稲荷祭 (Inari Festival)
The Inari Festival was held the other day.
The Inari Festival is held every year on the first floor of the office building that e-Jan resides in.
Two Shinto priests from Hie Shrine (a famous shrine next to the prime minister's official residence) for this region’s ushigami-sama(*1) came to perform Shinto rituals.
But you might wonder, why would Shinto priests come to an office for an Inari Festival??
2018 Winter Olympics office game
The Winter Olympics, while perhaps not as popular as the summer Olympics, still generates a buzz of excitement.
J.O., the organiser of the office event ‘English Game Night’, is an Olympics enthusiast, and has developed another game for people at the office to communicate in English about shared topics: 2018 Winter Olympic Games - Medals for Japan -.
In search for a new domicile: being a good neighbour in Japan
Any area around the world, once residing at a new location, it is imperative to understand that each location would have a certain custom or tradition of which you would have to learn, even if it may seem strange. 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do.'
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have recently moved into a house in a suburban area of Saitama (a prefecture beside Tokyo). The area is a quiet neighbourhood, mostly composed of retired folks. Just to paint a picture, every single day, at around 7:30 pm, the streets are dead silent, with hardly any cars or people passing by. Somehow, with a ‘local’ feel that comes with the territory, I felt that I would need to be extra conscious of the local ‘ways of doing things’.
Valentine’s Day memories
In Japan, there is an established tradition of women giving men chocolates on Valentine’s Day. There are two ways that chocolate is given: Honmei-choco is chocolate given to a romantic partner, while Giri-choco (‘obligation chocolate’) is given to friends and coworkers and has no romantic meaning.
On the flipside, unique to Japan is March 14, White Day, in which men who have received chocolates on Valentine’s Day give gifts in return.
This week’s guest post is written by ‘Y.I.’on her past experiences of Valentine’s Day while working at a different, more traditional Japanese company.
In search for a new domicile: getting a house
Renting for a place can be tedious and nerve-wrecking, as I mentioned in my previous post. However, once you are equipped with the simple ‘how-to’s, gathered the requirements, and found a reliable real-estate agent, the process runs smoother. In regard to purchasing your own place, it’s more or less the same.
The apartments I’ve stayed at were not too shabby, some were even outstandingly nice. However, I’ve always wanted to have my own house; extra rooms for some mini house-projects, a wide living room, garden and barbecue place, a garage, and such.
年賀状 (New Year’s cards)
Much like the Western concept of Christmas cards, Japan has a tradition of sending New Year’s cards to close friends/family and others who have taken care of you during the past year.
This past Monday, 8 January was Japan’s Coming-of-age Day.
In Japan, adults come of age at 20 years old.
‘Coming-of-age Day’ celebrates everyone who comes of age during the year*.
(*The year is in line with Japan’s school year, which begins April of the year before the Coming-of-age Day and ends the following March.)
正月飾り (New Years decorations)
Happy New Year!
今回のWorking Japan blogでは日本の正月文化の一つ「正月飾り（しょうがつかざり）」についてご紹介します。
This Working Japan blog will cover one aspect of Japan’s New Year traditions: ‘New Years decorations’.
New Years decorations are set up to welcome in the new year.
There are many different kinds, but this time I’ll be introducing two kinds.
Christmas in Japan
Christmas is obviously a major seasonal, cultural, and retail event for many Christian-majority countries. Japan does not designate Christmas as a public holiday, as some countries do, but Christmas has transcended its theological roots and become a purely social holiday. And while people do not get the day off from work, many people celebrate Christmas or get into the spirit through decorations and activities.
牛久大仏 (Ushiku Daibutsu)
This week’s post is by a guest writer, a Japanese employee ‘Y.T.’, and translated into English by ‘N.M.’. The post is an introduction to the Ushiku Daibutsu, a famous Buddha statue in ‘Y.T.’’s home prefecture.
In search for a new domicile: getting an apartment
Moving to a new area is a thrilling adventure and at the same time an intimidating change, especially here in Japan. Thinking about the location, transportation, budget, etc. is stressful on so many levels, but beyond the stress of logistics, the start of something new brings with it conflicting feelings of eagerness and anxiety. Whirlwind of decision-making can be an emotional rollercoaster, but extremely exciting.
Tori-no-Ichi festivalIn November, e-Jan employees visited Hanazono Shrine for the Tori-no-Ichi festival. Over the years, this has become an e-Jan tradition to give thanks to wish for prosperity in the coming year.
e-Jan Networks entrance board
When visitors enter the e-Jan Networks headquarters in Japan, visitors are greeted by an entrance board with a chalk art illustration. The chalk art is drawn by artists within the company, and is changed monthly.
Essential steps for moving in
So you have put down that deposit, paid your upfront rents and are all excited about moving into your new place. Yay! Phew! One of life’s greatest challenges accomplished; you’ve moved to a new country, found a job and settled down.
You thought all the hurdles were now behind you, since you finally have your own place. However, there are some “small things” that Japanese do when moving to a new place that might stumble or annoy new foreigners here.
This short write up attempts to save you the embarrassing moments and awkward situations, and to help foster a good neighbourhood relationship with your neighbours.
Are liberal arts useless in the IT industry?
I hope no one is offended by the click-baiting title, but isn’t it what people usually ask from the bottom of their heart? Many programmers are from Taiwan at e-Jan, and one of them told me that one must have a science degree in order to become a developer in Taiwan. During the job interview for a position of developer, the interviewer expressed concern because I studied economics (which is a liberal art) in university.>>Read more
English Night Out
Previously, this blog featured a post on e-Jan’s Chinese Night.
This time, our guest writer J.O., an English teacher at e-Jan, has contributed the following post for this week!
(Edits have been made for clarity.)
Self-expression at e-Jan Networks
In my opinion, having opportunities to express yourself at your company is really important especially when it comes to international companies. At e-Jan Networks, we have some interesting ways to express ourselves. So, I would like to introduce some of those self-expressing opportunities at e-Jan Networks.