Tag Archives: culture

Japanese literature magazine review: 小説幻冬 (Shousetsu Gento) 

These days rather than reading Japanese novels, each which can still take me quite a long time to finish, I’ve been reading a literary magazine called 小説幻冬 (“Shousetsu Gento”, where “shousetsu” means ‘novel’ or ‘short story’) published by 幻冬社 (Gentosha). [Gotta love the name “幻冬”, which is made up for the characters for “mysterious” and… Read More »

How does Godzilla unpeel a banana in Japan?

Language and Culture are inextricably connected, and to master a language of any country surely requires a strong grasp of its traditions, manners, beliefs, and other aspects of culture. Getting a proper fill of culture is one of the most difficult things about studying a foreign language self-taught when not in a country where that… Read More »

Event Review: Mochitsuki 2017: 21st Annual Japanese American New Year Celebration (もちつき)

Around May last year, my family and I moved to Portland, Oregon from South Florida. One of the reasons was it’s active Japanese culture, and I recently attended an event which truly personified this culture:  Mochitsuki 2017, held in Downtown Portland today (Jan 29). Mochitsuki (餅つき or もちつき) is a tradition in Japan which involves pounding glutinous rice to… Read More »

Japanese children’s book review: 「にほんのマナー えほん” (Japanese Manners Illustrated Book)

Studying Japanese using Japanese books written for children is always something I suggest to leaners who are in the beginner or intermediate levels. As long as you pick a book that isn’t too difficult (you can start with baby books to be safe) you will some good reading practice, and also the satisfaction of actually reading a… Read More »

Japanese Short Story Translation Excerpt: “A Perfect Day For Miho Mugimoto” (麦本三歩は今日が好き) By Yoru Sumino (住野よる)

Recently I’ve been reading a few stories from the magazine “小説幻冬” (December 2016 edition), and I came across one that was particularly entertaining. This story is told in monologue-style, and though little happens in terms of action, I really like how the main character’s personality is portrayed and could really empathize with her. I couldn’t help but… Read More »

Dr. “Birigirl” Tsubota’s personality test

The film “Flying Colors” (ビリギャル), released last year (2015), is about a girl who originally has no friends and horrible grades, but works hard and drastically improves her grades. The film is based on a true story, which is captured in the novel “学年ビリのギャルが1年で偏差値を40上げて慶應大学に現役合格した話” (rough translation: “The story of a last-place girl who raises her grades by… Read More »

Are you into Japanese culture? Consider moving to Oregon!

My family and I have decided to move from Florida, where I’ve been my entire life, to Oregon. The response I get from most people who I tell this to is: “You’ve moving to be closer to your extended family, right?” No. (Actually the opposite) “You’ve moving because of your job, right?” No. (Will be… Read More »

Japanese Novel Review: 『そして、星の輝く夜がくる』(Soshite, Hoshi no kagayaku yoru ga kuru) by 真山仁 (Jin Mayama)

Lately, I’ve been trying out a bunch of random Japanese novels via the free samples available on the E-book site Booklive. I went through a few that were mediocre, after which I came across upon the 2014 novel『そして、星の輝く夜がくる』(Soshite, hoshi no kagayaku yoru ga kuru) by Jin Mayama. I got absorbed into it after only a few pages, and before I… Read More »

Japanese cool band: Fox Capture Plan

Recently the same friend who had introduced me to the great Japanese band Jizue (review) told be about another entertaining Japanese group: Fox Capture Plan. This is an instrumental band with three members (Ryo Kishimoto – Piano, Hidehiro Kawai – Base,  Tsukasa Inoue – Drums). They bill themselves as “Modern Japanese Rock” (現代版ジャズロック), but much… Read More »