Borrowing their name from a Japanese idiom pronounced "shikuhakku," which means "struggle" or "suffering," 4989 American Life Podcast aims to describe the difficulties of being a Japanese person living in America. But it’s not all doom and gloom; actually, 4989 American Life is a fascinating look at some of the cultural differences between Japan and the US.
Made primarily for native Japanese speakers, you won’t find very much here to support Japanese learners, though more recently transcripts for the episodes have been added to the official website. Instead, 4989 American Life is almost like a listening comprehension test. But don’t get discouraged!
Host Utako speaks clearly, though at normal speed. She has some interesting insights into living abroad, which might be helpful to those who hope to live in Japan one day. Episodes tend to run about 30 minutes, so buckle in, and let’s put our listening to the test.