Shrooms-5120

The Taming of the Shroom: The Umamitastic World of Japanese Mushrooms

Mushrooms are an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine, and there are so many varieties to choose from.  Hopefully this guide will make things a bit easier on you.  It will tell you what a mushroom is, their types and … [Read more...]

RiceCookerAttack-5120

Have a Rice Day! Rice Cooker History, Features, Futures, and More

My brother had warned me, "Once you go rice cooker, you don't go back." He was right. I had grown up in a household where we cooked rice in a pot, on our stovetop. In college I used a hotpot to the same effect. Then … [Read more...]

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Fukagawa Edo Museum

If you visit Tokyo and are interested in history, chances are you'll hear about the big, fancy, well-publicized Edo-Tokyo Museum, where you can see re-created buildings and objects from the long history of Tokyo when it … [Read more...]

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BAKA! Japan’s Most Popular Profanity

"Baka" is the most commonly used Japanese swear word. It usually means foolish or stupid, but can take on a whole range of meanings depending of context, relationship, and various other factors. In kanji, it’s usually … [Read more...]

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25 Reasons To Join The JET Program (And 8 Reasons Not To)

If you're reading this, you must have some kind of interest in the JET Program. This isn't a decision to be made lightly, though. As a JET alumni myself, I've experienced (and heard stories of) the incredibly positive … [Read more...]

DesignFestaSarahFeinerman-5120

Interview with Sarah Feinerman from Design Festa

International Art Event Design Festa is an explosion of creativity that happens twice a year at Japan's largest convention center, Tokyo Big Sight. It's the largest art event of its kind in Asia, so big that it recently … [Read more...]

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The Dragon Ball Training Guide to Self-Improvement

Olympic judoka and UFC champion Ronda Rousey turned some heads and busted some scouters when she appeared at this year's Wrestlemania wearing a Dragon Ball Z t-shirt with an image of Vegeta and the phrase, "It's over … [Read more...]

ShueishaTour-5120

Exploring Shueisha (and an Interview with a Manga Editor!)

Recently, I interviewed a manga scriptwriter named Araki Joh, the author of several best selling manga series published by Shueisha, the publishing house behind the Jump line of manga. If you're not familiar with Jump … [Read more...]

KanamaraMatsuri-5120

Kanamara Matsuri: The Irony Behind the Infamous Japanese Penis Festival

Last spring, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Tokyo, Japan. My study abroad program started in April, just in time for beautiful weather and cherry blossoms to greet us American college kids. Oh, and the … [Read more...]

StayingSafeInJapan-5120

Staying Safe in Japan

During my eight years in Japan, I've been to my share of conferences and they've covered all sorts of topics. Some are repeated every year - like "Successful Team Teaching" and "Fostering Student Communication." A few … [Read more...]

arakijo-5120

Interview with Araki Joh, the Best Selling Writer of Japan’s Most Intoxicating Manga

Manga and alcohol are a wonderful mix. Sadly, few artists explored this pairing before Araki Joh wrote the manga, "Sommelier," in 1996. It is the story of a Japanese wine connoisseur living in France and was eventually … [Read more...]

LearningJapaneseThroughSongs-5120

Learning Japanese From Songs (And What This Method Has Taught Me About the Language)

You can't learn a language just by studying vocabulary and grammar. There has to be something you give a damn about understanding in the long run. If you're studying Japanese, maybe that's watching anime or reading manga … [Read more...]

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Kid’s Anime for Japanese Learners

When I started learning Japanese, the inability to pick up on words in anime, movies and music frustrated me. Aside from "Okā-san!", "Otō-san!" and "Kusou!", I had trouble catching words and phrases and my listening skills … [Read more...]

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Getting Famous in Japan the One Direction Way

Japan is a popular target market for pop singers that want to take their fame internationally, particularly, it seems, when it comes to debuting in Asia. Is it because of the infectious fan base? Is it because the fandom … [Read more...]