Author Archives: Benjamin Martin

Pregnant in Japan

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Okay, so I’m not pregnant, but my wife is. We’ve never been through this before and all my expectations are built upon the little bit I happened to absorb (against my will) as I grew up. Though I’m so far away from “expert” on American childbearing that a karate teacher wouldn’t bother giving me a white belt, I’ve already found that traditions and expectations between the two countries are very different. A little background: My wife and I live on Kumejima,

2015 Gasashi Wakachara Kumiodori on Kumejima

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It’s been quite a while since I’ve written here on morethingsjapanese.com.  While I expect most of my regular readers have since moved on, I’m still alive and kicking here on Kumejima. Work and married life have taken up most of the free time I used to operate this blog over the last five years. Still, when I find a chance, I’ll use it to add a post and a picture or two (or 37). The other day students on Kume Island

Typhoon 1419 Vongfang

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Tyhpoon Vongfang has been blowing its way through Okinawa this weekend. While the media has been hyping it as the strongest storm this year, the majority of the fury was spent over open seas. While there have been strong winds since early Friday morning, and Okinawa is still in the *red* zone, the danger has mostly passed since the typhoon has weakened to category 1. As for Kumejima, were all safe if still in lock-down. Unfortunately, the timing has led

High School and Hawaiian Festivals

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Events abound in Japan’s Autumn, and although the weather still feels of summer, Fall is definitely in swing. This weekend saw a slew of events on Kume Island, dissimilar but also with underlying threads of culture to connect them. High School Festival Kume Island has only one high school for the entire island. It has a variety of classes for its students, but with such a wide range of classes it is difficult for them to fit every activity into

2014 Kume Island Folk Song Competition

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This past Saturday on Kume Island was the 5th annual Folk Song Competition (古典民謡大会). Music is one of the keys to maintaining tradition and culture. Encouraging people to not only listen but create music helps keep local culture alive. Sponsored by the local Board of Education, this year’s event has grown to include competitors from around Japan and even the world. Participants register in advance for this competition, choosing one of 3 songs. With only one chance at their performance

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