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Those Pesky Particles! Posted by on Jan 14, 2021

As a non-native English speaker, my biggest foe is the article (冠詞 kanshi). Yes, those “a” and “the” devils. When you ask native English speakers, they always say – if you refer to an item the first time, use “a” and after that “the”.  Well, life is not that simple especially in English that is full of exceptions (例外reigai). I…

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New Year’s Cards (年賀状) Posted by on Jan 5, 2021

https://www.shop.post.japanpost.jp/shop/r/r302219/

明けましておめでとうございます。(A happy new year.  Akemashite omedetogozaimasu) Let us start the 2021 blog with the Japanese declining tradition (伝統 dento)- New Year’s Cards called 年賀状(nengajo).  It is a postcard with New Year’s greetings.  You can purchase 年賀状 from your post office with a lottery number printed on them.  In the New Year, numbers are drawn on…

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A Month Even A Priest Must Run – Part 2 Posted by on Dec 18, 2020

Last time (https://blogs.transparent.com/japanese/a-month-even-a-priest-must-run-part-1/) we talked about celebrating Japanese New Year in the past.  But times have changed.  Many services are open, such as conbini (convenience stores コンビニ) and fami-res (ファミレスfamily restaurants)  like Thanksgiving Day in the US now.  I am sure that the magic of a quiet New Year’s Day must have been lost. And the younger…

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A Month Even A Priest Must Run – Part 1 Posted by on Dec 11, 2020

The month of December is the most important month for us Japanese. December is called “師走”(shiwasu). There are many theories about where this name originated from.  But the most popular and common one, and you hear it on TV all the time when the month of December starts, is that this is “a month that even a…

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Where are Anime Masks? Posted by on Nov 18, 2020

It’s 2020, so we need to talk about masks(マスクmasuku) – masks that prevent(防ぐfusegu) COVID-19 from spreading, masks that divided (分割する  bunkatusuru) the United States, and masks that are new fashion items. Before we were shifted to work at the home mode in early March, I had a group of Japanese college students visiting from Japan…

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I AM Speaking! Posted by on Nov 12, 2020

We have been taught not to speak while others are talking at home and school.  It is disrespectful to (無礼な  bureina) talk while someone else is talking. However, when you grow up to become a politician, you throw that manner out of the window.  Have you watched the broadcasting of the Japanese parliament (国会 kokkai)?  I cannot help…

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A Restaurant that is Gentle to Women Posted by on Oct 29, 2020

Gender inequality (男女不平等) still seems to be alive and strong in Japan.  But now it has become discreet without also being ill-intentioned.  What I mean is that nobody seems to have any idea that s/he is discriminating (差別する) or is being discriminated against. Perhaps discrimination may be too strong of a word.  Stereotyped, or over-generalized may be more…

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