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 #29. As always, we are brought to you by Erklaren, the translation and interpretation specialists. Sakura san,
Sakura: はい。
Peter: Are you going tonight?
Sakura: え?
Peter: Halloween party!
Sakura: Ah!
Peter: Today is the 28th of October. It’s the day of Halloween Party Day.
Sakura: Halloween, not really but Halloween has been imported to Japan as well right like mainly for just for kids だけど. It’s not as…
Peter: Are you calling us kids?
Sakura: Eh you know in Japan…
Peter: Yoshi and me?
Sakura: In Japan, え? Okay forget it.
Peter: No, no don’t forget it. No, please continue on, please. Now you speak.
Sakura: I don’t know when but recently we see a lot of pumpkins and witches around in Japan as well around this season.

Lesson focus

Peter: Very good point. I guess we will split this. Originally we wanted to talk about National Culture Day which is
Sakura: 文化の日
Peter: But yeah we could do a hybrid, a little bit about Halloween and a little bit about culture. What do you think?
Sakura: There is not much to talk about Halloween in Japan though.
Peter: You are just talking about it.
Sakura: Yeah you know it’s just that it’s you know, it’s becoming one of this small events in Japan as well like it’s not as big as Christmas or other events.
Peter: Do the kids dress up at all?
Sakura: I don’t think so. Do you know?
Yoshi: I have no idea.
Sakura: In – Like in Kindergarten and I don’t know about the elementary school but they put up decorations but I don’t think like they wear costumes and they definitely don’t go around houses trick or treat.
Peter: Trick-or-treating.
Sakura: We don’t do that.
Peter: But do you get anything, no nothing?
Sakura: No. I don’t think so.
Peter: Yeah and well, kind of exemplified by our plan tonight, a lot of clubs and entertainment places you know kind of capitalize on this, bars and restaurants kind of like a Halloween theme.
Sakura: Yes, yes.
Peter: So again, trying to monetize…
Sakura: あぁ、そうね。
Peter: All the holidays and they do a good job at it. And also universities too, sometimes they have like Halloween parties and things like this. So you know, it’s quite interesting here. In the US, it’s kind of a kid’s holiday mainly but in Japan, it’s almost like a business or an adult holiday.
Sakura: Ah yeah that’s true, yeah, yeah, yeah そうかも。
Peter: You know like if you go to a Tokyu Hands and you try and buy a costume, everyone buying the costume is adults going to like parties or college kids going to like Halloween bands or something like this.
Sakura: Ah yes, yes, yes. I agree. It’s more for adults.
Peter: The adult holiday, Halloween.
Sakura: Adult holiday.
Peter: And one more thing too. It’s never celebrated on the day. It’s kind of the weekend before. I know a couple of American restaurants, they offer a discount if you show up in Halloween gear and things like this.
Sakura: Ah!
Peter: So business.
Sakura: Business だね。
Peter: Have you ever dressed up Sakura san?
Sakura: In Ireland, yes but not here.
Peter: So tonight’s your chance but unless you come.
Sakura: よしさんどうですか。 Get wild.
Peter: What! Get wild!
Yoshi: はい。
Sakura: Wild 好き。
Peter: Wild 好き。
Sakura: Yeah.
Yoshi: アイルランドでは何になったんですか?
Peter: English please.
Yoshi: What did you become in Ireland for Halloween?
Sakura: I think I was a ghost or something, ghost お化け。 ghost.
Peter: How about this? If you can’t make it tonight, why don’t you dress up now and when you leave the studio, you can experience the day.
Sakura: You do it.
Peter: The spirit, the Halloween spirit.
Sakura: いいです。
Peter: Okay it won’t be the same without you tonight.
Sakura: Have fun 楽しんでね。
Yoshi: は~い。
Peter: Yoshi san, anything else to add about Halloween in Japan?
Yoshi: You know, I was in the US for 7 years. So I never had a Halloween party or anything in Japan yet but I remember like right before when I was leaving Japan and I was in high school, I remember my friends from foreign countries, I think they were having Halloween parties and by the time when they were having the party, I was – I left Japan. So I couldn’t join them.
Sakura: Ah!
Yoshi: But I think lots of foreigners like to celebrate it to you know, feel at home or to remember the fun stuff from their hometown or you know
Peter: Yoshi san, I know exactly what you are talking about. When I lived in Ibaraki prefecture, I lived in many places there and I used to live in Mito and right next to Mito, there is a town called Katsuta and in that town, there is a famous 外人 bar, bar for foreigners and it’s called the Drunken Duck. Its good name right.
Sakura: Umm…
Peter: Now if you ever make it up there, I cannot recommend this place enough. Every Halloween, they had a Halloween party and it’s funny as you said, you know a lot of people I think when they are in their own home countries, maybe Halloween wouldn’t be such a big deal for them but since they are here, it’s kind of like they want to remember. So they make an extra big deal out of it. So at the party, almost everyone was in costume and you know, it’s really tight in there but it was you know, everyone had that kind of spirit that Yoshi was talking about. So yeah, it’s a perfect observation.
Yoshi: Yeay I find myself eating MacDonald’s when I feel away from America.
Peter: Yoshi…
Sakura: さて。 Now.
Peter: Okay so yeah, we’ve walked down memory lane but yes lots of new memories to be made tonight. Now on to the second half of our JCC. Okay Sakura san, what are we talking about now?
Sakura: 文化の日
Peter: Culture Day. What’s the date?
Sakura: November the 3rd.
Peter: This doesn’t change, correct?
Sakura: Correct.
Peter: Same time.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Every year. Yoshi san, starting when?
Yoshi: 1946.
Peter: That’s the day. Now it was on this day in 1946 that the constitution in Japan was announced, announced only, right Sakura san?
Sakura: Right promulgated.
Peter: Yes. When was it promulgated?
Sakura: 1946, November 3rd
Peter: And when did it come into force?
Sakura: I don’t know.
Peter: Sakura san! Yoshi san, help out.
Yoshi: A year later.
Peter: Yes. I give that man an A in Japanese history.
Sakura: Oh…
Peter: I give Sakura an A for promulgated but what’s interesting about November 3rd is that even before this holiday was established, November 3rd was celebrated as a holiday.
Sakura: Ah yes, yes.
Peter: And this dates back to the Meiji period.
Sakura: Umm..
Peter: Sakura san, can you tell us something about this?
Sakura: It was Meiji emperor’s birthday.
Peter: That’s right.
Sakura: Right.
Peter: So every year, it was celebrated and this continued on until
Sakura: 1912.
Peter: As in that year, the emperor passed away. Now another interesting thing. Sakura san, on this day, the current emperor presents a special prize.
Sakura: Oh yes.
Peter: Can you tell us something about that?
Sakura: It’s called 文化勲章.
Peter: Order of cultural merit.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And who receives this honor?
Sakura: People who have contributed in fields of science and art.
Peter: What about education? Can we win some day Sakura san, can you win?
Sakura: Difficult.
Peter: Why? You are doing such a great job at spreading Japanese culture. You are doing a country a great service. Maybe you can win one day.
Sakura: 頑張ります。
Peter: Shall I try to contact the emperor on your behalf?
Sakura: よろしくお願いします。
Peter: All right. Yoshi, we have some work to do. So can you give us an example like for example, who won last year?
Sakura: Last year, there were five winners.
Peter: And what kind of work did they do?
Sakura: One person was actress.
Peter: Well so they recognize a wide range of arts. It’s very nice that they consider that a legitimate category to win an award.
Sakura: Umm.
Peter: Because it really is something special.
Sakura: Yes. One person was in the field of pottery and also agricultural engineering.
Peter: Acting, pottery, agricultural engineering.
Sakura: Medicine.
Peter: Medicine.
Sakura: Diplomatic history.
Peter: So wide range of things.
Sakura: Wide range, yes.
Peter: So things that help promote culture.
Sakura: Umm…
Peter: Here and abroad it seems.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Okay. Who is the most famous out of that bunch, Yoshi San?
Yoshi: The actress.
Peter: Yeah I guess that comes up being seen in TV and movies. Okay Yoshi san, can you tell us something about here, what was her name and give us a bit of background.
Yoshi: Her name is Mitsuko Mori that’s her actress name.
Peter: Okay and Mitsuko is her first name, Mori is the last name.
Yoshi: Yes.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Okay and what’s her real name, that’s her stage name right?
Yoshi: Uhoo her real name is Mitsu Murakami.
Peter: And Yoshi is giving us the first name first and last name last. He is reversing the order for us. So nice of you Yoshi san but usually when Japanese give names, it’s last name first but Yoshi switched it around for us and what made her so famous?
Yoshi: She was born in 1920.
Peter: 86 this year?
Yoshi: Yes but amazing thing is that she is still on the stage.
Sakura: Yes.
Yoshi: Like rolling over and…
Sakura: Yeah なんだっけ、そうそうそう。
Yoshi: It’s really famous.
Peter: And I must admit, I saw a picture of her and she looks pretty good.
Yoshi: Yes she is just been good.
Peter: Have you seen any of her work Sakura san?
Sakura: I have seen dramas on TV. She used to you know act in dramas a lot.
Peter: And did she play the good girl, the bad girl?
Sakura: Well the ones I have seen, she was acting as a mother.
Peter: Ah…
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: Nice mother?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And Yoshi san, have you seen her?
Yoshi: Yeah I used to see her in a drama called 時間ですよ. It was like…
Peter: Wait! Wait! What does that mean?
Yoshi: It’s time.
Peter: It’s time.
Yoshi: Yeah.
Peter: And what’s the story about?
Yoshi: It was a drama about – like what happened in this family or in this – I think it took place in the public bath.
Peter: They own the public bath or?
Yoshi: It was a old show. So I don’t remember the details but she was the main you know, the big mama in the show.
Peter: The main attraction.
Yoshi: Yes.
Peter: Okay now do you have a fond memory of like something she was in. I think she was in commercials too. She was in a ton of things. So is there anything that sticks out in your mind Sakura san?
Sakura: She was in a 味噌 TV commercial.
Peter: A which one?
Sakura: 味噌.
Peter: Ah!
Sakura: About... soybean, fermented soybean paste, 味噌. 味噌 is famous right?
Peter: Yep.
Sakura: Yeah and I have the image of her always wearing Kimono.
Peter: Ah so kind of traditional.
Sakura: Yes but a very active Japanese woman in Kimono. I like the 味噌 commercial, the image of her in that commercial.
Peter: Oh Yoshi san?
Yoshi: When I think of her, she is like this beautiful Japanese lady. In Kimono, she is always nice and very elegant and also she is really famous for her play that she has been performing and which has a record of like 1800 shows by now and it’s been performed over 45 years.
Peter: Hah!
Sakura: すごいね。
Yoshi: And she is…
Peter: 45 years.
Yoshi: Yes and she is the main character in the play.
Peter: For 45 years?
Sakura: Hmm…
Yoshi: Uhoo…
Peter: Can we get the name of that play?
Sakura: 放浪記
Peter: And what does this mean?
Yoshi: 放浪 from 放浪記. The 放浪 means like vagabond or you know people just travel.
Sakura: Yes.
Yoshi: And 記 means like record.
Sakura: Record.
Yoshi: So it’s like – so I think it can be translated like a tales of the vagabond or something like that.
Peter: Tales of the vagabond. Umm interesting, have you seen it?
Sakura: No.
Peter: You are really quick there.
Sakura: あの, I have seen clips of it on TV but I can’t really tell from that, sorry.
Peter: Okay now on an interesting note, this doesn’t seem to be limited to Japanese people. Apparently, a few of the winners were American astronauts aboard the Apollo XI
Sakura: Ah that’s exceptional case right?
Peter: Okay right.
Sakura: The only non-Japanese people who won was the astronauts.
Peter: I think it’s very notable that this happened. You know, not just Japanese culture but culture of mankind. Very interesting. Okay so we are talking so much about these people who won last year and one part of culture day on this day the emperor awards these awards to certain people who have helped really promote Japanese culture but what else goes on in these days?
Yoshi: On this day, there are lots of like cultural parades and exhibits like lots of museums or art galleries are open and some places are for free or they give you a good deal on this day.
Peter: So in many places throughout Japan, they have cultural events and exhibits, different things to promote culture. Sakura san, have you been to anything on these days?
Sakura: Umm…
Peter: Sakura san, all right Yoshi san, anything?
Yoshi: Not really.
Sakura: Have you Peter san?


Peter: Yeah I think – so as we are running out of time, we don’t have time to get into some of the events and exhibits that are going to happen today but if you stop by japanesepod101.com, we will have some of these events and exhibits listed. In addition, we will give you an update on what’s going on tonight plus many other things. Inside the PDF, detailed explanation of this holiday. So stop by japanesepod101.com. Stop by, say hi and be sure to leave us a post. That’s going to do it for today.
Sakura: またね。
Yoshi: またね。


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