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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 10:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,938,975


In General green day/boy's day/golden daze Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #62 New 04-29-2011 03:17 AM
green day/boy's day/golden daze
Going to School in Old Japan by Okinawa Soba used under creative commons licence

"Well, I did jus' what the book said to do. Look at it. It says: Take an egg. Conceal it in the pocket. Well, I took an egg an' I concealed it in the pocket. Seems to me," he said bitterly, "seems to me this book isn't Things a Boy Can Do. It's Things a Boy Can't Do."
More William by Richmal Crompton

two hours later
you know where I was found
smokin' in the boys room

Brownsville Station

stand on my head and say
I was just a boy
giving it all away

Roger Daltrey

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
this is the dawning of the rest of our lives
this is our lives on holiday

Green Day

Some martial artists don't like holidays. It's just less time to train. In Japan there are three long holidays. There is the bon holiday in August when Japanese people visit their family graves. There are holidays for the new year. And there is golden week.

Golden Week is four public holidays at the end of April and the beginning of May. The name wasn't given by ordinary people happy about a "golden week" of holidays. It was a name given by a movie company executive happy about all the tickets sold. Anyway the name stuck. Japanese love abbreviations and it is often shortened to GW.

Before golden week even starts the Aikikai hombu dojo in Tokyo cancels the last class on 26 April. It's the anniversary of the death of the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba. Instead of aikido training old movies of O Sensei are shown instead. Now you can find videos of O Sensei on the internet but years ago the movies were rare and precious. I translated for Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba on that day.

29 April is Showa Day for the Showa Emperor, Hirohito. After death an emperor is known by the name of the era. It's a strange system because the name of the era is rapidly chosen by politicians after the death of the previous emperor. When the name of the next era was announced in January 1989 people immediately rushed to register new companies with Heisei in the name. 29 April used to be Green Day (now 4 May is Green Day). In Japan the most famous martial arts event on this day is the All-Japan Judo Championship at the Nippon Budokan. But for aikidoka 29 April is the day of the Iwama Shrine Festival at the Aiki Shrine in Iwama in Ibaragi prefecture. I remember going there years ago with my teacher, Kinjo Asoh sensei. We caught a train from Ueno station in north-east Tokyo early in the morning. The manager of the dojo came to see us off and gave us bento boxed food and cans of beer for our breakfast. Really. This year the ceremony was cancelled because of the Tohoku earthquake.

3 May is called Constitution Memorial Day. The post-war constitution drafted by General Douglas MacArthur and his staff after World War II came into law on 3 May 1947. The Potsdam Declaration had decreed that "the Japanese government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established." I'm from the UK and we don't even have a written constitution. So I would like to say way to go Japan and I hope we catch up with you one day. A national holiday to commemorate it would be cool too.

4 May is a bridge day between two holidays and it is now Green Day.

5 May is called Children's Day now but traditionally it is Boy's day. As I said in my blog article about Girl's day (3/3) odd numbers are considered lucky in Japan and so boys day is 5/5. Oh yes. Boy's day is a national holiday and Girl's day is not. No surprises there.

wikipedia articles - the article about the Japanese constitution is especially interesting

e-book from project gutenberg of More William by Richmal Crompton
When I was a young boy I was given a pile of second-hand William books tied with string. Perhaps they came from a local fête. They all had faded red hardcovers.

Smokin' in the Boys Room by Brownsville Station

Giving it all away by Roger Daltrey

Holiday by Green Day

my latest column on aikiweb: Half a Tatami

© niall matthews 2011
Views: 6091 | Comments: 13

RSS Feed 13 Responses to "green day/boy's day/golden daze"
#13 05-05-2011 10:04 AM
niall Says:
Hi Chris. Yes today was boy's day - this is the wikipedia article about the koi nobori streamers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koi-nobori Cheers, Niall
#12 05-05-2011 07:15 AM
chris wright Says:
Hi Niall, i remember reading about 'boys day' and its association with flying carp kites. Best wishes
#11 05-04-2011 03:36 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Yes Niall, I read the comments below the video too and looked for other sources. It says in Wikipedia that Luciano Pavarotti began the serious study of music in 1954 at the age of 19, and it doesn't seem that he met M.Lanza, he was only influenced by him through the movies. So it is probably not the child in the video, but as you said it is ok for boy's day
#10 05-04-2011 09:05 AM
niall Says:
Thanks Diana. It's always good to read your memories and your very centered comments.
#9 05-04-2011 08:57 AM
Diana Frese Says:
Just to say thank you, in general. I am learning so much about Japan through your blogs and the comments and revisit them often, checking out a link here, a link there .... not so easy to view videos with this computer, but with enough time I can manage...
#8 05-04-2011 08:54 AM
niall Says:
Thanks Carina. A boys choir goes with boy's day. I'm not sure if that was really Pavarotti but he and all later tenors must have been influenced by Mario Lanza. José Carreras and Plácido Domingo apparently both became opera singers because of him (quoted in the wikipedia article).
#7 05-03-2011 12:22 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Yes Niall, you are right a golden voice.. And here a another video with Mario Lanza and Luciano Pavarotti as a child together, thanks to internet where you can find such valuable things!
#6 05-03-2011 06:32 AM
niall Says:
Thanks Carina. I should have thought to put that link. My parents liked Mario Lanza very much so I heard his songs when I was a child. He was an opera singer who became a movie star. He died very young. Great voice. Golden.
#5 05-02-2011 12:24 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Just like the title
#4 05-01-2011 04:37 AM
niall Says:
Thanks Billy. Good luck with the job. Check out my column too when you have time Billy - there are a couple on that page. Hi to everyone. Cheers, Niall
#3 04-30-2011 05:17 AM
Makochan Says:
Hi Niall; It has been awhile, but I am still keeping up with your great blogs. Love all the photos. It's a long time since I heard the expressions 'Golden Week' and 'Beginner's Mind'. Your blogs always bring back good memories of Japan to me. Many thanks for that. Job front is all sorted now. Kindest, Billy
#2 04-29-2011 01:51 PM
guest1234567 Says:
In Argentina Constitution day is 1th May, a national day too, but they dictated the Constitution on the 9th of July Independence day,a national day and the beginning of the winter vacation at school. I'd like to share this article of japan Times about Giving back during Golden Week, that makes me admire japanese people even more
#1 04-29-2011 01:48 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Thks Niall,ref your 1 par: I'd have enjoyed last Easter thursday with aikido in the evening more. In Spain 6 Dec is the Constitution Day a national holiday, teachers take a bridge day 7 and 8 Dec is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception a national holiday too.On that holidays takes place since 15 years Endo Sensei Seminar in Granada

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