Mothers’ Meetings – ママ会

Something you’ll see a lot of in Japanese is the Kanji 会 (かい), which symbolises a grouping or meeting. Its uses are quite broad, from titles, such as ‘International Association’ (交際交流会 – こくさいこうりゅうかい) to birthday party (誕生日会 – たんじょうびかい) . The trick is simply to look for the Kanji on the end and think of it as a gathering of people associated with the aforementioned cause. Today then, we have a sign with a couple of good examples of this!


こしつが うれしい じょしかい・ままかい

Private rooms great for girls’ get-togethers and mothers’ meetings.

A 個室 is a room that usually gives some privacy for the occupants, although there are many types. In the poster above, we can see from the text at the bottom カラオケ that the advertisement is for karaoke booths. Although it may sound a little strange, 個室がうれしい is hinting at the feelings from the customer’s point of view. Imagine you’ve come to do some karaoke and you find out that the place operates with an open-house mic. You’re very shy and not at all up to singing in front of everyone.

But wait! It just so happens that the karaoke place also has private rooms just for your and your friends to sing together. In this situation you’d say 個室がうれしい! This reads a lot like the room itself is happy, but the speaker is actually referring to herself – ‘I’m happy there’s a booth (to sing in)!’

Here then, the poster is advertising its private rooms targeted towards groups of younger women (女子) and also groups of mothers (ママ). When we go out in groups like this, we call it a 会 – and so it becomes a 女子会 or ママ会. Equivalent English expressions might be ‘girls’ night out’, ‘mums’ lunch’ or ‘ladies party’. Naturally, you can easily use this construction to make any sort of group you want.

A guys’ night out would be a 男子会 (だんしかい), a fathers’ meeting would be パパ会 and a dinner get-together a 食事会 (しょくじかい). Oh, and don’t forget the ubiquitous 飲み会 (のみかい) – drinking parties!

Can you think of any others that you’ve heard? If you want to make your own, just use の会 on the end of the name you think up. For example:

日本野鳥の会 (にほんやちょうのかい) – Wild Bird Society of Japan
日本花の会 (にほんはなのかい) – The Flower Association of Japan
山の会 (やまのかい) – Mountaineering Club


9 Responses to Gakuu. Studying with Real Japanese

  1. Sabrina September 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    This is pretty cool! Right now I’m studying on Textfugu which is great! I belive Gakuu can be really helpul too. What I like most is that its for pre-intermediate to advanced level students. So you can’t say its the same thing over and over again… students can actually improve their knowledge here. Thank you very much for creating this site. Have a nice day :)

    • Gakuranman September 30, 2010 at 1:09 am #

      Hi Sabrina! Thank you for your comment :).

      That’s definitely our aim. I love Textfugu for beginners and really getting students a solid grounding in the language, but afterwards (and even while) studying the basics, it can really help to encounter raw Japanese material. You don’t have to understand everything at first, but feeling challenged and picking up little bits here and there that are extra to your learning the basics helps expand your mind. Let me know if you have any more questions! More demonstration material will be up soon! We are currently having a special launch sale price for early adopters, so check out the pricing page if interested :).

      • Sabrina September 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

        Thanks for your reply. :) Unfortunately I’m even still miles away from the intermediate level. But I’ll definetly return to Gakuu when I get to this point. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the extra demonstration material. :) Keep up the good work.

        • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 12:21 am #

          Sure thing :). Let me know if you have any other questions or suggestions for things you’d like to see on Gakuu!

  2. missingno15 October 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    When I looked at this, I first thought to myself, “aw hell no, gakuranman is doing the same thing as koichi…even the website layout is similar”. But then I realized “it’s aimed at pre-intermediate to advanced level students” which is perfect for my situation right now because I now really want to excel way past beginner. So basically, Gakuu really complements Textfugu. Can’t wait for more lessons to see how this is gonna be like so I can decide if its worth getting.

    • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

      Hey there! Thanks for dropping by :). No way – Koichi and I are buds. I’ve always loved teaching the more advanced stuff so it worked out perfectly. I’ll be adding more stuff in the coming days, so please stay tuned!

      • Lee Aloy October 23, 2016 at 5:20 am #


        I am sorry to ask this silly question. Are you Japanese?
        am hoping to find a Japanese friends here please shot me an email:

  3. DumbOtaku (percent20) October 3, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    This is really cool. I am glad to see more online content going beyond just teaching hirigana and katakana. That is what I try to do on my blog, but with to little consistency. Glad to see an expert do it, btw already a signed-up paid member now. :)

    • Gakuranman October 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

      Glad to have you man! Look forward to hearing any suggestions you have for the site and future lessons :)

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