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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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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.

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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.

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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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Old Japanese / Formal Numbers – 大字

Have you ever noticed the Kanji character used on the 10,000 yen Japanese banknote? If you’ve got your basic Japanese numerals down, you know that the character for 10,000 is 万 (まん) – a standard unit in the Japanese counting system. But what about the strange character in front of it? Why does the banknote […]

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Fire Safety – 火の用心

One of the more iconic types of poster you’ll find in Japan are the fire safety posters. Often adorned with a cute girl or popular celebrity, they aim to raise awareness of accidental fires in the home and encourage people to be vigilant.

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Gugurekasu Lyrics

Here are the lyrics to the famous Vocaloid song ‘Gugurekasu’ – Go Google it! The song was created by AaminP (あー民P) using the voices of vocaloid characters Megurine Luka and Kamui Gakupo -【巡音ルカと神威がくぽ】. I’ve also added translation notes and insights into the Japanese language used and slang terms from 2ch at the bottom of this […]

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Becoming A Master – 守破離

The word Shuhari is originally a Japanese martial arts concept from Bushido that describes the stages leading to mastery in a given discipline, but it can also be applied in other fields and situations, such as the entertainment sector or in business. Let’s break it down. 守破離 しゅはり The 3 stages of learning that lead […]

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Haikyo Hiragana Reading Practice

Recently I had an article published in the Hiragana Times (on sale in Japan this month) about Haikyo – Japan’s abandoned buildings. The main article is only available in the magazine, but there’s a small summary on the Hiragana Times homepage that makes for some good reading practice for beginners. Enjoy!

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