| Dec 15, 2012

Do young Japanese people dream big?

Do young Japanese people dream big? This was the question posed by Steven Kim recently on LinkedIn’s “InStyle Tokyo Premier Networking” group. When I taught at a Japanese women’s college in the late 1990s and early 2000s, one of the entrance exam questions was, ...

| Dec 8, 2012

Mapping Japan — what on earth could be cooler than that?

According to a recent article in The Japan Times, more and more women are taking to map-reading these days. One reason cited in the article is the influence of the new autumn TV drama called “Sosa Chizu no Onna” (“Woman of Investigative Maps”). The ...

| Dec 1, 2012

The best-ever tips on learning Japanese

If you want to learn Japanese the fastest way possible, read on. Notice I did not say the easiest way possible. If you think learning Japanese is easy, well, you can stop reading now. Presuming you want to learn Japanese, I offer the following ...

| Nov 17, 2012

Miyakojima — dolphins to the port side!

After four days of sightseeing on Okinawa Island, we set sail for Miyakojima, the next major island to the south in the Okinawan chain. Having just visited Okinawa’s Churaumi Aquarium, I was more aware of the beautiful sea life underneath our sailboat such as ...

| Nov 3, 2012

Time stands still on Amami Oshima

We had already been on Amami Oshima for a week waiting for Typhoon No. 21 to pass. But the typhoon was meandering around the Pacific like a drunken sailor, zigzagging a path north-west, once making a U-turn then righting itself, and another time its ...