Kanji (漢字) is one of the Japanese wrting system along with Hiragana and Katakana. Both Hiragana and Katakana were made from Kanji by simplifying the character. Kanji was first created in China and is an ideogram. During 5th-6th century, Kanji was imported from China to Japan by Japanese monks and students who studied there. Traditionally kanji were mostly used by men or well educated women, and Hiragana was invented for women to use.
One Kanji usually has more than one way of reading and there are more than 10,000 kanji. Obviously it's imporssible to remember all characters so that Japanese people use special Kanji dictionary.
Katakana (カタカナ) is one of the Japanese wrting system along with Hiragana and Kanji. As well as Hiragana, Katakana is phonetical and is a simplified form of Kanji.
Katakana is mainly used in modern Japanese language when a word describes foreign language or names.
Ex: Television – テレビ (terebi)
Coffee – コーヒー (koohii)
Penelope Cruz – ペネロペ・クルス (Peneroepe Kurusu).
More about Japanese language
Shokunin (職人・craftman) are those who are skilled and create things by hands in the industrial field. Traditionally shokunin are respected in the society, and in fact, in Edo periodo they were considered to be a higher social class than merchants.
Kenkoku no Hi, celebration parade.
The 11th of February is the National Foundation Day since 1966 in memory of the foundation of Japan in and as the day to grow love towards the country. According to the Japanese second old mythology, "Nihon Shoki", Japan was founded on this day in 660BC.
After the World War II, it had been prohibited to celebrate this day as GHQ was cautious about Japanese people getting too patriotic by worshipping the Emperor but with the desire of Japanese nation, it revived as Kenkoku no Hi in 1966.
Usually this day, there are celebration parades in many places in Japan but also, there are many protests against this celebration. It's quite controversial.
Protest march in Tokyo in 2010
Kaidan (怪談）means ghost story or horror in Japanese although it usually refers to Japanese old traditional ghost folktales. Kaidan is a story about death, ghost and monsters and it first appeared in a written form dates back to Heian period (early 12th century). In the 18th century, it became one of the popular topics in Kabuki.
In the early 20th, a Greek born Irish author, Yakumo Koizumi (Lafcadio Hearn) collected old traditional Kaidan stories and folk stories all over Japan and published a book "怪談 (Kwaidan)". One of his stories, "耳なし芳一(Mimi nashi Houichi / Houichi the earless)" is a story all Japanese have read in their childhood.
Kaidan used to be a typical summer event as well as the fireworks. To chill in the hot and humid summer in Japan, scary stories were perfect.