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Showing posts from October, 2013

The National Diet of Japan

The seat of power is confined within these walls, in this ominous building that’s shrouded in mystery.  It is the center of Japanese politics and international affairs where foreign dignitaries  and Heads of State have dined alongside some of Japan’s greatest luminaries and national fathers.    This is the government of Japan.


Why is it called the Diet?  
Answer:  The Japanese architects had to draw from the vast resource of knowledge developed by the forefathers of Democracy, as far back as ancient Greece.   Three languages were used in choosing the word Diet: Greek, Latin, and French.   In Greek it’s “diaita” In French it’s “diete”  and in Latin it’s “ diaeta.”   All of these meanings translate to how one leads his/her life.  However, according to Middle English it means, “ day set for meeting.” The forefathers had to choose a word that was not only international, but easy for Japanese to say.   
ダイエットwould sound something like " Dai - e - to," which for many modern Japanese …

Bull Sumo / Togyu 闘牛

Nestled in the pristine backwood of Koguriyama in Ojiya, there's a beautiful hilly area surrounded by thick green trees and Shinto Shrines.   There's a god for everything in Japan, even bulls.    The road up to the arena is on a steep, uneven and windy path.  It's hard to believe they built a bull arena this deep in the sticks; making it the most inconvenient place you could possibly reach.  I thought the taxi driver was lost!   The air had a grassy manure smell mixed in with pine and beer!   I loved it.   On the way up, there was almost a deafening silence in my eardrum.   I could finally distinguish the sounds of nature; bird, insects, the sounds of tree branches rustling in the breeze.  It was nostalgic.  Places like Ojiya are often associated with great poets like   Junzaburo Nishiwaki, a four time Nobel Prize nominee, and a Person of Cultural Merit by the Japanese government.   It's easy to see where he derived his source of inspiration earlier on in his life. 



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