Tag - nihongo



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.
A participant writes during a New Year calligraphy contest in Tokyo on Jan. 5, 2023.
Dec 19, 2023
Japan to propose nation's calligraphy for UNESCO heritage list
In response to a Cultural Affairs Council recommendation, the government will submit a proposal to the U.N. body by next March.
Children learn Japanese in Chicago in May 2017, with a Japanese language teacher in the background.
Dec 15, 2023
Japan and U.S. craft measures to step up cooperation in education
The measures include those aimed at promoting exchange programs and developing people in Japan to work in the technology industry.
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.
Seihan Mori, chief priest of Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, writes "zei" (taxes), which was chosen on Tuesday as the kanji of the year.
Dec 12, 2023
Talk of taxes spurs choice for Japan’s kanji of the year
The choice came as tax hikes and cuts were heavily covered in the news and discussed among policymakers.
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?
Gender-neutral names were more popular for Japanese babies born in 2023, a survey has found.
JAPAN / Society
Dec 5, 2023
Popularity of gender-neutral Japanese names rose in 2023
The annual ranking by Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance, released Monday, showed that unisex names have risen in popularity.
Japan's inflation marked a four-decade high this year, caused by surging fuel and raw material costs amid Russia's war against Ukraine. Japanese firms chose the kanji character for 'change' to describe such turbulence.
JAPAN / Society
Dec 3, 2023
Firms in Japan pick kanji for 'change' to describe turbulent 2023
From extreme weather to global conflicts, many companies in Japan say they spent the year adapting to new market forces.
Tigers manager Akinobu Okada speaks during a news conference in Tokyo after the buzzword of the year was announced on Friday. The team's slogan, an indirect reference to victory, took the top spot.
JAPAN / Society
Dec 1, 2023
Japan’s 2023 buzzword of the year is all about winning
A.R.E — based on the Japanese word “are” (“that”) — took the top spot, after the Hanshin Tigers popularized the term as an indirect reference to victory.
Rabbits are supposedly easier to get through quarantine, but Japan’s outgoing quarantine rules for our fluffy friends actually take a fair bit of time.
Dec 1, 2023
Hare today, gone tomorrow: Another cautionary tale for expats headed home
In another piece about leaving Japan, our departee learns some hard truths about the country’s quarantine guidelines for animals.
Pages from a new Otaku Dictionary catalog the lexicons of Japan’s various subcultures.
PODCAST / deep dive
Nov 30, 2023
A problematic otaku dictionary and the Japanese approach to sitting
An “Otaku Dictionary” has Japan’s subcultures upset at an attempt to define them.
Yoshiko Koide sits in a classroom at Nagoya College where she teaches a Japanese-language observation seminar.
LIFE / Language / Longform
Nov 27, 2023
How a dictionary came to spark outrage among the web’s otaku
A project to create a reference book categorizing subcultures didn't seem to cause offense until it was packaged and sold as a dictionary.
Tossing your car in the forest when you leave Japan doesn't help anyone. If you want to throw away your things properly, you'll need to pay attention to your paperwork.
Nov 24, 2023
Wheeling and dealing: A cautionary tale for expats headed home
Ditching big items, like your car, can be tough in Japan if you don't time things just right.
Communication is important in a relationship, especially when you and your spouse grew up speaking different languages. Learn a few phrases that show you care.
Nov 22, 2023
A few small expressions can go a long way in your relationship
As we celebrate Couple's Day in Japan, let's review ways to tell your special someone how great they are.
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.
The words of encouragement that star player Shohei Ohtani gave his teammates before their final game against the United States during the World Baseball Classic in March were among those nominated on Thursday to be the buzzwords of the year.
JAPAN / Society
Nov 2, 2023
Japan's 2023 buzzwords reflect light and dark sides of the year
From the year's scandals to its champions, the annual list of buzzword candidates highlights the nation's hope, fears and diversions.
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.


Tokashiki Beach acts as a sanctuary for sea turtles and offers ideal snorkeling waters. It was also the site of the U.S. Army’s preliminary invasion that led to the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 150,000 people.
On Okinawa's Tokashiki Island, life's a beach — one of the best in the world