Kanji of the Day: 百 (ひゃく/ もも ) hyaku / momo (hundred)

Halloween is coming up, so why don't I tell you something a little spooky today... :P 百鬼夜行, or the ”Night Parade of One Hundred Demons”, appear in many Japanese literatures and folklore. It is said that a flock of demons, or 妖怪 (yokai), led by ぬらりひょん (nurarihyon) march through the streets of Japan during certain [...]
十人十色 (jūnin toiro) is one of my favorite Japanese proverbs. As you may guess from the kanji, the literal translation of 十人十色 is "ten persons, ten colors" and it means "to each his own". I used to think that it's kind of funny that a country like Japan which has such homogenous culture and population came [...]
As many of you probably know already, 九州 is the southernmost island of the 4 main islands of Japan. 九州, which means nine states, was named after the ancient nine states of Japan: 筑前 (Chikuzen), 筑後 (Chikugo), 肥前 (Hizen), 肥後 (Higo), 豊前 (Buzen), 豊後 (Bungo), 日向 (Hyūga), 大隅 (Osumi), and 薩摩 (Satsuma). Today's 九州 is [...]
If you love dogs, you MUST watch a movie called Hachi: A Dog's Tale. This American movie is based on the true story of an ultimate friendship and loyalty between an Akita inu named Hachi-ko (ハチ公), and his loving owner 上野英三郎 (Ueno Eisaburo). This is the remake of the original Hachi-ko movie made in 1987 [...]
Have you ever tried ヱビスビール (Yebisu Beer)? ヱビス is a Japanese premium beer manufactured by Sapporo, and the name came from one of the 七福神 (Seven Lucky Gods), 恵比寿 (Ebisu/Yebisu), who is the god of fisherman usually portrayed carrying a fishing rod and red snapper (鯛) in his hands. He is often paired with one of [...]
六文銭 (rokumonsen) is the family crest of the Sanada clan (真田氏), who dominated the Matsushiro domain (modern Nagano prefecture) during the Sengoku and early Edo era. Those of you who have ever played the video game series, Sengoku Basara (戦国BASARA) or Sengoku Musou (戦国無双), will probably know Sanada Yukimura (真田幸村); the guy in the red [...]
If you are a someone like me, who feels slightly guilty eating white rice but hate the taste of brown rice (sorry brown rice lovers!), I recommend trying 五穀米 (gokoku mai), 5 grain rice. 五穀米 is a very popular ingredient among health conscious Japanese people, and it's basically a mix of 5 different grains such [...]
Japanese people tend to associate the number 4 with bad things since it's pronounced shi (し), which is the same pronunciation as the word "死" (death). Some hospitals, clinics, and hotels avoid using 4 for their room numbers in order to avoid bad luck. It's kind of like the number 6 or 13 in the [...]
3 seems to be a preferred number among the Japanese culture, along with 1 and 10,000. On the contrary to the Western world, Japanese culture have always appreciated the asymmetrical beauty of natural objects. If you compare the Western style gardens, like Château de Versailles, and the Japanese Zen gardens, you can see what I mean; instead [...]
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