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Sumo Wrestling

Sumo Wrestling is Japan’s national sport, and just like Japan it’s full of customs and traditions. Even though we’ve lived here almost 7 years, we know very little about it and had never seen or been to a tournament. Fortunately, Ruth’s friend Aya was willing to take us to our first tournament.

As you can see in the video, we thoroughly enjoyed the tournament and had so many questions. How does it work? How are wrestlers ranked? How does one win a tournament? How does one become a top player? How much food does a Sumo wrestler have to eat? These questions and more are all packed into our first ever video on Japan’s sport, Sumo wrestling.

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LIJ Episode Lives Videos

Miraculous Change

Hope is essential to life. Hope pulls life forward and helps us move forward in face of adversity. Where there is hope, there is a way. Holding on to hope is imperative for a thriving life. And if you look for hope in nature, I believe you can find it perfectly represented by the Sakura (cherry blossom).

Every year these trees announce the arrival of Spring in a most spectacular way. As the brown cold of winter gives way to warmer temperatures, the Sakura coordinate its blooming to coincide with the greening of the grass and the sprouting of spring leaves. A seemingly dead landscape bursts to life in what is nothing short of a miraculous, seemingly overnight change. It is that miraculous change that we highlight in this episode of Life in Japan.

A Hope that Holds

The arrival of hope in our hearts is like the arrival of Spring. When hope comes, it flowers and the cold, dead corners of life suddenly burst to life. For this hope to hold, it must be anchored in something more permanent than the Sakura petals that come and soon go. Yes, hope must be anchored to a source that is constant. The better the source, the more lasting the hope.

For me, I have found no better hope than the hope I have in the love of God. This love is more than just a happy feeling or a positive thought. The extent of this great love was perfectly expressed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus shows the full extent of God’s love and is in fact the very embodiment of love. God’s love for people didn’t condemn people for their failures, but forgave them and healed them. God’s love in Jesus took our failures, our shame and our sickness on the cross and there were put to death with Jesus. And today, Good Friday, is a special day of remembrance for people all over the world of this great sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf.

But the story didn’t end there, because God’s love was bigger than death itself and raised Jesus from the grave. Yes, only three days later came resurrection Sunday— EASTER— and that day is the day of Jesus’ ultimate triumph over sin, death and the grave.

Your story may seem over, that the best days of life seem to have come and gone. Maybe you find yourself in a place of little or no hope. I would love nothing more than for you to find the true source of hope in the love of God in Jesus that changes everything and can make even the darkest of winters bloom into a beautiful sakura spring of hope. This hope speaks to our hearts that the best is yet to come and that in any situation, no matter how bleak, there is a sakura spring just around the corner.

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LIJ Episode Lives Update

Celebrating 100 Episodes of LIJ

What a day! We are celebrating 100 episodes of Life in Japan! Life in Japan started on April 28, 2018 and was all in English, no Japanese subtitles from the start. In fact the Japanese subtitles didn’t start until episode 16, when we realized we could broaden our audience by doing so. Our 1st episode was none other than a simple tour through our house. Now, 100 episodes later, we’ve had over 12.3 million views in 138 different countries. I would have never imagined having such a big reach!

To celebrate our 100th episode, we wanted to have a big party, rent a movie theatre and invite all of our local friends to come and watch with us, but the logistics of doing so while still in an extended state of emergency here in Japan was too complicated. Not to worry though — we plan on doing something super special like that in the future! And fortunately everyone can still enjoy the 100th episode from wherever they are and learn along with us how to make the incredibly delicious Japanese pot soup called “Nabe.”

Life in Japan Online Shop

In honor of our 100th episode, the Life in Japan online shop is now open! You can purchase the fun hats and bags you’ve seen us use in our episodes. In the future we plan on adding more items such as clothing, mugs and apparel, so please check it out! Click here to go to the online shop.

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Lives

Making a Japanese Lunch (Bento)

The staple of Japanese lunchtime cuisine is the bento. Sometimes translated “lunchbox,” this prepared meal almost always consists of rice and some sort of fish, eggs, seaweed (nori) and other yummies. You can find them in any convenience store or super market in Japan, but if you want to make them yourself, then tonight’s video will show you how it’s done with a real Japanese mom! Sit back and relax as we explore the art of making a bento.

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Lives

What’s Life Like for Our Kids in Japan?

Recently we asked our viewers what questions they had for us, and they sure responded with some great questions! From questions about Japanese culture and foods to favorite hobbies, activities and relationships, I was honestly blown away by the sure amount of quality questions that we received. So here is the first installment of our Q & A session, an entire episode dedicated to our kids talking about their lives in Japan.