There are over eighty thousand Shinto shrines in Japan, and they represent the oldest
architectural style in the country. Shinto is a religion unique to Japan. Respect for land and
nature is its basic premise. Usually there is a mirror in the case inside each Shrine.
This is the symbol of Shrine’s deity. Shinto customs are common in Japanese life.
Jan. 14, 2022
In Japan, Onsen are the country’s hot springs and the bathing facilities and traditional inns
around them. Most Japanese love bathing in Onsen (hot springs), and many believe that the water
can cure certain ailments. There are many volcanoes around Japan, and therefore many Onsen.
Each Onsen is said to have its own healing property. Onsen resorts or hotels either use water from
actual spring or they boil mineral water. Onsen resorts have opened all over the country, and many
hotels have outside baths offering spectacular views. Public baths are also very common in Japan.
They generally have Jacuzzies, garden bathe, and saunas. At Onsen, people actually wash their
bodies before getting into the water. It is bad manners to use soap or towels in the bath itself.
Jan. 13, 2022
Long ago Japan was divided into many small provinces. The lords of each province fought to take
each other’s territory. Castles were built by the lords to show off their power and control their provinces.
They were both residences and military bases. They were made of wood, but used various defensive
devices for protection. For example, moats were built around some castles. In fact, moats around the
Imperial Palace in Tokyo, which used to be Edo Castle, are still preserved.
Additionally, many castles were built on plateaus or hills. The slopes were then steepened, making
them difficult for enemies to climb. In some castles the grounds from the gate to main building were
designed like a maze to confuse enemies.
The main castle building is usually in the center and is called the Tensyukaku (Castle tower).
They are tall and magnificent structure. The loads and their immediate servants lived in the Tensyukaku.
Jan. 12, 2022
Hidden Christian in Japan
Hidden Christian refers to the Christian believers who adhered to the Christian faith in secret
during the period of prohibition of Christianity in Edo period ( 1603-1868). Many Christians
were forced to apostatize to avoid being persecuted. However, some went underground secretly
to keep their faith, and some remained true to their faith in secret in remote area.
Some Christians disguised themselves as Buddhist by keeping an image of Virgin Mary which
looked like the Kannon, Buddhist deity of mercy (Maria-Kannon Image).
Some kept crosses hidden in their homes, along with Jesus disguised as Jizo-Bosatsu ( the
Buddhist guardian deity of children ). Suspected Christians were forced to step on pictures of
Virgin Mary and infant Jesus (Fumi-e) in order to prove that they were not Christians.
In 1873, during Meiji Restoration, the prohibition of Christianity was abolished after appeals by
Jan. 11, 2022
Coming-of-Age Day ceremony in Kitakyushu-city
Coming-of-Age Day Ceremony in Kitakyushu-city is held at Media Dome today.
When Japanese people celebrate the coming of age all the youth who have reach the age of
twenty in course of the year proceeding it.
The local cities and communities play host to them at the celebration ceremonies, where
many girls attend in gorgeous Kimono specially prepared this occasion.
Jan. 09, 2022
The unique designed building next to our office
The unique building located near JR Kokura station, next to our office is Kitakyushu International
Conference Center Building, designed by Arata Isozaki.
Jan. 08, 2022
Oyster Barbecue hut in Kitakyushu
The huts open during the season, from end of October to March or April.
Kitakyushu-city is one of the best place to enjoy Oyster barbecue including sea foods.
Jan. 07, 2022
Why is Japanese religious orientation eclectic ?
Japanese indigenous religion, Shinto, has no founder or written doctrine and places
a great emphasis on ancestor and nature worship.
Japanese with no strong religious beliefs consider religion as traditional customs handed
down from ancestors. This has developed great tolerance for other religions.
The other Japanese major religion, Buddhist, has the founder, but he was a human, not the absolute,
almighty god as that of Christianity or Islam.
This has also contributed to Japanese tolerance toward other religions.
Those are the reason why Japanese religious orientation is eclectic.
Jan. 02, 2022
Hatsumode / 初詣
Hatsumode is a religious customer in Japan on New Year’s Day.
The first visit of the year to a shrine or temple at New Year’s.
Worshippers often visit noted shrines or temples on New Year’s Eve or first of January
to pray for happiness and prosperity in the new year.
Some of people visit shrines or temples on the first three days of New Year or later during the first week.
To buy good-luck charms such as hamaya at the stalls on their way back home.
Jan. 01, 2022
Field trip for IUJ on Dec. 23
Field trip for International University of Japan in Nagasaki on Dec. 23.
Learning World Peace ; visit Atomic bomb museum, Ground Zero, Peace fountain and
Dec. 23, 2021