| Jan 5, 2011

Dairokkan: sixth sense among the cedars

by Michael Hoffman

“When these sugi (杉, cedars) were umareta (生まれた, born), if that’s the word,” says Mayumi, “Japan was in its Jōmon Jidai (縄文時代, Jomon Period, c. 10,000 B.C.-c. 300 B.C.). Before bunmei (文明, civilization), before nōgyō (農業, agriculture), before sensō (戦争, war) — before almost ...

| Dec 1, 2010

Kako ni kampai — let's drink to the past!

by Michael Hoffman

“Omedetō, omedetō (おめでとう, congratulations)! A superb kōgi (講義, lecture)! Daiseikō (大成功, a rousing success!) Welcome back, Professor Keyes!” “You’re yopparatta (酔っ払った, drunk) already,” I tsubuyaku (つぶやく, mumble), somewhat dazed myself. “Not yet, but we soon will be!” “We’ll go to the kyūkeishitsu (休憩室, lounge). ...