Japanese vocabulary list: Calligraphy terms

The characters used in the Japanese language––comprised of hiragana, katakana, and kanji––use a large variety of shapes and strokes, and in my opinion are very visually pleasing. Calligraphy, a traditional art that is still popular in Japan today, takes these same characters and elevates them to a true art form that can often be seen… Read More »

Japanese expression: とんだとばっちりを食う (tonda tobacchiri wo kuu)

In this post I’d like to go over the expression “とんだとばっちりを食う” (tonda tobacchiri wo kuu) which can be a little tricky to understand. Before talking about the overall meaning I want to look at each of the components. With the exception of children’s books, written Japanese generally does not have spaces between the words. Having… Read More »

Japanese literature review: “The Legend of Fukiage: Book 1″ (吹上奇譚 第一話) by Banana Yoshimoto (吉本バナナ)

Banana Yoshimoto is one of the most well-known Japanese authors in the Western world, with over 10 novels translated into English. Because I generally try to read, review, and translate authors which are not yet very well known in the West, it might seem odd that I choose to read and review one of her… Read More »