Yoshiko Koide, a professor at Nagoya College, and 12 female students delved deep into otaku culture to create “Otaku Dictionary Daigenkai,” a dictionary of terms from all walks of fandom.
LIFE / Language
Nov 20, 2023
Test your otaku vocabulary, from 'oshi' to 'bacon lettuce'
“Otaku Dictionary Daigenkai” has gathered the language of fandom, from idols to games and anime.
Kyoto’s Tofukuji temple is a notable place for viewing multicolored fall foliage.
Nov 10, 2023
The culture, customs and vocabulary of Japan’s fall season
The changing colors of Japan’s foliage have been a prominent part of the culture since the Nara Period when they inspired artists.
Sometimes just saying that you won't break a promise isn't enough. You may need the power of the pinky finger.
LIFE / Language / Vocabulary Boost
Nov 3, 2023
Breaking a promise comes with sharp penalties in Japan
An interesting element that is present in both Japanese and English rhymes around pinky promises is the idea of needles.
Trendy buzzwords tend to be most at risk of dying out as they often reflect ideas and trends that are fleeting.
Oct 31, 2023
A foray into the realm of Japanese ‘dead words’
Old slang and problematic terms are prime candidates when it comes to slipping out of usage and disappearing from the Japanese lexicon.
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 pronoun you choose when referring to yourself can give off a definite vibe, so be careful in your choice.
Oct 20, 2023
Which pronoun should I take?
Depending on the situation, you may need to use two or three different pronouns for yourself when speaking Japanese.
Whether you see it as ceremonious or a “way” of living in the moment, the tea ceremony offers a chance to relax and think about the moment you are in.
Oct 13, 2023
The linguistic influence of tea in Japan is more than ceremonial
The way of tea is one of inner peace and enjoying the moment. And it's good for understanding idioms, too.


Yoshiko Koide sits in a classroom at Nagoya College where she teaches a Japanese-language observation seminar.
How a dictionary came to spark outrage among the web’s otaku