Thursday, December 22, 2005

My hometown Yokosuka (1)

I'm sorry that I have not written for over a month.. I write almost every day in the Japanese blog, but it's not very easy to write in English. Now I try again to write more regularly!!

Today I want to introduce my hometown Yokosuka (横須賀) to you where I lived more than twenty years. Yokosuka is located at the mouth of Tokyo Bay on Miura Peninsula (三浦半島). Unfortunately this city is not very famous here in Germany, so when someone in Germany asks me where I'm from, I normaly answer "I come from a city which is located a little south from YOKOHAMA (横浜)"

Compared with Yokohama or historical city Kamakura (鎌倉)(it's also near from Yokosuka), there are here not many to see for tourists. But I think it's comfortable to live there. The climate in Yokosuka is a little milder than in Tokyo and you can enjoy eating fresh fish! Tuna landed in the neighboring city Miura (三浦) is especially famous. Besides Yokosuka played an important role in the Japanese history of modern age.

In 1853, United States naval officer Matthew Perry arrived with his fleet of black warships ashore Yokosuka. At that time it was a big suprise for Japanese, because Japan had had no diplomatic relations with foreign countries since 1641, apart from a few exceptions with Dutch merchant in Nagasaki (長崎). Perry asked the Japanese Government to open the ports and conclude the trade relationships. In 1854 the Japanese Government accepted his request and that's how the Japanese modern history began. This (photo) is the monument in Kurihama (久里浜) to indicate that Perry landed here.

It is the Nobi shore (野比海岸). I lived near here in my childhood. So I have many memories in this area. If you are a film-fan, you might have seen the film "HANA-BI" from Takeshi Kitano (北野武)? A scene of a seeshore in the movie was shot at this beach. In this photo you can see mountains across the sea in Bo-so Peninsula (房総半島).

Monday, November 07, 2005

"KO-YO" in Berlin

Dez.2003 in Kamakura

In Japan October and November are called as "season of KO-YO". "KO-YO (紅葉)" literally means "red leaves". How beautiful maple leaves turn red and yellow in fall! From ancient times many poets and authors have expressed the beauty of autumn leaves. Compared to Japanese automn, "KO-YO" in Germany is not so colorful; leaves turn only yellow. But I think it is also beautiful. Here are the photos I took recently in the street "Unter den Linden".

"Unter den Linden" means "under linden or lime trees". The street is one of the most famous boulevard in Berlin runs from Brandenburg Gate to Palace Bridge (Schloß Brücke).

In front of Deutsches Theater

Sunday, November 06, 2005

"as one Japanese"

Today I would like to explain a bit more why I started writing this English blog. One of the things suprised me when I came to Berlin five years ago was to know that quite a few people are interested in Japan. In the university I got to know German students studying Japanology. I was very suprised to see that they were learning hard to master Japanese. I also got aquainted to people who I wouldn't get to know if I weren't Japanese.

When I lived in Japan, I had little opportunity to know how foreigners look at Japan, so I found it interesting to see Japan objektively from the outsiders' point of view. Many times people asked me questions about Japan on all kinds of topics such as traditional culture, modern film, history and politics. Sometimes I felt ashamed when I could not answer to these questions very well. It is sometimes difficult to answer to a political question like "why prime minister Koizumi's visit to Yasukuni-temple is controversial?" However I am sometimes asked to state my own opinion, because I'm Japanese.

As one Japanese who lives in a foreign country I think it is important for me to be able to explain all kinds of things about Japan in English and German. I hope that this blog will be a goog exercise for me and help to meet with many people. To begin with I will talk about my home town Yokosuka.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Berlin no kaze

In this summer I began my weblog under ( Here I’m writing about my life in Berlin and the city itself. It’s a great fun for me. Fortunately more and more people are accessing my weblog. I think it's a pity that my friends from Germany and other foreign countries cannot read it, because it is written only in Japanese.

That's why I have decided to make an English blog, too. This is a big challenge for me, because my English is very poor. But I will try! In the English version I would like to write not only about Berlin, but also about my home country Japan with many photos, namely my hometown Yokosuka, my friends, Japanese culture, society, and sometimes politics. Of course I will keep reporting on the capital of Germany! The city is changing day by day. Here a lot of construction is going on. Berlin is drawing world's attention, because FIFA world cup will be held in Germany next year. It will be very exciting for me to report my second hometown.

As I said, my English is not good. In principle, I will ask friends to correct my articles before posting, but sometimes I may post them without correction. So if you find mistakes in my articles, don’t hesitate to correct them! I will appreciate any help.

So have a lot of fun!