Tag - bilingual



The titular city in Haruki Murakami's most recent novel, "The City and Its Uncertain Walls," appears to exist in the protagonist's dream world.
Apr 19, 2024
Before Murakami’s English release, try him in Japanese one more time
An English version of "The City and Its Uncertain Walls" won't come out till the fall, which gives you time to read it unspoiled in its original language.
Get the rubber gloves and cleaning supplies out. This is the time of year when we should clean our homes and prepare them for the upcoming rainy season.
Apr 11, 2024
Dust off your tidying vocabulary with a refreshing spring clean
While most Japanese households take part in a big clean at the end of the year, it doesn't hurt to tidy a little as the weather changes.
As they enter the workforce, the young employees who grew up texting one another have their own rules for communicating.
Apr 2, 2024
Fear of a full stop? Young Japanese say drop the period in your texts.
In addition to "maruhara," or "period harassment," younger employees want to cut down on the unnecessary emails that are a part of work culture.
A shogi board game with human pieces is played out in Tendo, Yamagata Prefecture, last year.
Mar 29, 2024
The vocabulary of shogi can help you make moves in your conversations
The world of shogi, a game that is often described as a form of Japanese chess, has given us much more than just checkmates.
Sayaka Murata uses inventive language to bring the character of Keiko to life in "Convenience Store Woman."
Mar 22, 2024
'Convenience Store Woman' and the 'normal' in life and literature
Author Sayaka Murata's use of marked and unmarked language provides new layers to a commentary on modern society.
The Japanese word "hanami," literally means “flower viewing.” But, a hanami gathering is more than that: It can be a picnic, a drinking party or an occasion to read poetry.
Mar 15, 2024
We invite you to get ready for this year’s cherry blossom parties
Asking people to a party is made easy in Japanese with a few basic sentence structures. Taking your leave from a party is just as simple.
Demonstrators hold a banner as they take part in a march to call for gender equality and protest against gender discrimination as part of an International Women’s Day march in Tokyo in 2021.
Mar 8, 2024
Recognizing the vocabulary surrounding International Women’s Day
Many of the terms describing issues women are facing in Japan have a string of complex kanji. Knowing the basics can go a long way in aiding understanding.
In many cases, the return gift that shows your appreciation should be worth half of what was originally given to you.
Mar 1, 2024
Japan's return-a-gift culture isn't just for White Day
If you received a gift on Valentine's Day, White Day is your chance to return the kindness. Learn the verbs for giving with grace.
What would you do if you received a juicy piece of gossip at work, do you know the Japanese for how you'd respond?
Feb 23, 2024
Rumor, gossip and misinformation with neither roots nor leaves
Areas hit by the New Year's Day earthquake find themselves subject to damaging misinformation as they try to focus on reconstruction.
Japanese author Banana Yoshimoto came onto the scene in 1987 with “Kitchin.” In it, her main character talks about the comfort she finds in her kitchen.
Feb 16, 2024
Take your first dive into Japanese literature from the comfort of your kitchen
There are levels to understanding Japanese literature. First there's basic comprehension, but after that you can take time to appreciate the wordplay.
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.
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.
Valentine's Day in Japan is one way when it comes to chocolate, but the sweets are reciprocated on White Day in March.
Feb 2, 2024
Prepare for date night by practicing reservations in Japanese
Whether its chocolates or a full-course meal, food is the language for Valentine's Day.
Unfortunately, statistics are not favorable when it comes to mixed marriages. With the proper communication, however, no challenge is insurmountable.
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.
Jan 19, 2024
Persevere with your Japanese grammar using these compound verbs
By mixing and matching certain verbs, your vocabulary will expand immensely.
The onomatopaeic term "poka-poka" can be used to describe the cozy feeling of relaxing under the kotatsu in the winter.
Jan 12, 2024
Warming words for this chilly season
The temperatures may be colder but that doesn’t mean we need to cool down our vocabulary.
One Japanese idiom goes, "the drawn dragon is missing an eye." It means that something lacks that crucial finishing touch.
Jan 4, 2024
The Year of the Dragon has arrived along with a slew of idioms
Japanese sayings that involve dragons tend to invoke the powerful characteristics of the mythical creature.
A Japanese monk rings the bell at his temple. The bell is rung 108 times on New Year's Eve, a way to cleanse ourselves of the worldly desires.
Dec 29, 2023
The year’s end provides us a chance to consider the passage of time
There are plenty of Japanese words that express the passage of time, whether it's a matter of years or the blink of an eye.
If you're having a Christmas potluck with your friends, you'll want to make sure your dishes look as good as they taste.
Dec 21, 2023
A few linguistic palate cleansers for your holiday potlucks
With the pandemic-era norms subsiding, it looks like home parties may be back and bigger than ever.
Seihan Mori, the chief Buddhist priest of Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, writes the kanji character "zei," meaning "tax," with a calligraphy brush to announce the Kanji of the Year.
Dec 15, 2023
Despite a taxing year, 2023's top kanji still draws questions
In a year of major crises around the world, Japanese voters pick the kanji for "zei," meaning "tax," based on a plan yet to be implemented.
The end-of-year company party has been pretty much on hold for the past few years due to the pandemic. Will people embrace the tradition in bigger numbers as a result?
Dec 8, 2023
Should we forget the year or forget the party?
After a few years without proper yearend work parties, are Japanese workers ready for a big bash? Or, has the tradition come to an end?


Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on