Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I often feel like Tokyo is abnormal !?

When I was working in Osaka, I'd find businesses there difficult. I'd realize that compared with Tokyo, Osaka was just rural despite it being the second largest city in Japan. Although the Japanese economy wasn't that bad at the time, Osaka still had difficulties luring business. When I first started living in Tokyo about 15 years ago, various things surprised me (I hadn't expected that because I was raised mainly in Osaka, the large city). The packed commuter trains were crazy. There were still many people in downtown Tokyo even at midnight. I'd have a hard time getting on the last train around 1 am because it was filled over capacity. Houses were built close together. The rent of tiny apartments was relatively high, although it depended on the area. On the other hand, I felt like there was nothing you couldn't get in Tokyo. I felt that Tokyo was an exciting city only for the rich.

The situation hasn't changed a lot. Everything is still overly concentrated in Tokyo. It's been pointed out for many years that this situation has caused and continues to cause problems. Nevertheless, there is still no sign that the government is attempting to deal with it seriously. Perhaps due to the prolonged recession, I feel like the concentration has even been recently growing. As a matter of fact, whenever I go to Osaka, I realize that Osaka is more stagnant than when I was working there many years ago.

By the way, various issues related to nuclear power plants have been emerging since the Fukushima accident. These issues used to be covered up because ten major electric power companies in Japan, which are in a virtual monopoly (please see Note below), have strong connections to big names in both politics and business. At least, the inconvenient and unsavory information wasn't widely reported on TV because all of the ten companies are major sponsors of commercial TV stations.

Recently, NHK, the public broadcasting network, reported that cities (or towns) where nuclear power plants are located can obtain large contributions from the aforementioned major electric power companies. The fact that these cities receive large subsidies from the central government has been widely known, but I don't think that the contributions are known among the public despite it being legal. I didn't know about the contributions until I saw the report. According to NHK, the contributions are non-transparent and convenient for the cities. In the Sendai/川内 city, Kagoshima prefecture (where the Sendai nuclear power plant is located), when the city had a tight budget, it would ask for the electric power company that owned and operated the plant to contribute funds. NHK discovered that the city has already received 2.7 billion JPY (34 million USD. 1USD=80JPY) in total in contributions, although it is unclear whether that number is truly high enough.

As I mentioned before (please click here), there is a tendency that once cities get used to relying on money related to nuclear power plants, they can't escape that dependence. There are many things that the cities have to change. On the other hand, there are a lot of cities and towns which have been having a very hard time boosting their own economy and activating themselves because of the over-concentration in Tokyo. Fundamental problems have been emerging since the 3/11 earthquake.

Japan is divided into ten regions for electric power suppliers and there are ten major electric power companies. In other words, each region has only one electric power supplier. Although the law was relaxed about 15 years ago and other companies started supplying power mainly to office buildings, the ten major companies are still in a virtual monopoly. I'm living in the Tokyo area. I have no choice but to make a contract with TEPCO. I don't have any choice for electric power suppliers.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas is when people make greeting cards for the new year !?

There are no national holidays for Christmas in Japan. However, the 23rd of December is a national holiday because of the emperor's birthday. This year, the 24th and 25th are on the weekend. Because of this, many workers have three days off in a row.

According to the weather forecast, a strong cold front is predicted to hit Japan around Christmas. So in many places, we'll probably be able to enjoy a white Christmas, which makes us feel more romantic. However, upon thinking about the 3/11 earthquake victims living in temporary housing which forces them to struggle against the cold, the white Christmas becomes an unwelcome event. Unfortunately, the tsunami and earthquake-stricken areas are already covered by snow.

Around Christmas time, many people are busy making greeting cards for the new year (The cards are called 年賀状/nengajyou ). We usually make the cards with regular-sized plain postcards "年賀はがき /nenga-hagaki " issued by the Japan Post Service. 年賀はがき /nenga-hagaki are specially designed for the new year's greetings. Each of them costs 50 yen, and a 50 yen stamp is already printed on the front where you are supposed to write someone's address. Because of it, you can send the postcards to anywhere inside Japan without putting on stamps. (When you send a regular-sized postcard to somewhere in Japan, you have to put on a 50 yen stamp ). On top of that, each card has a lottery number printed on the front. Lucky numbers are announced on the 15th of January.

Anyway, we usually draw pictures and write something on the back (the back is plain). It's a little time-consuming, although computers make it easier. If you post the cards between the 15th and 25th of December, they are sure to be delivered on the 1st of January (It means that they won't be delivered until the 1st of January). Because of this, many people are busy making the greeting cards around Christmas time.

The 3/11 earthquake has made us realize that we can't live without others. A lot of people have been trying to build ties with others. The word 絆/kizuna (ties or bonds) has become very popular, and was recently selected as one Kanji (Chinese character) best describing the Japan of 2011. Under these circumstances, it's expected that people will send out more 年賀状/nenngajyou than usual.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I enjoy the Christmas lighting in town, but it reminds me of our serious problem.

In Japan, Christmas is highly commercialized. A lot of people see Christmas as an event just for children and young people. Because of this, many Westerners find Christmas in Japan weird. If you want to know about Christmas in Japan, please see my previous blog articles (Please click here).

As for me, I enjoy the Christmas lighting in town every year. This year, Christmas lighting makes me feel especially warm inside because some lights have been turned off to save power in the wake of the Fukushima accident. Although I've heard that much of the lighting is well designed to save power, the lighting is still controversial. I'm torn. In order to keep struggling against the current crisis, we need things that can cheer us up and boost the economy. On the other hand, we have to make further efforts to cut power consumption.

Speaking of power saving, it's been necessary across Japan since about six months ago. Specifically, this winter, all the people and companies in Japan are required to save as much power as possible. This is because only seven out of 54 reactors are operating due to the Fukushima shock. In a few days, one more reactor will be closed for maintenance. In Japan, the law requires reactors to be closed for maintenance once a year.

Two months after the Fukushima accident, the government urged Chubu Electric Power Company/中部電力 to shut down all three of its reactors in the Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Shizuoka prefecture because it's been said that the area has the highest chance of being hit by a massive earthquake in the near future. The company complied with the request. As for other reactors, the government intends to restart them after regular maintenance. However, both central and local governments have been having a very hard time persuading local people to agree with the restarting. Since the Fukushima accident has shown that a nuclear accident causes serious damage to a wide-ranging area, both residents and local governments of cities relatively near nuclear power plants are putting up more of a fight against the restarting of reactors. On the other hand, towns where nuclear power plants are located have mixed feelings because they depend on the plants economically (subsidies from the central government and employment). At any rate, if the reactors aren't reactivated, then next spring, all of the reactors in Japan will stop working. Under these circumstances, we are required not only to save as much power as possible, but also to think about how to strike a balance between our economy and the risk of nuclear power plants.

I wish you a merry Christmas, anyway.

Omotesando in Tokyo is a popular spot for Christmas lights. You can see some pictures in the link below.

Monday, December 19, 2011

New major issues related to radioactive contamination have emerged in the Tokyo area.

A few days ago, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan declared an end to the most critical phase of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. However, many members of the public, including myself, think that the situation is far from being stable. I think that anything could happen. If another strong aftershock hits the plant, it will surely bring us to an unimaginable situation. I'm wondering what ulterior motives the government have. Anyway, whether or not the landmark accomplishment rings true, I appreciate that a lot of workers at the crippled plant have been striving to regain control.

In this declaration, the term "state of cold shutdown" was used. However, since the term was defined in July as a milestone in the process of regaining control, what the term "state of cold shutdown" indicates is different from what the general term "cold shutdown" indicates. Because of this, it has been pointed out that the term "state of cold shutdown" may give an exaggerated impression of stability. As it's pointed out in a NY times article in the link below, it seems that the government is expected to use vague terminology in order to give itself some wiggle room.

Anyway, in the Tokyo area, new issues have emerged. Due to the hydrogen explosions at the Fukushima plant, bewildering quantities of radioactive substances were released from the crippled plant in March. Specifically, radioactive cesium 137 (30-year half life. In other words, it takes 30 years for cesium 137 to decay by half) and cesium 134 (2-year half life) are always on the table to discuss. These two kinds of cesium have been widely spread out. The cesium is washed away by rain, but won't disappear. It means that the cesium just travels from place to place.

In the Tokyo area, there are some areas where soil contamination levels of the cesium are relatively high. The contaminated areas have a large population. Almost all the roads are asphalted there. In the newly developed areas, urban drain systems are well designed. Unfortunately, these factors have created highly contaminated spots. Specifically, the cesium on asphalted roads is easily washed away by rain and the well designed drain systems effectively transfer the cesium to one specific spot, and as a result, the cesium ends up being concentrated there. Another major issue that has emerged is highly contaminated incinerator ash. In the Tokyo area, many incinerators are well designed to reduce the amount of incinerator ash. The high-tech incinerators have produced highly contaminated ash because they end up concentrating the cesium in the process. The ash is temporary stored in the incineration plants so far. However, it's predicted that the plants will be over capacity soon for the ash. The issue of how to deal with the ash remains unsolved.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Herbivorous men! Bacon-wrapped asparagus men ! Stuffed cabbage men !

Have you heard of the Japanese phrase "草食系男子/soushoku-kei-danshi (herbivorous men) " ? The phrase became very popular a few years ago. It indicates a certain group of young Japanese men. If you don't know about it, please first read my blog article in the link below.

In the link, I described the characteristics of "草食系男子/soushoku-kei-danshi (herbivorous men)", but they were ambiguous from the beginning. As time goes by, the meanings change. However, we always use the phrase when we want to refer to men who have less interest in or are bad at finding girlfriends and dating, and don't want to take the initiative in a relationship.

In contrast with "草食系男子/soushoku-kei-danshi (herbivorous men)", another phrase "肉食系女子/nikushoku-kei-jyoshi (carnivorous women)" became popular (If you want to know about what the kanji character "肉/niku" in the phrase implies, please see the link above). The phrase indicates women who try to enjoy their relationships. They approach and make passes at people they like. It seems that they are often forward and take the initiative in a relationship, although some of them say that they are forced to do that because many younger men don't want to.

Other than that, these days, we sometimes use ”肉食系男子/nikushoku-kei-danshi (carnivorous men)" and "草食系女子/soushoku-kei-jyoshi (herbivorous women)". I think you can guess what these phrases indicate. If you can't, please ask me. However, these two phrases are not that popular. I hardly ever hear "草食系女子/soushoku-kei-jyoshi (herbivorous women)"

Now, I can finally move on to the topic which I want to talk about here.

A few weeks ago, I learned two newly coined phrases which are popular among young people. One is アスパラベーコン男子/asupara-becon-danshi (bacon-wrapped asparagus men). The other is ロールキャベツ男子/ro-ru-kyabetsu-danshi (stuffed cabbage men). In the two phrases, the asparagus and cabbage imply "草食系/soushoku-kei (herbivorous) " because they are vegetables. The bacon and meat in stuffed cabbage imply "肉食系/nikushoku-kei (carnivorous)". The term bacon-wrapped asparagus men indicates those who are seemingly ”肉食系男子/nikushoku-kei-danshi (carnivorous men)", but in reality, they are "草食系男子/soushoku-kei-dansshi (herbivorous men). The term stuffed cabbage men indicates men who are the opposite.

The two terms "草食系/soushoku-kei(herbivorous) and 肉食系/nikushoku-kei(carnivorous)" are very popular. Even elderly people who generally have difficulty catching up with new words often use them when they describe people.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's been nine months since that day. Are people becoming desensitized to the serious situation?

I'm determined to remember what I thought about in March on the eleventh of every month, although I know that human beings have an ability to forget in order to overcome difficulties. I feel that I should remember how I felt on the 11th of March since the word "death" first went through my mind and I realized something I hardly realize under ordinary circumstances (At the time, I was in Chiba far from the epicenter. Still, I felt several massive earthquakes). Immediately after the earthquakes, I very much thanked the shop staff at a super market near my house who worked as usual. Their anxiety and fear were written on their faces. They seemed to ease their fear by focusing on their jobs. All in all, I found happiness in small things which I generally don't care about.

Anyway, it's been nine months since the disaster happened. It's been reported that progress is slower than expected at tsunami-stricken areas in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures where many towns were completely washed away. Although there are many reasons pointed out, the main one is clear. The Fukushima disaster has complicated matters further.

I often hear people say that they are not surprised by whatever reports come out on the crippled power plant and radioactive contamination. I've also realized that I'm becoming desensitized to our serious situation, although I've been paying great attention to the plant and radioactive contamination. I often feel that people are getting used to the serious situation like this way. Needless to say, there are many reports on new findings showing that the crippled plant is likely to be more critical than expected or that radioactive contamination is more serious than expected.

Only after the Fukushima accident, I realized that many nuclear-related TV programs had been already aired especially on NHK, the public broadcasting network in Japan. Recently, I saw some of them when they were rerun. These programs show how a lot of people worldwide have been struggling against diseases which were most likely caused by radiation exposure (For example: The victims of the atomic bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. The victims of the Chernobyl accident in Ukraine and Belarus. The victims of nuclear testing in Marshall Islands. Some residents near the plutonium production reactor in Hanford site in the US).

Recently, there have been many reports on decontamination plans. It seems that our central government gives priority to decontamination work. On the other hand, some specialists have been skeptical about how well decontamination work will go. They have insisted that the government and some people expect too much of decontamination work. They have pointed out that since there are many mountains near contaminated areas, unless the mountains are decontaminated, decontamination work won't go well. Like the outlook proves right, it has turned out that rice crops in fields near the contaminated mountains tend to be more highly contaminated than ones in other fields, even though both fields have the same level of soil contamination. It's been said that water coming from the contaminated mountains likely causes it. I've heard America, Ukraine and Belarus have been having great difficulties decontaminating soil. I think that both the government and Japanese people need to change the way of thinking.

Decontamination work

Contamination map

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The top 10 words describing the Japan of 2011--Final

Today, I can finally finish talking about the top 10 winners of the buzzwords and new words of 2011 contest. If you are interested in my explanations of the ones I already covered, please see the links below.


どや/doya is a word (or a phrase. I'm not sure if どや/doya is a word or a phrase) in the Osaka dialect. It means the same thing as どうだ?in standard Japanese. どうだ(douda) means, "I'm right, aren't I?" For example, say A and B are arguing over something. Both of them stand strong and don't give an inch. If it turns out that A is right, A will say triumphantly, "どうだ/douda?". As you can see, the word is usually used when you want to brag about the fact that you are right. Personally, I think that doya in the Osaka dialect sounds stronger than douda in the standard Japanese.

顔/Kao, the latter part of どや顔, means face. Can you guess what どや顔/doya-gao means? どや顔/doya-gao means a smug look on your face or a facial expression indicating that you are bragging about your triumph. This year, the phrase has become very popular. I don't know why though.


It's an abbreviation of スマートフォン/smartphone. This year, smart phones have become very popular in Japan. It's been reported that the 3/11 earthquake also inspired people to buy one. During the summer, smartphone sales accounted for over half of the total sales of cellphones.


When Japanese Prime Minister Noda assumed power in September, he likened himself to a loach/weatherfish in his first official statement. Because of this, his administration is referred to as dojyo-naikaku (どじょう/dojyou means loach or weatherfish. 内閣/naikaku means cabinet or administration). It's been reported that PM Noda likened himself to loach in order to highlight his determination that he would do his best in a solid (or honest) way. Personally, I don't understand why the phrase was selected.


In Japan, comedians always appear in TV shows. Some short performances done by comedians often become very popular. They are so simple that a lot of children try to copy these performances, and it often makes them very popular. ラブ注入/love tyunyu is one of them which has become very popular this year. Please see the attached YouTube video. In the video, a few seconds after starting, a tall man appears and does a sort of short performance. During the performance, he says love-tyuntyu while making a heart shape with his hands.

ラブ means love (Love is written "ラブ” in Japanese). 注入/tyunyu means injection. I don't know exactly what he intends to say with the phrase " Love-tyunyu", but I guess that love-tyunyu means that he'll inject his love into your heart or something like that. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

The top 10 words describing the Japan of 2011--Part 3: Everybody knows that phrase.

Today, I'll continue to talk about the top 10 winners of the buzzwords and new words of the 2011 contest. I'll explain about one of them. If you are interested in what I talked about them before, please see the links below.

Part 2

★こだまでしょうか/kodamade syouka

Immediately after the devastating earthquake hit Japan on the 11th of March, all the regular TV programs were cancelled. Instead, special programs to report on what was going on in Japan were broadcast for the next two weeks. Even after this, regular TV commercials remained disappeared because their contents were seen inappropriate to the terrible situation. However, it seemed that commercial breaks were necessary in commercial broadcasting services, so several TV commercials created by Japan Advertising Council in 2010 were aired. These commercials were created to promote morality or enlighten the public about things they should know.

At the time, a lot of people left the TV on to get detailed information on what they cared about. Every time the commercial breaks came, people saw the substitute TV commercials. Since there were only several TV commercials created by the council, they were on the air in turns over and over. Even if people didn't intend to see them, they inevitably caught what was being talked about in the commercials. On top of that, some phrases used there were so catchy that many people blurted out the catchy phrases.

"こだまでしょうか/kodamade syouka" is one phrase used in one of these commercials. こだまでしょうか means that is this the echo to repeat anyone's words? Actually, in the commercial, a poem written by Misuzu kaneko (金子みすゞ)is used. I mean that all the phrases in the commercial are from her poem titled "こだまでしょうか/kodamade syouka". Misuzu Kaneko is a poet who was born more than 100 years ago. I've heard that the poem was written about 85 years ago. The frequent broadcasting of the commercial made her very popular. Then, her poetry book hit the bestseller list. Admittedly, the poem used in the commercial is thought-provoking.

Another phrase ”ぽぽぽぽ~ん/popopopo~n” has also become very popular although it wasn't selected as the top 10 winners. The phrase is from another TV commercial which was also created by the council and was frequently broadcast. The phrase doesn't have any meaning. I don't know why it has become very popular.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The top 10 words describing the Japan of 2011--Part 2: We cannot describe the Japan of 2011 without that event.

A few days ago, the top 10 winners of the buzzwords and new words of the 2011 contest was announced. In the last post, I talked about なでしこジャパン/Nadeshiko-Japan, the word which won first prize. Today, I'll talk about some of the rest.

★3.11/san ten ichi ichi

In Japan, the September 11 attacks are referred to as 9.11 ( kyu ten ichi ichi). Everybody knows what 9.11 indicates. Coincidentally, just nine and half years after the September 11 attacks, terrible events happened in Japan and had a great impact on our nation. Because of this, the 3/11 earthquake, tsunami and the subsequent nuclear disaster are referred to as 3.11. Although I don't remember who first used the word, according to the announcement, the then chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano first used it in his official statement.


帰宅/Kitaku means to go home. 難民/nanmin means refugees. On the 11th of March, even in the Tokyo area, we felt the massive earthquake too, despite the area being far from the epicenter. I thought that I was going to die in Chiba next to Tokyo. All the train services were suspended immediately after the massive earthquake happened at about quarter to three in the afternoon. Some services were resumed about six hours later, but many of them remained suspended until the next morning.

In the Tokyo area, there are many train and subway services (even Tokyo people often carry a train map with them). People generally commute by train. Over an hour's journey to work by train is very common. The daytime population of the downtown Tokyo is huge. Because of this, a large number of people wandered around the streets due to this long suspension. We refer to these people as 帰宅難民/Kitaku-nanmin. Before the earthquake, it was predicted that Kitaku-nanmin could be a big problem if a massive earthquake hit the Tokyo area. On top of that, the issue of how to deal with Kitaku-nanmin was often discussed and some measures were already taken. However, it was the first time to see how Kitaku nanamin were doing and created problems. We've learned a lot.


The disaster which happened on the 11th of March has made us realize how many people have supported us and we cannot live without others. We have been very much encouraged by huge support from people worldwide since then. We appreciate for the support very much.

Before the earthquake, there was a tendency that people had been becoming indifferent to others especially in large cities. However, the disaster changed the situation. It's been reported that the 3/11 earthquake made many couples decide to get married. As a matter of fact, wedding businesses have been recently enjoying good sales.

All in all, people have realized how important ties to others are. 絆/Kizuna means ties among human beings.


風評/huhyo means rumors. 被害/Higai means damages. Huhyo higai means damages which rumors without reasonable grounds caused.

Partly because a lot of people didn't know about radiation, partly because the issue of how much radiation exposure will be harmful in the future is always controversial, and partly because the lack of clear information about radioactive contamination, there have been a lot of rumors and information spread since the Fukushima accident. I've found it very difficult that you distinguish reliable information from rumors without reasonable grounds.

Under these circumstances, some people from Fukushima prefecture were or have been mistreated based on the wrong information or just because of the great fear of radiation. Crops from some areas tend to linger on the market. Some insist that this is 風評被害/huhyo-higai because people believe rumors and the wrong information. On the other hand, some insist that this is not 風評被害/huhyo-higai because some specialists question provisional radioactive safety limits on food set by the government, so they want to protect themselves based on their own standards. Some insist that the government and the mass media use the word " 風評被害/huhyo-higai" to blame people who try to buy crops free from as much radioactive substances as possible in order to protect their children. Anyway, the word has become very popular since the Fukushima accident.

The top 10 words describing the Japan of 2011, Part 1 --Can Japanese women make a breakthrough?

Every year around this time, the top 10 winners of the buzzwords and new words of the year contest are announced. When the result is announced, we feel that this year is going to end soon. We look back at the year while thinking about why these words were selected.

A few days ago, the result of the 2011 contest was announced. Although many words related to the 3/11 earthquake and the Fukushima accident were nominated about a month ago (60 words were nominated), なでしこジャパン/Nadeshiko-Japan, the name of the Japanese women's national soccer team, won first place.

In July, at the Women's Soccer World Cup in Germany, Japan had some amazing victories and won the cup. The unexpected success lifted our nation rocked by the 3/11 earthquake, tsunami and the subsequent nuclear disaster. Since it was widely known that unlike men's soccer players, it was very difficult even for talented women to make their livings as soccer players, the considerable achievement captivated a lot of people, encouraged them to struggle to overcome the difficulties and made them feel that they could do anything. People admired the players, saying that they were real なでしこ/Nadeshiko (As for the meaning of the word, please see Note 1 below). People seemed to remember how much Japanese women had inner strength. Even some conservative men who hardly appreciated women said that women could make a breakthrough. Put simply, the players gave hope for us.

When the grand prize of the contest was announced, these explanations were mentioned as the reasons why なでしこジャパン/Nadeshiko-Japan was selected as the grand prize.

*Note 1
Nadeshiko means dianthus (a type of flower), but people often think of 大和なでしこ/Yamato-nadeshiko from なでしこ. Yamato-nadeshiko is used to describe Japanese women who have traditional Japanese beauty, kindness and inner strength. Although people portray different images of these women, it's usually used in a positive way or as a complimentary word.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lady Kaga has appeared in Japan!

About three years ago, a lot of Japanese people were attracted by President Obama's speeches although many of them weren't able to understand English. This was because his speeches were strong enough to give hope for Japanese people who didn't understand English, which showed that they strongly expected the Japanese Prime Minister to deliver his clear messages. The magazine "The speeches of Barack Obama"(which was published for English-learners, provided in both English and Japanese and was accompanied with a CD-ROM) surprisingly hit the bestseller list. After that, many businesses jumped on the bandwagon, and then pictures of President Obama was very easy to find. The two phrases "Yes, we can" and "Change" became very popular.

Under these circumstances, Obama City, Fukui prefecture, Japan (福井県小浜市) took advantage of the Obama boom. The city tried to promote itself by appealing to the public that the name of the city is the same name as President Obama. The city showed its support for President Obama although I think that it was meaningless and rather bothersome to him.

Anyway, the youtube video "Lady Kaga (not Lady Gaga)" has been recently drawing considerable attention (Please see the youtube video). This is a promotion video made by Kaga hot spring area, Ishikawa prefecture (which is next to aforementioned Fukui prefecture). In Japan, Lady Gaga has been recently very popular not only because her worldwide popularity but also her big support for the 3/11 earthquake and tsunami like her 10 days stay in Tokyo in June. Because of this, Kaga hot spring area (加賀温泉郷) has taken notice of the fact that Kaga sounds very similar to Gaga in Japanese and takes advantage of Lady Gaga's popularity. In the promotion video, ladies in various businesses in Kaga who offer hospitality to tourists appear with the intro of the popular song "Poker face" which is being played on Japanese traditional instruments.

I'm wondering if people in the Hokuriku area (both Ishikawa and Fukui prefectures belong to the area ) like puns more than in other areas.