Japanese Commercials

On my long list of things I love about Japan, Japanese television ranks pretty highly. While my Japanese language skills still leave much to be desired, I’ve found that Japanese television programs and commercials are entertaining even with the language barrier.

I take a particular interest in the commercials. It’s always very interesting to me to learn how goods and services are marketed to different cultures. In Japan, humor, beauty and lightheartedness seem to reign supreme. I very rarely see a scare tactic employed, as is not uncommon in the states. As you can imagine, this makes for some pleasant commercial-watching in Japan.


Dragon Boat Races

Right before rainy season dragged the clouds in, Fred and I ditched work early last week and grabbed one last afternoon of sun down in Naha enjoying the dragon boat races.

The dragon boat races, or haarii as they are called in Japan, are an annual Okinawan event that dates back to the 14th century. Teams of rowers race each other in dragon-shaped boats to honor the gods of the sea. The event caps off Golden Week celebrations and draws crowds from all over the island.


Happy Holidays

The words “holiday season” automatically drag my mind to the busy days surrounding Christmas and new year's eve. But here in Japan, we are in the midst of the biggest holiday season of the year known as Golden Week.

The first signs of the approaching Golden Week holiday appeared when I saw my neighbors mysteriously hanging fish-shaped windsocks outside their homes. At first I thought it was just an odd personal preference for fish waving in the wind, but as the whole island followed suit, I knew there must be an explanation.