Jan
02
2010

Japanese Proverbs: December 2009

I’m surprised I was able to pull myself away from FFXIII long enough to do my monthly proverb post, yay me!

As usual, I originally tweeted these proverbs throughout December–one per day (except Christmas eve)–and now I’m bringing them all together in a blog post. Enjoy! And please follow me if you like these and want to keep up with the new ones…

Japanese Proverbs: December 2009
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Jan
01
2010

Nihonshock 2010

In any country, the start of a New Year is a time to reflect upon the past and to make goals and plans for the future. In the English-speaking world, we have “New Year’s Resolutions” but in Japan they have 新年の目標 (shinnen no mokuhyou).

How did you do last year? What are your goals for the new year?…

Nihonshock 2010
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Dec
22
2009

Star Wars quotes… in Japanese!

So you want to know how to quote Star Wars in Japanese, do you?

I won’t pretend that I can come up with a useful or sane reason for such an endeavor, but follow me, 若きジェダィ (young Jedi), and I shall show you the ways of the フォース.

Star Wars quotes… in Japanese!
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Dec
10
2009

My trip to a cat cafe

The other day I finally got around to visiting a place that I’ve wanted to check out for some time: a cat cafe.

No, there’s no relationship to maid cafes or anything like that. It’s not even really a place to get a cup of coffee (though they do offer a small selection food and drinks). It’s a “cafe” more in the sense of an internet cafe and the system is almost identical, except instead of a room full of computers you buy time to go into a room full of cats.

Meow, as a cat lover this was purrfectly right up my alley (sorry, but I wanted to get all the puns out of the way early), so I went to check it out one morning…

My trip to a cat cafe
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Dec
01
2009

Japanese Proverbs: November 2009

This is a collection of Japanese proverbs that I tweeted throughout November 2009. I missed a couple days when I was out with a hangover (sorry, I’ll be more responsible next time), that’s why there’s only 27.

Japanese Proverbs: November 2009
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Nov
30
2009

The latest otaku craze: lap pillows

I’ve been seeing these around a lot lately at both otaku-ish locations and regular department stores too (two of these 3 pictures I took at Loft in Sakae, Nagoya). They’re an interesting item, playing on the Japanese word 膝枕 (hiza makura), which is made up of the characters for “lap” and “pillow” and usually refers to resting your head in someone’s lap.

The latest otaku craze: lap pillows
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Nov
28
2009

The many ways to say “I”

One of the many unique and intriguing features of Japanese is the vast selection of words you have available to choose from when you want to say “I.”Each of these words has a different connotation reflecting the speaker’s view of his/herself and relationship to the listener.

For this article, I’m introduce to you my personal collection of “I” words that I’ve encountered here in Japan (even if I’ve only seen them once or twice in obscure contexts). Hopefully, this list will help to prepare you for your own Japanese adventures.

The many ways to say “I”
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Nov
26
2009

Party games with panty hose?

Yep, I’ve been hanging around the 100 yen stores again. Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to pull pantyhose over the top of your head? Have you ever wondered what someone’s face would look like with pantyhose pulled over their head?

Well have I got the item for you! Check out this… novel …100 yen Japanese party game. I haven’t tried it myself, but apparently it’s a very funny “tag” of war.

Party games with panty hose?
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Nov
25
2009

How I studied kanji

Kanji is the most common stumbling block for Japanese learners. It’s easy to see why: there are 1,945 Joyo kanji, hundreds more non-Joyo kanji that are still very commonly used, and yet hundreds more kanji that are used in people’s names. And each of these intricate little characters has a specific order in which the strokes must be written, probably has multiple readings, might have multiple meanings, and can be mixed and matched with many other kanji to create compound words (熟語 : jukugo).

Basically, there is a reason that Japanese students are still studying kanji even in high school, and that reason is that kanji are as difficult as they are many.

How I studied kanji
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Nov
18
2009

10 Great Japanese iPhone/iPad apps

I switched my provider to Softbank from AU at the start of this month so that I could finally get on the iPhone bandwagon that I had been hearing so much about. I knew it would be a cool device but it has so far exceeded every single expectation I held for it. I run down my battery into the 20-30% range everyday from almost constant use (I even use it as an alarm clock at night) and have in two short weeks already spilled over to 6 pages of apps (even though I turned some off with BossPrefs). But, enough fanboy rant… you came here to read about apps…

10 Great Japanese iPhone/iPad apps
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