Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Introduction

When you visit Japan for the first time,
you might imagine the cities full of people in kimono,
or you might hope to see many geisha or samurai and rickshaws.
In today's Japan, you can't really find them at all, except in shows.
Visitors often express their disappointment at finding Japan so westernized.
But behind those superficial part, there still exist
all the traditional arts and life style.
Centuries old customs still play an important role in society.

Greeting

People greets each other by bowing from the waist. This is called ojigi,
to express their respect to each other.
Young people sometimes shake hands but it's usually done between close
friends to express their feelings, e.g. after winning a match etc.
You're surely encounter this "ojigi" sights when you visit Japan.
It is very convenient, because it is used for greeting, thanking, good-byes,
or even for apologizing.
So,when you meet people, just bow, bow, bow!

The language.

Japanese is a very interesting language, and difficult to learn because of
its complexity. It has 3 kinds of letters, kanji has its origin in the Chinese characters, while hiragana and katakana are Japanese letters.
The language has also a polite form for its words, and even has special
words for men or women. Women don't use words for men and vice versa.
One word that is very useful to know, is domo.It can be used in any
occasion, to say thank you inspite of the usual "arigato", to apologize,
or even to say hello, or good-bye.
So it can't be wrong to say domo on any occasion.

Food

The main food is rice, supplemented by soup (misoshiru), and a number of side dishes. Common side dishes include seafood, raw fish (sashimi), bean curd (tofu)
and vegetables .
Sushi.
A piece of raw-fish,shellfish,egg etc. are placed on small ball of rice.The rice is seasoned with vinegar, salt, sugar and sake.
It is eaten by dipping in soy sauce mixed with grated horseradish.
Sashimi.
Sliced raw fish, usually served artistically on a plate.
It is arranged with garnishes like seaweed, shredded white radish, sliced cucumbers, and decorated with leaves.Like sushi, the slices are eaten by dipping in soy sauce mixed with horseradish.
Udon.
White Japanese noodle made from wheat fluor.
It is served hot in soup, or cold, dipped in sauce mixed with minced green onions.
Wagashi.
Japanese style confectionery.
It is made mainly from rice or wheat fluor, beans, mixed with a kind of gelatin made from seaweed.
There are many kinds ofwagashi, served on particular seasonal events, like Children's Day, The Doll Festival etc.
Sake.
Japanese rice wine, served warm or cold.
It is a clear alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice, served in a small ceramic bottle, then poured into a small sake cup called sakazuki.
Like wine, sake is also used as a seasoning for various kinds of Japanese cookings.
Yakitori.
Barbequed chicken, arranged on bamboo skewers, and broiled over a charcoal fire.Vegetables such as green onions, green peppers etc. are sometimes arranged between the chicken meat.