Monday, 5 September 2005

The first hundred days

Now in Japan there is a special ceremony/celebration after one’s offspring has attained the age of 100 days. Quite why someone decided on the age of 100 days, I am not sure, but there must be a special reason buried in the depths of Japanese culture somewhere. Anyway, Sunday just gone, we decided we’d better get in on the action, so invited Japanese parentals and brothers over.

Now, a moment of honesty. The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that last Sunday was not the 100th day anniversary of Marcus’ birth, it was something like the 130th day. This was because yours truly, on being asked by the Guru when the 100th day after Marcus’ birth was, had a moment of not-able-to-count-itis and managed to work out the 100th day after 4 months rather than the usual, and let’s face it more accurate, three months or so. And the great thing was neither of us noticed it until Wednesday last week, when the Guru mused upon it and realised my error.

Still, we were not to be deterred and with family already invited, there wasn’t too much we could do about it anyway. The main focus of the 100 days celebration is food. Now remembering what the Guru told me, the party is an attempt to kick start the youngster into eating real food for the first, or something. So, as you can see from the photos below, special food was bought in – this consisted of a whole baked fish, red rice (rice with azuki beans), nimono (vegetables braised in soya sauce), special pickles and sushi (which isn’t that special apparently). Marcus was, of course, the guest of honour, and tradition has it that the oldest member of the family present must pretend to feed to newest member of the family. The Guru’s father tried this though did seem a little unsure of what he was meant to do (he wasn’t the only one) and after a few tentative attempts of holding a bit of fish in Marcus’ direction, was content to declare it open season on the rest of the nosh.

And that, really, was about it. There were a few more photos, general family chitchat and a pleasant lunchtime was had by all. The odd thing, from my point of view, was that this was all conducted without the introduction of any alcohol – not the done thing for children’s celebrations apparently, and also the Japanese side of the family are not great drinkers. Not the sort of thing that would happen in Blighty, mind, must get Marcus to see how it’s done as quickly as possible, lest he get the wrong idea.

Marcus' celebration food
Originally uploaded by tokyobogue.

Food for all the family
Originally uploaded by tokyobogue.

Marcus gets to grips
Originally uploaded by tokyobogue.

The happy family
Originally uploaded by tokyobogue.

The happy family and photographer
Originally uploaded by tokyobogue.

Other stuff

Election fever is approaching Japan. I wrote somewhere before about the hideousness of Japanese electioneering vans that cruise the streets and assault the eardrums and I’m glad to say that this election is not letting us down. Luckily I have been paying very little attention to what has been going on, although I have caught a bit in the newspaper and on the telly and can, therefore, report that there really isn’t a lot new going on. I suspect that this really could be quite a pivotal election in Japan’s postwar history and that textbooks may well be written about it for a good long time, but it all seems just a trifle dull. Now this is probably as I am not Japanese and my language ability is not good enough to follow everything first hand, but all the same, there doesn’t seem to be any characters for people to root for (except perhaps the cool mayor of Nagano, who has formed a new party to fight Koizumi’s LDP, but even then I saw his party commercial on TV the other night and it was woefully amateurish). But it will all be over by next week, so hopefully something interesting will happen.

Actually one thing I did see about it that got my goat (such as it is) was that the Japanese Self Defence Force (SDF) chappies currently stationed in Samawah (I think), Iraq have been told they are not allowed to vote, which is a nice kick in the balls for them. Apparently when a Japanese goes abroad they have to register they are going and inform the authorities 3 months before an election where they will be in order for them to be classed as an overseas voter. For the SDF guys this is tricky as they have only been in Iraq for two months so are ineligible to be classed as overseas so must return to their registered domicile in Japan to vote – which of course they cannot do. Ooops. And is anyone going to make an exception for these few hundred souls braving their lives for their country? Of course not, rules are rules and are there for a reason.

Apparently the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Dept. are worried about a possible yakuza turf war as one of the head bosses has recently retired (not permanently, actually retired to his beach villa near the Japan sea coast) and because Japan is a much more civilised country than, say, anywhere else in the world, the MPD had a top level meeting at (and I love this) one of the Yamaguchi crime syndicate’s registered Tokyo offices for a chat over coffee. You’ll be glad to know that gangstering is a solid career path these days, with a section on the census forms (which gang, position within it, salary etc) and a generally positive, can-do attitude with the police. Weird.

1 comment:

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