10 Japanese Buzzwords for 2013

Every year publisher Jiyu Kokuminsha publishes a list of buzzwords that capture the things that were popular. Everything from popular catchphrases on television to political terminology and even niche terms used on the internet. (more…)

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Japanese Female Divers – 海女

Here’s word rich in culture that’s quite unusual and yet very memorable. Ama (海女) means ‘woman of the sea’ and is used to describe the free-diving ladies of Japan’s costal regions who plunge down to the shallows in order to gather shellfish and other food. (more…)

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Lucky Ears – 福耳

Do you ever secretly worry about the shape of your ears? Perhaps you have larger-than-normal earlobes? Do they droop down in a stretched-out fashion? It may be that you’re one of the lucky owners of ‘fukumimi’! (more…)

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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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Stylish Gal – オシャンティー

オシャンティーとはおオシャレをスタイリッシュに言った若者言葉。意味自体はお洒落と同意である。 若者言葉の中で○○な人を指す時に「○○ティー」と付ける場合がある。例えば、地元民を「ジモティー」と呼んだりする。オシャンティーもこれを活用したものであると考えられる。 (more…)

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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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