Author Archives: locksleyu

Japanese expression ありそうでなかった (ari sou de nakatta), and some tasty soy sauce

Whenever I am at around Japanese food products, I always try to read the labels to learn new words, especially since there are many food-specific words and expressions that you won’t normally hear in daily conversation. The other day I was reading the label for a “Butter Soy Sauce” product (バターしょうゆ) and came across some… Read More »

A tale of particles: “ni” (に) vs “wo” (を), the verb “kizuku” (気づく), and a bus full of moles

Particles––small words that have big grammatical meaning––are one of the challenges to real mastery of Japanese. The particles “wo” (を) and “ni”(に) generally have fairly defined roles. “wo” is used when something is the direct object of an action (ex: りんごを食べる / eat an apple) whereas “ni” is used for the direction of an action… Read More »

Japanese colloquial expression: “sorya sou desho” (そりゃそうでしょ) and related phrases

In this post I’d like to talk about the colloquial Japanese expression “sorya sou desho” (そりゃそうでしょ). This expression is made up a handful of fundamental words in Japanese which have multiple purposes and shades of meaning. So the end result can be a little hard to guess if you just try to put together things mechanically.… Read More »

Japanese expressions “nimaime” (二枚目) and “sanmaime” (三枚目): the good, and the funny

While interactions with native Japanese speakers I have occasionally come across the expressions “nimaime” (二枚目) and “sanmaime” (三枚目). It turns out they have somewhat opposite meanings and are easy to confuse, so I thought I would go over their meanings and origins here. As you may know, “mai” (枚) is used as a counting suffix… Read More »

Anime review: Inuyashiki (Last Hero)

While I know many of us struggle with tsundoku (積ん読)––buying mounds of books you never read––perhaps tondoku (止ん読)––starting a book or series and never finishing it––is an even graver crime. (Note: please see the last paragraph of this post regarding the word ‘tondoku‘) Sometime back I had read the first few issues of manga Inuyashiki (いぬやしき) by… Read More »

Japanese piano shopping in Portland (Yamaha baby grand G2 vs. upright U1)

In recent years I have been spending a good portion of my hobby time on Japanese-related stuff (studying, reading, translating), but before I got into Japanese I spent a lot of time playing a few musical instruments, particularly piano. While this post will be a little off-topic compared to my usual focus, I thought my… Read More »

Japanese slang word: gyakugire (逆ギレ) [Getting angry at the angry]

In this post I’d like to go over an interesting Japanese vocabulary word: gyakugire (逆ギレ). Gyakugire is a compound word made of two parts: gyaku (逆), which means opposite or reverse, and gire, which comes from kireru, a word with many meanings including “to get angry”. So literally, gyakugire means something like “reverse-anger”. (By the way, words composed of… Read More »

Japanese word “sonna” (そんな) and related expressions [sonna koto nai (そんな事ない), etc.]

In this article I’d like to talk about the Japanese word “sonna” (そんな) and a few related expressions. The word “sonna” is a close equivalent to the expression “sono you na”, which in English translates literally to “like that”. However, we will have to look a little deeper into this word in order to understand how… Read More »

Japanese expression highlight: “ああ言えばこう言う” (aa ieba kou iu)

In this article I would like to talk about an interesting Japanese phrase: “aa ieba kou iu” (ああ言えばこう言う). This, like many of the phrases of expressions I write about on this blog, is a phrase that I have heard used in conversations with native speakers as well as used myself. This expression is interesting because… Read More »