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Japanese Honorifics

‘Honorific’ is a linguistic term referring to titles added to a person’s name. In Japanese, the vast majority of these are suffixes. You’ve likely have heard one or two in movies: ‘Daniel-san’ and ‘Miyagi-sensei’ spring to mind. Honorifics aren’t just limited to suffixes however. In English for example, we generally use prefixes added to a […]

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Japanese True Love Tester Bra

A little bit racy this post, but if you were able to handle the Condom Word Play frivolities, you’ll enjoy this one. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Japanese lingerie maker Ravijour is holding its ‘Mood Up’ campaign and has come up with a curious bra design that guarantees not to open unless the lady […]

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The Chubbiness Idol Group

Do you have a フェッチ? If it’s for cute, chubby girls, then this is the lesson for you! In response to the rising popularity of AKB48 and other local idol groups in Japan, a niche collection of girls have popped up aiming to win the hearts and minds of guys who like their idols just […]

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No More Hold-Ups!

もう改札で止まらない! So goes the catchy line in this advert featuring the pudgy, bulging yurukyara character that is Tokyu’s ‘Noru-run’. The picture speaks a thousand words, but can you figure out the Japanese? It’s quite clever!

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Fist of the North Star – Condom Word Play!

One of Japan’s most famous anime – Hokuto no Ken (北斗の拳), or Fist of the North Star in English, has been united with that most basic of human desires – sex! There should be no mistaking that this post will be for our more mature readers. If you’re easily offended or embarrassed by talking about […]

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Hidden Beauty of Japan’s Abandoned Buildings

Last year around springtime I wrote an article about Haikyo and my love of urban exploration for the Hiragana Times, in both English and Japanese. Up until now it was only available to see in the magazine version, but it was recently released online too. Here it is in full, English followed by Japanese. Advanced […]

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Welcome Party Thank You Email

Work-related emails come in many fixed patterns. Quite often they will use special vocabulary and grammar depending on the degree of politeness and relationship to the recipient. This can be one of the trickiest aspects of learning Japanese, because it’s not simply enough to be able to express yourself – you must be able to […]

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Love Key!? 合鍵

Recently while watching a Japanese drama I came across the word 合鍵 (あいかぎ). Given the context in which it was used, I was quite surprised to find out later that my mental image of the Kanji had been quite different to the reality. The word as follows: 合鍵 あいかぎ Spare Key Equally, a ‘copy of […]

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Facebook Phishing

Although once virtually unheard of in conversations among my Japanese friends, Facebook is now well and truly integrated into the lives of Japanese young people. More and more people seem to be becoming happy with the idea of using their real name and picture (although there are still an awful lot of pet pictures out […]

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