Arigatai Books End-of-Year Sale (Japanese Literature)

Many countries and cultures ascribe special meaning to the end of the year, whether it is for a religious, cultural, or business reasons. As a small, independent publisher, Arigatai Books doesn’t typically do much in terms of season discounts or special promotions, but at the end of the year I like to showcase a few… Read More »

Japanese grammar: the difference between “のが” and ”のか”

Recently someone on Twitter was asking about the difference between “のが” (no ga) and ”のか” (no ka). I responded briefly to their post, but I wanted to give a little more detailed treatment here. In the case of “のか”, the の is often used to an explanatory or factual feeling, similar to how it does… Read More »

Omae (お前): a Japanese pronoun with confusing nuances

One significant difference between Japanese and a language like English is that words are more frequently omitted when they can be inferred from context. This applies to pretty much all types of speech: verbs, nouns, objects, and even particles (little grammatical helpers). In English, except for some special cases and slang usages, when referring to… Read More »

Aikido Report: The Black Belt

In this post I talk about how I achieved an Aikido black belt in only a few years, including some details on how I trained, what is required to get a black belt, and some thoughts about how the test went.

Explanation of Quick Japanese Quiz: “What is a polite way to ask someone to begin eating a meal?”

Yesterday I did a brief survey-style quiz on Twitter with the following single question: Quick Japanese Quiz: What is a polite way to ask someone to begin eating a meal? Answer choices: (note: the romaji didn’t fit in the original post due to length limitations) 食ってくれ [kutte kure] いただきなさい [itadakinasai] 召し上がってください [meshiagatte kudasai] お腹にお入れいただけませんか? [onaka… Read More »