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photos from unsplash.com & pixabay.com

Index

text from wikipedia Design Cathrine Thelin Print V18

04 - 07 Japanese culture 08 - 11 Japanese food 12 - 15 Animal of the year: Shiba inu 16 - 19 Music: Babymetal

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C U L T U R E

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Japan Pop culture Japanese popular culture not only reflects the attitudes and concerns of the present day, but also provides a link to the past. Popular films, television programs, manga, music, anime and video games all developed from older artistic and literary traditions, and many of their themes and styles of presentation can be traced to traditional art forms. Contemporary forms of popular culture, much like the traditional forms, provide not only entertainment but also an escape for the contemporary Japanese from the problems of an industrial world. When asked how they spent their leisure time, 80 percent of a sample of men and women surveyed by the government in 1986 said they averaged about two and a half hours per weekday watching television, listening to the radio, and reading newspapers or magazines. Some 16 percent spent an average of two and a quarter hours a day engaged in hobbies or amusements. Others spent leisure time participating in sports, socializing, and personal study. Teenagers and retired people reported more time spent on all of these activities than did other groups. Many animes and mangas are very popular around the world and continue to become popular, as well as Japanese video games, fashion, and game shows. In the late 1980s, the family was the focus of leisure activities, such as excursions to parks or shopping districts. Although Japan is often thought of as a hard-working society with little time for leisure, the Japanese seek entertainment wherever they can. It is common to see Japanese commuters riding the train to work, enjoying their favorite manga, or listening through earphones to the latest in popular music on portable music players. A wide variety of types of popular entertainment are available. There is a large selection of music, films, and the products of a huge comic book industry, among other forms of entertainment, from which to choose. Game centers, bowling alleys, and karaoke are popular hangout places for teens while older people may play shogi or go in specialized parlors.

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Traditional clothing Traditional Japanese clothing distinguishes Japan from all other countries around the world. The Japanese word kimono means “something one wears” and they are the traditional garments of Japan. Originally, the word kimono was used for all types of clothing, but eventually, it came to refer specifically to the full-length garment also known as the naga-gi, meaning “long-wear”, that is still worn today on special occasions by women,men, and children. The earliest kimonos were heavily influenced by traditional Han Chinese clothing, known today as hanfu, through Japanese embassies to China which resulted in extensive Chinese culture adoptions by Japan, as early as the 5th century AD. It was during the 8th century that Chinese fashions came into style among the Japanese. Kimono in this meaning, plus all other items of traditional Japanese clothing is known collectively as wafuku which means “Japanese clothes” as opposed to yofuku (Western-style clothing). Kimonos come in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes. Men mainly wear darker or more muted colors, while women tend to wear brighter colors and pastels, and, especially for younger women, often with complicated abstract or floral patterns. The kimono of a woman who is married (tomesode) differs from the kimono of a woman who is not married (furisode). The tomesode sets itself apart because the patterns do not go above the waistline. The furisode can be recognized by its wextremely long sleeves spanning anywhere from 39 to 42 inches, it is also the most formal kimono an unwed woman wears. The furisode advertises that a woman is not only of age but also single. One of the more elegant kimonos is the uchikake, a long silk

overgarment worn by the bride in a wedding ceremony. The uchikake is commonly embellished with birds or flowers using silver and gold thread. Kimonos do not come in specific sizes as most western dresses do. The sizes are only approximate, and a special technique is used to fit the dress appropriately. Most Japanese men only wear the kimono at home or in a very laid back environment, however it is acceptable for a man to wear the kimono when he is entertaining guests in his home. For a more formal event a Japanese man might wear the haori and hakama, a half coat and divided skirt. The hakama is tied at the waist, over the kimono and ends near the ankle. Hakama were initially intended for men only, but today it is acceptable for women to wear them as well. Hakama can be worn with types of kimono, excluding the summer version, yukata. The lighter and simpler casual-wear version of kimono often worn in Japanese summer festival is called yukata. Formal kimonos are typically worn in several layers. The number of layers, visibility of layers, sleeve length, and choice of pattern dictated by social status, season, and the occasion for which the kimono is worn. Because of the mass availability, most Japanese people wear western style clothing in their everyday life, and kimonos are mostly worn for festivals, and special events. As a result, most young women in Japan are not able to put the kimono on themselves. Many older women offer classes to teach these young women how to don the traditional clothing.

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F O O D Traditional Japanese food

for each individual portion. This is done even at home. It contrasts with the Western-style dinners at home, where each individual takes helpings from the large serving dishes of food presented at the middle of the dining table.

Japanese cuisine is based on combining the staple food, which is steamed white rice or gohan, with one or several okazu or main dishes and side dishes. This may be accompanied by a clear or miso soup and tsukemono (pickles).

Japanese style traditionally has different flavored dishes touching each other on a single plate, so different dishes are given their own individual plates as mentioned, or are partitioned using leaves, etc. Placing okazu on top of rice and “soiling” it is also frowned upon by old-fashioned etiquette.

The phrase ichijū-sansai (“one soup, three sides”) refers to the makeup of a typical meal served, but has roots in classic kaiseki, honzen, and yūsoku cuisine. The term is also used to describe the first course served in standard kaiseki cuisine nowadays

Originated from Chinese dining

Rice is served in its own small bowl (chawan), and each course item is placed on its own small plate (sara) or bowl (hachi)

Though this tradition originated from Classical Chinese dining formalities, especially

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after the adoption of Buddhism with its tea ceremony, and became most popular and common during and after the Kamakura period, such as the Kaiseki. Japanese cuisine keeps such tradition still, whereas in modern times such practice is in sharp contrast to present day Chinese cuisine, where placing food on rice is standard, However the exception is the popular donburi.

course of a full-course Japanese meal would be brought on serving napkins called zen, which were originally platformed trays or small dining tables. In the modern age, faldstool trays or stackup-type legged trays may still be seen used in zashiki, i.e. tatami-mat rooms, for large banquets or at a ryokan type inn. Some restaurants might use the suffix-zen as a more sophisticated though dated synonym to the more familiar teishoku, since the latter basically is a term for a combo meal served at a taishūshokudō, akin to a diner.

The small rice bowl or chawan (lit. “tea bowl”) doubles as a word for the large tea bowls in tea ceremonies. Thus in common speech, the drinking cup is referred to as yunomi-jawan or yunomi for the purpose of distinction. In the olden days, among the nobility, each

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Ramen Ramen is a Japanese soup dish. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat- or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as sliced pork, dried seaweed, menma, and green onions. Nearly every region in Japan has its own variation of ramen, from the tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen of Kyushu to the miso ramen of Hokkaido. The origin of ramen is unclear. Some sources say it is of Chinese origin.Other sources say it was invented in Japan in the early 20th century. The name ramen is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese lamian. Until the 1950s, ramen was called shina soba (literally “Chinese soba”) but today chūka soba (also meaning “Chinese soba”) or just Ramen are more common, as the word shina, meaning “China” In 1958, instant noodles were invented by Momofuku Ando, the Taiwanese-Japanese founder and chairman of Nissin Foods, now run by his son Koki Ando. Named the greatest Japanese invention of the 20th century in a Japanese poll, instant ramen allowed anyone to make an approximation to this dish simply by adding boiling water. Beginning in the 1980s, ramen became a Japanese cultural icon and was studied around the world from many perspectives. At the same time, local varieties of ramen were hitting the national market and could even be ordered by their regional names. A ramen museum opened in Yokohama in 1994.

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Sushi Sushi is a type of food preparation originating in Japan, consisting of cooked vinegared rice (sushi-meshi) combined with other ingredients (neta) such as seafood, meat, vegetables and sometimes tropical fruits. Ingredients and forms of sushi presentation vary widely, but the ingredient which all sushi have in common is rice (also referred to as shari or sumeshi). Although commonly mistaken for sushi, sashimi, which is also a Japanese delicacy, consists of thinly sliced raw meat or fish and may or may not be served with rice. Sushi can be prepared with either brown or white rice. It is often prepared with raw seafood, but some common varieties of sushi use cooked ingredients and many are vegetarian. Sushi is often served with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce. Popular garnishes are often made using daikon.

Western-style sushi The increasing popularity of sushi around the world has resulted in variations typically found in the Western world, but rarely in Japan (a notable exception to this is the use of salmon, which was introduced by Bjorn Eirik Olsen, a Norwegian businessman tasked with helping the Norwegian salmon industry sell more fish in the early 1980s). Such creations to suit the Western palate were initially fueled by the invention of the California roll (a norimaki with crab (later, imitation crab), cucumber, and avocado). A wide variety of popular rolls (norimaki and uramaki) has evolved since. Norway roll is another variant of uramakizushi filled with tamago (omelette), imitation crab and cucumber, rolled with shiso leaf and nori, topped with slices of Norwegian salmon, garnished with lemon and mayonnaise.

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A N I M A L S

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Animal of the year: Shiba Inu The Shiba Inu is the smallest of the six original and distinct spitz breeds of dog from Japan. A small, agile dog that copes very well with mountainous terrain, the Shiba Inu was originally bred for hunting. It looks similar to and is often mistaken for other Japanese dog breeds like the Akita Inu or Hokkaido, but the Shiba Inu is a different breed with a distinct blood line, temperament and smaller size than other Japanese dog breeds. Inu is the Japanese word for dog, but the origin of the prefix “Shiba” is less clear. The word shiba means “brushwood” in Japanese, and refers to a type of tree or shrub whose leaves turn red in the fall. This leads some to believe that the Shiba was named with this in mind, either because the dogs were used to hunt in wild shrubs, or because the most common color of the Shiba Inu is a red color similar to that of the shrubs. However, in an old Nagano dialect, the word shiba also had the meaning of “small”, thus this might be a reference to the dog’s diminutive stature.Therefore, the Shiba Inu is sometimes translated as “Little Brushwood Dog”.

History Originally, the Shiba Inu was bred to hunt and flush small game, such as birds and rabbits. Despite efforts to preserve the breed, the Shiba nearly became extinct during World War II due to a combination of food shortage and a post-war distemper epidemic. All subsequent dogs were bred from the only three surviving bloodlines. These bloodlines were the Shinshu Shiba, the Mino Shiba, and the San’in Shiba. The Shinshu Shibas possessed a solid undercoat, with a dense layer of guard-hairs, and were small and red in color. The Mino Shibas tended to have thick, prick ears, and possessed a sickle tail, rather than the common curled tail found on most modern Shibas. The San’in Shibas were larger than most modern shibas, and tended to be black, without the common tan and white accents found on modern black-and-tan shibas. When the study of Japanese dogs was formalized in the early and mid-20th century, these three strains were combined into one overall breed, the Shiba Inu. The first Japanese breed standard for the Shiba, the Nippo Standard, was published in 1934. In December 1936, the Shiba Inu was recognized as a Natural Monument of Japan through the Cultural Properties Act, largely due to the efforts of Nippo (Nihon Ken Hozonkai), the Association for the Preservation of the Japanese Dog.

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Temperament Shibas tend to exhibit an independent nature and sometimes show dog aggression. This is more prevalent between female Shibas and is influenced by the breed’s strong prey drive. The Shiba Inu is best in a home without other small dogs or young children, but consistent obedience training and early socialization can make all the difference. The breed also interacts fairly well with cats. A spirited boldness, a good nature, and an unaffected forthrightness, which together yield dignity and natural beauty. The Shiba has an independent nature and can be reserved toward strangers but is loyal and affectionate to those who earn his respect. They can be aggressive toward other dogs.

The Shiba is a relatively fastidious breed and feels the need to maintain itself in a clean state. They can often be seen licking their paws and legs, much like a cat. They generally go out of their way to keep their coats clean. Because of their fastidious and proud nature, Shiba puppies are easy to housebreak and in many cases will housebreak themselves. Having their owner simply place them outside after meal times and naps is generally enough to teach the Shiba the appropriate method of toileting.

The terms “spirited boldness”, “good nature” and “artlessness” have subtle interpretations that have been the subject of much commentary.

A distinguishing characteristic of the breed is the so-called “shiba scream”. When sufficiently provoked or unhappy, the dog will produce a loud, high pitched scream. This can occur when attempting to handle the dog in a way that it deems unacceptable. The animal may also emit a very similar sound during periods of great joy, such as the return of the owner after an extended absence, or the arrival of a favored human guest.

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Appearance The Shiba’s frame is compact with well-developed muscles. Males are 35 to 43 cm (14 to 17 in) at the withers. Females are 33 to 41 cm (13 to 16 in). The preferred size is the middle of the range for each sex. Average weight at preferred size is approximately 10 kg (22 lb) for males, 8 kg (18 lb) for females. Bone is moderate. The Shiba is double coated, with the outer coat being stiff and straight and the undercoat soft and thick. Fur is short and even on the fox-like face, ears, and legs. Guard hairs stand off the body and are about 4 to 5 cm (1 1⁄2 to 2 in) long at the withers. Tail hair is slightly longer and stands open in a brush. Shibas may be red, black and tan, or sesame (red with black-tipped hairs), with a cream, buff, or grey undercoat. They may also be white (cream), though this color is considered a “major fault” by the American Kennel Club and should never be intentionally bred in a show dog, as the required markings known as “urajiro” are not visible; “Urajiro” literally translates to “underside white”. Conversely, a white (cream) coat is perfectly acceptable according to the British Kennel Club breed standard. The urajiro (cream to white ventral color) is required in the following areas on all coat colors: on the sides of the muzzle, on the cheeks, inside the ears, on the underjaw and upper throat inside of legs, on the abdomen, around the vent and the ventral side of the tail. On reds: commonly on the throat, forechest, and chest. On blacks and sesames: commonly as a triangular mark on both sides of the forechest.

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M U S i C Babymetal Babymetal is a Japanese metal idol band. Their line-up consists of Suzuka Nakamoto as “Su-metal” aged 18, Yui Mizuno as “Yuimetal” aged 17, and Moa Kikuchi as “Moametal” aged 17. The concept of the group is a fusion of the heavy metal and Japanese idol genres. The three teenage girls and their band are managed by the Amuse talent agency. Their vocals are backed by heavy metal instrumentation played by the Kami Band. Babymetal released their eponymous debut album in February 2014. Their second album Metal Resistance was released worldwide on April 1, 2016.

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2010-2012: Beginnings The group was initially formed in 2010 as a subunit of the female idol group Sakura Gakuin, aiming to realize a “fusion of metal and idol”. None of the three members knew what metal music was before the inception of the band. Babymetal’s first live appearance was on 28 November 2010, at Sakura Gakuin’s first solo concert. Their first song, “Doki Doki Morning”, was originally released in April 2011. The band shot a music video for the song and in October 2011 released it as a DVD single. Having been uploaded to YouTube that same month, by the end of 2012 the video totaled over 1 million views. In July 2011, Babymetal premiered the song, “Ijime, Dame, Zettai” (“No More Bullying”), at a Sakura Gakuin concert, but it would only be performed during live concerts at the time. The first music video, “Doki Doki Morning” was released on YouTube at 12 October 2011. Babymetal’s first CD single was a collaboration with the band Kiba of Akiba, titled “Babymetal × Kiba of Akiba”. Released on a sublabel of Toy’s Factory in March 2012, it ranked 3rd on the Oricon weekly indie chart and number one in the Tower Records Shibuya weekly indie ranking. In July 2012, Babymetal released a single titled “Headbanger”.In August 2012, Babymetal debuted at Japan’s Summer Sonic Festival. With the average age of 12, the band became the youngest act ever to perform there. 2012 also marks Babymetal first Asian tour outside of Japan for the very first time at AFA 2012 Singapore

2013–2015: Major label debut In January 2013, the band debuted on a major record label with “Ijime, Dame, Zettai”. It sold 19,000 copies in its first week and debuted at number 6 in the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart. In the spring of 2013, Nakamoto graduated from junior high school and therefore had to “graduate” from Sakura Gakuin (a group of elementary and junior high school girls). However, their management decided that Babymetal would not dissolve and would continue its activities as a band. The group released its next single, “Megitsune”, on June 19 In August 2013, Babymetal again took part in the Summer Sonic Festival. Later, in October 2013, Babymetal also became the youngest act ever to perform at the heavy metal music festival Loud Park. And at the end of 2013 Babymetal did another Asian tour in Indonesia at AFAID and second time for Singapore after their first overseas Asian tour in 2012. On 26 February 2014, Babymetal released its first, self-titled album. It contained thirteen tracks. The album was very well received by the public, selling over 37,000 copies in Japan its first week, debuting at number 2 in Billboard Japan. It also topped iTunes Metal charts in Germany, UK and US, and reached number 187 on the US Billboard 200 chart in March; few Japanese artists have ever entered the chart. On March 1 and 2, 2014, the band gave two concerts at Budokan. With the average age of 14.7, they became youngest-ever female act to give

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a show there. The two concerts were attended by 20,000 people.In April 2014, the reaction video by YouTubers with shock was released from the Fine Brothers channel on YouTube about the Music Videos of “Doki Doki Morning”, “line!”, and “Gimme Chocolate!!”. On 30 April 2016, the video of Babymetal’s reaction to their reaction was released on YouTube. In 2014, Babymetal performed in Paris and in the UK at the Sonisphere Festival. They played Heavy MONTRÉAL 2014 in Canada on August 9 alongside Metallica, Slayer, and also performed at Summer Sonic 2014 in Japan, with bands such as Avenged Sevenfold and Megadeth. Babymetal was also the opening act to five of Lady Gaga’s concerts in August along the western United States. In August 2014, it was announced that the band would be returning to England to play another show at London’s O2 on November 8. It was later announced that the band would also be returning to New York City, performing in the Hammerstein Ballroom. In September the band announced their second live album titled Live: Legend 1999 & 1997 Apocalypse, released on October 19. At their O2 performance, the band debuted a new song titled “Road of Resistance.” It was later revealed to be a collaboration with DragonForce. The song, featuring the dragonforces guitarists Li and Totman, was released as a bonus track available with their “Live at Budokan” album on January 7, 2015. Li later revealed via Twitter and Facebook posts that he and Totman had been working on the song’s guitar parts since 2013. Shortly after the joint release, it was released as a single on the iTunes store. In April 2015, the band announced the re-release of their self-titled album. Ahead of their performance at the Metal Hammer

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Golden Gods Awards in June, the trio made a surprise appearance during DragonForce’s set at Download Festival, performing “Gimme Chocolate!!”.

2016–present: Touring During the band’s 2-day concerts in Yokohama in December 2015, it was announced that they would be releasing a second studio album on April 1, 2016, as well as a new world tour starting in London at the Wembley Arena. On January 15, 2016, the second album’s title was revealed to be Metal Resistance. On April 2, one day after the release of Metal Resistance, Babymetal became the first Japanese act to headline Wembley Arena, with the largest sale of merchandise for a single day event in the venue’s history, coinciding with the highest ever entry for an album in the UK charts for a Japanese act. The Guardian gave their Wembley performance a rating of five out of five stars. Babymetal were added as a character skin in the Wii U video game Super Mario Maker in 2016. On July 27, Metal Hammer readers voted Babymetal’s debut album as the best album of the 21st century. In December 2016, Babymetal will appear in UK’s performance in Red Hot Chili Peppers’ The Getaway World Tour opening act. In September 2016, Warner Bros. announce they are under development a hybrid live action-animation fantasy-adventure short form series featuring the members of the band. The series would be develop by Blue Ribbon Content in collaboration with Amuse USA, the creator and producer of the band Key Kobayashi is also involved as producer.


Public image

According to Kei “Kobametal” Kobayashi, the band’s executive producer, the band was formed under the idea of a new type of metal, and the members of the band receive “divine messages” from the Fox God, though Nakamoto explained that the messages received were indirect, as they would be sent to Kobametal first. He stated that it was up to the people’s decision to accept or reject the idea. Additionally, he rejected the notion of the band being a “metal” or “pop” act, preferring “the one and only Babymetal.” Kikuchi joked that the three members didn’t decide to join the band, as it was a destiny chosen by the Fox God, whose goal is said to have the band perform and spread their music all over the world. The band has received varied reception by the public. Some critics praised the band for being “creative” and “rule-breaking” in the metal genre, while others called the band a “novelty group” and a “silly balancing act”.When asked about people who don’t consider the band’s pop-infused music “metal”, Nakamoto acknowledged the claims and praised such accusations, warranting how metal “purists” have their own preferences for metal being a certain way, and taking them into consideration for the band’s progress. Additionally, the band members believe in staying true to themselves and enjoying what they do, as she agrees is enough for them. The fanbase, collectively referred to as “The One”,has been noted by Mizuno to be a mixed demographic of varying age. Noting the fans of metal and pop, she described the “metalheads” who look like themselves, and the pop fans who dress and cosplay as them. She hopes to be able to continue to reach out to all different types of people. When asked about being role models for their fans and young girls, considered it an honor. She further emphasized the importance of being able to reach out to the youth, especially for younger music fans branching out to the metal genre via Babymetal, noting her own lack of experience of metal before joining the band.

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