23 May, 2007

Reunion @ Chinatown / Yokohama

Last Sunday, our family had a reunion at the Chinatown in Yokohama. My relatives on my father's side who live in Kanto area joined the party. The total 10 participants gathered, my parents, my causins & their son, my sister & her daughter, and I. Unfortunately, my daughter caught a cold, so she and my wife had to give up to join.

When I lived with my parents, we used to go to the Chinatown for treating the guest to lunch. Now I'm living in Tokyo and visit there less often than the past. I found there were some new findings in the town after quite an absense.

Maso byou
I'm not sure how I should introduce the name of this temple. "Maso byou" is Japanese name, but this is Chinese temple. In Chinese(Mandarin), this is "Mazu miao". However, in this Chinatown, people who speak Mandarin seem to be the one part of the population. Maybe there are people who speak Guangtonese, Sichuanese, Fujianese, Shanghainese, Taiwanese, etc. So, please allow me to write it in Japanese. Sorry for my too lengthy preamble. Anyway, this temple was SO beautiful.

They said the Maso byou was brand-new, just built up last year. I heard that this place had been bought by a land developer at 1st . When the developer layed out a construction plan of new condominium(!), all of the Chinatown people opposed it, and, finally, they bought up the land from the developer and built the new temple. Wow. It's a nice story, isn't it?

This is the dim sum restaurant where we enjoyed the lunch. I'd never seen that kind of restaurant in the Chinatown before, it was a "all-you-can-possibly-eat" type. No time restriction. Great! We ate a lot as much as we could. Of course, I didn't forget buying some takeaway dim sums for my wife and daughter.

....borrowed from Shoufuku-mon HP.

That was a good reunion. Thank you for joining, everybody. See you again!

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Anonymous kazu said...

You seem to have enjoyed Yokohama Chinatown indeed! Which did you enjoy the most? Chinese food, shopping or sight seeing?
It was quite interesting for us when we visited Chinatown in Kobe, this January. Both Yokohama and Kobe Chinatown is at "Motomachi" (it means the original town).
When Japan opened itself to foreign contries in the late 19th century after 250 years of isolation policy by the Tokugawa Shogun govenmrnt, Yokohama and Kobe were one of the first ports opened to foreigners. When the Europeans/Americans started establish their business in Japan initially with political pressure to the Shogun government, they must have brought many Chinese as their helpers. These Chinese later settled in Yokohama and Kobe which was the original town where overseas trade started. This was the beginning of the Chinatowns in Japan. Thus I realized that the same name of the place "Motomachi" both in Yokohama and Kobe are not mere coincidence, but rather reflecting the history of Japan as well as the Chinese communities in Japan! The Chinese first came as helpers started to establish their own business later, and the town developed to the current shape after more than 100 years!

25/5/07 21:45  
Anonymous kazu said...

It was a pity that Kana-chan and your wife could not go to Yokohama this time. however you have a good reason to visit Yokohama again.
You missed to visit the Chinese Theme Park "DASKA" which was opned a few years ago. There you can enjoy Chinese shows everyday. The show includes Chinese Opera, music and singing accumpanied by the traditional musical instruments, Chinese magic show/comedy/acrobats etc. (Practically all inds of Chinese entertainments!) "DASKA" means "Large World" which was pronounced in Shanghai accent. In "DASKA" building you can also enjoy the atomosphere of Shanghai in 1930's/1940's.
In addition to that the first floor is a shopping center, and the upper flowers are occupied with good restaurants. You can enjoy all kinds of shows at the stage on the top floor! I am sure your family will have a good time there!(We also want to vsit "DASKA" again.)

25/5/07 22:00  
Anonymous kazu said...

I was very glad to hear that the "Maso byou construction plan" got materialized at last. When we visited Yokohama Chinatown in 2005, we donated some for the plan. Were you able to visit also "Kan-tei Byou" (How do you pronounce it in Mandarin?)this time? It is a very beautiful shrine indeed and I love it! How come the hiro in the real history "Kan-u" (Do you konw Mandarin pronounciation?) became the "God for business success" now? Do you konw why?
"Kan-tei Byou" can be found in almost all the Chinatowns in the
But the style of prayer seem to be differnet from place to place.
When I visited Taipei in 2003, I saw many Taiwanese bringing the cloths of their family members. They exposed these cloths to the smoke of the insents in front of the shirne. I was curious and asked them why. They explained to me that "even the person is not there at the shrine, if you pray for them with their cloths, they will also have business luck!"
It was such an unexpected answer that I had a hard time to control my laughter! However the Taiwanese doing so were all very serious about what they were doing.

28/5/07 12:16  
Anonymous shige said...

Hi, Kazu! Thank you very much for your interesting comment. I recognized that there was "DASKA" but I didn't know it was so exciting place when I saw it. I'll try it next time.
Regarding "Kan-tei Byou", I will write it as a new posting this weekend. Please, wait a moment.

28/5/07 22:21  

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