Tag - nihongo



Language support groups in Fukushima Prefecture are calling for the creation of a better environment for foreign children to learn Japanese.
JAPAN / Society / Regional Voices: Fukushima
May 27, 2024
With more foreign children, Fukushima struggles with language support
A number of children attending schools in the prefecture in fiscal 2023 were unable to fully understand Japanese.
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.
Author Yukio Mishima accepts the Arts Festival Award in the drama category at the 20th Arts Festival Award Ceremony on Jan. 22, 1966.
LIFE / Bilingual
May 16, 2024
Unraveling the Japanese prose of Yukio Mishima
Achieving success at a young age, Yukio Mishima's creative use of compound verbs and kanji stand out in his writing.
An advisory panel to the education ministry will consider how the Japanese language should be transcribed into the Latin alphabet, including unifying different romanization styles currently in use.
May 15, 2024
Japan to review romanization system for first time in 70 years
The review is due to be submitted as early as next spring.
A screen shot shows the large-scale language model developed using the Fugaku supercomputer.
May 11, 2024
Japan team uses Fugaku supercomputer to develop language model for AI
The large language model unveiled Friday is expected to lead to research on generative AI tailored to domestic needs.
The idea of quitting tends to be associated with weakness, but moving on from a problematic situation can sometimes be extremely positive.
May 10, 2024
Sometimes there's power in quitting
Modern society tends to see quitting as a sign of weakness, but Buddhist teaching has extolled the benefits of letting go of something at the right time.
For someone who grew up in a country with a system of street names, finding an address in Japan — or worse: trying to guide someone else to one — is no easy task at first.
May 7, 2024
Lost in translation? No, lost in Japan’s maze of streets.
Anyone who experienced wayfinding in Japan before the age of map apps will remember how much sleuthing was required to get to your destination.
While carnations and hydrangeas seem to be Japan’s preferred flowers for Mother’s Day, your mom will likely be happy just spending quality time with you for the occasion.
May 3, 2024
Before you forget, order those hydrangeas for Mother's Day!
"Before it's too late," "while you remember" — Mother's Day offers us a chance to learn ways to express a range of time in Japanese.
The carp-shaped streamers you see flying in the wind around the start of May are connected to Children's Day. The carp is a symbol of strength and success, which is why it is used in connection to the holiday.
Apr 25, 2024
Getting extremely emotional with grammar ahead of Children's Day
Certain Japanese grammatical structures can help enhance emotions in conversation and writing, conveying the idea of "unbearably."
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 fall, so practice reading it in Japanese before checking the translation.
The Oxford English Dictionary contains 552 Japanese loanwords in English, a small number compared to the near 25,000 borrowings from French.
LIFE / Language
Apr 18, 2024
The unexpected ways in which Japanese words 'make it' into English
Thanks to new entries in the Oxford English Dictionary, pretty soon even your grandparents will know what "onigiri" and "omotenashi" mean.
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.


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.
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan