Have you ever seen decorations made with cucumbers and eggplants like these in Japan?
They are called shōryōuma (精霊馬). Shōryōmeans spirits, and uma means horse. In obon season in August, people make these vegetable decorations symbolizing a horse (cucumber) and a cattle (eggplant). Obon is when spirits of the deceased are believed to visit the physical world, so the horse is supposed to carry those spirits from heaven quickly to our world, and the cow will bring them back to heaven slowly and comfortably on their way back. The cow can also carry offerings made to the spirits during obon.
Making shōryōuma is a fun activity for kids to engage in, and it’s also a great way to educate them on showing respect to the ones who have passed away.
From August 1st to 31st, a cafe restaurant featuring popular Japanese merchandise franchise Mameshiba will appear in shopping mall Lumine Yurakucho, Tokyo, for limited time. The cafe will be offering a variety of dishes and desserts based on adorable Mameshiba characters.
Mameshiba Matcha Green Tea and Nerikiri mochi set.
Jinbei (甚平) is Japanese summer wear traditionally worn by men and children. It consists of a kimono-like shirt and short pants. It’s a lot more relaxing than yukata (浴衣), and considered as casual outfit for informal occasions. In present days, the most likely place you’d see people dressed in it is at matsuri (summer festivals).
Today, jinbei is also popular among women, and you start to see more and more of them designed and targeted for girls.
Unlike yukata and kimono, it’s easy to move and loosely fitted, so many people use it as an indoor wear and as a pajama too. The material used for it is usually either cotton, hemp, or combination of both. It absorbs sweat and breathes air well, making it comfortable to wear even in hot weather.
One of the best blockbusters films of this summer, Godzilla 2014 finally premiered in Japan last Friday after long wait. Delayed release is not always bad though, because Japanese viewers can buy this really awesome Godzilla Cup with Figure Topper in theaters!
As you might have guessed, this cup is sold exclusively in Japanese theaters, and for limited quantity only. So how can you get it if you want one? Well, you can always find rare collectibles and novelties on YJ Auction via Rinkya!
Japanese products, especially in entertainment category, are all about limited time offer and tokuten (特典). What is tokuten? Tokuten refers to a special item, material, or privilege that comes packaged with a product when purchased. For example, shokai tokuten (初回特典), a special item that comes with first-print or first edition only, is a common strategy for marketers. Similarly, tenpo tokuten (店舗特典) is a special item/privilege you can get when purchasing from a specific store (tenpo), and yoyaku tokuten (予約特典) is a tokuten given to people who made pre-order in advance.
When DVD/Blu-ray of Madoka Magica -Rebellion- was released, there were dozen different kinds of novelties given out as tenpo tokuten.
A special DVD box case offered as a tokuten at ANIPLEX+
A special crystal paper weight given at Amiami with Madoka Magica -Rebellion- DVD/Blu-ray
You can only get these tokuten items by purchasing DVD or Blu-ray from a specific store, so it becomes very difficult to collect all of them. Many people just collect them using Yahoo Japan Auction, so they don’t have to buy several copies of the same DVDs.
Thomas Bullier has been so kind to send us this awesome picture of him surrounded by cute girls He was in the SNSD aka Girls’ Generation concert having a good time. One of the many different and amazing things that you can do while in Tokyo is to catch a SNSD concert. To be able to attend a concert in Japan is really difficult because many fans use clubs to have access to the concert tickets in the first place, selling out immediately. One option to have access to them is to bid for concert tickets through Rinkya at the last minute.
We are really happy that Thomas had such a great time with such a wonderful group of friends, and was able to send us this great picture.
SNSD aka Girls’ Generation are a really popular k-pop group. Their catchy songs are fresh and very sexy, and really easy to dance. Their voices are also really sweet. They’ve come a very long way from their first hit with “Gee“, and even battled rumors of SNSD plastic surgery. There are now 9 Girls Generation members. SooYoung is the most popular in the group.
If you still don’t know them, listen to one of their tracks here:
If you are a member of Rinkya’s Family, you can also send us a picture of you with some article of Rinkya you love, or doing something funny related to Rinkya. Give it a try!
In Japan, zippers are called “jippā,” “fasunā,” or “chack.” Jippā (zipper) and fasunā (fastener) are obviously derived from English, but what’schack (チャック)?
Chack is actually a made-up word coined by a zipper manufacturing company in Omichi as a trademark. It’s derived from Japanese word kinchaku (巾着), meaning drawstring bag. The trademark was registered in 1927, and zippers sold under the trademark “chack” were received very well by public.
Today, zipper, fastener, and chack are used interchangeably in Japanese.
High-end teddy bear maker Steiff is going to release limited edition stuffed Godzilla this coming November to commemorate the 60th year anniversary of Godzilla. The quantity is limited to 1954 pieces, which is the same number as the year the original Godzilla movie hit theaters.
This Godzilla is all hand-made as all Steiff stuffed animals are, and sold exclusively in Japan. You can pre-order this very special Godzilla through Rinkya Direct now. Remember, quantity is very limited!
Rinkya Price: $587.72 (excluding international shipping)
Butsudan (仏壇) is a small Buddhist shrine found in Japanese houses and temples. Inside, a religious icon (honzon) sits on the top, surrounded by several Buddhist implements such as incenses, lanterns, candlesticks, flower bases, bells, and so on.
A butsudan used in regular houses is sometimes called onaibutsu (御内仏), to differentiate from the ones placed in temples. Families use their butsudan to place “ihai,” spirit tablets of deceased family members. Butsudan can be installed in many ways. You can have it installed in wall, or as a separate unit.
Depending on households, doors of a butsudan could be open or closed. If you do see a butsudan in someone’s house, do show respect, as it is an important part of their religious beliefs.