Wasei-Eigo: I Can’t Believe It’s Not English!

Borrowing words from other languages is a phenomenon as old as language itself. That’s why, even though you probably don’t speak French, Latin, German, Spanish, AND Japanese, you can somehow comprehend the following … [Read more...]

The Standard of Japanese Female Beauty: Ono no Komachi and the Akita Bijin

Ono no Komachi 小野小町 was a poet of unparalleled beauty and renown. Not only was she one of the most famous and well respected poets of the early Heian Period 平安時代, the golden age of Japanese poetry, but the rumor and awe … [Read more...]

Interview with Medama-Sensei: The Racism-Battling Monk of YouTube

"In a couple of days, I will be gone for 1 year to become a buddhist monk in a forest monastery" is the Twitter post from last year that explained why one of my favorite Japan-video-makers had been absent on Youtube for a … [Read more...]

The Island Inbetween: Tsushima and the Sō Family

You may have never heard of the island of Tsushima, but for hundreds of years it was the door between Japan and Korea. Tsushima’s location was ideal for international trade, situated roughly fifty kilometers from the … [Read more...]

Introducing Introduction: Mastering Jikoshokai and the ALT Self-Intro Class

Hajimemashite! It’s nice to meet you! If you come to Japan you’re going to find yourself saying this quite often. Introductions are very important in Japanese culture. It can be seen as an extension of the Japanese … [Read more...]

Is Japan Really “Conservative”?

I don’t think that I’m the only one who has experienced this but I often hear the word “conservative” being applied to Japan. At first I just accepted it as being true - because Japan is very obviously conservative on many … [Read more...]

What I Learned About Learning Japanese From Spending 3 Weeks In Taiwan

My (friend's) wedding / (my) vacation time in Taiwan has come to a close, and while these three weeks have been a lot of fun, they've also been very educational as well. You see, I wanted to attempt to remember what it's … [Read more...]

Japanese, The Borrower Language Part 1: Where The Japanese Language Came From

English loanwords in Japanese are often a source of amusement for native speakers of English learning Japanese as a second language. There’s so many of them, it seems like if you don’t know a word in Japanese, you can just … [Read more...]

Don’t Know Polysics? You’re Missing Out On The Most Eccentric Band In Japan. [Saturday Timewaster]

I would like to dedicate this short post to our good friend Hashi. Little Hashi has not heard the fantasicality that is Polysics (the poor, poor boy), and I figured if someone as cool and well internetted as he had not … [Read more...]

Super Japanese Ghouls ‘n Ghosts

Japanese folklore has a rich and terrifying tradition of all sorts of zany ghosts, ghouls, monsters, and goblins. Japanese ghosts collectively known as yūrei (幽霊), and Japanese monsters collectively known as yōkai (妖怪) are … [Read more...]

Galileo Galilei is Ready to Rock [Saturday Timewaster]

Yo ガリレオガリレイ, Imma let you finish, but Galileo Galilei was the best scientist of all time. I stumbled upon Galileo Galilei (ガリレオガリレイ) earlier this week while watching Mobile Suit Gundam AGE because they do the opening song … [Read more...]

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Learn Hiragana

If you're thinking of learning Japanese, or if you're just starting to learn Japanese, learning hiragana is probably one of the first steps you're going to want to make. The problem, though, is that there are a ton of … [Read more...]