Famous Person Friday! 有名人金曜日!

It’s time for everyone favorite day of the week, Famous Person Friday! (有名人金曜日) This week we will be talking about Hayao Miyazaki (宮﨑 駿). Miyazaki-san (宮﨑さん) was born January 5, 1941 in Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan (文京区, 東京, 日本).

ITALY-VENICE-FILM-FESTIVAL-GAKE NO UE NO PONYO

Miyazaki-san (宮﨑さん) began his animation career in 1963, when he joined Toei Animation. From there he worked as an in-between artist for Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon, where he pitched ideas which eventually became the movie’s ending. He continued to work in various roles in the animation industry until he directed his first feature film, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, released in 1979. After the success of his next film, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984), he co-founded Studio Ghibli, where he continued to produce many films. While Miyazaki-san’s (宮﨑さん) films have long enjoyed both commercial and critical success in Japan, he remained largely unknown to the West.  In 1997 Miramax films released Princess Mononoke which briefly was the high grossing film in Japan and it became the first animated film to win Picture of the Year at the Japanese Academy Awards.

Miyazaki-san’s (宮﨑さん) films often contain recurrent themes, like humanity’s relationship with nature and technology, feminism, and the difficulty of maintaining a pacifist ethic. The protagonists of his films are often strong, independent girls or young women. While two of his films, The Castle of Cagliostro and Castle in the Sky, involve traditional villains, his other films like Nausicaä and Princess Mononoke present morally ambiguous antagonists with redeeming qualities.  He co-wrote films The Secret World of Arrietty, released in July 2010 in Japan and February 2012 in the United States; and From Up on Poppy Hill released in July 2011 in Japan and March 2013 in the United States. Miyazaki-san’s (宮﨑さん) newest film The Wind Rises was released on July 20, 2013 and screened internationally in February 2014. Miyazaki-san (宮﨑さん) announced on September 1, 2013 that this would be his final feature-length film.

Check out the above video for an interview with Roland Kelts for more insight into this awesome artist! For more info about Miyazaki-san you can always check out his numerous films or check out the Ghibli studios website.

As always, if you have any questions on this or any other topic I cover you can always email me at colormeindie@gmail.com or leave a comment below! Til next time! じゃね。♪((└|o^▽^o|┐))

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Japanese Grammar! 日本語文法!

Today’s lesson will be on the word particle の (no). The Japanese word particle の (no) is used in a couple of ways. One way is to indicate possession. For example:

  • That is Maeda’s bag.
  • それがまえださんのかばんです。
  • それが前田さんの鞄です。
  • Sore ga Maeda-san no kaban desu.

As you can see in this example the word particle の acts as an ‘s in English.

The の particle is also used to combine nouns together. This means that the の particle has a wide range of uses other than just a possessive particle. For example:

  • I am a student at Juuban College.
  • わたしはじゅうばんだいがくのがくせい。
  • 私は重版大学の学生。
  • Watashi wa Juuban daigaku no gakusei

There are a couple of things to note here with the phrases, “(A) student at Juuban College” and “(A) student of Juuban College”.  One, there is no “a” or “the” function in Japanese.  That’s why the “A” is in parentheses.  Second, the の particle in this instance can mean “at” or “of” in English.  This just goes to show how flexible the の particle is.

This covers the basics of using the word particle の. If you have any questions, leave a comment below or send me an email at colormeindie@gmail.com

Japanese History: Kofun period. Part 1 日本史: 古墳時代 パート1

The Kofun period (古墳時代) is lasted from 250 to 538. It is named after the type of burial mounds dated from this era. The Kofun period (古墳時代) and the subsequent Asuka period (飛鳥時代) is sometimes referred to collectively as the Yamato period (大和時代). The Kofun period (古墳時代) is the oldest era of recorded history in Japan.

The Kofun period (古墳時代) and the Asuka period (飛鳥時代) are divided by their cultural differences. The Kofun period (古墳時代) is characterized by a Shinto culture which existed before the the introduction of Buddhism.

Kofun (古墳) are defined as the burial mounds built for the people of the ruling class during the 3rd to 7th centuries in Japan. The mounds contained large stone burial chambers. Some are surrounded by moats. Kofun (古墳) come in many shapes, with round and square being the simplest. A distinct style is the keyhole-shaped kofun, with its square front and round back. Kofun (古墳) range in size from several meters to over 400 meters in length.

kofunancient-tomb_big

The oldest Japanese kofun is said to be Hokenoyama Kofun located in Sakurai (櫻井) in Nara prefecture (奈良県) and it dates back to the 3rd century. The trend of the keyhole kofun first spread from Yamato to Kawachi and then throughout the country (except for Tohoko region) in the 5th century. Keyhole kofun disappeared later in the 6th century, probably because of the drastic reformation which took place in the Yamato court.

While conventionally assigned to the period from 250 AD, the actual start of Yamato rule is disputed. Regardless, it is generally agreed that Yamato rulers possessed keyhole kofun culture and held hegemony in Yamato up to the 4th century.

The regional autonomy of local powers remained throughout the period, particularly in places such as Kibi (current Okayama prefecture 岡山県), Izumo (current Shimane prefecture 島根県), Koshi (current Fukui and Niigata prefectures 福井県 and 新潟県), Kenu (northern Kantou), Chikushi (northern Kyushu), and Hi (central Kyushu). It was only in the 6th century that the Yamato clans could be said to be dominant over the entire southern half of Japan.

Yamato_en

The Yamato polity, which emerged by the late 5th century, was distinguished by powerful clans (豪族 Gozoku). Each clan was headed by a patriarch (氏上 Uji-no-kami) who performed sacred rites to the clan’s kami to ensure the long-term welfare of the clan. Clan members were the aristocracy, and the kingly line that controlled the Yamato court was at its pinnacle. Powerful clan leaders were awarded kanabe, a title that denoted a political rank. This title was inherited, and used instead of the family name.

The Yamato court ultimately exercised power over clans in Kyushu and Honshu, bestowing titles, some hereditary, on clan chieftains. The Yamato name became synonymous with all of Japan as the Yamato rulers suppressed the clans and acquired agricultural lands.

Based on Chinese models (including the adoption of the Chinese written language), they started to develop a central administration and an imperial court attended by subordinate clan chieftains but with no permanent capital.

The famous powerful clans were the Soga (蘇我氏), Katsuraki (葛城氏), Heguri (平群氏), Koze clans (巨勢氏) in the Yamato and Bizen Province, and the Kibi clans (吉備氏) in the Izumo Provence. The Otomo (吉備氏) and Mononobe clans (物部氏) were the military leaders, and the Nakatomi (中臣氏) and Inbe clans (忌部氏) handled rituals. The Soga clan (蘇我氏) provided the highest minister in the government, while the Otomo (吉備氏) and Mononobe clans (物部氏) provided the second highest ministers. The heads of provinces were called Kuni-no-miyatsuko. The crafts were organized into guilds.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of the Kofun period (古墳時代). Stayed tuned next week for part 2 where we will go into more depth about this period! As always if you have any questions on this or any other topic we cover feel free to send me an email at colormeinide@gmail.com or leave a comment below. Until next time! ~まったね!

Ten Words in Japanese! 日本語で10ワード!

Here are your ten new Japanese words for the day! It may be helpful for you to label things around your house with the Japanese words so you can remember them and see what the words look like! I will give you the english, romaji, the hiragana or katakana, and lastly the kanji. (✌゚∀゚)☞

Fruit, kudamono, くだもの, 果物

Egg, tamago, たまご, 卵

Eyeglasses, megane, めがね, 眼鏡

Ice cream, aisukuriimu, アイスクリーム

Lotion, kuriimu, クリーム

Fork, fooku, フォーク

Flower, hana, はな, 花

Helmet, herumetto, ヘルメット

Jeans, jiinzu, ジーンズ

Melon, meron, メロン

Remember if you have any questions on this or any other topic I cover you can always email me at colormeindie@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

Today’s phrase in Japanese! 日本語での今日のフレーズ!

Hello everyone! 皆さんこにちは!

Today’s phrase is a useful one when wanting to ask for someone’s name. The phrase you use is お名前は。(o-namae wa?) Try using this phrase with some of your friends. Here is an example.

  • Maeda: Hajimemashite. Maeda desu. O-namae wa?
  • Minako: Minako desu. Hajimemashite.
  • まえだ: はじめまして。まえだです。おなまえは?
  • みなこ: みなこです。はじめまして。
  • 前田: はじめまして。前田です。お名前は?
  • 美奈子: 美奈子です。はじめまして。
  • Maeda: How do you do? I am Maeda. May I have your name?
  • Minako: I am Minako. How do you do?

Notice that the question お名前は。does not end in ka. In formal Japanese, questions end in ka, but in a formal, colloquial style of speech questions are often abbreviated. お名前は。is short for お名前は何ですか。(lit. As for your name, what is it?)

You will also notice that Maeda began the conversation and Minako finished it. This is common in Japanese conversation. Being an active listener when speaking Japanese is very important.

I hope this is helpful! Remember if you have any questions on this or any other topic I cover you can always email me at colormeindie@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

Famous Person Friday! 有名人金曜日!

It’s time for everyone favorite day of the week, Famous Person Friday! (有名人金曜日) This week we will be talking about Masaru Emoto. (江本 勝) Emoto-san (江本さん) was born July 22, 1943 and lived until October 17, 2014.

emoto

He was an author and entrepreneur, who claimed that the human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water. Emoto-san (江本さん) was a graduate from Yokohama Municipal University’s department of humanities and sciences department, with a focus International Relations. In 1986 he established the IHM Corporation in Tokyo. In October of 1992 he received certification from the Open International University as a Doctor of Alternative Medicine. Subsequently, he was introduced to the concept of micro cluster water in the US and Magnetic Resonance Analysis technology. The quest thus began to discover the mystery of water.

Since 1999, Emoto-san (江本さん) published several volumes of a work entitled Messages from Water, which contain photographs of ice crystals and their accompanying experiments. Emoto-san (江本さん) believed that water was a “blueprint for our reality” and that emotional “energies” and “vibrations” could change the physical structure of water. Emoto-san’s (江本さん) water crystal experiments consisted of exposing water in glasses to different words, pictures or music, and then freezing and examining the aesthetic properties of the resulting crystals with microscopic photography.

Emoto-san (江本さん) claimed that different water sources would produce different crystalline structures when frozen. For example, he claimed that a water sample from a mountain stream when frozen would show structures of beautifully-shaped geometric design, but those structures would be distorted and randomly formed if the sample were taken from a polluted water source. Emoto-san (江本さん) believed that these changes could be eliminated by exposing water to ultraviolet light or certain electromagnetic waves.

If you would like to know more about Emoto-san (江本さん) you can always check out some of his numerous books at your local library or search for them on websites like Amazon.

 As always, if you have any questions on this or any other topic I cover you can always email me at colormeindie@gmail.com or leave a comment below! Til next time! じゃね。(=^・ω・^)y=

Japanese Grammar! 日本語文法!

Today’s lesson will be all about the word particle に and へ. へ is pronounced like え when being used as a word particle. We use the word particle に and へ in various ways. Sometimes they are used for indicating a location for example in the sentence:

  • Maeda wa supa ni ittekimashita.
  • まえだはスーパーいってきました。
  • 前田はスーパー行ってきました。
  • Maeda went to the supermarket.

The word particle に is translated here as the English word “to”. You can also put the word particle へ where the particle に is and it means the same thing. For example:

  • Maeda-san wa supa e ittekimashita.
  • まえださんはスーパーいってきました。
  • 前田さんはスーパー行ってきました。
  • Maeda went to the supermarket.

The particle へ is often used when welcoming someone to someplace. In these kind of sentences へ is often preferred over に. For example:

  • Nihon e yokoso.
  • にほんようこそ。
  • 日本ようこそ。
  • Welcome to Japan.

The Japanese particle に has many, many uses. It probably has the most uses out of all the Japanese particles. However, many of them are very easy to pick up on. In all of these other uses except the first sentence example I gave you, に can no longer be replaced with へ.

The particle に marks the indirect object in the sentence. The indirect object is the person or thing that receives the direct object in the sentence. For example:

  • Maeda-san wa watashi ni chito o kuremashita.
  • まえださんはわたしちとうをくれました。
  • 前田さんは私砂糖をくれました。
  • Maeda gave me the sugar./ Maeda gave the sugar to me.

As you can see, the indirect object usually comes before the direct object in a sentence.

に also indicates source or agent in passive or causative verbs. It translates to “by” in English.

  • Maeda-san ni nihongo o oshietemoraimashita.
  • まえださんにほんごをおしえてもらいました。
  • 前田さん日本語を教えてもらいました。
  • I was taught Japanese by Maeda.

The particle に is used with frequency expressions such as “per week”, “per day”, etc.

  • Ichinichi ni nijikan gurai benkyō shimasu.
  • いちにちにじかんぐらいべんきょうします。
  • 一日二時間ぐらい勉強します。
  • I study about 2 hours per day.

The particle に is used with various time expressions (year, month, day, and clock time) to indicate a specific point in time. It translates as at, on, or in. However, expressions of relative time, such as today or tomorrow, don’t take the particle に.

  • Shichiji ni okimasu.
  • しちじおきます。
  • 七時起きます。
  • I wake up at 7:00.

The particle に is used to indicate purpose. It translates as to or in order to.

  • Eiga o mi ni ikimashita.
  • えいがをみいきました。
  • 映画を見行きました。
  • I went to see a movie.

The particle に is used when a motion or action is directed at or onto an object or place.

  • nōto o kaban ni iremashita.
  • ノートをかばんいれました。
  • ノートをかばん入れました。
  • I put the notebook in the bag.

The particle に is typically used with verbs such as iru (to exist [for living things]), aru (to exist [for non-living things]) and sumu (to live [somewhere]). It translates into at or in.

  • Tōkyō ni sundeimasu.
  • とうきょうすんでいます。
  • 東京住んでいます。
  • I live in Tokyo.

Today we learned about the Japanese particles に and へ. We learned that they can both be used to indicate destination or direction. We also learned a lot of other ways to use the particle に. I hope this is helpful! If you have any questions, leave a comment below or send me an email at colormeindie@gmail.com. ✿♬゚+.(。◡‿◡)♪.+゚♬✿。