My (attainable) New Year's resolutions: Giving up<em> seiza</em>

| Jan 12, 2013

My (attainable) New Year's resolutions: Giving up seiza

Having problems keeping your New Year’s resolution? Not me. Because this year I chose resolutions that were easily fulfilled: No more seiza: Seiza is an excruciating form of Japanese style-sitting (on your haunches), invented especially to torture foreigners. I know this is true because ...

Serpent hunting in the Year of the Snake

| Jan 5, 2013

Serpent hunting in the Year of the Snake

As 2013 is the Year of the Snake, for your serpentine pleasure, I’ve put together a list of snake-like creatures from Japanese legends and folklore. Loch Ness monster fans, Yeti fans and Bigfoot fans, you’re going to have a heck of a year in ...

| 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 ...