Back in time

What was life like in Tokyo and New York City a hundred years ago?

Research task: try to find videos like this for other cities and countries that you’re studying about.

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Happy Birthday, Seto Ohashi

Seto Ohashi, sometimes called the Great Seto Bridge in English, opened 30 years ago today. Here’s a brief aticle about it in the Japan Times (where they redundantly call it “Seto Ohashi Bridge”).

Have you traveled over this bridge (which is actually a series of 6 bridges)? What other great bridges have you seen or been over, in Japan or in other countries?

Wakey-wakey

Before alarm clocks (or for those who couldn’t afford them), people in some manufacturing cities in Britain used to be paid to go around town and tap on people’s windows with a bamboo pole. .

Is that a job you’d like to have? Was there a similar job in Japan in the past? Do a little research and see what you can find.

*Just a little warning that in U.S. English, the term “knock up” means something completely different, so just be careful. See this movie for more about that.

A study about kissing

This article from Sapiens (“Is romantic kissing a human universal?) explains that kissing (romantic kisssing rather than the kind of kiss a parent gives a child) is surprisingly uncommon around the world. You’d never know it if you went by most movies (see, for example, “Most iconic movie kisses of all time” from InStyle, or tons of YouTube movie clip collections titled “Best movie kisses of all time”).

Iconic movie kiss #6: from “The Lady and the Tramp” (Japanese title: 「わんわん物語」

A few excerpts from the Sapiens article:

“In Melanesia, the Trobriand Islanders regarded kissing as ‘a rather silly and insipid form of amusement’

“even chimpanzees and bonbobos kiss”

“In fact … less than half of the (168) cultures we sampled engage in the romantic kiss.”

“Societies with distinct social classes are usually kissers; societies with fewer or no social classes, like hunter-gatherer communities, are usually not.”

And there are two theories about how romantic kissing originated. Try skimming the the article to find them.