Ninjutsu Training

Here are 3 options for ninja training:

1. Schools. There are schools and martial arts academies which teach Ninjitsu. Not all schools will advertise openly about Ninjitsu training. And many dojo’s may be centered around one particular martial art (like Tae Kwon Do for example), but they may offer separate classes which will teach other arts as well. Always look at their schedule to see what is offered. Schools can be a great way to get one on one training.

2. Camps. There are actual ninja camps that exist. These usually offer anywhere from 2 week to 3 month programs where you immerse yourself into the ninja lifestyle and training. These are an excellent choice for the individual who has the funds and the time to take for learning to become a ninja in a quick manner. You will immerse yourself into the training and come out with new found ninja skills.

3. At Home Study. There are a variety of at home study methods you can employ to become a ninja. One of the best and most effective is simply getting a book. There are online and e-books out there which specifically cater to in house ninja training. You not only learn the training, but also the lifestyle, history and modern day applications. At home study is an excellent choice for diving right into becoming a ninja. From there you can make the decision to take your training to a school or a camp. Since you already will have your in house training under your belt, you will be way ahead of the pack when you do enter a camp or school.

Here is an excellent training place in Brisbane which will teach you how to become a REAL ninja – ninjutsu brisbane



Ancient Japanese Architecture

As a testament to the quality of ancient Japanese architecture, the oldest surviving wooden structures in the world are located in Nara2111_todaiji, Japan.  Of the 41 buildings constructed during the Asuka period (538-710 A.D.) the most well-known are the Kondo (Golden Hall) and Goju-no-to (Five story Pagoda).  These were constructed as a private temple for the Prince Shotoku, a regent and politician in the Asuka period.

Another well known archaeological site from ancient Japan is the Todaiji in Nara prefecture, Japan.  The Todaiji was built to function as the headquarters for regional temples built in surrounding provinces.  The Todaiji’s main building is the Daibutsuden (Great Buddha Hall) and is the largest wooden building in the world.  Inside the Daibutsuden a 16.2m tall Buddha is enshrined.  The current statue of the Buddha was built during the Edo period (1603-1868) and only a few fragments of the original remain.

Buddhist Pagoda’s in ancient Japan all shared similar characteristics.  The wooden walls were thin and vertical.  The structures had multiple stories supported by columns made from cypress trees.  Thatched roofs were common as well as large doors and windows strategically placed for the best viewing of external gardens or other natural scenery.

Although Buddhism teaches impermanence, Shinto places importance on purity and youth.  For this reason many Shinto shrines in Japan are rebuilt every 20 years, often at great expense, to keep them forever new and also forever ancient in their original form.  The Ise shrine in Mie, Japan was rebuilt in 1993 and is on its 61st iteration.  It is scheduled to be rebuilt in 2013.

The ancient Japanese may not have had access to suitable stone for building, but they were able to build long-lasting structures using wood.  Although many famous castles and other well known historical buildings were destroyed by fire in Japan’s history, there are many which are still standing today.


Japanese Houses

In Japan, land price is expensive and housing conditions regarding its rent and size are not good compared to other countries. Accommodation is a very serious problem even for the Japanese particularly in urban areas, which lack spacious and low cost housing.

1. Japanese rental housing

In Japan there is both public housing and private housing, apartments make up the majority of rental housing.

a) Public housing

Public housing is provided by official organizations such as prefectural, city, and town governments, and housing supply corporations. Any non-Japanese who has an alien registration can apply for this kind of housing regardless of nationality. There are two types of housing: Koei Jutaku (public housing) is for people who have a low income; and Tokutei Yuryo Chintai Jutaku (delux family housing) and Kosha/Kodan Jutaku (Public Corporation housing) for those with a middle-class income.

These apartments provide a certain level of facilities at relatively low rent. It is necessary to pay two to three months’ rent as a deposit (guarantee money) at your tenanc y, but key money which is necessary for private housing is not required.

However, qualifications such as income are precisely determined, and only those who satisfy these qualifications can apply. As there are many applicants, the tenants are determined by lottery. After moving in, the tenants must comply with the regulations for use (i.e. nobody is allowed to live together with the tenants without permission). This type of housing is mainly apartments, which generally include kitchen, bath, and oshiire (closet), with one to four rooms.

b) Private rental housing

Private rental housing is owned by individuals and private companies. The type varies in rent and size.

1. Aparto (Apartment)

These are mainly two-story buildings constructed from light-weight steel, wood, or mortar, and house 4 to 8 households. Some of them share a toilet and/or have no bath.

2. Mansion (Apartment)

In Japan, housing which is bigger than an Aparto and built with reinforced concrete is called a Mansion. The insulation is better than an Aparto, and privacy is better. Some have a custodian living on the first floor or others have an underground parking lot.

3. Detached house61317844.TypicalJapanesehouse

Detached houses have recently been designed using a mixture of Japanese and Western styles. Some of them have a garden. There are several rental houses designed especially for non-Japanese’ but not many.

2. Typical housing size and floor plan

The area is indicated in square meters (m2) as well as original Japanese units, “jo” and “tsubo.” One jo means one tatami mat, and is roughly 180 cm x 90 cm. (“Tatami” is a unique Japanese floor covering). One tsubo is 182 cm x 182 cm or about 3.3m2 and equals approximately two jo. There are Japanese-style and Western-style rooms. A Japanese-style room has tatami mats and a Western-style room has flooring or a carpeted floor. Below is a typical Japanese housing floor plan.

• K, DK, LDK – K means kitchen, D means dining room and L means living room. K means only a kitchen and DK means a dining room plus kitchen, and LDK means a room which has the function of a living room as well as dining room and kitchen. Therefore, 2DK means a house which has two rooms in addition to a room having the function of kitchen and dining room.

• UB – UB means unit bath (unified formation bathroom), which includes bathtub, toilet and washbowl.

• Oshiire (closet) – This means a storage space in a Japanese-style room.

• PS – This means a pipe space containing drainpipes and wiring conduits.

• MB – This means the meter box for water and gas.

Floor plan for One-room Mansions (one-room apartments)

(Example) Facilities are compact and there is one room which can be used as a living room. The kitchenette is very small, so that elaborate cooking is not possible. Some of them don’t have any space for a washing machine inside the room.

Floor plan for detached houses


• Most detached houses in modern Japan have both Japanese and Western-style rooms.

• Some of them have a garden and a parking space.

3. Customs regarding Japanese housing

a) Shoes In Japanese housing, there is an area for removing shoes before stepping up into the main entrance. Japanese people sit on the floor and sleep on a futon on the tatami, the Japanese traditional floor mats, so stepping on them with shoes on is not allowed. If you enter a room wearing shoes and dirt the mats, you might have to pay repair costs.

b) BathroomIn Japan bathing is not only washing the body but also a chance to relax while soaking in the bathtub. Recently bathrooms consisting of a Western-style bath with toilet have become popular, but the Japanese traditional bathroom is separate from the toilet and has a space to wash the body outside the bathtub. Bathtubs are mainly made of plastic or stainless steel. If you live with a Japanese family, you must keep the water in the bathtub as clean as possible because the rest of the family will take turns to use the water after you. Do not use soap in a Japanese-style bathtub. The water is heated mainly by gas.

c) Tatami matsTatami mats are a traditional floor covering of straw sewn to make a mat about 5.5 cm thick and bound by woven rush. One tatami mat (jo) is also the unit used to indicate the size of a room. New tatami is green and the tatami mats are changed every few years or whenever moving house.

d) Futon (thick bedquilt), bed and oshiire (closet)In a Japanese house, generally the futon is rolled out every night and folded away in the oshiire every morning. During the daytime, the futon is kept inside the oshiire. In this way, a single room can be used for various purposes. If a bed is placed on the tatami mats, they are dented and damaged, so it is recommended to put boards under the legs of the bed.

e) City gas and propane gasElectricity or gas is provided for the stove and bath. There are two types of gas: city gas (coal gas), led to each household from gas company tanks, and propane gas, provided by dealers in the form of cylinders. City gas is managed by Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and propane gas is managed by individual dealers. Gas cookers etc. should be supplied by tenants.

f) Water supply and drainageAlmost all areas of Kanagawa Prefecture have water supply facilities. You candrink the tap water. In most cases there is a drainage or a water purification tank. The drainage system is not suitable for a disposer.

g) ToiletThe Japanese-style toilet has a cover (dome) at the front. When the toilet is shared with other tenants, separate toilet slippers should be used.

h) Air conditioning / heatingSome housing has air conditioning/heating but in most cases, tenants have to buy their own. Fuel for heating includes electricity, gas, and kerosene. Sometimes the use of kerosene is prohibited.

i) Fusuma and shojiThese are unique Japanese sliding doors to separate rooms. Fusuma is a wooden frame with fusuma paper pasted on both sides. Shoji is a latticed wooden frame with shoji paper windows. It is possible to make a room bigger by removing fusuma to connect the rooms. Fusuma pasting should be done by a specialist but when shoji paper is torn, you can buy shoji paper and repair it yourself.

4. Common problems and how to troubleshoot

a) Remove footwearDo not enter a house with shoes on. Be sure to remove shoes at the entrance.

b) Deposit -Most of the problems related to renting involve the deposit. In Japan when you rent a house, you have to pay a deposit to the house owner. This deposit is given to the house owner and returned without any interest when the lease is cancelled. However, repair costs are deducted, so the deposit is usually not returned in full. As the specific agreement of the rent is contained in the rental housing contract, please check the contract thoroughly and don’t break it. As for the other expenses when making a contract, please refer to page 39.

c) Number of residentsThe number of residents is confirmed when the contract is made. Additional residents are not allowed.

d) NoiseDo not make loud noises late at night. In apartments, the sound echoes more than you think. As the sound of running a large amount of water also bothers neighbors, try not to run a bath or do washing late at night.

e) PetsThere are almost no apartments allowing pets other than small birds and goldfish. If you do find one where you can keep pets, please follow the rules.

f) KitchenIf you cook with a large amount of oil, clean the area soon after by wiping the sink and cooking area. The ventilation fan should also be cleaned regularly.

g) Putting out the garbageGarbage is collected by the municipal government. The collection point, date, and method are determined in each area. There are areas where flammable garbage and nonflammable garbage should be separated. As for large garbage items, there are areas where the collection date is already determined, or you can sometimes arrange to have them picked up. Please consult your neighbors or the municipal government.

h) Long-term absenceWhen you are not at home for a long time, you should notify the house owner. Rent must be paid even when you are away.

i) Remodeling of the roomIf you want to remodel a room, such as by putting a nail into a pole or attaching a hook to the wall for holding clothes, you should first consult owner. It is assumed that you will leave the room in the condition it was in when you rented it. If you remodel the room and it cannot be returned to its original state, your deposit will not be returned, or additional payments may be required.

How to Make a Japanese Garden

japaness-garden4The Japanese have always been known as the masters of nature. They even have a religion that believes that everything in the world has a soul. The ancient Japanese religion of Shinto believes everything in the world contains a Kami which is the living essence of everything that has lived and will ever live in the world.

How’s that for being connected with Nature. The japans are so connected that they are in every being, every tree, every rock and all that your eyes can see. This connection can be seen in their art. It can be seen in the way they co-exist with their environment and it is most evident in their garden design.

Japanese Gardens are one of the most serene gardens you can find. There is a silent strength that you can gather from its simplicity and elegance. It is the perfect utilization of nature in a confined utilitarian environment.

The Japanese garden is a great representation of nature because it makes use of the same elements you will find in the woods, beach and see. The natural elements like trees, rock and sands are all normally seen in the gardens of these types.

Some of the common elements you can find in the Japanese gardens are grasses and rocks. Rocks are great because they provide a strong foundation to build your garden on. It has a strength that you cannot normally find in strong hedges. Stonework also gives additional textures that you normally don’t find in other gardens.

Some of the things you can find in Japanese gardens are stone sculptures. Small sculptures representing temples are also commonly seen in Japanese gardens. Pebbles are also used to create Japanese rock gardens. These Japanese rock gardens are dry landscapes that make use of stone arrangements to represent natural landscapes. These stone gardens are also referred to as Zen garden.

The other thing you will find in a Japanese Garden is grass. This can be either be seen as grass surrounding the rocks and ground covering but it can also provide height to the design through the use of natural bamboo. It is the perfect complement to the rocks because it adds softening contrast to the hardness of rocks and stone.

Trees and plants are also a major part of a Japanese design. For larger gardens you can usually find a large juniper bush or other Japanese trees. For smaller gardens bushes are a great addition to the design. The design is more sophisticates and it also complements the great stones you have added.

Other gardens can also use a small version of a tree. This is a bonsai tree and it is one of the most Japanese things you can add to your garden. It is not necessary in a Japanese garden but it could be a great focal point.

This Japanese garden can be yours with a little work and a little planning. Try this for yourself and you will find that this garden is what you have been looking for. Call a landscaper today and get one step closer to your dream garden.