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|Japan is one the world's most enigmatic countries. Still rooted in an ancient tradition that makes life into a series of rituals Mack Hollins Limited Jersey , it is nonetheless one of the most dynamic and modern nations in the world. Here's a look into some of the unique marvels that make this fascinating country tick.
Few things are more Japanese than sumo wrestling. Like most Japanese traditions, sumo is very ancient and has its origins in the Shinto religion. Even in its modern form, the event contains many ritual elements derived from this long past. One example is the use of salt for purification.
Like many things in Japan, the rules of sumo are simple, but the techniques can be complex. The match begins when the wrestlers stand facing each other on the raised clay platform called the dohyo. They then scatter handfuls of salt into the dohyo as part of an ancient purification ritual. They then assume a crouch down and size each other up Donnel Pumphrey Limited Jersey , waiting to launch their assault. The aim of the sport is for one wrestler to force the other out of the circular ring known as dohyo or to make contact with the ground with any body part other than the soles.
Life for sumo wrestlers (rikishi) is very strict. They must live in heya which are communal training camps and they have to follow strictly regimented lives with everything from diet to dress stipulated by tradition.
Each year sees six Grand Sumo tournaments known as honbasho). Three are held at the Sumo Hall in Ryogoku, Tokyo in January, May, and September. Then there's one in Osaka in March, one in Nagoya in July and one in Fukuoka in November. These events run for 15 days.
Another quintessentially Japanese phenomenon is that of the rock garden (karesansui) Rasul Douglas Limited Jersey , known in the west as the Zen garden. Buddhism arrived in Japan via China in the 5th century. It gradually evolved into the Zen form with the focus on meditation rather than the study of scripture as the way to enlightenment. One aid to meditation is the Zen garden, in which the harmonious arrangement of gravel, sand and stones leads the mind into a contemplative state.
The best place to see Zen gardens today is in the ancient capital city of Kyoto. One of the most interesting of the Kyoto temples is Ginkakuji, the Silver Pavilion. The gardens of Ginkakuji contain well-known rock gardens with raked gravel and a conical moon viewing hill added in the 17th century.
Finally, we'll look at the onsen Sidney Jones Limited Jersey , the famous hot springs of Japan. As a volcanic group of islands with high precipitation, all parts of Japan are blessed with abundant geothermic hot water. Other than promoting relaxation and boosting the circulation, the minerals in the hot water also have health-giving properties
This led to the development of onsen towns as hot spring resorts many dating back over a millennium. Onsen take many forms. Some are indoor, others outdoor; some are mixed some are separated by sex; some belong to a ryokan (Japanese inn), others are public.
The marvels of Japan are many. After experiencing these three Derek Barnett Limited Jersey , you'll find many more waiting for you.
JOHANNESBURG, Aug.18 (Xinhua) -- South African business on Tuesday welcomed the decision by Russia to consider offering visa-free entry for tourists from China, India, Brazil and South Africa as fellow members of BRICS.
"This is a step in the right direction! If the business doors are open or 10 multi-year visas entry are issued, that will no doubt boost our economic growth Dallas Goedert Limited Jersey ," Brian Molefe, chairman of BRICS Business Council SA, told Xinhua.
With an open visa, coupled with a free trade policy, an estimated three million jobs can be created every month within the grouping Carson Wentz Limited Jersey , according to Molefe.
A number of South African business organisations have been pushing for the scrapping of visas among BRICS members so as to make doing business and travelling easier.
Trade and economic experts say South Africa's strict visa regulations have become the main impediment for mutual economic and trade deals among BRICS members.
The BRICS countries together have a combined Gross Domestic Product of 33 trillion US dollars and accounted for 17 percent of global trade last year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday called for visa-free travel for tourists from India and South Africa, in a move to boost Russia's ailing tourist industry which has been hit by the falling ruble and foreign travel restrictions for Russian officials.
"In order to attract foreign tourists we may provide further simplification of visa formalities, for example, to expand the practice of visa-free exchanges for tourist groups. It may be applied to all BRICS countries," Putin said at a session of the State Council Presidium in Crimea.
South Africa has been criticized for its heavy handedness in dealing with foreigners Women's Wendell Smallwood Jersey , and tight visa regulations, which have already impeded tourism growth.
"Interestingly, South Africa is more open to the countries in the West like the UK and US than her BRICS partners despite political talk of interaction and cooperation,"said Dr James Matthews, a lecturer in international relations at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg.
Lunga Ngqengelele Women's Isaac Seumalo Jersey , spokesperson for SA Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba, said,"You may not be aware that BRICS countries that carry official and diplomatic passports are exempted from visa requirements.What remains to be dealt with are passport holders of ordinary people and business persons to be exempted for those countries."
Notwithstanding, a South Africa businessman, Peter Daniels of Metal and Steel Company based in Johannesburg said Women's Jordan Hicks Jersey , "SA is the only BRICS member country that offers a 10-year multiple-entry visa to business people in the grouping. All the BRICS members should also take a leave from South Africa and do the same."
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