Saturday, November 05, 2005

Update on my Japanese friends from Tokyo

The Art of Shogi

I do not have to think about what to do during the two free days in Tokyo because I have the opportunity to spend time in the company of Fumitaka, his wife Yunko, a Japanese high school teacher, and their son Yohei.

Spending time with Yunko will be a learning opportunity. I have a million questions for her. Her job seems similar to mine. Yunko was working at her preparatory school for high school entrance examinations yesterday.

Yohei, their 15 year old son, plays Shogi (Japanese Chess) every Sunday for 5 hours. I wonder how different or similar Shogi is to chess.

I feel bless to have the opportunity to visit with two Japanese families during my Fulbright stay in Japan. I have a family in Tokyo and I will have a family in Yanagawa.

Fumitaka, in one of his e-mails mentioned being on a holiday.

Holidays in Japan:

The following are the November-December holidays:

November 3 Culture Day (bunka no hi): A day for promotion of culture and the love for freedom and peace. On the culture day, schools and the government award certain persons for their special, cultural activities.

November 15 Seven-Five-Three (shichigosan): A festival for children, it is not a national holiday. Please read more on the special information page.

November 23 Labor Thanksgiving Day (kinro kansha no hi): A national holiday for honoring labour. We will share this holiday in Japan Labor Thanksgiving day:

December 23 Emperor's Birthday (tenno no tanjobi): The birthday of the current emperor is always a national holiday. If the emperor changes, the national holiday changes to the birthday date of the new emperor.

December 24-25 Christmas: Christmas is not a national holiday, but it is celebrated by an increasing number of Japanese. Please read more on the Christmas information page.

If a national holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be free as well.

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