One of the rare times I’ll mention politics here. Continue reading
With English as the lingua franca, I find more and more Japanese words I took time to study and learn have either been replaced or are in the process of it. I’ve made a list of the ones I can recall right now. (Note that in official/professional language, the original words are still often used.) Continue reading
As I’ve said before, I learned Japanese the wrong way. This means I often find myself having to improvise, especially when trying not to look like a jabbering foreigner. Thus, I offer a few tricks to seem knowledgeable, even if your Japanese is, shall we say, half-ass. Continue reading
I have a surprising amount to say in this collection of personal miscellany. Continue reading
While walking to the barber today, my playlist landed on “Time Will Tell” by Utada Hikaru. Despite being a Japanese hit in 1999, I didn’t hear it until the early 2000s (probably ’03 or ’04, but I can’t really say). At the time, Japan was still a fairly new interest; moving here hadn’t yet crossed my mind.
Fifteen or so years later, on a lovely spring day, that song transports me back in front of my computer, surfing the web while listening to AOL’s “Japanese Pop” station, entirely unaware I’d one day be listening to it where it came from.
After a year of walking down to Heiwajima Station to catch my train — and almost four of walking down するがや通り for various reasons — I’ve noticed that I’m finally starting to get noticed by the neighborhood locals. More than a couple older guys will intentionally try to catch my eye as we pass so they can say hello. The couple who run the deli on みはら通り will say hello any time they see me walk by, despite me only having ever bought from them once. The guy who runs the corner ramen shop will wave or bow if he sees me, and I’ve never even been to his place. Most everyone still keeps to themselves, but I seem to have become familiar enough that I’ve gained a small measure of acceptance. It’s kind of nice.
Japan offers a wide variety of culinary options in its dining establishments, from traditional izakaya to fast food joints to ethnic-food restaurants. One thing I’ve learned, however, is that they still have a long way to go when it comes to things Westerners take for granted. I’ve compiled a list of examples. Continue reading