Kogarashi No. 1 – What is it?

Have you ever heard the words, “Kogarashi Ichi-Gou” around October or November? If you are watching weather reports on TV in Japanese, you may have. It refers to a specific kind of wind, found this time of year. A specific definition of “Kogarashi Ichi-Gou” is “the 1st wind from North with the velocity of more…Read More »

Most Stolen Item in Japan

Compared to many other countries, Japan is known to be one of the safest and has the lowest crime rates. So things would never be stolen in Japan, right? Unfortunately, wrong. As a matter of fact, there is at least one item that is stolen all the time. So much so that it is almost…Read More »

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An “izakaya” is a type of restaurant in Japan where traditional Japanese food is served. Depending on the restaurant, the menus may be quite different; some specialize in seafood while others may have a lot of fried food. However, one thing that many of these establishments have in common is something called “oto-oshi”. In Osaka…Read More »

3 Meanings of “Sumimasen”

“Sumimasen” is one of the first phrases you may have learned in Japanese. But did you know there are 3 meanings associated to this phrase? 1) Sorry. 2) Excuse me. 3) Thank you. Most likely, you have learned the first definition as it is often described in various textbooks for Japanese. However, once you go…Read More »

The Japanese Calendar

The Julian and Gregorian Calendars are used throughout the world. However, there is the Japanese Calendar which is sometimes used in Japan, which is related to the Japanese Emperors. In many Japanese traditional and formal documents, you are often asked to fill out your birth date according to the Japanese Calendar. You could ask somebody…Read More »

Japanese Kanji

How many of them are there? This may be your first question when you are ready to study Japanese. The most comprehensive Japanese dictionary of Japanese kanji (“Dai Kanwa Jiten”) contains over 50,000 entries. But, it is safe to assume that no one would possibly know everything in the dictionary. In a more practical sense,…Read More »

May Sickness

In Japan, April is generally the beginning of the school year for all students from kindergarten to university. Therefore, most students who graduated from college will enter into the real world in April as well. Because of this, many Japanese corporations set April as the beginning of the fiscal year. It is no wonder that…Read More »

The First 100 Japanese Words to Get You Started

Learning a language that is remote from your own is quite challenging but at the same time, it will be that much more rewarding. In many languages when you have learned about 3 to 4 thousand words, you are entering into an intermediate level, and you will be able to combine all you know to…Read More »

The First 20 Words You should Know in Japanese

Learning Japanese may seem scary and difficult with all the Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. You may not even know where to begin. Unlike English and many other languages, the fundamental sound structure of Japanese repeats a consonant and a vowel alternately, which creates the unique sound and rhythm of the language. After enough time listening…Read More »