| Jan 26, 2014

Tenkin-de kite, sonomama sumitsuite-shimau hito-mo ooi-sō-desu

by Akemi Tanahashi and Hitomi Tashiro

Tenkin-de kite, sonomama sumitsuite-shimau hito-mo ooi-sō-desu. (There are many people who settled there after getting transferred, I heard.) Situation 1: Mr. Kamata returns to the main office in Tokyo after having been transferred to Fukuoka for two years. 三田: 蒲田さん、おかえりなさい。福岡の生活はいかがでしたか。 蒲田: 福岡は、とてもいい所でしたよ。転勤で来て、そのまま住みついてしまう人も多いそうです。 Mita: Kamata-san, ...

Marketers succeed by generating <I>hitto</I> products

| Jan 19, 2014

Marketers succeed by generating hitto products

by Mark Schreiber

Japanese consumers and marketers alike certainly love their ヒット商品 (hitto shōhin, hit products). To understand how this term came about, we need to look back to the decade following World War II. When living standards gradually began to improve from the early 1950s, Japanese ...

| Jan 11, 2014

What the heck is that word I keep hearing?

A polar vortex (kyokūzu/極渦) is a persistent, large-scale cyclone located near either of a planet’s geographical poles. The extreme arctic blasts that wreaked havoc across the United States last week were caused by a counterclockwise-rotating pool of cold, dense air. The frigid air, piled ...

Impress your hosts with <I>osechi</I> meanings

| Jan 5, 2014

Impress your hosts with osechi meanings

by Minoru Matsutani

Shōgatsu (正月, New Year) is the time when most Japanese carry out certain religious rituals, though many of them may not realize what they do has religious significance. The ancient Japanese believed that toshigami-sama (年神様, year god) visited them in the shōgatsu period and ...