Tag Archives: Japan

Pregnant in Japan

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,

Kumejima Kumiodori

If you keep up with my Facebook page’s daily photos you might have seen the post below a few weeks ago from the Ancient Tales of Yomitan Village production that the Kume Island Board of Education brought to Kume Island to entertain and inform. Post by Benjamin Martin. That production started off a lot of discussions with the Tao Factory writers and producers and in just a short time they began working on a new production based on Kume Island’s

So You Want to Get Married in Japan

So no posts for two weeks. Trust me, there were good reasons. Reason one was that my mother made her first international trip and came to visit. If you saw the TV show I was on you will have seen that my brothers and I gave her the tickets for her 65th birthday. On a related note… You’ll be able to see more about what happened on TBS’s Motemote 99 show in a few weeks. Make sure you’re following on twitter

I Don’t Want a Bed

Sleeping in Japan isn’t as straight forward as you might expect. Houses in Japan have unique features that have led to differences in the appliances and things people use in the home. One of the most significant differences is the way people in Japan traditionally sleep. With raised floors and often muddy outdoors, it is understandable that removing shoes before entering one’s house became commonplace, and then the rule. Since they are raised off the ground and cleaner without boots tracking

Japanese Houses

Japan’s unique history has led to culture that is not surprisingly unique in the world. In Japan, natural disasters and local weather has led to housing adapted for the resources and needs of the people. While new materials have been included in modern building, many of the aesthetics developed for traditional housing are still carried into the modern age. Since a lot of Japanese culture revolves around the home, this post will be a base for many others in the

TV and Dating in Japan

Television shows are a window into the culture of their target audience. They’re built to entertain but also be full of images that people can relate to. When viewing television from another culture, it is often easy to immediately see cultural differences that might lead to stereotypes or misunderstandings. Though I’ve lived in Japan for quite a while, I’ve never really made the transition to watching much Japanese TV. When friends started asking me if I was interested in participating

Tokyo National Museum

Just outside the grounds of the Ueno Zoo is a wide paved pavilion. Walking from the zoo, past the Starbucks and to the left is the Tokyo National Museum. For those interested in Japanese history it is a great place to stop by and see a wide selection of art, architecture, and historic items.  The museum complex includes five separate buildings, each with a separate focus. Honkan: Japanese Gallery The largest and most central building of the museum is the

Crystal Kite in Tokyo

This past weekend I was in Tokyo to attend and speak at the 2013 SCBWI Japan Showcase. While I was there, I was presented with the 2013 Crystal Kite award for the Asia/India/Middle East region.  My debut novel Samurai Awakening won this year’s peer chosen award. It was an honor to receive the award and I was able to meet many other Japan-based writers.  The trophy was presented by Regional Adviser Holly Thompson, author of The Language Inside. While I was

2013 Kume Island Festival Day 1

Every year, Kume Island hosts a two-day festival in August, usually right before the Okinawan obon holidays.  This year, the festival took place on August 18th and 19th.  While many of the events, booths, and entertainments were similar to last year, this year marked the return of the giant tug-o-war.  For a bit of the history, skip down to the More on Kume Festival section. 2013 Schedule August 16 Time Event 16:00-17:15 Young Live – High School performance 17:45 Opening

Amegoui – Prayers for Rain

Since the end of the rainy season early this year, the weather on Kume Island has been full of clear sunny days.  While it makes for great sight-seeing and beach-going, it has been a hard year for farmers, with little or no rain to sustain critical crops.  For the first time in 15 years, the island locals returned to their roots, asking for the help of the Chinbei, the name of the high priestess from the old Ryukyu Kingdom to

« Older Entries