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Yaeko Kabe
For Yaeko Kabe's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
The “dogeza” position is used for the sincerest of apologies and it was deployed by the man who mistakenly ruined an attempt at a Guinness world record on live television.
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Feb 9, 2024
The year so far has been marked by some good and bad apologies
A social norm seems to persist in Japan that one should apologize first and explain later. That goes for companies as well.
Unfortunately, statistics are not favorable when it comes to mixed marriages. With the proper communication, however, no challenge is insurmountable.
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Jan 26, 2024
Know how to talk about divorce in case your relationship goes south
It's a sad fact that more than a few international relationships don't work out in Japan. Be armed with the proper vocabulary just in case.
The Japanese term "yarinuku" means to do something to completion and implies there were difficulties along the way. It may feel like climbing a mountain, but it's often used in the boardroom.
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Jan 19, 2024
Persevere with your Japanese grammar using these compound verbs
By mixing and matching certain verbs, your vocabulary will expand immensely.
The typical priority seat section on a Japanese train will be well marked in numerous languages.
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Sep 8, 2023
The priority seats: Are they fair game on an empty train?
Japan is a society with many unspoken rules. Are you aware of the norms that govern your place of business?
Like other martial arts, aikido takes the concept of 気 (ki, spirit/mind) and incorporates it into the philosophy of the sport.  
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Jul 28, 2023
Physically, spiritually and linguistically speaking, 'ki' is all around us
Often used to mean energy or spirit, the Japanese word "ki" can be seen in many different types of idioms and phrases.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
May 12, 2023
Moved to tears: Guys, it’s OK to express your emotions now and then
Are there cultural differences when it comes to men crying in public? In Japan, sometimes tears can even get you out of trouble.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Mar 17, 2023
For some in Japan, the first day of spring means a visit with the ancestors
While visits to the family grave are often done during the Bon holidays in August, the spring and autumn equinoxes are also a traditional time to reconnect with your ancestors.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Jan 9, 2023
Make sure your nouns and verbs match when talking about what to wear
Did you notice more kimono than usual being worn on Jan. 9 this year? That's because it was Coming of Age Day, an occasion for which Japanese youth sport their "Sunday best."
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Sep 16, 2022
When breaking up in Japanese, be sure to give up the ghosting
Itu2019s hard to break up with someone in any language, but the inclination toward u201cghostingu201d may make one side feel even worse.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Aug 12, 2022
Read between the lines when it comes to party invitations
Japanese people tend to avoid giving a clear "no" when asked a question. Learn the sentences that infer a negative outcome early on in your studies here.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Jul 15, 2022
Retrieve your lost item in Japan with the right words
Connect verbs and adjectives using the te-form to describe your missing item and you're a step closer to getting back what you've misplaced.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
May 13, 2022
Finding the right words for when you discover a lost item in Japan
Take a verb and turn it into a noun simply by adding "mono" to the end of it and you're halfway to verbalizing that you've found something that was lost.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Apr 5, 2022
In Japan, April marks a fresh start for students and employees
April is a fresh start for everyone and things can get pretty busy, so donu2019t forget to smell the flowers while you can.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Feb 4, 2022
Finding the words for letting others know you may have COVID-19
As we enter the third year of the pandemic, it's good to get a refresher on the kind of vocabulary we're using to describe PCR tests and travel-related quarantines.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / Vocabulary Boost
Feb 4, 2022
'Minashi yōsei' and other recent pandemic-related terms
It seems like every week Japanese-language learners are introduced to new terms that are connected in some way with the pandemic.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Dec 24, 2021
The holidays are here, but it’s not just the weather that’s cold
Christmas in Japan is a time for giving gifts, but make sure to save some of your money for the new year holiday.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Nov 5, 2021
The samurai philosopher, the baseball star and language used in a Japanese boardroom
The lingo inside a Japanese boardroom tends to borrow a lot from baseball as well as from 16th-century samurai philosopher Miyamoto Musashi.

Longform

Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves