Tuesday, September 30, 2008

JJNN Tuesday: Entertainment - 09

Welcome again to JJNN for Tuesday September 30th, 2008. Today we will be talking about an entertaining Japanese park.

There are many forms of entertainment in this world. They range from things like thrill rides that work on your emotions (feeling the scare before the drop of a roller coaster or laughing because you find a comedian funny) to things that entertain you because they work on other people's emotions (the best example of this is schadenfreude: feeling joy in other people's suffering). Within that range lies the human ability to entertain ourselves by making fun of things that are obviously out of place.

There is a park in Himeji (in southern Japan) called Taiyou Park that falls within that last category of entertainment. I bet you are thinking "It's a park. How could anything really be out of place?" right? The answer is everything. The park was built to have a place where all the world heritage sites can be seen in the same place. That's right, it is only a 10 minute walk from the pyramids to Tiananmen Square. Just outside of Tiananmen Square stands a giant replica of a haniwa (an ancient Japanese form of earth-ware that is in the shape of a warrior). I guess pictures speak louder than words so I will just post a few pictures of this amazing park and give a brief explanation of each.

This is a Colombian God backed by those kooky inhabitants of Easter Island, the Moai.

From the pyramid you can see a lot of things. First, on the right you can see the back of the sphinx. In the middle you can see a tiny pyramid that is about 1.2 meters tall. In the back you can see Tiananmen Square and a couple of towers from a famous temple in China.

There are a lot more good examples, but there are too many to choose from. If this park were not so far away I would definitely go there. Nothing so entertaining in this world as climbing a 2 kilometer stretch of the Great Wall of China to see an ancient Japanese castle being built off in the distance.

Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 公園(こうえん). It is pronounced kouen and means park. I am so happy that there is a park near my house. I would go crazy if I had absolutely no connection with nature in my area.

That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.

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