The Japanese Golden week.

By, Uwe Paschen.
As it goes here in Japan we have yet another holiday.

This time it is the Golden Week, (ゴールデンウィーク), Which is also known as Ōgata renkyū (大型連休) or even as Ōgon shūkan (黄金週間), those are terms in Japanese to describe this period of the year wish contains several events starting with the 29th of April where we celebrate(d),
Until 1988 it was Emperor's Birthday (天皇誕生日 Tennō tanjōbi),
From 1989 until 2006 it was the Greenery Day, or Nature Day (みどりの日 Midori no hi).
Since 2007 this day is now known as Shōwa Day (昭和の日 Shōwa no hi).
This is followed by Constitution Memorial Day (憲法記念日 Kenpō kinenbi) on the 3th of May.
And by the Greenery Day, or Nature Day (みどりの日 Midori no hi) since  2007 on the 4th of May wish used to be called (国民の休日 Kokumin no kyūjitsu), from 1985 until 2006.
 Then on the 5th of May comes  the Children's Day (こどもの日 Kodomo no hi), also customarily known as Boys' Day (端午の節句 Tango no sekku)). Since earlier this year we had the Girls Day or also called the Dolls Day, which is Called the Hinamatsury, here in Japan. This is the Japanese, (雛祭り Hina-matsuri), or Girls' Day, Hinamatsuri which was held on March 3, the third day of the third month.
Note that China does have a Golden Week () as well, yet theirs is some what different then ours here in Japan.
The best part of the Japanese Golden Week is of course the day set aside to respect the children individually and to celebrate their happiness. It was designated a National holiday by the Japanese government in 1948.
And all Children and especially the Boys as well as the whole Family are looking forward to that day, which is field with Family outings and activities as well as many preparations that need to be taken care of well ahead of this week.
Such as the most important Koinobori, which is sort of a kite or kites that fly on a pole by each house and through out each town. Those kites are in shape of a Carp, (The large carp at the top represents the father, the second carp represents the eldest son, and additional carps are added to represent each subsequent son with colours and position denoting their relative age.)
The name of this day comes from Sakata no Kintoki whose childhood name was Kintarō (金太郎 ), He was a great hero in the Heian period, a subordinate samurai of Minamoto no Raikou, having been famous for his strength when he was a child. It is said that Kintarō rode a bear, instead of a horse, and played with animals in the mountains when he was a young boy. So the legend.
The festival was funded during the reign of the Empress Suiko (593–628 A.D.). In Japan, Tango no Sekku was assigned to the fifth day of the fifth month after the Nara period and has been celebrated ever since.
Each families raises the carp-shaped koinobori flags (carp due of the Chinese legend stating that a carps swims upstream becoming a dragon.  The flags blowing in the wind look in deed like they are swimming and some what like Dragons as well). One for each boy (or child) is put up, on display with a Kintarō doll, which is usually riding on a large carp, and with the traditional Japanese military helmet, kabuto. Kintarō and the kabuto are both symbols of a strong and healthy boy.
The traditional food for this day is Mochi rice cakes wrapped in kashiwa (oak) leaves — kashiwa-mochi (just like regular mochi, but it is also filled with red beans jam) and chimaki (a kind of "sweet rice paste," wrapped in an iris or bamboo leaf).
 Tatebayashi (館林市 Tatebayashi-shi.) this town is  located in GunmaJapan one hour from  Tokyo, (by Express Ryomo) it is famous for the Azalea Hill Park(つつじヶ岡公園,Tsutsuji-ga-oka koen) and the Bunbuku Chagama of the Morinji Temple (茂林寺). However it is also famous for flying the most Carp Kites ever flown in Japan or any where around the globe, this broth it into the Guinness Book of records for the most Carp kites ever flown, namely 6066 Carp Kites in the park and along the river.
An amazing display, which has now become a costume every year, with some more kites being added each passing year.
What would this great day be with out a song? And it does have one in deed, written by Unnu Atsushi.
“Sei Kurabe (背くらべ Height Comparison)
柱のきずは おととしの    五月五日の 背くらべ
Hashira no kizu wa ototoshi no    gogatsu itsuka no Sei-Kurabe
粽たべたべ 兄さんが    計ってくれた 背のたけ
Chimaki tabe-tabe nii-san ga    hakatte kureta sei no take
きのうくらべりゃ 何のこと    やっと羽織の 紐のたけ
Kinou kurabe-rya nan no koto,    yatto haori no himo no take.”
Japan is rich in culture and traditions. Children are a blessing here and honoured as such.


Fukushima! Do we remember?

Two years ago we had the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which is still an ongoing crisis. Twenty-five years earlier on the 26th of April 1986 wile I was still in University studying chemistry and ironically if you will at the time nuclear chemistry and micro biological manipulations when we had the nuclear accident at the Tschernobyl nuclear power plant. 
We ran into trouble with energy productions several times over the past century with several nuclear accidents, mass pollution of our atmosphere, water, soils and foods affecting all parts of the life cycles of all living organisms on this planet which we call home and that planet with all its bio dyversity is the very source of our own lives.
The main mistake we made over the past century or so was to look for a magic bullet to solve all our power needs. We looked at fossil fuels from crude oil to uranium and all came with many side effects and troubles, yet not solving our problems. We dismissed solar and other sources because they by them self would not give us enough power at all times. We failed to look at power the way the universe it self is working. Or the way things work on our planetary scale. Power keeps getting converted to generate more or rather other forms of powers. We need to work with a multitude of sources and combine those indefinitely. This would solve our troubles and give us exactly what we need, without the side effects of nuclear disasters or toxic pollution such as green house gases or dioxins.
On March the 11th 2013 we will commemorate the second anniversary of that Earthquake and tsunami which lead to the Fukushima nuclear accident that will hunt us for many more decades and maybe even centuries to come. 
We keep electing governments and people into power that are incompetent and self serving short sighted narrow minded, manipulative control freaks that would be better placed in a mental hospital than in politics. 
Than again as Joseph de Maistre said once, "The people have the government they deserve."
So little may change unless another disaster was to happen with in a short interval of the last one. Meaning less than a decade away from the Fukushima disaster. Just long enough to cash your breath but not long enough for people to forget completely. 
Will we ever learn? I am no longer certain if we ever will or even could learn since our intelligence seems to be regressing since Socrates his time where it may have been at its peek.
Certainly we came up with computers and smart phones and we went to the moon and so on... since Socrates and Kant, but those where merely pieces of a puzzle that gave us a new perspective and another image. It was not a real mental or intellectual break through nor any real progress. 
No, on the evolutionary scale we may very well be at the end and will have to face our own extinction pretty soon. 
Mind you, we are doing a pretty good job at creating or building our own apocalyptic nightmare. We won't need any god or gods nor any other outside help to exterminate all life on this planet and way be on it. 
We are more than capable and willing to do it all by our selfs and the worst part is that we not only know it, but we willingly stand by and let it happen. 
The trouble is every where and we better start learning and smarten up and this rather well and fast. 
Get ready to remember all the over twenty-four thousand victims  and the ongoing nuclear troubles in spite of which new nuclear power stations are supposed to be build in earthquake predestined  Japan. 
Will we ever wake up and learn to be rational, intelligent, logical and mature creatures or will we remain savage, primitive hyper shortsighted, narrow minded monkeys? 
I once was hopeful for our human specie, but over the course of the past few decades started to have some serious doubts about our specie and its future.