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About Unique Japanese Valentine’s Day Posted by on Jan 27, 2022

What is the biggest event in February (二月 nigatsu)?  Setsubun (節分), which falls on February 3?  For the entire nation, it may be.  Setsubun means to divide seasons (季節 kisetsu), dividing the winter and the spring (2/4). On Setsubun, people throw roasted soybeans at Oni, a demon (鬼), shouting ” Out with the demons. In…

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Job Hunting for College Students (就活) Part 2 Posted by on Dec 7, 2021

Here is part 2 of job hunting Japanese style (see Part 1). So what happens if you did not get a job before you graduate from college? Here are two options. You graduate from college and continue to look for a job = 就職浪人(shushoku ronin). 浪人 (ronin) is a wandering samurai without a lord. So…

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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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