The 8 Standards Of Japanese Beauty

Ayase Haruka Smiling

One of the great things about being in Japan for as long as I have is that I’ve gotten to have some pretty fascinating discussions about Japan and why certain aspects of the culture are the way they are. A subject that’s been discussed and rehashed, time and time again, is the discussion on what makes a woman beautiful. Before you call me a chauvinist and put my head on a spike, please hear me out. I’ve had these conversations with more Japanese women than I have with Japanese men because it’s Continue Reading …

The Japanese Sushi Knowledge Quiz

Japanese Sushi Knowledge Quiz

When you think of Japanese cuisine what food comes to mind? For many people, it's sushi. What is sushi exactly? Sushi in its most basic form is a usually* cut of raw, hopefully fresh, fish laid on a small bed vinegared rice. Sushi can also be a small cut of raw fish wrapped into a rice/seaweed roll. *Not all sushi has to be fish :) There are sushi styles that are unique to Japan and ones that are unique to the U.S.. Though the styles can be different both can extremely delicious. In Continue Reading …

10 Reasons Japan Is Still Stuck In the 80′s

Big 80's hair at it's finest.  Go to Kabukicho and you may be able to find hair that's eerily similar.

Many a foreigner will confess that Japan can be a super easy place to live. For those who have been here for maybe two years or longer, you may start to experience that cycle. You told your family and friends that Japan was temporary, that you'd just be here for a year. One year becomes two, two years become three, three becomes five. Five years become ten years, a wife, kids, and the desire to stay in Japan for the rest of your life. If you’re not careful, Japan can become this mellow, Continue Reading …

Nihongo Challenge N4-5 Kanji Textbook Review

Review of the N4-N5 Nihongo Challenge Textbook

Kanji is one of those subjects that classroom Japanese students and Japanese self-study advocates alike struggle with. Believe me, I know first hand that studying kanji can be a rather sharp pain in the butt. 

 Why is learning/studying kanji so damn hard? Well, for starters there are just so frickin' many of them: they say to be proficient at reading newspapers, magazines, etc. you need upwards of 1500 characters! Just hearing that is enough to dissuade the Japanese dabbler, or even a Continue Reading …

Genki One: Japanese Textbook Review

Genki One Japanese, Textbook Review

If you’re an expat who didn’t major in Japanese during your college days and you’re starting to learn Japanese from scratch here in Japan, it can be daunting to say the least. You’re not alone. Actually, you would be exactly like me when I came. I didn’t really start studying Japanese until I was several months into the first year of my stay. I had a pretty comfortable, English-teaching position at a nearby 英会話 (eikaiwa - English conversation school). I had a pleasant routine going. 1. Continue Reading …