My Home Town in Japan

gunma_shape

Gunma Prefecture is situated at almost the center of the Japanese archipelago. It's an inland prefecture, approximately 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Tokyo. Two thirds of the prefecture is mountains. The shape resembles that of a crane in flight.

gunma_spring gunma_summer
gunma_autumn gunma_winter

Just an hour from Tokyo by the Shinkansen (bullet train) lie the superb and beautiful natural areas of Oze, Tanigawadake, Mt. Akagi and others where visitors find piece of mind and heart, and delight in the perennial snow and the new growth in the spring and the glorious colors of autumn.
And within the prefecture there are such spas as Kusatsu, Minakami and Ikaho with an abundance of mineral laced waters in great variety.
In these mountains and their nearby plateaus, golf, skiing and other outdoor activities can be enjoyed to the fullest throughout the year.

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Image/Info from Gunma Kanko

 

 

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Mt. Haruna
I was born in non-descriptive small town called Haruna. However, the Mt. Haruna and Haruna Lake are most notable.

Mt. Haruna is also known as Haruna-Fuji because of symmetrical cone shape. It appeared about 300,000 years ago; the last known eruption was c. 550.

I enjoyed Ice-skating at lake when I was little.

The song ‘Kohan no Yado' (The Lakeside Inn) which was set in Haruna and recorded in 1940. The song was officially banned at first because its sentimental melody and lyrics were considered inappropriate for the times. Nevertheless it became very popular.

takasaki

 

Takasaki City
Haruna was absorbed by City of Takasaki. It's a city that encompasses vibrant commerce and industry found in the downtown district. During the Edo period (1600-1868), Takasaki's role as a castle town led to an influx of merchants and an increase in the population.

Image from The City of Takasaki

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Ikaho Hot Spring
This is a famous spa town with 360 stone steps on the northeastern slope of Mt. Haruna. The ancient baths and waters are mentioned in Japan's oldest anthology of poems from 9th century.

Image from Town Ikano Gunma Japan

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Monkey in Hot Spring
Sorry folks! Those snow monkeys don't live in Ikaho.

The Japanese Macaque is the most northerly-living non-human primate They are almost humanlike and very smart. It is the only animal other than humans and raccoons that is known to wash its food before eating it.

I don't mind taking open air bath with them if they can scrub my back.

Image from wikipedia

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Me, at Ikaho
November 2004, I traveled to Japan.

Mostly I stayed in Ito Hot Spring area of Shizuoka prefecture. William Adams built Japan's first western-style ship here in Ito city. He was character of John Blackthone in James Clavell's novel "Shogun". I did a lot of sightseeing and I went geisha school. I also stayed in Tokyo for a few days then I went back to my home town.

My sister-in-law took me to Mt. Haruna and Ikaho Hot Spring.

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Battleship Haruna
(1915-1945)

It was named after the mountain.

Image from Battleship Haruna

taiyo_yuden

Research & Development
Center in town of Haruna (now it is called Takasaki city).

Image/info from Taiyo Yuden

Taiyo Yuden Co., Ltd.
This laboratory in Haruna marketed world's first:

  • Semiconductor(Sr-BL)
  • Ring stannic oxide varistors
  • Axial leaded ceramic capacitors
  • Axial leaded inductors
  • Tubular type ceramic capacitors
  • 1210 case size nickel electrode high capacitance multilayer ceramic capacitors
  • SMT(automatic mounter) supporting DC-DC converters
  • Recordable compact discs "That's CD-R"
  • Multilayer ferrite chip beads BK series
  • Multilayer chip inductors for high frequency HK series
  • Ultra miniature ceramic chip antenna for ultra wideband
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Mt. Haruna in Snow
Ukiyo-e print by Hiroshige (1797-1858).

Ukiyo-e means "floating world" woodblock print. This popular genre originally depicted daily life in the "floating world" of the Edo pleasure quarters, but eventually developed into a sophisticated art form. Utamaro's sensitive depiction of women, Sharaku's powerful portraits of Kabuki actors and Hokusai's dramatic landscapes have come to be the best-known works of Japanese art.

Image from theartofjapan.com

 

Presenting Videos from YouTube

Enjoy Japanese Traditional Dance

 


Hula Dance

I can watch hawaiian Hula dance all day. Here is my favorite Hula School named Hula Halau 'o Kamuela. This is a Merrie Monarch 2005 Hula competition. The background music is Japanese  Enka  and sung in Hawaiian language.

 


Jero - Black Enka Singer

Note: Enka is genre of Japanese popular songs, which has been likened to American country music. Enka lyrics, usually are about the themes of love and loss, loneliness, enduring hardships, and persevering in the face of difficulties, even suicide or death. Enka suggests a more traditional, idealized, or romanticized aspect of Japanese culture and attitudes. In recent decades, enka music has declined in sales and in recognition as Western-derived J-pop music has become more popular, and enka's traditional themes are no longer appreciated among younger Japanese generations.

Enka songs are largely composed using a pentatonic scale (five notes per octave, rather than the seven per octave traditionally found in Western music).



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