Archive | August, 2009

Do blood types change personality?

30 Aug
blood-type Do you or your friends or family care about blood types? We do in Japan, and I learned it’s something specific in Japan. “anan” Magazine has just issued a number featuring blood types, while many books on blood types have been issued. Blood types is the issue that is liked to be discussed any time, anywhere, in Japan. My blood type is O, and it is roughly said;
-to be a good leader
-to be friendly and sociable
-not to be worried too much about mistakes
-to be romantic rather than realistic
-to be good at taking care of people
-to be a good speaker rather than a good listener
-to be honest
-to be careless
-to be a poor planner
-to show likes and dislikes strongly
-to be too confident and selfish

…Some sound true but some don’t. 😦
How about other blood types?

For blood type B, it’s roughly said;
-to be very active to work and hobbies
-to be positive
-to have diverse interests and curiosity
-to have good sense especially for art
-to be easily warmed up but just as easily cooled down
-to dislike team playing work
-to like to do things at one’s own pace

blood-type-so-what

How about blood type A?
-to be responsible and deliberate
-to be a hard worker
-to consider moral, rule and regulation are something very important
-to value happy harmony
-to be well-organized
-to be inflexible
-to be worried too much about mistakes
-to be passive
-to be worried too much about what other people would think

Finally blood type AB
-to be cool-headed and very smart
-to be a good planner and flexible
-to be calculating to figure out if things are profitable to one or not
-to be a good listner
-to be mean-spirited from time to time
-to be irresponsible and confusing people around

If you know your blood type, what do you think?
Although my blood type is O, I have many traits from other blood types that apply to my personal character. How is yours?

But there I found one thing that looks definitely true to Japanese people. Did you know that blood type A is major in Japan? Meaning most of Japanese people are made from blood A-type of personality! There’s no wonder many of us are working very hard, and that many of us belong to companies as employees rather than entrepreneurs or self-employed. No wonder many of us are very shy due to the fear of making mistakes, being too deliberate to anything. Maybe that’s why we have to wear company uniforms, do things on time strictly, act polite, and so cooperativeness is considered something most important at work? No…you’ll deny that later when you see the chart at the bottom. :p

I hear that many foreign tourists in Japan are so much impressed with how polite and kind Japanese people are, how clean and well-organized train stations or public places are, how punctual everything is, and so on. Is that because blood-A created this country? No, I’m just kidding. XD

Look at the distribution map of blood types.
Disclaimer: The chart is from this site.
blood-type-map

Red = blood type A
Blue = blood type B
Yellow = blood type O
*blood type AB is minor worldwidely.

According to the map, we can see Europe and most of Australia have majority of blood type A, while north and south America and Africa have majority of blood type O. It’s interesting that majority of blood type B is only concentrated in central Asia.

Overall, discussing blood types and personality maybe just nonsense, but Japanese people still like this topic a lot!
If you read Japanese, you can read more in details from here.
You can also try to enter yours and your partner’s blood types to enjoy the result of chemistry just for fun! 😉

ps) This is a reserved post for you while I am off for vacation in Sydney. Your comments may need time until approved by me. But feel free to discuss and share your thoughts. I’m looking forward to reading them later! Thanks!!

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Laforet Harajuku post is updated

27 Aug

I’ve updated a new post, actually a new page about Laforet Harajuku fashion department building. I have prepared a new page for this post, which means there’s no comment section under the post, I mean the page. (Pege and post are different functions. Post is available with comments, while page is not.) So if you want to say something as a comment, feel free to do that under this post. 🙂

Announcement
I am leaving for Sydney (Australia) this weekend!
I am visiting there for the first time in 10 years! It was the first time since my working holiday stay in 1999. I lived in Sydney for a couple of months then.

Originally, I am not a person who like to think back or look back old memory and that’s why I rarely try to go back to the pleces such as a old high school or university from which I graduated a long time ago, or the houses or places I spent my childhood. I like to meet with old friends but I am not that much interested in sharing the old memory with them.

But this time Sydney again, 10 years later in my life. I’d never think of going back there without this tempting offer.

It was only 40,000 yen (USD400) for the bound trip direct flight and stay at a high class hotel. There’s no way I should miss it! 😛

It’s only 4 days over there, but it still means something to me.
I’ll come back and frequently on line somewhere around the first week of September. Catch you later!

How to fix pork ginger.

24 Aug

Pork ginger is one of the most common home cooking recipes in Japan.
It doesn’t take time and is very easy.

To be honest, I am not someone who strictly measures ingredients when I cook meals like home-cooking recipes. That’s why I am so bad at giving instructions how many table spoon of bla bla bla…
Pork ginger is a good sample. I never measure with table spoons. Always my eyes measure but I never screw it up. :p
Maybe I am not qualified for cooking tutorials…^_^; sorry for that.
But I hope you enjoy the video I made.

Do you have any request for the next video? Are you also interested in Japanese lessons by a native Japanese speaker? (it’s me! :p )

PS. I forgot to add this photo!
pork-ginger

School Uniform In The World

21 Aug

School Uniform In The World
2/MAY/2009 on air

Wearing school uniforms to go to high school is just an ordinary custom in Japan, but how about clothing that looks like school uniform? School girls these days like to put on private clothing that looks like school uniform, and they call it “Nanchatte Seifuku” meaning fake school uniform.

School uniform has been considered cute at any time, but the trend is accelerated since AKB48 is popular on TV. They are the top idol in school uniforms, and how they arrange their uniforms is highly paid attention by many school girls.

“School uniform is the cutest thing to us!” “We look good in it!”
“School uniform is something we can enjoy by arranging as we like!”
“It just looks all the same, that’s why arrangement is the key!”
“It’s profound, not just a school uniform!”
It’s a conversation between AKB48 members.

School uniform boom is not only a Japanese thing, nor girls thing.
Madonna wears Nanchatte Seifuku? (She wears school uniform looking outfit?) DAIGO, a popular Japanese singer, also put on school uniform? Young guys like to wear school boy or military looking outfit!?

It’s no wonder cute school uniform attracts anyone, anywhere in the world. Rika 22 years old from Sweden and Maria 22 years old from Russia try school uniform. They meet with high school girls from BLEA high school to get some help for make over!

BLEA high school is different from ordinary high school. It’s like a career college, rather than high school. Students learn how to make up, decorate nails, or design hair. Rika, a Swedish girl found Gyaru with big eyes and overloaded hair online, wanted to be the one, and came to Japan. She goes to Japanese language school while she works at a Izakaya, or Japanese style pub, to earn money to buy cute clothing. She has a homestay at a friend’s house to save money.

Maria from Russia came to Japan because she was a big fan of X-Japan. She used to like Visual-kei fashion but now she wants to be kawaii Gyaru type of girl.

Did you know that Thailand is also famous for school uniform?
It’s been over 5 years since Scawaii magazine is published in Thailand,
and is arranged to Thai version with Thai Dokumo.

“We’ve been attracted to Japanese school uniform. That’s why we studied its design and made our costume like Japanese one.”
says Neko Jump, Thai pop idol unit.

There is a school in Bangkok that is well-known for its cute school uniform. It just looks like Japanese sailor-style school uniform!!
“We changed our school uniform lately, because we thought it’d attract more students if our school uniform is something like the one in Japanese anime. It’s modern and international.” according to the principal of the school. In fact, since they modified their school uniform, the number of students has increased as many as 8 times more than before!

University students in Thailand also enjoy erokawa (erotic + kawaii) school uniform. They keep beautiful legs to fit in a mini skirt.

Shizuka Fujioka, a fashion leader of school uniform as well as a charismatic sales girl at CONOMI who was nominated as a member of “Kawaii Ambassador” by the Foreign Ministry in Japan was dispatched on a mission to Thailand.
(You can purchase Japanese kawaii school uniforms from the banner below.)
Cdjapan Apparel

She joined the school uniform contest as a judge, where IYA-chan was selected as a winner. IYA-chan likes character, deco, Hime-kei fashion, and buys various Japanese fashion magazines from Japan. “If I just copy Japanese style, that’s too much in our country. So I kinda arrange it with a bit of Thai taste, such as tropical way…you know. But we cannot get deco parts as easily as in Japan, I break my earrings to get some decorations to my nails.” says IYA-chan.

Back in Japan Shinjuku Marui One, there is a store that sells school uniform looking outfit. We’d call it “Visual-kei Seifuku” (=school uniform) which shares 30% of whole items in the store.

One of the well-known mail order companies in Japan named “cecile” works on Yuutousei Seifuku, meaning A-student school uniform, which is especially targeted to schools with strict school rules and understandings from the moms. They publish a school uniform catalog “CUPOP”. The important successful factors are;
-Low price, from top to bottom only under 10,000 yen (USD100).
-Moms or teachers would like it, too.

The point is kids select from catalog, but mom is the one who pays for it. It’s very important to gain understandings from their paretnts! That’s why the length of skirt is a big problem. Kids want 35cm, while parents prefer 45cm, how can they bridge this gap?

Back to the make over project, we can see how a Swedish girl and a Russian girl are changed. Japanese high schook students make good use of 100 yen shop. They buy accessories or fake eyelashes at 100 yen shop. In average, 1,1540 yen is the money they can spend per month for fashion.

Kobayashi-san, a charismatic stylist who leads school uniform fashion, is the one who invented deco-mori school bag. (overloaded decoration on school bag) She gives some arranges to Rika-chan and Maria-chan. Their shoot was on egg magazine!


According to the chief editor of egg magazine, parents would agree to buy school uniforms because they are safer compared with casual sexy outfit.

=====
Kirin’s opinion:
I remember one of the reasons I chose my high school was the cuteness of school uniform! But at that time school uniform was not as fashionable as today. I’d love to make some arrangements to it if I were a school girl now. I could go get the fake school uniform, but I’m too old to pretend a school girl any more! LOL!!
Oh how much I miss those days….But since I started to work, I really really hate company uniforms. I don’t know why but no matter how cute they are, I’d never choose the company to work for if they ask me to wear the company uniform. I want to decide what to put on by myself as I’m a decent aged adult, although many Japanese women think it is easier to be dressed with company uniform because they don’t have to spend extra time in the morning to worry about what to put on. That sounds true… :p
=====

Disclaimer: Tokyo Kawaii TV is a TV program owned and broadcasted by NHK Japan, and has nothing to do with this blog.

***There are archives of episodes listed under the page titled “Tokyo Kawaii TV” that is just located under the title banner of this blog.
***If you want to know the music that was used in the episode, please refer to this page and help yourself to find it by selecting the date when the episode was on air in Japan.

Japanese Fashion Magazines, especially for MEN

20 Aug

This is a collection of Japanese fashion magazines especially targeted male readers. I should have included this part in the previous post, but women’s fashion magazines were too many, and I forgot that.

2nd 411
begin chokichoki
cool-trans cover
elo fine-boys
gainer gq
grind joker
leon mens-club
mens-egg mens-ex
mens-nonno oceans
popeye sense
smart tune
uomo woofin

Models on the cover are not always Japanese guys. And again you can guess from the cover what taste of magazines they are. Some target hiphop street fashion, some Onii-kei fashion (Gyaru of male version maybe?) some formal fashion, and so on. I just listed popular magazines I can usually see at a local book store, and of course I don’t know how good they are as I don’t read them. I may just enjoy looking at nice-looking models (I’d like models on Gainer and GQ, how about you? :P) that’s it!

Collection of Japanese fashion magazines

17 Aug

This is just a collection of Japanese fashion magazines. I may have missed some although I tried to list as many fashion magazines as possible… They are just too many!!

anecan ar
baila bijinhyakka
cancam cutie
domani egg
fruits fudge
ginger ginza
grazia jelly
jill maquia
marisol mina
mini nadesiko
nonno nuts
pinky popteen
ranzuki ray
scawaii seda
soup spring
spur steady
story very
vivi voce
zipper ageha
glamorous sweet
eclat gisele
inred jj
lee more
with kera

If you find something interesting, remember you can also shop from Amazon. co. jp, as they ship worldwide.

Buy from Amazon Japan!

If you think that shipping expenses are too high, remember you can also count on services like the one I introduced the other day.

I skipped some famous and nice magazines such as “anan” “Frau” or “CREA” because they do not always deal with fashion. Sometimes their main topics range from fashion to life style to anything. I personally like reading them a lot more than just a fashion magazine, though. How about you?

*There is a related post about Japanese fashion magazine freebies.

Is Japanese culture so unique??

13 Aug

I enjoy exchanging emails between my blog readers and online friends, besides the comments on each post. The other day, my online friend Ivy from Nanyate.com mentioned something very interesting in her email, and I’d like to write about that today.

Ivy is my first online friend as far as I remember. She visited my former blog, “Japanese Cuisine Daily Recipes and Something Kawaii From Harajuku?” several times and I started to exchange comments between her. It was when I started my first English blog and there was very small number of my blog readers at that time. So she’s been someone special to me since I started blogging in English to the world, and also someone I’d like to see in person if I have a chance. Ivy speaks 9 or 10 languages and Japanese is one of them. She says she learned it from Japanese anime and I am so much impressed with her ability and potential. Anyway, please go check her cool blog for more!

That was a little bit about Ivy. She has lived in various countries in her life, and I don’t know if I should call her Singaporean just because she lives there now. But let’s say she is Asian. It was a surprise to me when I read she mentioned Japanese culture was something very unique, because I thought it was only Western people who might think in that way. But Asian people, too? So I asked her for further opinion. Her reply was something very interesting to me and it was too good to be left in my mailbox, and so I’d like to share it with you, as she agreed with me. 🙂

Ivy wrote:
“I think Japan has done a good job preserving its own customs and culture. And being an island nation, it also has a history that is less affected by other countries (as opposed to Europe where the countries are all next to each other, so they share similar language, values, cultures and/or religion. And with Britain and the Netherlands colonizing almost the whole world at one point, even the colonies share similar culture to Europe. Singapore has a lot of roots in England for example). So to the rest of the world, Japan seems to have its own value system and mindset.”

“I don’t see any other country preserve its culture as well as Japan today. In university, I did some research on intercultural communication and there are quantifiable data showing that Japanese people think differently from others. I didn’t really research into Japan so much (since my research focus was on China) but I remember that Japanese people don’t like to deal with
uncertainty (rank #1 in the world). If you’re interested in seeing the data, I suggest you read Geert Hofstede. He has a website showing the statistics for each country but he doesn’t really explain what it means.
You have to read his books to interpret the data. I think one of his books is translated into Japanese.”

“Statistics and history aside, from my interactions with Japanese people, from watching anime and from listening to Japanese music, I can *feel* that there is something fundamentally different in Japanese people. They have more emotional depth and understanding, maybe? I haven’t really figured out what it is, which is why I am so interested in Japanese culture. If I have the chance, I would really like to live in Japan for a while to find out
what this difference is.”

Wow, how academic she is! I might wanna read the book in Japanese. (It’s nice I can read it in Japanese!) It’s convincing when she says things like this because she’s been brought up in several different countries and people. She has seen and spent her life in various places and various cultures. But she says this. I was born, raised, educated and employed in Japan. Except 1 year in the U.S college, and another 1 year in Australia for work and travel, I have been spending too many long long time in Japan only, and there’s NO WAY I realize something is unique about our country. It’s very difficult for Japanese people like me to realize any uniqueness of Japan, because I’ve soaked up Japanese culture from a date of birth and everything I see in Japan is just very natural.

Thank you, Ivy for your insightful email! 😀
So how unique Japanese culture is to you? Let me hear what you think!