test of Edo culture and history

By TERRY - Last updated: 火曜日, 11月 24, 2009 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

"Shizumanu Taiyo" billboardI took  a test of  Edo culture and history called “Edo Bunka Rekishi Kentei” (江戸文化歴史検定/The Test of  Edo Culture and History)http://edoken.shopro.co.jp/on this Nov.1.   This test ,often called “Edo-ken”, started  4 years ago and being held once a year since then.

This test is hosted by an association to promote our old culture and historical information and supported by many organizations of companies, NGOs, museums and other culture or history-related entities.

The promotion being so successful, many people have had  interest in and  actually  have taken the test so far, though I took it for the first time this time.   The test has three grades, namely  the First Grade, the Second Grade, and the Third Grade.  The second and Third can be taken

by any one,while the first grade can be taken only by those who have already passed the second grade as the first one is very difficult. Therefore, I took the second and the third.

I took the tests at Meiji University in Surugadai  Tokyo.   That area is home to many  schools, bookstores, and culture-related institutions. There were so many examinees at the venue and even TV crew came for coverage of  TV news shows.  I was happy to learn many people were interested in old Japanese culture and history.  The questions were about  culture and historical items of Japan in Edo Period (1603-1868) , such as  Ukiyoe, old geography of Japan,  temples, festivals , and so forth.  The third grade test was kind of basic, so I think I passed it but the second one was so difficult that I think I failed. I couldn’t work on the study for them well in advance anyway…

After the tests I went down to the  streets and dropped at some nearby bookstores. At one of them I found a big billboard of  “Shizumanu Taiyo”(沈まぬ太陽/ The Never Setting Sun)  that I referred to in my previous update http://www.tenkai-japan.com/2009/11/13/the-20th-anniversary-of-the-emperors-enthronement/.  On the billboard there was a portrait of   Ken Watanabe , the actor of the hero of the movie version.

Coincidentally, there held a secondhand book  festival on a nearby street in Jinbocho. at which I bought some old history books. Jinbocho Book festival

Then, I walked up to a famous  bookstore “Jidaiya”(時代屋/ a shop of eras)  which specializes history books, magazines, and dvds.  Jidaiya is one of the supporters of Edo-ken and if  you have an admission ticket for the test, you will be given discount at a cafe on the store’s 2 floor. Jidaiya (時代屋/ a shop of eras)  in Jinbocho The staffers of the store wear Japanese kimono, and the  atmosphere  is that of somewhat  mysterious Asian taste.  The store’s  assortment of merchandise is incredible and  the Japanese food and sweets served at the cafe can help you enjoy a virtual “good old Japanese culture”

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