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    This page is an introduction to the Japanese culture, predominantly relating to Japanese festivals that the country celebrates.

Why Japan is Japan ?
How Japan became Japan ?
Japanse call their country "Nihon" or "Nippon". And there are several words meaning Japan.
How many I's do you have?

How many You's are you?

One of the difficulty of learning Japanese is that there are so many I's and You's. Of course, we use most standard ones to foreigners, "watashi" and "anata".
There are German translation of these pages prepared by Nora in Berlin, by the titles of Wie viele Ichs hat das Japanische? and Wie viele Dus hat das Japanische?.
How do you call your wife ?

How do you call your husband ?
Various way of calling wife in various situation. The normal word for wife is rarely used.
Similarly, The normal word for husband is rarely used.
How do you call brother and sister?
To the beginner of english language learning, it is one of the greatest culture shock to know the english language has no independent words for elder brother and younger brother or elder sister and younger sister.
Japanese Onomatopoeir

How Japanese laugh?
The words for laugh in japanese language are basically only two "warau" and "emu" on contrary to the numerous english words for laugh. There are many a echo words or onomatopoeia to assist the word for laugh. The use of echo words may be primitive. But if we lack these, Japanese language will become poor in expression.
Japanese Onomatopoeir

Sounds of Nature
What is the sound of silence, wind, light, water?
Japanese NumbersJapanese numbers are probably the same with Chinese ones. But every numbers has more than two pronunciations.
Japanese Month NamesThe Japanese usually refer to the months by numbers, though each month has its own particular name.
Japanese lettersThe Japanese use Chinese letters in their alphabet, since they discovered that it was a more convenient way to express their traditional words, as well as European ones. Using this foreign, Chinese invention and arranging it to serve themselves is just one of the peculiarities of Japanese culture.
Iroha Uta
Japanese alphabet
German site
telling the meaning
Japanese alphabet is called "iroha". It compose a poem with deep meaning using each of 48 "hiragana" only once.
How to write english Name with "kanji"
for Karen
Find kanji for a sound
Here shown are examples for some two hundreds of names. But you can get hint from these pages.

If you are not very lucky and failed finding your name in the example. Here is the page for finding kanji for sounds.

How to write english Name with "katakana"I got a request of telling the way of transcripting english Name in japanese letters. "Richard" as . I wrote a page here although it may be incomplete with several confusions.
scripting japanese using alphabets
The rule of writing japanese language using alphabets is not firmly established. There has been a long debate about it. I myself am using mixed-up of Hepburn-system and nowadays seen irregular system.
New Year in JapanBefore "Shohgatsu" or "O-Shougatsu" ('O' is often added to nouns to express politeness - another peculiarity which makes Japanese so difficult to learn), the Japanese are always very busy making preparations. It is, of course, a national holiday from 29th of December up to (and including) the 3rd of January.
St. Valentine's Day
14th of February
St. Valentine's Day, has become a big event in Japan, especially for the younger generations. The page for Valentine's Day is not prepared independently. It is included in the page of Christmas.
Doll's Festival(Girl's Day)
3rd of March
In Japan, 3rd of March is called Hina (meaning doll) Matsuri (or Sangatsu, March) no Sekku (festival), but it is not a national holiday either. This link has pictures.
White Day
14th of March
(Japanese Christmas)
The author is unaware as to where the term "White Day" originates, although there does seem to be a tendency for males to forget this holiday and females to remind them of it... It is not a national holiday. Please see the page of Christmas.
Children's Day
5th of May
The 5th of May is called "Tango no Sekku" and is a national holiday. This link has pictures.
Star Festival
7th of July
Called "Tanabata", the 7th of July is another festival, though not a national holiday. For information on the origins and pictures of this festival follow the link.
Moon Viewing
15th of August
by Luna Calendar
Using the Japanese lunar calendar (Probably it came from oriental tradition through China) It takes place on the 15th of August. On this day Japanese dedicate rice dumplings to the moon, praying for a rich harvest. It is not a national holiday.
Japanese Christmas
(Valentine Day)
Japanese tend to celebrate many religious festivals, regardless of their own beliefs.

Links for those who study culture of Japan
International Research Center
for Japanese Studies
Here are the materials prepared by authorities.
papers on JapanClick here for links to Japanese research papers on Japanese history, culture and society.
Culture of Japan
- history, people, traditions,
- women, beliefs,
- food, family, social, marriage
Here is a very well summarized article about Japanese Culture with agreeable accuracy.
Japanese old talesOnce upon a time...  Japanese old tales are collected here.
Old Stories of JapanOnce upon a time...  Japanese old tales are also collected here.
Kids Web JapanJapanese Folk Legends  Once upon a time...  Japanese old tales are also collected here in english. It includes many a interesting things besides.
Japanese GardenHere is a well abridged view on Japanese Gardens though it contains what most of japanese are not aware. Nearly all of the traditional culture in Japan have the origin in neighbor countries including China as most prominent. But with the elapse of time, they are japanized to meet japanese life style and the sesitivity to beauty.
Japan travel guideJapan travel guide with all kinds of travel information and resources. Includes Japan maps, Japan hotels, Japanese popular culture, Japan cities and more.
To German speakers
Hier bietet sich die Möglichkeit, sich mit anderen Japanischlernenden auszutauschen und zu unterhalten. Der Hauptteil dieser Seite ist das Diskussions-Forum, in dem man sich über alles, was Japanisch beinhaltet, informieren und Auskunft geben kann.
Kumi Ito's Fantasy WorldA gallery of the artist Kumi Ito. There you will find a fantastic world of japanese children wearing traditional fashion.
Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of ArtCollected by Seizo Ohta who deplored the streaming out of Ukiyo-e painting to abroad and collected 12,000 of them by himself. Visiting exhibition schedule, sample pictures can be seen though the quality of image is not very good. I prepared a sample modifying the color and doubling the size.
noren (a kind of curtainNoren is a kind of curtain used as a partition of rooms looking very japanese. This site is a shopping site for the materials used at "Ryokan" (a very japanese hotel meaning "travel house") or "Yadoya"(traditional japanese inn meaning "staing store"). We do not have any relation to this shop.
Links for Studying Japanese OnlineThe links prepared by Tom Grandgent who is studying Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.Links to How many I's and ROMA ji are included.
JAZ Japan A to Z
The Japan you didn't know

Here is a funny site which spotlight both traditional and pop culture in Japan, from woodblock prints to anime, from movie posters to traditional tattoo art.
Translation of your name
Here, your name can be translated in japanese in katakana style.
for Stamp Collectors
(The link was lost)
List of recent new stamps and location of distributors abroad.
Learning and Education in Japan
(The link was lost)
Here is an article on the history of education and the attitude of Japanese

Take a look at these pages in japanese !!

You can see these pictures even if you can not read them.
Lady SasayuriAn old tragic love story. Typical very japanese beauties are here.
A shockwave movieYou can glance the beaty of japanese cloths. This movie is at the top page of iwqtaki town in Kyoto

Links to other Festivals in the World
NavaratriA Doll's Festival in India, and, although it does share some similarities (such as being celebrated mainly by women), it is quite different from Japanese version.
Korea Map SearchHere is the pages for Korean map search. Basically these pages are meant for Japanese. But other people can use it if they are patient with the "garble originally japanese letters.
Celtic (Scotland and probably Ireland and Wales)
Beltane Fire Society
Beltane 2
Beltane is one of a fire festival comparable to Halloween held on 1st of May. The heroine of this festival is May Queen and have some similarity with May festivals such as Walpurgisnacht in Germany. The ancient style of this festival included something sexual immorality. At the site of Beltane Fire Society, pictures and videos are served regarding not only to Beltane but alto to Imbolc and Lughnasadh. They are all fire festival.
HogmanayThe new year in Scotland seems peculiar amongst Europe
ImbolcAnother celtic fire festival on 1st of February. It is called Candlemas by Churches.
Ritvala Helka Festival
(The link was loat)
Finnish visit our site very often. This is why I sought traditional festival in Finland. This is the first that I found.