrection (F「rieza」) earlier this year, the first new Dragon Ball episode aired in over almost 2 decades on Japanese TV since the beginning of this month. The story sets in sometime after Majin Boo‘s defeat. The earth seems to be once again freed from evil, but somewhere out in the universe a new, a mightier enemy is lurking to threaten this newly gained state of peace.
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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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