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Winter festivities in Japan

All around Japan in the cities and towns, winter illuminations have become a popular attraction around Christmas and New Year. Many are romantic which runs according to the theme of Christmas season (especially Christmas Eve) as being a time for couples and lovers.

Oosawa sensei is a Japanese teacher at JOI online school and she introduces this topic in this month's teachers' blog.

Please watch the video to see some of the wonderful photographs and read the and listen to the Japanese with Kanji help and an English translation.









To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.






In Japan, around the end of November until the end of the year, you can see illuminations in various towns and stations.

It is said that Japanese illuminations began approximately 100 years ago in the Meiji period. There were only white colored bulbs which were painted different colors, so frankly they were not very beautiful. In 2014 a Japanese person won the Nobel prize, so after blue LED were discovered, the variations of colors increased, and we were able to create different colors without painting colors on the light bulbs. Thanks to this, they have become more brilliant than before.

It is not only in busy places, some gorgeous illuminations have been displayed in the countryside as well in order to promote the towns, and there are also individual people who put displays up on their houses. For those of you planning to come to Japan during winter, please come and see some of our beautiful illuminations.

イルミネーション Christmas lights

〜半(なか)ば the middle of〜

年末(ねんまつ) end of a year

始(はじ)まり the beginning of

明治時代(めいじじだい) Meiji Period (1868-1912)

電球(でんきゅう) light bulb

明治時代(めいじじだい) Meiji Period (1868-1912)

塗(ぬ)った color; paint

ノーベル賞(しょう) Nobel Prize

青色(あおいろ)LED blue LEDs

色(いろ)のバリエーション color variations

おかげ thanks to

鮮(あざ)やか bright; brilliantl

盛(も)り上(あ)げる promote

地方(ちほう) countryside

豪華(ごうか) gorgeous

個人(こじん) private; individual

時期(じき) the time of


While all of you may have a different goal, there is one common purpose that you all share, which is to use the Japanese language in order to achieve something. I would be really glad if by learning Japanese here at JOI with me, and with your peers we can help to influence your life – even a little.
When I was a child, I used to perform a musical instrument, and played various kinds of music including pop and jazz. I also love to look at old buildings like temples and shrines and so I often travel. In my class, I would like to introduce some of Japanese culture and the traditions, through learning Japanese, and also introduce some of the characteristics of Japanese people. Lets face our goals together and go for it !

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Guest Saturday, 17 March 2018