Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Sakura: 日本文化レッスンでございます。さくらです。
Yoshi: よしです。
Peter: Peter here. Japanese culture class #28. As always, brought to you by Erklaren, the translation and interpretation specialists. Yoshi san, our cultural expert is back.
Yoshi: さくら博士!
Peter: Dr. Sakura is…
Sakura: 博士ではありません。I am not an expert.
Peter: Come on now.
Sakura: よろしくお願いします。
Peter: It is great to have you back.
Sakura: ありがとうございます。
Peter: Where have you been?
Sakura: Umm…
Peter: All right. Now that we got that cleared up, let’s talk about what we are going to talk about today.
Sakura: はい。

Lesson focus

Peter: Sakura san, what are we talking about today?
Sakura: 体育の日
Peter: Known in English as health and sports day and also known as health sports day and sometimes just as sports day. What do you think covers it best? I kind of like health and sports day. Yoshi san, do you have any preference?
Yoshi: Pi Day.
Peter: Pi day.
Sakura: Umm I like that too actually. It’s – it’s close to the Japanese feel of it.
Peter: Wait! Why would you say that?
Sakura: Ah because 体育。体 is body and…
Peter: Body.
Sakura: Yes and 育 is development or raise or education. It has that kind of meaning to the kanji 育.
Peter: The Chinese character.
Sakura: Yes and its – its name of the subject, physical education.
Peter: In Japanese schools?
Sakura: In Japanese schools 体育。
Peter: So Physical Education Day.
Sakura: Yes. Yes so we don’t say like let’s play sports. We don’t say 体育をしよう if 体育 is more you know for
Peter: The subject itself.
Sakura: Yes, yes.
Peter: Very interesting. I think we just came up with the new translation. Thank you 博士. Yoshi, it’s really nice to have her around because all the responsibility lies with Sakura san.
Sakura: やだやだやだ。
Peter: Feel free to say whatever you want Yoshi san.
Yoshi: Okay.
Sakura: じゃあ Yoshi san, please tell us about it 体育の日。
Peter: Yeah let’s start off with the little history behind the date itself.
Yoshi: So 42 years ago, there was Tokyo Olympics held.
Sakura: Yes.
Yoshi: In Japan.
Sakura: Big event.
Peter: Really big deal. Sakura san, how were they?
Yoshi: How did you do?
Peter: How did you do?
Sakura: Not that old… actually.
Peter: I was talking about watching them on TV when you were a kid or something but if you take it that way..
Sakura: Yes there was that big event.
Yoshi: Umm that’s huge.
Peter: And for many other reasons, it marked Japan’s comeback. Economically, they did a lot of things for the infrastructure to make Japan very accessible.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: The Shinkansen.
Sakura: Yes Shinkansen.
Peter: The bullet train.
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: So a huge, huge deal for Japan.
Sakura: Huge ね。
Peter: And Sakura san
Sakura: Yes. Huge. that’s right.
Peter: How did they want to pronounce huge?
Sakura: Huge, huge. Sorry for it. Let’s get back on track.
Peter: Thank you very much.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Yoshi san, take it away.
Yoshi: So in 1964, the opening ceremony of Tokyo Olympics was held on October 10th.
Peter: That’s really late. Summer Olympics right?
Yoshi: For Olympics but you don’t want to play sports in a rain like…
Sakura: Right.
Yoshi: In Japan during June, July.
Sakura: June-July yes.
Yoshi: It just rains too much.
Peter: So to avoid this rainy season, they had the Olympics in October.
Sakura: Hmm…
Peter: Uff pretty late.
Yoshi: But actually according to the weather statistics, the October 10th has the best weather like in the history in Japan. It’s always sunny.
Peter: Wow! Now do you think when they held the Olympics, this factored into it?
Yoshi: I think so.
Peter: And how about since then? Has it held up? Has it proved true that this day is really a great day for sports events?
Sakura: Yes.
Yoshi: Yes.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: So statistics don’t lie.
Sakura: Umm that’s right.
Peter: So I wonder when they first made this day, I guess it was kind of based on something. We in the US, we have a Farmers’ Almanac and it kind of gives predictions about how the weather will be in the future because there is no real way. You can guestimate using statistics and stuff but there is no kind of real methodology. Oh boy! I am going to stop now because there is some statisticians out there who are going to bombard our comments section. All right, Yoshi san sorry, back on track.
Yoshi: And two years after the Olympics, it became a national holiday as 体育の日.
Peter: Okay national holiday. Now since it’s a sports holiday, a physical education holiday, it kind of differs from the other holidays you know because it’s intended for you to go out and do something active.
Sakura: Active.
Peter: So what do people do on this day?
Sakura: Schools and some companies do hold the sports event day on that holiday or a weekend close to 体育の日
Peter: Yeah so it changed already. They really want that day off. So they kind of move things around.
Sakura: Yes and in year 2000, when they introduced – when the government introduced Happy Monday system.
Peter: Is that the Japanese word?
Sakura: ハッピーマンデー制度。制度 is system.
Peter: Happy Monday System.
Sakura: Yes. With this system, they joined these national holidays to the closest weekend to make a 3-day weekend like rather than having you know one holiday in the middle of the week, they moved it around to make three-day weekend.
Peter: That’s really nice.
Sakura: Yes so since then, 体育の日 has been the second Monday in August. Oh sorry, in October.
Peter: Oh boy!
Sakura: Sorry, second Monday in October. So…
Yoshi: Is anyone home? Hello.
Sakura: コンコンコン。
Peter: Yeah we are laughing at you because we know it’s not an English problem because your English is impeccable. It’s just the…
Sakura: My head. So nice.
Peter: Yeah it’s quite interesting because not only this month but next month is also another 3-day weekend. All the time now right?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: I think it’s a pretty good system. Happy Monday System.
Sakura: Huh!
Peter: I like it.
Sakura: Umm…
Yoshi: And usually around this weekend, you hear a lot of the music from Elementary school and Junior high school.
Sakura: Yes.
Yoshi: ♪タタタンタタタタン...♪ Like it makes me remember like….
Sakura: Yes.
Yoshi: Me running and you know doing all the sports.
Sakura: Yeah there are certain music they use for え~なんだっけ。
Yoshi: The events?
Sakura: Yeah.
Yoshi: For 運動会。
Sakura: 運動会。
Peter: Sports contest. Kind of like a sports day at school.
Yoshi: Like a sports festival at school.
Peter: Okay so I want to tell – I was very interested hearing you guys reminisce about this. Can you tell us more about this holiday or more about these school events?
Sakura: School events.
Yoshi: You know, 運動会 the sports festival is kind of, it’s a big day for kids. Like usually your parents come or your family come to see you.
Sakura: Yes, yes and they often bring お弁当.
Yoshi: Ah the -
Sakura: Packed lunch.
Yoshi: Big lunch.
Sakura: Yes. So mother or grandmother makes big lunch, packed lunch for the family and they bring this mat というか sheet to sit on along the side of the field.
Peter: Sounds – it’s a nice family day and it works out really nice. It makes sense to have a national holiday so that everyone can attend this.
Sakura: Yes and do they still wear the red hats and red caps and white caps, I wonder?
Yoshi: My niece is in the kindergarten.
Sakura: Yeah.
Yoshi: Because I think she was wearing red hat…
Sakura: Ah!
Yoshi: Like you can usually reverse them.
Sakura: Yes, yes.
Yoshi: Like red or white.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Okay wait, wait! I am out of the loop. Everybody is out of the loop. You guys, you are closing the loop. Let us in. Okay maybe we can do this. Maybe you can start out by telling us what a regular day would be like and before we do that, let me just tell us. In the US, we had a sports day at my elementary school.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And the classes were broken up. Well actually the contest was broken up by class. So it would be this class is one team, this class is another team and there would be certain events. A running race and maybe like a tug of war or something and then whoever had the most points kind of won.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: So that’s what we kind of – if you want to give like for something from comparison. Maybe you could tell us about what goes on at these 運動会?
Sakura: I think like certain classes were red team and certain classes were white team. They were divided – the whole school is divided up into red team and white team and they have the race.
Peter: Running race?
Sakura: Running race.
Peter: Is it relay or just once around the circle.
Sakura: あ~でも both とかもあるしね。
Peter: Okay so…
Sakura: Yeah many like different kinds of race.
Peter: Running race.
Sakura: Running races and what else?
Peter: And you get certain points for each race?
Yoshi: Yeah you get all the points by the rank you get in through the goal or like they have different games to play against each other and the winning team gets point and at the end of the festival, they show how many points they got.
Peter: Show time!
Yoshi: Yes.
Sakura: And also we have – we have 騎馬戦.
Peter: What’s that? Can you explain that?
Sakura: It’s two people carrying another person on their shoulders and they try to grab something from the other.
Peter: The other person?
Sakura: Person yeah like…
Peter: Who is also on shoulders….
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: The shoulders of two people.
Sakura: Yes like a cap or flag or whatever they have.
Peter: So modified chicken fight. We usually do that in water because it’s pretty dangerous.
Sakura: Ah! Also we have 綱引き which is pulling really thick rope.
Peter: Tug of war? You have like 20 people on one side.
Sakura: Yes, yes, yes, yes. We have that as well.
Peter: I want to know this. What’s the most exciting event because let’s just describe this. You have all the kids in the middle and there is parents everywhere right?
Sakura: Umm…
Peter: So there is a huge cheering gallery, huge. So what is the most exciting event today? They all have their camcorders, all the parents.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And what really – Yoshi san, any idea what really gets them going?
Yoshi: They usually have relay.
Peter: The Relay Race.
Yoshi: At the end I think. And people get really excited.
Peter: Yeah I can imagine and in the age of the camcorder it’s just one more show and the kids go by. The camcorders just sweep one way.
Sakura: Yeah.
Yoshi: And like they also – like kids usually practice in the PE classes. They dance or…
Sakura: Ah yes, yes.
Yoshi: Like some kind of – they do performance to show their parents and also there are like some event like Tug of war like sometimes parents can even join or yes…
Sakura: Artistically yeah.
Peter: Really?
Sakura: Hmm…
Yoshi: Or like say have a dido – game for like dido kids who came to see the big brother and sisters.
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: It sounds like a really nice day. Fun memories of this day Sakura san?
Sakura: Well yeah. I wasn’t very good at running. So I was dreading. Yeah 運動会.
Peter: Ah I could see. There is lot of pressure right?
Sakura: Yes pressure.
Peter:School bragging rights.
Sakura: Pressure yes, yeah.
Peter: School bragging rights in front of all those people.
Sakura: Yes, yes. So ちょっとね。
Peter: Yoshi san?
Yoshi: I love that day. You don’t have to study. It takes just another big party.
Sakura: あ~。ね。
Peter: But I could see. I think I don’t know I could see a lot of pressure, bragging rights and what happens with the winning team. Can I brag all year along? With the red team, we won or…
Yoshi: Umm like not really. Like it’s just like a one day event where people just get excited and have fun and yeah, you know they just have fun on that day.
Peter: Now this year 2006, there are few interesting things for me that happened on this day. One was there was a huge – I am just kidding Sakura san. There was a really strong breeze, actually a strong wind with the huge gusts and it kind of put a damper on a lot of these 運動会 these sporting events at schools. We are talking tens were knocked over…
Sakura: Yes, yes…
Peter: And when I think about sports day, we always had green grass to play on or run on or do something. In Japan, most of it is dirt.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: So when a wind blows, it’s like a sandstorm.
Sakura: Umm…
Peter: And this is what happened across Japan in 2006. Many of these sports days were kind of ruined.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Did you see that on the TV?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Really strong wind.
Sakura: Umm…
Peter: The second interesting development for me was the crown prints. Sakura san, what is his name?
Sakura: 皇太子
Peter: And his wife?
Sakura: 皇太子妃。雅子様。
Peter: Yeah crown princess.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And their daughter. This was her first I believe if I understood it correctly, it’s her first 運動会 her first sports day at school.
Sakura: In Kindergarten.
Peter: That’s right and the crown prince was there filming with a camcorder…
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Sitting in the bleachers among everyone else. It was just kind of like a sobering experience. A lot have took the mystic out of the whole royal thing.
Yoshi: They are sitting on the small kid’s chair among all other parents.
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: And he looked like such a good – he looked like a regular dad just filming along…
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Smiling.
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: Kind of like a break from that stoic image that you know royalty usually…
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Projects. Did you see it?
Sakura: Yes it was really nice.
Peter: What did you – you thought it was really nice.
Sakura: Umm..
Peter: And what did you think? How did she do?
Sakura: うん。すごい、かわいい。 Cute.
Peter: Really cute.
Sakura: Yeah.
Yoshi: I saw the picture of her like pushing the big ball.
Sakura: Ah yes, yes.
Yoshi: With another kid.
Sakura: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Yoshi: And I think the article said like they are pushing the ball so hard that the ball like hit the…
Sakura: The audience.
Yoshi: The audience and actually the prince in the people…
Sakura: So….
Peter: Quite an interesting day this year in 2006. Now we covered the kids and stuff and now this is for kindergarten elementary school. How high this is 運動会 these sporting events. How long are they held all the way through high school or kind of; they taper off maybe middle school. Help me out here.
Yoshi: I had it till high school.
Sakura: Hmm…
Yoshi: And my high school was like a humongous boys school where if you are like 1500 boys, so it gets really wild on that day.
Peter: Oh boy, it must have been real, real tense rivalry.
Yoshi: Uhoo…
Sakura: そっか。
Peter: Any good stories?
Yoshi: I think like because there are so many students that we even like divided the teams into like 3 or 4. We had like a headband and I still have yellow headband that I was wearing at home.
Peter: Which events did you do?
Yoshi: I was in the race and like a running race and I….
Peter: Oh you look…..
Yoshi: Like a while ago.
Peter: Okay now running out of time, running short here. Just want to cover a few more things. First, in honor of this day and – well actually in honor of this broadcast, Sakura san wore her cute tennis shoes.
Sakura: I used to have tennis lessons. I wasn’t very good at tennis even.
Peter: So now just the shoes.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Just for show.
Sakura: そう。
Peter: Okay, we got that. Now Yoshi san would like to add something. Yoshi san.
Yoshi: So this 体育の日 is not only for remembering the Olympics in Tokyo but also it’s a good day to think about how PE, exercising, playing sports is important and good for you. Do you know what I mean?
Peter: Yeah it makes perfect sense.
Sakura: 素晴らしい。
Peter: Yeah I think they should have a few more of these throughout the year so we can actually exercise at least…
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: A few times during the year.
Sakura: Umm..
Peter: So with that said, Sakura san, anything to add?
Sakura: ううん。No, not really.
Peter: Okay. So with that said, we are going to stop…oh…
Sakura: ちょっと、すいません。 ちょっとHungry なので。


Peter: Stop by japanesepod101.com. There we have the PDF available, more detailed write up of what this day is about and other things that go on during this day plus we will talk maybe a little bit about the company and things we didn’t get to in here. Well anyway, check out the PDF like a mystery PDF. What I say and what’s really in there. Find out the difference. Also inside the learning center, lots of tools to bring everything together, everything you learned here, everything you listened to, stop by japanesepod101.com and get in that learning center and see what’s there. So that’s going to do it for today.
Sakura: またね。
Yoshi: またね。
Peter: Enjoy your weekend.


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