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Archive for March, 2011

Paintings Posted by on Mar 29, 2011

All over the world museums are competing with other museums for copies of Japanese paintings. Let’s see what all the fuss is all about: Kanō Tanyū (狩野探幽) was and is a very famous painter. He lived in the 1600s and was known for painting nature and animal scenes. In fact, the painting on the left…

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Japanese Lullaby Posted by on Mar 27, 2011

There is a Japanese lullaby called ‘komoriuta’ (子守歌). Komoriuta means ‘lullaby’ in Japanese. Sometimes the lyrics of children’s songs can be disturbing, but this isn’t the case with komoriuta. It’s a nice and soothing little song that children can sleep to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmd7ibJESHM ねんねんころりよおころりよ (Nennen kororiyo okororiyo) Calming words to make a baby sleep 坊やはよい子だねんねしな (Boyawa…

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Japanese Folktales Posted by on Mar 24, 2011

Japanese folklore is always interesting and usually features some supernatural animal. In many cases these animals can talk and can perform some miraculous feat like shape shifting. The folktales often have a moral or a lesson that can teach us about life and how to behave and so on… Bunbuku Chagama (ぶんぶく茶釜) is no exception…

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Japanese Proverbs Posted by on Mar 21, 2011

The tsunami and earthquake of Japan caused a tremendous amount of devastation that is still wreaking havoc on the country. In situations like this, a few Japanese proverbs come to mind. 泣き面に蜂 = Nakitsura ni hachi This proverb is very apt in this situation because it means that misfortune rarely comes in a single blow…

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Japanese Newspapers Posted by on Mar 17, 2011

If you want to read up about the situation in Japan, why not read a Japanese language newspaper to find out? Japanese newspapers use a lot of kanji, which can make it difficult to read for beginner level readers of Japanese. For example Yomiuri Shimbun (読売新聞) had a headline like this: 東日本巨大地震、死者・行方不明者1万2千人超 東日本 = eastern…

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Japanese Condolence Messages Posted by on Mar 14, 2011

The recent tsunami and earthquake in Japan has saddened and shocked many people all over the world. In a situation like this, what is the right thing to say? If you’re wondering how to express your condolences in Japanese, there are several ways to say it. 心からお悔やみ申し上げます (kokorokara okuyamimōshiagemasu) This phrase means “Please accept my…

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Earthquake and Tsunami of Japan Posted by on Mar 12, 2011

As you’ve probably already heard by now, Japan was hit by an 8.9 earthquake. The level of damage that an earthquake can cause is measured by the Richter scale. A “7” on this scale can cause major damage while a “9” can cause damage across several thousands of miles. Since this earthquake was an 8.9…

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