People look at the election poster board at Kasai Rinkai Park in Tokyo. The board includes posters for each of the candidates running in that specific riding.
Jun 28, 2024
Tokyo's election day is coming. Are you comfortable talking about politics in Japanese?
Even if you don't want to talk about politics, expressing your opinion on a particular topic is always a good skill to have in your daily life.
When describing meal times in his novel “No Longer Human,” Osamu Dazai refers to his family as being "jūikunin," which translates to "10 and change." By being vague, he diminishes the importance of the size of his family.
Jun 21, 2024
Attempting the classics: Decoding Osamu Dazai’s sinister diction
A gritty realism and gut-wrenching plots were the mark of the "I-novel" push in the 20th century.
Dads in Japan tend to fall in one of two categories: "amatō," a person fond of sweets, or "karatō," a person fond of alcohol.
Jun 14, 2024
Dads like sweets, but some like sweet words even more
Looking for a gift for Father's Day? It's said that Japanese dads fall into one of two categories: They like sweets or they like sake.
Artificial chemical scents that come from things like perfume or fabric softener can cause discomfort or even sickness for some individuals.
Jun 7, 2024
Scents and sensitivity: Understanding ‘smell pollution’ in Japan
In the country's crowded urban areas, it is important to be aware of how your deodorant, perfume or fabric softener can affect others.
Whether you get your goosebumps from horror movies, the dark or even historical battle sites, there are lots of ways to express fear in Japanese.
May 31, 2024
Using intransitive verbs to make Japanese ghost stories extra spooky
Since intransitive verbs don't need to take a subject, they are best at describing things that happen of their own accord.
The Japanese government updated its English education guidelines in 2017 to emphasize communication over grammar and memorization. Public school teachers are incredibly busy, however, which means schools haven’t been able to implement changes uniformly. Private and alternative schools are attempting to remedy this.
LIFE / Language / Longform
May 27, 2024
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan
Stuck with a reputation for poor English, Japan is pushing its next generation to be bilingual. Privately run schools are seeing the benefits.
The so-called グリーンカーテン ("gurīn kāten," green curtain) is a vertical garden you can create for your balcony to help provide shade from the summer sun.
May 24, 2024
Get started on your at-home garden before the summer hits
Even if you live in a small Tokyo apartment, a garden isn't out of the question. Learn the Japanese needed to visit your local garden center.


Traditional folk rituals like Mizudome-no-mai (dance to stop the rain) provide a sense of agency to a population that feels largely powerless in the face of the climate crisis.
As climate extremes intensify, Japan embraces ancient weather rituals