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I am not worthy… SUPERFICIALLY Posted by on Jun 17, 2021

One day, my Japanese friend who was my classmate at grad school told me “Your bag is very nice.”  And I said, “I got it on sale (セール se-ru).” What would you have responded to? Have you told a compliment (称賛 shosan) to your Japanese friend, and have you heard a similar response from your…

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Kamikakushi – Spirited Away Posted by on Jun 8, 2021

Kamikakushi (神隠し) is a word that has been in Japanese culture for hundreds of years. It means “hidden by kami (god, deity, divinity, tengu, yamanba, oni, fox, or spirit)”, and often translated to “spirited away.”  You may have heard of Hayato Miyazaki’s movie. Even in the present day, many people disappear in a blink of an…

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Lessons on How NOT to Communicate with the Japanese Posted by on May 26, 2021

Not a day is passed without hearing the Tokyo Olympics controversy (論争 ronsou).  Approximately 70-80% of the Japanese residents oppose having the games this summer. People are so frustrated (イライラする irairasuru) that their voices have been ignored by the government.  Approximately 400,000 people have signed a petition so far asking the government and IOC to cancel…

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LINE – An Iconic Scene in Japan Posted by on May 7, 2021

What’s an iconic (象徴的  shochoteki) scene in Japan?  I would definitely say “a LINE” (行列  gyoretu). People line up without any hesitation to get a popular pastry, to eat at a popular restaurant, and so on.  There was even a Japanese TV episode, like Twilight Zone, in Japan about this “line” up trait (特性 tokusei). In the…

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Slow Digitization in the Pandemic Japan Posted by on Apr 24, 2021

When is your last time to send or receive something via fax? I would say it was well over 10 years ago? But the facsimile culture (文化 bunka) is very much alive in Japan.   This Twitter tweet describes the core of the problem why Japan has been moving so slowly when it comes to the…

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Japan – A County of Low-Tech Posted by on Apr 6, 2021

When you hear “Japan,” what do you think first?  Anime?  Sushi? Some may think of  “high tech” (ハイテクhaiteku) first.  But sadly, the Fukushima incident and COVID-19 have revealed that Japan was a pretty low-tech (ローテクro-teku) country. Japan has been famous for (〜で有名な de yuumeina) robots for factory automation and entertainment (娯楽goraku).  But none of their technologies worked when the…

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Be careful not to be ディスられる by trying to be hip Posted by on Mar 24, 2021

In the last blog (Flattening Accents), I wrote about the trend of flattening accents.  I am going to list more language trends (トレンドtorendo) among Japanese young people in this blog. Combine English words+ suffix ru  バズる   (buzz + ru) = to go viral ディスるor disる (disrespect + ru) = to disrespect ググる  (google + ru) = to…

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