Japanese Language Blog

Archive for November, 2008

Japanese Culture: Geishas (芸者) Posted by on Nov 7, 2008

My students often ask me, “what is a geisha (芸者)  and what do they do?”  The truth is, there is no easy answer to this question.  The world of the geisha (芸者)  called karyūkai (花柳界), which translates into English as, “the flower and willow world,” is a world shrouded in secrecy and exclusivity.  However elusive…

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Japanese Food: Riceballs Posted by on Nov 6, 2008

My students always get confused with the difference between onigiri (おにぎり)  riceballs and ohagi (おはぎ)  riceballs.  These two snacks are similar in name, but that’s where the similarities end.         Onigiri (おにぎり)  riceballs are usually triangular in shape and wrapped in nori (海) or green seaweed.  Oftentimes the onigiri (おにぎり) is…

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Japanese Culture: Culture Day Posted by on Nov 6, 2008

Culture Day, which is called bunka-no-hi (文化) in Japanese, is always held the third of November.  The purpose of this national holiday is to celebrate and promote Japanese culture and the arts.  The cool thing about this holiday is that there is a ceremony called the Order of Culture or the bunka kunshō (文化勲章), which…

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