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Hitomi Tashiro
For Hitomi Tashiro's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Dec 29, 2020
Learning how to use 'ira-ira' without getting frustrated
The onomatopoeic terms "ira-ira" and "unzari" can help express feelings of frustration and being fed up in general. Therefore, they're helpful during a pandemic-related lockdown.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Dec 22, 2020
Dare to take action in Japanese with 'isso' and 'omoikitte'
The terms "isso" and "omoikitte" both convey the nuance of doing something daring, or even "taking the plunge." Learn when it's best to use them.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Dec 15, 2020
Certainly, 'tashika ni' is a Japanese term you'll want to know
While "tashika" on its own in a sentence conveys the idea that something is most likely true, adding the particle "ni" to it will make it more definite.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Dec 8, 2020
Study 'mushiro' and 'kaette' rather than falling behind on your Japanese
The adverbs "mushiro" and "kaette" indicate alternative preferences, but the difference lies in whether the alternative comes down to personal judgement.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Dec 1, 2020
A verb tense for when you've been the subject of someone else's machinations
When you've been made to do something against your will, try and wrap your tongue around the causative passive to express yourself.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Nov 24, 2020
We won't force you to learn 'yogi naku,' but you can't help doing so anyway
Ano suigai de ōku no katagata ga hinan-seikatsu o yogi naku saremashita.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Nov 17, 2020
You should know there's nothing better than 'ni koshita koto wa nai'
The "koto da" and "ni koshita koto wa nai" structures express strong certainties that you should do something.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Nov 10, 2020
Learn how to use 'uchi ni' while you're still in Japan
The "uchi ni" and "aida ni" structures denote time frames, but one is more specific than the other.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Nov 3, 2020
Learning the causative form will let you speak Japanese with ease
The causative forms of Japanese verbs can help relay the ideas of making someone do something or letting them do something they want to do.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Oct 27, 2020
The possibilities only 'naradewa' can offer
The structures 'naradewa' and 'ni kagiru' point out the singularity of something that's usually rather good.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Oct 20, 2020
Apart from 'bestu ni shite,' the 'tomokaku' structure is useful for making exceptions
The "tomokaku" structure helps when you want to take one element of what you're talking about out of the conversation.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Oct 13, 2020
The more you study 'ba … hodo,' the better you'll be at Japanese
Describing the relationship between two things in Japanese is often understandable with the "ba u2026 hodo" grammar point.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Oct 6, 2020
See to it that your Japanese gets better with yō ni suru
The verb "suru" can help you express the idea that you want to intentionally turn something into something else.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Sep 29, 2020
Onomatopoeic terms like 'niko-niko' get us smiling
"Kusu-kusu" and "gera-gera" are two types of laughs that are used in entirely different situations.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Sep 22, 2020
You ought to know how 'beki' can help your Japanese
The negative "bekarazu" structure may be old, but you can still find it in written Japanese with a strong prohibitive nuance attached to it.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Sep 15, 2020
You'd be surprised how far 'naka-naka' can take you in Japanese
The adverb "naka-naka" can be used to comment on a surprising result, just don't use it when discussing the results your boss gets.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Sep 8, 2020
Learning how to use 'ni suginai' is nothing more than essential
The verb "sugiru," which means to exceed, can be used in a variety of ways both positive and negative.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Sep 1, 2020
Whether or not you'll succeed in Japanese is up to 'ka dōka'
The "ka du014dka" structure helps to explain that there's a choice between one option or the other and is quite convenient in conversational Japanese.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Aug 25, 2020
When it comes to Japanese, 'mamire' and 'darake' have you covered
While "darake" and "mamire" both have different nuances, the one thing they have in common is that they always refer to something bad.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / WELL SAID
Aug 18, 2020
Take the time to study 'narubeku' and 'dekiru dake' if possible
"Narubeku" conveys the idea of "as u2026 as possible," while "deikru dake" conveys the same idea with stronger intent.

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