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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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Flattening Accents Posted by on Mar 15, 2021

I have been always interested in teenage vernacular (特有の言葉 tokuyu no kotoba).  My senior thesis was on the teenage vernacular in Southern California.  Teenagers are experts (専門家senmonka) in creating new words as they are not bound by rules.  They are creative in any language. Some new words are born and die, while others gain status…

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Japan’s Unchanging Gender Gap Posted by on Mar 5, 2021

March is Women’s History Month (女性史月間 joseishi gekkan).  The equality issue was widely discussed when Yoshiro Mori, the former Chair of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, made discriminatory (差別的 sabetsuteki) remarks about women (see my blog “How Not to Apologize – Mori of Tokyo Olympics.) Every newspaper and every TV news talked how outdated (時代遅れ jidaiokure) our society was. …

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How not to apologize – Mori of Tokyo Olympics Posted by on Feb 21, 2021

Official Emblems

About 80% of Japan thinks that there should not be an Olympics in 2021.  During that low supporting environment, “Yoshiro Mori, an 83-year-old former prime minister (総理大臣sori daijin) with a record of insensitive (無神経なmushinkeina) and sexist pronouncements, had tried to justify the lack of women at a senior level in the Japanese Olympic Committee by…

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Today’s Japan: Living with Karen Posted by on Feb 12, 2021

In the US, 2020 is called the year of Karen.  According to Wiki, “Karen is a pejorative term for women seeming to be entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is normal. “  A bit different from “Karen” is the Japanese 自粛警察or jishuku keisatsu.  Jishuku keisatsu means “police who monitor if people are practicing self-imposed…

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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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