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Showing posts from October, 2010

My first Juzu

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So we have a family `Buddhist memorial service` (ほうじ)here on Sunday and I was politely told to go out and buy myself some Juzu.
So I did.
I however have no idea what they are for, or how to use them, so have decided to research, and post my findings here, for any one else who might be interested.
According to wikipedia (my first stop for all unknown things), Juzu (or more formally O-Juzu 数珠) are Buddhist (or Hindu) prayer beads, used to count time while meditating or during prayer. They are similar to rosary beads and some people call them Buddhist rosary.
While praying (with palms touching), one can hold the Juzu (over the left hand and between the closed palms) which helps to protect against evil spirits.
Formal (and VERY expensive) Japanese Juzu have a lot of beads. There are 108 counting beads (children beads), representing the 108 earthy desires. There may also be one or two larger parent beads at the beginning or end, and marker beads after #7 and #21.
More informal (and less expensiv…

My bad...

So I`m in trouble... not with my parents or my hubby (not this time anyway)... with my doctor!
I had my 3rd checkup at the hospital yesterday, and as usual, when I arrived, I peed in the cup, weighed myself and took my blood pressure, and handed all the bits of paper (proof) into one of the nurses?/staff?/girls in pink uniforms.
When it came time for my 5-min chat with the doctor, he took one look at my chart and proclaimed that I am gaining weight much too fast.
When I had my first check up, one of the girls in pink uniforms told me that my weight could only increase by a maximum of 9-11kg (about 20-24pounds) during the course of the pregnancy.
I have already gained 4.5 kilograms, and am only at 17 weeks. Oooooops.
I am pretty sure I know why/how this has happened.
Before I got pregnant, I was busy preparing for my wedding (rushing, hurrying, stressing etc... all the good things that help a girl keep in shape). I was also living alone (skipping meals, eating only 2 meals a day, basically b…

Counting the weeks, and months

As a follow up to my previous post (regarding the length of a pregnancy in Japan), it has been brought to my attention that the weeks and months are grouped differently too. When someone asked me how far along I was, and I replied `I am in my 5th month`, he gasped and said `But you are too small!`.
Well, that might be because of this...
Here is the grouping of the weeks in a Japanese pregnancy;
Week 0 - end of Week 3 = MONTH 1 Week 4 - end of Week 7 = MONTH 2 Week 8 - end of Week 11 = MONTH 3 Week 12 - end of Week 15 = MONTH 4 Week 16 - end of Week 19 = MONTH 5 Week 20 - end of Week 23 = MONTH 6 Week 24 - end of Week 27 = MONTH 7 Week 28 - end of Week 31 = MONTH 8 Week 32 - end of Week 35 = MONTH 9 Week 36 - end of Week 39 = MONTH 10
And according to my `What to expect when you are expecting` book (from the US);
Week 1 - Week 4 = MONTH 1 Week 5 - Week 8 = MONTH 2 Week 9 - Week 13 = MONTH 3 Week 14 - Week 17 = MONTH 4 Week 18 - Week 22 = MONTH 5 Week 23 - Week 27 = MONTH 6 Week 28 - Week 31 = MONTH 7 Week …

Mamas and Papas

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For those who know, have travelled to, or are from the UK, you may also know this store...
http://www.mamasandpapas.com/
It has gorgeous clothes and baby stuff, as well as maternity wear. For those mums-to-be in Japan who just can`t bring themselves to wear some of the things available for usually tiny Japanese mums, check out...
http://www.mamasandpapas.jp/
They seem to have lots of figure friendly, flattering maternity clothes, and the shipping around Japan seems to be reasonably priced.
They also have a useful online catalogue...
http://www.mamasandpapas.jp/catalog/catalog.jsp




Happy shopping!

Are women in Japan pregnant for 10 months?

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This may be the most googled question on the topic of pregnancy and Japan.
In fact, the answer is `yes` but it isn`t quite as strange as it sounds, in fact, it may possibly be more logical than the system in some other countries.
I use the word `system` because it is only way that the pregnancy is counted, not the actual length of the pregnancy that differs.
In Japan, (as in other countries), a pregnancy lasts 40 weeks (counted from the first day of the last period before conception). However Japan uses a lunar calendar rather than a wall-calendar to count the weeks/months.
Simply, According to the Gregorian calendar, where months range from 28-31 days, the average pregnancy lasts a little over nine months. On the other hand, if you’re counting the more traditional lunar months of exactly 28 days (i.e. 4 weeks), then 40 weeks = 10 months. The Japanese belief that a pregnancy lasts ten months refers back to their original calendar that used these shorter months.I have a nifty little `pregna…

Pregnancy in Japan (resources)

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Before I start with my 2 cents on the matter, some lovely (mostly non-Japanese) women (and some men too) living here in Japan have already written some great stuff about pregnancy in Japan, so please check their notes out too...

The Association of Foreign Wives of Japanese is a great organisation full of women from all over the world living here in Japan, and they have lots of information about all areas of life in Japan (including pregnancy) http://www.afwj.org/
Amy Nakazawa has recently given birth and has some cool things to say about cultural differences between Japan and Canada (her home country) http://blue_moon.typepad.com/blue_lotus/
http://www.stippy.com/ has some information from a `foreign daddy in Japan` point of view (his wife is Japanese), which is very interesting.
AMDA is a medical information site with details about all kinds of medical services in English (and other languages) all over Japan. I have used their service a couple of times and was not completely satisfied, b…

Life of late

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Sorry again, for it has been so long...
I do have some good excuses though. So here goes:
I got married, moved in with hubby and his mother, continued working and going to Japanese school full time, and now I am pregnant too!
Busy enough?
I posted some pictures from the wedding, so I am sure you can imagine that it was a fun filled, magical affair (like most weddings). I really had the most amazing day and cannot believe that it was over so fast.
I have been trying (in vain) to get information and advice about being pregnant in Japan (more specifically in Osaka), and come up almost empty handed. So I have decided to post my findings here, in the hope that they may help some other lost young thing who finds herself knocked up in one of the world`s most expensive, technologically advanced, most populated countries (a country that mysteriously enough has an insane lack of information about anything - let alone pregnancy - in English).

I certainly don`t proclaim to be any sort of expert on the…