Tag - nihongo



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.
A Japanese-language class at Aoyama International Education Institute in Tokyo's Minato Ward
JAPAN / Society
Mar 23, 2024
New national standards for Japanese-language schools to start in April
Under the new system, Japanese-language schools will have to meet certain requirements on staffing and curriculum to receive accreditation.
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.
After Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination last week, the buzzword underwent an evolution as he outpaces incumbent President Joe Biden in a number of major polls.
JAPAN / Politics
Mar 21, 2024
'What if Trump?' Moshitora reenters Japanese lexicon
The compact Japanese buzzword has resurfaced in local media reports as the ex-president rises through a number of polls.
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.
The Agency for Cultural Affairs recently recommended that official romanization rules be switched from the Kunrei to Hepburn system.
Mar 6, 2024
Romanization rules are changing. Why Kunrei won’t be missed.
Japan could soon change its romanization rules, opting for the more common Hepburn system. This would benefit Japanese people as much as foreigners.
Japan is looking to revise its romanization rules for the first time in about 70 years, switching to the Hepburn rules from the current Kunrei-shiki rules. For example, the famous Tokyo shopping district known worldwide as Shibuya will be changed in its official presentation from Sibuya.
JAPAN / Society
Mar 2, 2024
Japan to revise official romanization rules for first time in 70 years
The country will switch to the Hepburn rules from the current Kunrei-shiki rules, meaning, for example, the official spelling of Aichi will replace Aiti.
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.
Food industry researchers and academics are hard at work formulating a new dictionary aiming to refine Japan's discourse over rice.
LIFE / Language
Feb 21, 2024
New dictionary to clear up sticking points over Japanese rice
By setting standards for common expressions that are often ambiguous, researchers hope to convey the "individuality" of products to consumers.
Anastasiia Pelykh (left) and Daria Datsenko talk about their lives in Japan after evacuating from Ukraine during an interview in Kyoto earlier this month.
JAPAN / Society
Feb 19, 2024
Two years after invasion, Ukrainians in Japan forge their own paths
A pair of women have taken different paths, but echoed the same refrain: They want the war to end as soon as possible so they can see their families.
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.
Daisuke Hironaka, deputy head of Ikuno Komorebi Hoikuen, teaches Japanese to children at the day care in Osaka's Ikuno Ward.
COMMUNITY / Issues / The Foreign Element
Jan 22, 2024
An Osaka nursery is going the extra mile to stop Vietnamese kids falling behind
Getting children new to the country familiar with the Japanese language before heading to elementary school is crucial.


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