Archive | December, 2011

Wish you all a Happy New Year!

31 Dec

I found this perfect greeting poster on a closed door of a restaurant that tells they are closed for New Year until they open again on the 5th of Jan. 2012. KIRIN is a name of a Japanese beverage company and I think this poster was provided by KIRIN beer or something. (So you now know it’s not I that made this poster, hehe! 🙂 )
As you can see, it’s common in Japan to have some holiday after the New Year’s Day, while we are mostly working on Christmas unless it’s on weekend.

If you are learning Japanese, you may know “あけまして (Akemashite) おめでとう(Omedetou) ございます(Gozaimasu)” which means “Happy New Year.” (In a casual way, you can omit “Gozaimasu”, and say, “Akemashite Omedetou”.) It can be used both in speaking and writing. On the other hand, 謹賀新年 (Kinga Shin-nen) is a very formal way of expressing Happy New Year and it may be only found in writing and we don’t usually use this at an oral conversation. It’s often found in Nengajo (New Year’s greeting cards) as well.
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How to make up and stay beautiful after age 40?

28 Dec

Dec/03/2011 on air

Lately, fashion magazines targeting women in their 40s are published one after another.

Glow‘s article of how the women in their 40s dress everyday, for example was a big hit. Some cosmetic brands also target women in late 30s to early 40s. They think it’s the women in their 40s that are active and have consumer appetite. Yet, it’s serious how body line changes when women turn 40. Department stores try to have a salesroom exclusive for anti-aging controlling undergarment for their targeted customers aged around 40.

Tokyo Kawaii TV found the most beautiful “arafour” (around age 40) women and how they maintain the beauty. Bimajo contest was held in Nov. 2011. 2000 beautiful women aged over 35 under 46 gathered from all over Japan to participate in the contest. Tokyo Kawaii TV especially focused on 3 women.

1) Ebisawa-san, 37 y.o.
She’s a mom of 4 kids. But she’s not only that. She used to be a snowboard cross Japan champion and she is a master of Ikebana (the Japanese traditional art of arranging cut flowers) and Shodo (Japanese calligraphy). She applied for the contest 5 days before she gave birth to her 4th child. “I don’t want to lose charm as a woman, even if I’m a mother of 4 kids.” She started exercise right after the childbirth and she has lost 11kg in the past 5 months. She wouldn’t quit training no matter how much her baby cries. She wants to show her kids through her own experience that we can get a prize if we make an effort.

2) Hibi-san, 39
She used to be a car race model with a thin 57cm waist, but she gained 15kg at pregnancy. She inflates a plastic bag and kicks it up like soccer ball juggling. She does it 50 times each in the morning and evening.

Then she uses a spoon to massage her facial muscle. The empty water bottle is to train abdominal.

She is quite unhappy with the fat on her belly, and she is trying her best to make it flat so she can wear a bikini at the contest.

3) Nagayama-san, 41
She is avoiding sunshine as much as she can, because she thoroughly seeks for white skin. It’s not only when she is walking outside but also during a few minutes when she dries laundries in the balcony. She never fails to wear a hat, a sun visor, gloves and etc. to cover her body. (under hot humid summer weather!) She also spends 4 hours everyday for facial exercise.

She does 22 types of facial exercises everyday and night. “Age 40 with or without exercise makes difference in physical appearances. We have to make an effort to maintain beauty at age 40 and older,” she says.

Next is how to make up and look 5 years younger.
Chiaki Shimada, a makeup artist for great actresses such as Mao Daichi or Seiko Matsuda, advises how to make marionette lines invisible. He also looks younger considering his age is 53. He advises that we should choose base color one tone lighter than our skin color. However, as for foundation, we should choose a bit darker one and put it on the face lightly with a brush. Then, pat the concealer on the marionette lines. The concealer maybe 2 or 3 tones lighter than our skin color.

“Base makeup is a key that changes how you look, when you turn 40.” “You may not have enough eyelashes that can hold up mascara. That’s why you’ll need false eyelashes to be applied downward and do not apply eyeliner,” he continues.

Next is how to make dekame (big eyes) that look good on elder women.
A 46-year-old woman in love with Gyaru fashion looks even older because her Gyaru way of makeup doesn’t look good on her. A popular Gyaru model Kumikki is here to help her. Her Gyaru makeup is appreciated by wide range of generation because it’s not too Gyrau. She advises that we should twist false eyelashes, upward (corner) and downward (tail), and apply lower lashes a bit under the line of the tail of eyes. In that way we can make natural dekame that does not look too Gyaru for the women around 40.

At the Bimajo contest, there were 3 types of test; bathing suits, special skills, and dress tests.
Hibi-san successfully lost the fat around the waist line and she was somehow awarded an Oppai prize. (beautiful breasts)

Nagayama-san was awarded a photogenic prize.

Ebisawa-san presented the proud calligraphy that she continues over 20 years but unfortunately she didn’t receive an award.

The winner was a 45-year-old corporate operator.

Kirin’s opinion:
Now, I’m getting scared to turn 40, as it seems that without such effort I could get old so soon! x_____x But I don’t want to use my time and effort for so much of exercise everyday. I’ve got plenty of things and work to do! I really respect how these women pursuit beauty but at the same time I feel tired about the society that pays so much attention to physical beauty. I liked how the mom (Ebisawa-san) tried to teach her kids a lesson by showing how much she makes efforts for the goal. I wanted her to get a prize.
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.

Karankoron Kyoto (Japanese-style zakka store)

22 Dec

Japanese-style goods store
Karankoron Kyoto
store locations: many locations in major cities and online
(This post is from their Yokohama branch store.)

“Karankoron Kyoto” is a chain store that sells Japanese-style zakka, such as furoshiki, tenugui (towel), tabi socks, coin case, bag, and many other small goods. And of course, in kawaii taste, as you can imagine. 😉

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Lie down on the pelvis pillow and tone up your body!?

17 Dec

This may be one of the easiest diet methods or exercise. You simply lie down on the pelvis pillow for 3-5 minutes and your body line changes.

It’s called Kotsuban (=pelvis) Makura (=pillow) diet, or Nerudake (=Just-lie-down) diet. The red pillow comes with the mook (magazine-like book) and the whole thing costs 1050yen.

I’ve been using this pillow as instructed in the mook for about 2 weeks and I’ve already found the difference around my waist line!
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No wonder AKB48 is everywhere!

13 Dec

It’s not too much to say that there’s no day I don’t see AKB48. They are on TV, posters, everywhere… I think most of us are already fed up with that. But there’s no wonder they are everywhere!

AKB48 released a new single “Uekara Mariko” which already has been selling over 1.199 million copies within the first week. AKB48 has been so successful they have the most million-seller single titles among female singers in Japan. All 5 single titles they released in 2011 are sold over million copies.

Uekara Mariko (released 7th Dec. 2011) 1.199 million copies sold in the first week

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Ramen and Crystal Bowls music…

11 Dec

nearest train station: Musashinitta (Tokyu Tamagawa Line)
address: 1-7-9 Yaguchi, Ohta-ku, Tokyo
phone: 03-5482-1003
open: 11:00am – 2:30pm / 5:00pm – 0:30am
close: irregularly

The other day, my husband and I had Ramen before we went to a Crystal Bowls healing session at a shrine. We were the first customers there because we entered right after they opened at 11 in the morning.

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Grandma's Kimono collection

6 Dec

I’m back from Osaka. 🙂
Here are part of my grandmother’s kimono collection. She has dozens of nice kimonos!

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