Yuko Tamura
For Yuko Tamura's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Communication is important in a relationship, especially when you and your spouse grew up speaking different languages. Learn a few phrases that show you care.
Nov 22, 2023
A few small expressions can go a long way in your relationship
As we celebrate Couple's Day in Japan, let's review ways to tell your special someone how great they are.
A banner displayed at the entrance of Shibuya Ward’s Center Street makes clear that authorities do not want Halloween revelers to roam the streets as has become the custom.
Oct 27, 2023
Why deal with the crowds when you can have a ‘mundane Halloween’ online?
People are busy thinking up costumes at Halloween, so will yours be flashy and outrageous? Well, an online trend proves "bland" can be just as fun.
The Nakamise shopping street running up to Senso-ji temple in Tokyo's Asakusa area was crowded with tourists this past summer.
Oct 6, 2023
A year after borders fully opened, tourism vocab is also back
After tourists fully returned to Japan last October, so did a term we hadn't heard since before the pandemic: overtourism.
Does a person have a duty to alert others when they see wrongdoing in a company? Or is it better to leave the gods untouched lest you be cursed?
Sep 21, 2023
A culture of silence vs. a culture of speaking up
The scandal at talent agency Johnny & Associates was made worse by a culture of “keeping the lid on a stinky thing.”
With more and more young people entering the workforce, terms that were once popular in the so-called bubble era are falling out of fashion.
Sep 15, 2023
Outdated business jargon strikes out with Japan's Gen Z
Around 70% of survey respondents say jargon leads to misunderstandings that end up wasting time.
A Japanese junior high school student stares off into space while in the classroom. If your child is distracted or preoccupied during lessons, it may be time to speak with their teacher.
Sep 3, 2023
School is back. Is it time to have a word with the teacher?
It’s important to know how to speak to your child’s homeroom teacher at school so you can keep an eye on how they are doing.
Sam Altman, the CEO of ChatGPT maker OpenAI, attends an open dialogue with students at Keio University in June.
Aug 17, 2023
AI, ChatGPT and the ‘creation’ of work with a human touch
Get to know the terminology involved with new artificial intelligence technology.
You may hear words like "kanshin" used when talking about baseball player Shohei Ohtani, but are people talking about "interest" or "admiration"?
Aug 3, 2023
Step on a rhyme to better understand Japanese homophones
Spending time to learn the Japanese language's many homophones can result in a better understanding of definitions — and it's fun.
Japan Times
Jun 23, 2023
Politically speaking, how should Japan talk about gender?
When trying to pass legislation on topics dealing with the LGBTQ+ community, lawmakers found themselves using a katakana term as a compromise.
Japan Times
Jun 2, 2023
Sorry to say, apologizing in Japanese isn't always such a big deal
From bumping into a stranger to making amends for a past wrong, it"s important to know how to apologize in Japanese.
Japan Times
May 25, 2023
Get in on the talk of the town when Roppongi Art Night begins
With the all-night art festival taking place this weekend, we look at ways to talk about art in Japanese.
Japan Times
Apr 14, 2023
Long story short, abbreviated Japanese is good value for your time
In English, acronyms are a way to communicate what you want to say quickly. The Japanese tend to shorten their speech by shortening their words.
Japan Times
Feb 10, 2023
Stressing out at work? Make sure you know how to ask for help
Worried about talking to your supervisor about alleviating stress? The key is to tell them you want to be proactive in dealing with any potential problems.
Japan Times
Jan 27, 2023
Are ‘white’ companies proving to be too much of a good thing for Japan's Gen Z?
"Black" companies are places of excess: excess overtime, excess chores — not excess pay! And the best way to express the idea of "too much" in Japanese is with the verb-suffix "sugiru."
Japan Times
Dec 23, 2022
A few phrases for when you head to dinner at your in-laws' house
Maybe you just want to compliment someone's cooking, or maybe you want to avoid a fight? Either way, brushing up on some Japanese before heading to your in-laws doesn't hurt.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / Vocabulary Boost
Dec 16, 2022
Merriam-Webster’s word of the year is ‘gaslighting,’ and don't try to tell us there isn't a Japanese equivalent
Merriam-Webster saw a huge spike in people looking up the word u201cgaslightingu201d in 2022, and Japan is also no stranger to the concept.
Japan Times
Nov 2, 2022
Use 'Book Week' to finally get to those titles piling up on your shelves
Started by publishers and librarians decades ago, Book Week is a way to get people reading. Though, the fact that it's autumn may also provide some encouragement.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / Vocabulary Boost
Oct 28, 2022
A verb you're bound to wear out on Halloween
The verb "kiru" (to wear) is a necessary bit of a vocabulary to know on a night like Halloween. Its usage is about more than just costumes, though.
Japan Times
Sep 23, 2022
What to say (and what not to say) at a Japanese funeral
With the state funeral of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe taking place in the next few days, we take a look at how the Japanese traditionally mourn the recently departed.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / Vocabulary Boost
Sep 1, 2022
Take some time to refresh your emergency vocabulary on Disaster Prevention Day
It was 99 years ago that a devastating earthquake hit Tokyo. As a result, Japan marks Sept. 1 by conducting disaster-preparedness drills at schools and companies nationwide.


Tokyo Healthcare University professor Takayuki Mifune explains how he is trying to re-create bonito broth from 1,300 years ago.
The quest to re-create what the Japanese ate 1,300 years ago