Oh Chute! The Summer Festival Somen Game Now Has a Home Edition!

Your parents probably warned you against playing with your food. However,
there are some times when Japanese custom allows for this, most notably at
Summer Festivals. Nagashi Somen is one of those times. Usually Nagashi
Somen requires some pretty involved equipment. But now Takara Tomy, the
Japanese toymaker, has released the home version of this game.

Wearing Hijabi-Lolita in Kuala Lumpur

Hijabi-Lolita started as a way to honor one’s identity as a Muslim woman,
but also participate in Lolita fashion. Hijabi-Lolita actually started
among Muslim girls in Britain, Canada and the US. It has spread to other
countries with Muslim minorities, and then to predominantly Muslim
countries. Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia in particular have picked up
the Hijabi-Lolita look, and Anime/Manga conventions in those countries have
Lolita fashion shows and high teas as part of the events there. 

Your Name. Your New Favorite Anime Film. Seriously, It’s THAT Good.

This is the story of two teenage kids (isn’t it always?) separated by
distance and by one of them living in the Tokyo megalopolis and one of them
living out in a remote, rural part of Japan. Mitsuha is a girl from a
family who has tended a Shinto shrine for hundreds of years. Mitsuha
doesn’t like being trapped into a life she doesn’t entirely believe in
either. One day she wishes upon a star that she would be reborn — and soon
— as a boy in Tokyo. 

Going On A Kaiten-zushi Date? Remember These 10 Faux-Pas To Avoid!

Kaiten-zushi, also known as conveyor belt sushi, is a popular inexpensive
date night in Japan. And it’s not really that unusual to see them in big
cities in the US too. There have been places serving these inexpensive
little bites of sushi in Los Angeles, anyway, since the 1970s.  However,
just as there are rules for eating sushi, there are specific rules for
eating at a kaiten-sushi establishment. These rules come from a Japanese
site, but are pretty much universal. Your date is watching, and judging,
you on your form. Commit these to memory.

White Day and Black Day: The Other Sides Of Sei Baruntain

Today is White Day, March 14, the day that Japanese women (and women from
other parts of Asia) get gifts of chocolate (originally marshmallows, then
white chocolate, hence the White Day name) and other cool stuff from their
significant other. This is a reciprocal gift based on gifts given a month
before on Sei Baruntain, or Valentine’s Day.

Cherry Blossom Time and The Great East Japan Earthquake

How do the Japanese prep for a Hanami? Firstly, they check websites that
give predictions about when the cherry blossom bloom. A good one is
maintained by JR, the Japan Railway. Then you contact your friends and
colleagues and see who’s up for a picnic. Then you go to your local 100 yen
store — think Daiso — and get your stuff. The Japanese concept of
mottenai applies here…why waste money when you’re going to have to throw
stuff away/recycle stuff anyway?

Your Name Becomes the Biggest Anime Movie, Ever.

It looks like the new animation superstar, following on the on again/off
again/on again/and once again maybe off again retirement of Hayao Miyazaki
is Makoto Shinkai. Shinkai’s phenomenal success with Kimi no na wa 君の名は,
known better in English as Your Name, has been made complete.