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Daniel Morales
Japan Times
PODCAST / deep dive
Mar 15, 2023
Haruki Murakami’s new novel. Plus, allegations resurface in J-pop.
Celebrated author Haruki Murakami reveals the title to a new novel, “The City and its Uncertain Walls.” Also, the BBC puts out a documentary on J-pop titan Johnny Kitagawa.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language
Jun 24, 2022
These senbei are making me thirsty! How ‘Seinfeld’ sounds in Japanese
Japanese students have been using “Seinfeld” on Netflix to bone up on their conversational English. Does the joke land when it's the other way around?
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Aug 28, 2021
Let the verbs do the work when it comes to pronouns and polite speech in Japanese
The verb forms in polite speech more distinctly refer to people in a way that makes it nearly impossible to confuse the actors in a sentence .
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Aug 20, 2021
Make Japanese politics more concrete by training your ears
Training your ears to catch the sounds of certain Japanese words might make listening to people talk about politics a little more comprehensible.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Jul 2, 2021
‘PPAP,’ ‘golden jewels’ and other words that make the Japanese giggle
Website Omocoro conducted a survey of 365 Japanese people asking them what words in the language sound the funniest. Body parts, 'p' sounds and croutons all made the comedic cut.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Jun 12, 2021
What exactly does it mean when someone tells you to ‘act your age’?
The phrase 'ii toshi shite' can make someone chuckle or could cause offense. Make sure you use it carefully.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
May 28, 2021
Immerse yourself in the creativity and language of Japanese TikTok accounts
From creators who put together anime shorts to the daily trials of a para-swimmer, Japanese TikTok is a fascinating place to get lost in the language.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
May 4, 2021
Focus on sentence endings to 'see the future' in Japanese
Once you get an idea of what kinds of verbs come at the end of Japanese sentences, particularly in news reports, your brain can concentrate on deciphering the rest in more detail.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Apr 2, 2021
Put your yen to work with the language of investing
If you're looking at investing in your Japanese ability, check out some terms that center around the stock market.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language
Feb 12, 2021
Confess! Dating in Japan requires short set phrases to spark the fire
Valentine's Day is coming up, and knowing what to say to make things official with your crush is half the battle. The good news is the steps to a kokuhaku (confession) are straightforward.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Jan 22, 2021
Radical recombinations: Capture the moment with created kanji
A yearly contest asks Japanese speakers to come up with new kanji to reflect modern times, providing a fun way to learn and understand the characters.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jun 6, 2020
One man’s journey to perfect homemade nattō
During Week 1 of stay-at-home orders in Chicago, I ordered beer from a local craft brewery. By Week 9, I was making nattu014d (fermented soybeans) at home.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Apr 28, 2020
Getting a party rolling in Japan
You may not have any big events coming up, but we could end up video-conferencing weddings in Japan before long. Here are some tips to help you if you're selected to direct the proceedings.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Apr 25, 2020
‘Automatic Eve’ review: Familiar tropes reimagined with brilliant sci-fi originality
Rokuro Inui uses familiar elements of Japanese culture and history to build the world of his 2019 novel “Automatic Eve” (originally published in Japanese in 2014), but he quickly makes it clear that this is not Tokyo and Kyoto, this is Tempu and Kamigata, and not everything is as it appears to be.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Mar 7, 2020
Your Japanese vocabulary can expand as the new coronavirus spreads
When news of a virus began to surface we took the opportunity to review the Japanese for things like 'symptoms' and 'cough.' Now we're learning terms like 'pandemic' and 'state of emergency.'
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Mar 3, 2020
'Emergency' Japanese can help build fluency
One trick to improving your fluency in Japanese is to keep a list of stock phrases that can be deployed in multiple situations.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Feb 11, 2020
Look for love to overcome Japanese-language study difficulties
As Valentine's Day approaches, love is in the air. However, love comes in various forms and sometimes it can help you learn a language.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Jan 14, 2020
Life begins at 60 (or at least it starts anew)
Japan Times writer Daniel Morales celebrates his 60th column with a lesson on turning 60, a special birthday in Japan.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language
Dec 31, 2019
Cleaning house (and head) at the end of the year
In the tradition of year-end cleaning, writer Daniel Morales takes a look at his Japanese study notes and tidies up some loose ends.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Dec 3, 2019
Being your best self in spoken Japanese with the cast of 'Queer Eye'
When Western ideas on self-improvement are expressed in Japanese, what kinds of words pop up most often?

Longform

People wait for the main act to begin at Summer Sonic, which holds simultaneous music festivals for those in Tokyo and Osaka.
Can Japan's summer music festivals adapt to a post-pandemic reality?