by Heather Russell

Japan Word of the Day #131 – Aiaigasa

Today’s Word is: Aiaigasa (相合い傘)

Aiaigasa (相合い傘) means a behavior where two people share one umbrella. Although a simple act of sharing an umbrella does not necessarily mean they are in relationship in actuality, as they could be doing it for practical reason, but when you call it aiaigasa, you are definitely implying romantic tension behind it.
aiaigasa

People often draw aiaigasa symbol (shown below) with their name underneath it to show they are in love. Sometimes kids do it to poke fun at others who are attracted to each other.
aiaigasa

Although it’s no fun when it rains, but take it in positive way. It’s also a great chance to get closer to someone you love!

Image sources: Puri Gazou, QWE

by Heather Russell

Auction Wednesday: Laputa Castle in the Sky Voice-Activated Pendant

Have you ever wished you were in Ghibli universe? Well, this Voice-Activated Sheeta’s Pendant will surely make you feel like you are in Laputa: Castle in the Sky! Just say the magical world “Barusu!” and it will illuminate mystic blue glow.

Laputa Castle in the Sky Voice Activated Pendant

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This item has just opened up for pre-order this month at Donguri Kyouwakoku, but it was so popular that all the stock has already been sold out. What a shame!

Don’t be worried. You can still get one by waiting till the second batch arrives (which it will, but the date is unknown), or, by finding it on Yahoo Japan Auction via Rinkya. On Rinkya, there are already a couple of listings from people who made pre-order. Don’t miss this chance to immerse yourself in amazing world of Castle in the Sky!

Castle in the Sky Voice-Activated Pendant

bid-now-button

 

Image sources: Yahoo Shopping, Anige,

by Heather Russell

Japan Word of the Day #130 – Obon

Today’s Word is: Obon (お盆)

Obon (お盆) is an annual tradition in Japan during summer to honor spirits of ancestors and deceased. The tradition originates from Buddhist custom commonly known as “ullambana,” which is pronounced in Japanese as “urabon.” The exact date changes depending on the area, but it’s most commonly celebrated on August 15th. Many businesses in Japan take days off around this time (including Rinkya’s shipping department!).

The most fun part of Obon is bon odori (盆踊り) festival. Bon odori is one of the many ways people show respect to the deceased. In this festival, people dance cheerfully to celebrate spirits of the dead that managed to joubutsu, or to go to heaven. Many people dress up in yukata (summer kimono) and enjoy the dance.

bon odori

 

Image source: Chitose

by Heather Russell

Watch cute Hatsune Miku singing Frozen


hatsune miku, rinkya, japan, vocaloid, frozen, elsa, kawaii, cute
Frozen’s popularity is still wide enough to encourage some people to create great videos with songs from the movie. One artist, Okacchi Kabibin, has uploaded an incredible video in Youtube featuring Hatsune Miku in the place of Elsa. Replacing Elsa for Hatsune Miku, but not the voice of Takako Matsu, gives the video a totally different tone. It seems more fresh and vivid than ever. We cannot really imagine the staggering amount of work behind the video, but we can enjoy the extraordinary results. Take a look and judge by yourself!


Source: Okacchi Kabibin.


hatsune miku, rinkya, japan, vocaloid, kawaii
frozen, rinkya, japan, kawaii, cute

by Heather Russell

Japan Word of the Day #129 – Nekokke (Common hair problem)

thin-hair-nekokke-rinkya-japan

Today’s Word is: Nekokke (猫っ毛)

Nekokke (猫っ毛), literally translated as “cat hair,” refers to a hair type that is soft, thin, and has tendency to be flat when you try to style it. Some research says 75% of Japanese women are unsatisfied with their hair type. Nekokke is one of many hair troubles people complain about.

So why cat hair? It’s said because cat hair is usually thin, silky, and doesn’t get much volume. We know it’s only true for some cats, and a lot of cats actually have fluffy, wavy fur, but I guess back in the old days, most cats in Japan were probably short-haired.

Image source: Neko Gazou

by Heather Russell

Japan Word of the Day #128 – Futae Mabuta

Futae Mabuta Double Eyelids

Today’s Word is: Futae Mabuta (二重まぶた)

I’m covering this word today because one of my western friends was not familiar with the idea of futae mabuta (二重まぶた) when it came up in conversation.

Futae mabuta refers to a person’s eyelid that is creased and has infold.
Although there are many beautiful people out there who have single eyelids, but nevertheless, in Japanese culture, double eyelids are still considered a sign of beauty.

futae-mabuta-rinkya-japan

Single eyelids, on the other hand, is called hitoe mabuta (一重まぶた).
Many people use special glue to temporarily create double eyelids (Eye Putti is a well-known brand for it).

Regardless of what people say though, everyone can be different, and everyone can be beautiful in their own way!

Sources: Ameblo, WikiHow

 

by Heather Russell

Bento Friday: ONE PIECE Luffy Bento

Happy Friday!
Had a long week? Maybe a nice meal as a treat would help you!
This week’s bento is Luffy from ONE PIECE. It’s not only cute, but nutritiously balanced.

one-piece-luffy-bento-rinkya-japan

 

 

It has rice, egg, lots of fresh veggies, and meat.
Even hungry Luffy would be satisfied with this bento!

Have a nice weekend!

Source: Bento Mania

Browse all bento items on Yahoo Japan Auction via Rinkya.

by Heather Russell

Japan Word of the Day #127 – Yamato Nadeshiko

yamatonadeshiko-rinkya-japan

Today’s Word is: Yamato Nadeshiko (やまとなでしこ)

When you compliment a woman, what do you praise?
Her appearance, her intelligence, or her kind heart?
Yamato nadeshiko (やまどなでしこ) is a phrase that describes a Japanese woman who is both beautiful and strong-minded. Yamato means Japan, and nadeshiko is a type of flower (Dianthus).

Nadeshiko (dianthus)

Nadeshiko (dianthus)

yamato nadeshiko is thought to be an idealized image of perfect Japanese woman. Pure and delicate, but also strong. That’s why Japanese women’s national soccer team is given a nickname “Nadeshiko Japan,” to praise beauty that originates from both inside and outside of them.

Image sources: Gishu Dojo, Manyo no Hana

 

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