You’re reading this blog because you have some interest in Japan. As such, (I hope that) most of you will go to Japan someday, either for work or for pleasure. When you do, there are a lot of wonderful and surprising things waiting for you. Among them is a variety and quality of food that boggles the mind.
This blog topic will take on one of the more neglected topics of Japanese language. And by “neglected”, I don’t mean that it is not covered in text books, what I mean is that the coverage given in textbooks tends to lack structure and be inadequate for advanced learning.
As any learner knows, kanji are an inescapable and daunting aspect of learning Japanese. There’s more than 2000 of the little devils and each one has multiple pronunciations, multiple meanings, and a predefined stroke order. That’s a lot to learn, so it’s understandable that most teachers and books avoid…
After a hiatus spanning almost a year and a half, I’m back in 2012 and my first article is about the board game of Go…. which coincidentally was also the primary reason for my absence. (^^;) I first learned of the game at a small cafe in the outskirts of Nagoya. Like many small cafes [...]
Have you ever wondered how Japan fits their roughly 78 million vehicles into a habitable area roughly the size of Maine? Well, it takes just the right mix of creativity and precision (it also helps that most of the cars are really tiny). In this post I introduce a few of the methods Japanese people have come up with for getting the most out of their limited parking space.
Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, but not without its share of problems. Mostly, these problems amount to stolen bicycles and umbrellas (I had my own bicycle stolen last fall). Recently I played through 龍が如く３ (English title: Yakuza 3) on Playstation 3, so I had a chance to polish my crime vocabulary a little bit. Here’s a list of crime-related words which may or may not have been found in the game.
One of the joys of learning Japanese is seeing that shocked and dumbfounded look on native speakers’ faces when you fire off a difficult word or phrase that even they probably wouldn’t have come up with. You get to smile snobbishly and think to yourself: Ha! you didn’t see THAT coming, did you!?
Have you been a bad boy or bad girl lately? Well, maybe you should turn yourself in for your heinous crimes at a kangoku izakaya.
Kangoku (監獄) means prison, and izakaya (居酒屋) is a Japanese style drinking restaurant. So a kangoku izakaya is a Japanese restaurant/bar that has been styled to look like a prison! And if the thought of vicious felons and dirty prison cells doesn’t whet your appetite, I don’t know what will.