You know that YouTube has become huge when even Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda has gotten into the act.
Fukuda is posting messages in both English and Japanese. (But you won’t cheat by listening to the English one, will you?)
Just to save you from this temptation, I have posted the Japanese version below:
January 01, 2008
Some of you probably know that Hawaii is home to many descendents of Japanese immigrants. Many have kept alive Japanese traditions, like the first annual visit to a shrine, or hatsumode.
Here is an article from the Honolulu Star Bulletin about the ritual. On another note: I see that it is 72 degrees Fahrenheit in Hawaii right now, while it’s about 13 degrees in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am in the wrong part of the world, for sure.
Word of the day
heavenly; holy; sublime
This entry is very appropriate in light of the above entry about shrines.
（そら から ひかり が さしこむ こうごうしい けしき）
“sublime scenery where light shines down from the sky”
The Foreign Ministry plans to increase the number of overseas institutes teaching the Japanese language from the current 10 to 100 in three years and to allocate 210 million yen in the fiscal 2008 budget to establish 70 of them.
Interestingly, there seems to be a little bit of competition with China involved:
As China has set up language schools all over the world in recent years using the name Confucius Institute, "we hope to name our institutes so that everyone can understand they are Japanese-language institutes," a ministry official said.
We in the English-speaking world need more people who speak both Chinese and Japanese, as far as I am concerned. I welcome this competition for our language students.
Rough New Year's weather expected in Japan
Here is the weather forecast per Japan’s Daily Yomiuri:
警戒を呼びかける （けいかい を よびかける）to urge caution toward; to warn about
December 24, 2007
Toshiba cooperates with Sharp for crystal displays
This article from the Japanese business press also reports that the company will withdraw from arrangements with Hitachi and Matsushita. This piece is somewhat challenging, you know my viewpoint here: If you are going to learn a language, learn it well!