japanese-symbol

4

Peonies 💐 💕
Called the blessed herb, peonies have been used for centuries for their magical and medicinal properties. Among the powers that peony was thought to possess are the ability to protect shepherds and their flocks; to ward off storms, demons, and nightmares; and to preserve the harvest from danger. Peony is the Greek symbol of healing and the Japanese symbol for a happy marriage and virility. It is the Japanese floral emblem for the month of June.

9

BSD Characters and their Real Prototypes
Port Mafia:

1. Ryuunosuke Akutagawa — Japanese writer, a classic of the new Japanese literature. Known for his short stories and novels. The style of his works was mostly casual and uncomplicated. Akutagawa suffered from mental disorders. One of his famous stories is ‘The Gate of Rashyomon’ (Rashyomon)

2. Chuuya Nakahara — Japanese poet and translator of French poetry of symbolism in Japanese. Is one of the most important poets of Japan of the XX century. Nakahara led bohemian lifestyle. He wrote in the style of tanka but he adhered to the Western canons of versification. Known for his 'Songs of Old Days’ (For the Tainted Sorrow)

3. Odasaku Sakunosuke (Oda Sakunosuke) — Japanese writer. He is often grouped with Dazai Osamu and Ando Sakaguchi. His characters often didn’t fit in what were traditionally considered appropriate forms, either in their frank humanness or in their stubborn individuality. Also wrote radio drama scenarios. Wrote many critical essays. Known for his 'Stories of Osaka Life’ (Flawless)

4. Ichiyo Higuchi — Japanese writer. Became famous as the author of short stories about the life of ordinary people. Known for her 'Life in the Wilderness’, 'Thirteenth Night’

5. Motojiro Kajii — writer, the author of two dozen autobiographical stories and several dozen student sketches. Kajii was called a representative of the genre of ego-fiction, as well as the author of poetry in prose. The only book published during his lifetime was 'Lemon’ (Lemon Bomb)

6. Ryuro Hirotsu — novelist. In his works he revealed the depths of human life. The heroes of his works belonged to the lower social classes that was suffering from poverty. Known for his short story 'Black Lizard’ (Falling Camellia)

7. Michizo Tachihara — Japanese poet and architect. Michizo struggeled to find a way for an urban poet to root himslef in traditional customs and still be 'modern’. He wrote openly about his feelings and was in his heart, allowing his verse to be both uncontaminated and genuine. Known for his 'Of Dawn, Of Dusk’

8. Ogai Mori — Japanese writer, critic and translator. By profession, a military doctor. His name is associated with emrgence and development of romanticism in Japan. Known for his works 'The Dancer’, 'Bubbles on the water’ and 'Messenger’ (Vita Sexualis)

9. Koyo Ozaki — Japanese writer. Mainly wrote historical novels. The language of his works was considered as conversational. He protested against the capitalist system. Known for his works 'The love confession of two nuns’, 'Fragnant Headboard’, 'Three Wives’ (Golden Demon)

10. Kyusaku Yumeno — was the pen name of the early Showa period author, Sugiyama Taido. He wrote detective novels and is known for his avant-gardism and his surrealistic, wildly imaginative and fantastic, even bizzare narratives. Known for his 'Love After Death’, 'Hell in a Bottle’, 'Terrifying Tokyo’ (Dogra Magra)

By Akaigami via Tumblr

In the Pokemon fandom, every once in a while you stumble upon a ‘Pokeballs are $200′ joke. In reference to how Pokeballs cost 200 of the in-game currency:

What a lot of fans, especially more casual ones, don’t seem to realize is that the currency in the Pokemon games it based on the Japanese yen. The symbol for the currency in the games even resembles the yen symbol:

In fact, according to Bulbapedia, the ‘Poke dollar’ symbol was specifically created for the English translations of the games, and the original Japanese versions use the yen symbol.

Now, for perspective, although the exact exchange rate naturally varies, a US dollar is equivalent to about 120 Japanese yen. So, 200 yen is about $1.67. 

A Pokeball in the Pokemon games actually cost less then two bucks. 

There’s a REASON we see so many young kids training Pokemon, especially early in the games. The cost of investing into a Pokeball to try catching their own Pokemon easily falls into the range of a typical kid’s allowance. A Potion for healing after battles is 300 (or about $2.50), but since Pokemon Centers offer their healing services for free, that’s a moot point.

Youngsters in the early game only give within a range from 50-150 of the currency, which is about equivalent to $0.40-$1.25. The first Gym Leader in Hoenn Region, Roxanne, give 1,680 in Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, equivalent to about $14. Which is about right for the equivalent of a middle or high school honors student. A later Gym Leader, Winona, gives 4,200, or about $35. The Champion, Steven, gives 11600, or $96.67.

The winnings from enemy Trainers varies, but Ace Trainers seem to give out about 1500 or $14 on average, give or take. Swimmers (especially common later in ORAS), award a range from 400-800, or $3.33-$6.67.

Vitamins (such as Calcium, Iron, and HP UP), cost 9,800 or $81.67 each. An Ultra Ball cost 1,200, or $10. A Paralyze Heal costs the same as a Pokeball, while an Awakening is half that. A Revive is 1,500, or $12.50.

What’s the point of doing this? Well, for one, to get a better sense of the in-game economics, which can be hard to grasp if one doesn’t realize the in-game ‘Poke dollars’ are based on the Japanese yen. And a look at said economics reveals some interesting details.

First, it shows basic Pokemon training and raising is well within the affordability of a ten-year old, or older. Which makes sense as Pokemon is aimed at younger kids, and the develops would want them to have the sense that going on a Pokemon journey is something they could do if they somehow ended up in the Pokemon world.

On the other hand, it also shows there’s really not that much money to be made in Pokemon raising and traning, unless you battle frequently and regularly against higher-level opponents regularly and and win. Which is…very much in line with how professional sports work in real-life. Pokemon battling gets compared to a sporting event a lot for a reason. The initial 3-D games were even called Pokemon *Stadium.* Parallels are frequently drawn between the Pokemon League tournaments and the Olympics in the anime. The low money output is probably also why we often see Gym Leaders and the like working other jobs.

Just something interesting I decided to look into. I’m a Pokemon fan first, before any other fandom, and always will be. It’s shocking that I haven’t written any meta on it yet.

Hope you enjoyed!

EDIT:  As pointed out by invenblocker:

The 1000000 price for the bicycle translates to $8259.51, which is the price of a top quality bike for proffesionals.

Excellent catch! Helps explain why the bikes can ride through stuff like snow and sand. They are of excellent make.

And it also helps explain why the bike shop owners are happy to give out their bikes to a prospective Pokemon Trainer for free (whether through a voucher or otherwise). Your average Trainer taking the Gym challenge puts those bikes through the *wringer.* Riding them along mountains, through marshes, and even through snow. But a bike being able to endure that is the kind of thing a professional rider would look for, and desire.

Most Pokemon Trainers will never be able to afford the bikes, but are in one of the best positions to push them to their limits. So giving them out for free is actually a clever marketing move. Imagine a potential buyer seeing a Trainer riding one of those bikes in Lillycove, and said Trainer reveals they rode it from Rustboro (which means they rose it around a mountain, several caves, a few marshes, and possibly other environments I’m not thinking of right now). That’s a hell of an impression to make, and a fast, easy way to sell the buyer on getting the bike themselves, especially if they ride competitively.

Case in point, in Pokemon Gold/Silver and their re-makes, the bike shop even gives you the bike specifically as ‘advertising.’ After you’ve ridden it around long enough, you get a call saying that because of you doing so, their sales have shot through the roof (and happily tell you to keep the bike). And it’s no wonder why.

5

向日葵 「ひまわり」pronounced himawari is the Japanese word for sunflower, which apparently, in Japanese culture, symbolizes passionate love and devotion for the intended recipient.

So in short, The Lord Assassin can be very sweet. (ʃƪ ˘ ³˘)❤

Our Sultry Nights of Passion: Saizo’s Epilogue

Thoughts on the love ban rule (恋愛禁止条例)

In her recent Radio program, Koike Minami from Keyakizaka46 mentioned a paper adressed to all members, officially banning any relationship during their idol activity. It is also known as the Renai Kinshi Jourei, the love ban rule. To allow or forbid this rule have teared apart the fandom for many years, and the ambiguous stand of Akimoto Yasushi (stating there wasn’t such thing as love ban rule) doesn’t help to clear things up. But the issue regarding this rule goes beyond it’s own existence. This is an eternal debate between those who argue we can’t own idols as they are humans with feelings, against those who think it is necessary to preserve their image. To sum things up, what we debate for is our conception of an idol. Through this write up, i will attempt to list all legit arguments from both side so you can make your own opinion on that matter.

“Sasshi scandal was the most talked topic at the time, even more than Acchan graduation”

First, a little bit of history. The love ban rule is much more older than AKB itself. In 1997, Nakazawa Yuko, leader of Morning musume at the time, stated that in their contract, they were forbid to have boyfriend or marry. Ten years later, Kashiwagi Yuki expressed the same statement, that they had to sign a paper in which they pledge to not be in a relationship. What is the purpose of the love ban rule? Simply speaking, it helps the idea of an idol “pure and innocent”, completely devoted to the fans. Management is afraid that the fan significantly decrease his dedication to buy goods and ticket to see his favourite member if she’s in a relationship.

But Let’s take an example of other pop culture. Justin Bieber is a singer, with 99.9% of female fanbase. He works a lot on his image, yet he dated many other celebrities like Selena Gomez. He’s directly concerned with appearance, but his staff allow him to date. In the super strict Kpop industry, even though entertainment companies are very discrete about it, they often acknowledge a relationship when they are revealed, and not opposing them (Exo Kai and F(x) Crystal for example). The question is, why is it allowed in Occidental and Oriental countries like USA and Korea and not in japan? Especially the case of idols.

1st hypothesis, It’s about culture. USA have build their civilization on freedom, and it’s quite hard to “forbid” someone to love, especially someone as popular as Justin bieber. Management strategy to keep hardcore fans would backfire at them, being blamed for pressuring the artist. In Kpop It might depend of the age and experience of the artist. When management knows the artist fanbase is mature enough to accept, they lift the ban. But if the trainee has just debuted with the group, it’s better to not create unnecessary waves that would be an hindrance to the group promotion. Japan has a huge history of hierarchy between genre, family often assimilated with a father who work, and a mother who stay at home to raise the children. Sexism is still rooted in society as it is largely accepted to have gravure photoshoot of idols (often very young), but also promote the girls as cute and innocent. Unconsciously, Japan paradoxal society still allow to reduce a woman basic right in order to preserve a certain idea of what an idol should be.

2st hypothesis, we can say it’s the fan fault for being unrealistic about the concept of an idol. Before being an idol, she is an human being. You can’t mix up reasoning with feelings, as one is led by the brain, the other by the heart. Also, if the idol you support is being happy with someone else, shouldn’t you be happy for her own happiness? It’s not like you’re being her fan in order to date her in the future. You can also be a fan of someone without being physically attracted to her. Like many hardcore metal teenagers adoring metallica. A fan’s love, is different. Something more personal, but loving someone as a 17 years is different from loving at 26, and 40, etc. A teenager should live to the fullest.

“Minegishi scandal blow out to international proportion, wrongly the symbol of Japanese excess”

Not long ago, a company sued a girl for “breach of contract” blaming her for her idol group failure in the market, because she was dating one of her fans. The young girl retorted that i was never mentioned she couldn’t date anyone, even though it was “professionaly” obvious to avoid this situation. The result of the court was that indeed the girl was wrong for not taking into account that it would hurt the group image, but since she dated her boyfriend without the intent to harm the company, she was exempt to pay fee for the prejudice caused.

There’s a big difference between european and asian culture. The first is a lot about freedom (artist love life is his privacy) but asian point of view is about responsability. Japanese are often serious in their work (sometimes they die from it). Even though you have the freedom to come with T-shirt and jeans, you have the responsability to look decent for an interview, which means wearing a suit. Otherwise we don’t take you seriously. In entertainment, you shouldn’t behave in a way that would be a threat to your company or group image. But this rule can’t be applied to everyone because each person has a different situation.

Let’s take the example of Watanabe Mayu. She became very popular, very fast, in a young age. Not only we can assume she didn’t have a lot of free time, but having a relationship exposed would have create an uproar on tabloid. She was very serious about her image because she was aware an incident would break her momemtum. On the other hand, when you’re unknown, like a KKS, it hasn’t the same impact at all, and you have much more free time than a popular member. (and probably the reason why Sasshi’s scandal was exposed only when she became popular).

The problem with micchan scandal, is that not only she was a popular member, but also the captain of a team. What foreigners don’t know, is that in japanese culture, people often shave their head after admitting being in the wrong. Micchan obviously shaved her head on her own will. But foreign newspaper, with little care of details, implied it was a sanction done by management (the video was published on AKB official youtube channel after all). The malicious gossip spread and it was a huge blow to idol entertainment. It doesn’t matter what was the real reason, and the damage was done.

“Shunkan bunshun is often involved in many scandals related to idols”

In fact, it isn’t really about the fan behavior toward her idol that define the existence of the love ban rule. In the case of Kashiwagi Yuki scandal with NEWS’s Tegoshi, it was up to her fanbase to decide if they keep following her or not. In the case of Matsumura Sayuri scandal (above), it turned out more bitter because Nogizaka has a strong image of elegant, calm idols compared to the 48group. Image is not only related to fan, as big companies (a potential source of revenue for popular idol group), won’t choose girls who are involved in a negative image to endorse their products. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, it’s how those scandal divert from the expected result. Do you remember when Kouhaku utagassen chose HKT instead of Nogizaka in 2014? We will never know, but it’s possible that Nogi appearance was cancelled because of this negative coverage.

Why is management not willing to make a decision, always being ambiguous about it? Because both choice have a negative impact. If you make the love ban rule official, you are seen as a bad company who suppress a girl basic right, and if you officially allow the girls to date, there’s no turning back, and fan’s reaction is unsure. The best alternative is “not to get caught” or “adapt to the situation” rule. In Yukirin’s case, management decided to let it through, because she was too important to the group. Same with Sasshi. We can’t say the same for Murashige Anna, who got almost perma-ban from HKT senbatsu, or Owada Nana and Nishino Miki who soon graduated after being seen at 2AM in a game court with some ex Johnny’s (again).

The love ban rule can be seen as something not coming from fans to their idol, but a rule of self discipline (coming from within), like how you are committed to your work. When you date someone perfectly aware of a bad coverage, you’re taking a risk. This self discipline increase as you became popular. When someone try to get best of both worlds, it can be seen as recklessness toward your job. After all, Kikuchi Ayaka or Komori Mika graduated AKB to get married. When someone get outside of the idol field, fans are much more keen to be happy for their idol happiness. Because they are past their idol phase. Jurina once said “i will date after being an idol. But for the moment, i want to focus on my work”.

“Yukirin votes dropped up to 70 000 votes for the 8th Sousenkyo. Note that 7th Sousenkyo was her fanbase last push to put her 1th, with a 60k increase too ”

To the question if the love ban rule is something fair or unfair, it’s hard to decide because feelings are involved with it. I personally hadn’t my oshimen being involved in a scandal, so i don’t know how i would react. However, what i believe is, for japanese, that the renai kinshi jourei is a self inflicted rule. It just depends on how serious you are toward the job of idol. If you don’t accept to have your love life put on hold, just don’t be an idol. It’s even more true that an idol not only care for her image, but is also responsible for the group image. When people quote Sasshi’s case that scandal doesn’t influence the popularity of a member, keep in mind that it happened when she was a KKS, barely being an extra in Everyday Kachuusa MV. Taking such a risk to date someone when she’s 4th in sousenkyo, her answer would have been completely different.

My humble opinion : If my oshimen was caught in a scandal, i would probably be disappointed. Not because i thought of her as pure and innocent (let’s be real, women also have libido, and love is something wonderful), but because she’s taking a risk to damage her or the group reputation. She’s aware of the damage, and she took it anyway. To be responsible, is a form of respect.

In the future, we probably will see a change of mindset, with a more accepting industry toward idols. Because, there’s no proper definition of an idol.

Nara Black by @yoshiyoshitani

Color: Nara Black / #003738

Japanese Irezumi tattoos, tattoos that cover much of the body and use often Japanese mythology and symbolism as inspiration, became popular in the Edo Period. They used Nara Black, an ink that is famous for becoming a distinct blue-green when inserted into the skin.

These tattoos became unpopular with their eventual association with the Japanese mob, the Yakuza. And finding a tattoo artist, especially one studied in Irezumi tattoos, became very difficult. To this day, many bathhouses refuse service to those with tattoos.

Still, though tattoos and Irezumi tattoos with their Nara Black ink are becoming increasingly popular in Japan.

yatori

If two people share an umbrella, it is called the “Ai-Ai gasa”.Ai’ means ‘love’ and ‘gasa’ is the variation of the word ‘Kasa’ in Japanese with the meaning ‘Umbrella’. And literally “Ai-Ai gasa” means “Love-Love umbrella”. The Japanese youngsters use the symbol of an umbrella with the name of the boy and girl on its both sides as a symbol of love. It’s similar to the heart symbol representing love. Two people, especially a man and a woman, sharing an umbrella in rain is considered as a symbol of romance in Japan.

Leaving aside the meaning , I just find it so heartwarming the parallel between the two endings . As soon as yato loses the umbrella he falls into the despair and seems lost , only to run after the light that the shrine hiyori made him . And that just breaks me


AND CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT THIS?

According to this myth, the gods tie an invisible red cord around the ankles of those that are destined to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way. Often, in Japanese culture, it is thought to be tied around the little finger. The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of place, time, or circumstances. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break. 

And our dear Adachitoka didn’t hesitate to bring it out again.

The Book of Life - Animal Symbols + Mexican Culture

Unfortunately, Manolo is not included, as I was not able to locate the proper GIF of him for the post.

María Posada - Mexican Creole Hairless Pig

In the film, María is always accompanied by her pet pig, Chuy. The pig was a symbol of virility, strength, and fertility in ancient Chinese cultures. The boar is even among the animals in the Chinese zodiac where it is considered a symbol of sincerity, honesty, and determination. 

The Mexican Creole hairless pig is a unique genotype that is believed to have been introduced to Mexico during the Spanish conquest. 

In Mexico, swets known as “piggy cookies” in English, and “little pigs” in Spanish, are known by many names — cerditos, cochinitos, marranitos or puerquitos. Sweetened with unprocessed cane sugar and honey, and spiced with cinnamon, the cutout cookies puff when you bake them. Mexico-born chef Pati Jinich describes the cookies as a cross between a cookie and a sweet roll, and as “breads, little fluffy breads”.

“They just taste so sweet, in a mellow way, and comforting because they’re so puffy and fluffy and like nothing I ever tasted before,” she says. “But at the same time, it tasted to me like my home country.”

After visiting a gas station in Mexico City, where the sweets were being sold, Jinich started noticing the cookies everywhere — not in big cities, but small towns. Still, she couldn’t find a recipe. “Everybody cooks by eye; you add a little, you mix a little,” she says.

“Piggy cookies” are just one among many pan dulce recipes. Pan dulce (lit. “sweet bread”) is one of the poster treats in Mexico and other Latin American countries. One of the first non-native foods that was introduced to Mexico by Spain was wheat, a Spanish religious necessity. 

The creation of sweet bread was influenced by the French and Spaniards, who were the ones that introduced baked goods such as crispy rolls, baguettes, and sweet pastries to Mexico. This inspired the indigenous peoples to create different types of pan dulces such as besos, conchas, and cuernos amongst others. The bread is considered to be one of Mexico’s most inexpensive treats, and is consumed daily as breakfast or late supper, known as merienda.

Joaquín Mondragon - Criollo Horse

For Joaquín, he shares a close companionship with his gray horse, Plata. The horse symbolizes power, grace, beauty, nobility, strength, and freedom. Due to its natural companionship with man in both work and art, the Horse easily wins a special seat in history, ranking high marks of honor, reverence and symbolism. Serving man in war, mobility, productivity, agriculture, development of all kinds, the Horse is by far one of the largest contributor to the enhancement of civilization.

The Criollo horse is a breed that originated in Brazil, and later spread to Mexico. It may have the best endurance of any horse breed in the world, next to the Arabian. The hardy Criollos were descendants of Spanish stock introduced by Spanish colonists. The breed dates back to a 1535, shipment of 100 Andalusian (PRE) stallions coming from Cadiz, Spain, to the Rio de la Plata. During the Revolution, many of these horses were killed, and breeding had all but stopped, resulting in near extinction of the Mexican Criollo horse.

Since their arrival aboard Spanish ships, horses have been part of the story of the New World. In Mexico, there is perhaps no better representative of the country’s combined cultures and history than the horse trained for “charreria,” the Mexican version of a rodeo.

Horses competing in this embellished display of skills once necessary to ranch life, must be agile, well-tempered and intelligent — able to execute the commands of their charros, the horsemen whose traditional riding suits and wide-brimmed sombreros are part of the cultural iconography. For the charro, his horse is as inseparable from himself as it is from the history of Mexico. "We were conquered by horses, we gained our independence with horses, we made our Revolution with horses and we continue to love horses,“ said charro Daniel Flores Yeverino.

La Muerte - Monarch Butterfly

This butterfly is symbolic of lightness of being and elevation from the heaviness of tensions. This animal represents those who invite joy and bliss into their lives. Butterflies often have bright colors, and by extension, they are associated with life and brightness. The message of this animal is to lighten up, and add more color to your life. Those with a butterfly as a personal symbol often have a “colorful personality”.

In many traditions around the world, the butterfly is a symbol of the soul or soul world. For example, in Chinese symbology, it can represent immortality. For the Japanese, a white butterfly symbolizes the soul the departed ones. In Ancient Greece, butterflies represent the psyche or soul, and its attribute of immortality.

The Monarch butterflies arrive in Mexico each year in late-October. Their arrival coincides with Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead); one of Mexico’s most important holidays. During the annual Day of the Dead holiday, deceased relatives are believed to return home where they’re honored with feasts, celebrations and elaborate ofrendas (offerings). According to local legend, the Monarch butterflies arriving in Mexico at this time of the year are believed to be the souls of the deceased returning to earth.

Xibalba - Viper Snake

The snake represents wisdom, healing, elusiveness, manipulation of lightning, transformation or shapeshifting, exploration of the mysteries of life, primitive or elemental energy, protection from religious persecution, creative power, immortality, and the afterlife. 

On the deepest level, the snake’s skin shedding symbolizes death and rebirth, an idea which is depicted by the image of a snake swallowing its own tail - a symbol of eternity. The Snakes medicine is not to be treated lightly. Its meaning touches on the deepest mysteries in life. If you are ready to shed your own skin, Snake is ready and waiting to guide you through the spiral path of transformation. On a material level snake is vitality, on an emotional level ambition and dreams, on a mental level intellect and power, and on the highest level, the spiritual level wisdom, understanding and wholeness.

To the Mexicas, the snake represented wisdom, and it had strong connotations with the”feathered serpent” god, Quetzalcoatl. At its simplest, the symbolism of snake-and-skull in Mexican mythology is a timeless message of impermanence. The symbolism of the snake or rattlesnake is another extension of the unique Mexican perspective on life, death and the transition between the two.

Mexican mythology indicates the snake is a symbol of veneration, worship and honor. Often a symbol of great power, resurrection and rebirth, the snake continues to be a powerful emblem of renewal and transition. The snake is also recognized as a symbol of humanity as a whole. Interestingly, the Mexican perspective provides hope for mankind to aspire to great heights as it correlates the shedding of the serpent’s skin, to man’s ability to change his own circumstances and overcome adversity.

3

They’re floating lanterns in the sky. Can you believe that? Japanese lantern is a symbol of letting go of the past. Well, here’s a newsflash… we’re not Japanese. You know what they are? Children. Like lighting a candle’s going to make everything okay. Or even saying a prayer, or pretending Elena is not going to end up just like the rest of us murderous vampires. Stupid, delusional, exasperating little children. I know what you’re going to say. It makes them feel better, Damon. So what? For how long? A minute? A day? What difference does it make? Because in the end, when you lose somebody, every candle, every prayer is not going to make up for the fact that the only thing you have left is a hole in your life where that somebody that you cared about used to be. And a rock, with a birthday carved into it that I’m pretty sure is wrong.