Sunday, September 24, 2017

Nagasaki - China Town, Bekko Craft Museum, and Walking Around

I walked through China Town, expecting something on the order of China Town in San Franscisco or Yokohama, but it was not so much.

Bekko Craft Museum - This small museum is housed in the former Nagasaki Custom's Kudarimatsu Office Building, which has been designated an important cultural asset. Tortoiseshell or bekko is a luxury item used to make jewelry boxes, combs, and decorative items. The entrance fee to see the over 300 bekko items was only 100 yen.

Some other nearby sights

There's still more to see in Nagasaki.  Until next time....

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Centenarians in Japan

Monday was a national holiday in Japan - Respect for the Aged Day.  I love the holidays celebrated in Japan!  

There are now a record 67,824 centenarians in Japan, up by 2,132 from a year ago.  The Japanese welfare ministry says the growing numbers are due to greater health consciousness and medical advances.  When information on the number of centenarians in Japan was first collected in 1963, there were only 153.

Women now account for 87.9 percent of the total. Japan's oldest woman is Nabi Tajima, 117, living in Kagoshima Prefecture. Now she is also the oldest person in the world.  The oldest man in Japan is Masazo Nonaka, 112, living in Hokkaido Prefecture. Currently life expectancy for women in Japan is 87.14 years and 80.98 years for men.  

Previously, 100 year olds in Japan were given cups of pure silver by the Prime Minister, but last year the government decided to switch to silver-plated cups in order to save money. 

Is there a national holiday for the elderly where you live?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Nagasaki - Dejima

Dejima is the former Dutch trading post and now a nationally designated historical site.  I thought it was going to be a cheesy touristy place, but it was amazing. It was totally professional and historical and well worth the 510 yen admission price. When I'm on vacation (and all the time really) I try to get the most out of my day, so I was happy to find out this place opened at 8:00 am.  I was extremely pleased that all of the signage was in English as well as Japanese.  

In 1636, Dejima was contructed under the orders of the Tokugawa Shogunate.  The Portugese living in Nagasaki were originally housed there, but in 1639 Portugese ships were banned.  The Dutch trading post was moved to Dejima and it became the only trading port between Japan and Europe. In 1859, other ports in Japan opened to foreign trade and The Dutch East India Company Trading Post at Dejima closed. Restoration and reconstruction is continuing.

I especially liked seeing the second floor living quarters, an interesting mix of Japanese and non-Japanese.  I'm happy to learn more about the history of Japan.