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23 Oct
Learn a little Japanese everyday with the free Japanese Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary! 白鳥 (はくちょう) swan (noun) 白鳥が湖を泳いでいる。はくちょうがみずうみをおよいでいる。The swan is swimming in the lake.白鳥達が水面を泳いでいる。はくちょうたちがすいめんをおよいでいる。The swans are swimming in the water.泳いでいる白鳥およいでいるはくちょうswimming swan首の長い白鳥くびのながいはくちょうlong neck swan Own a blog or website? Share free language content with your readers with the Japanese Word of the [...]
23 Oct


Grade Level: 1
JLPT Level: 4

Frequency: 5

Bushu (Radical) Info:
人 (ひと)
person
化 (カ, ケ, ば.ける, ば.かす, ふ.ける, け.する)
change; take the form of; influence; enchant; delude; -ization
个 (カ , コ, こ, ひ)
counter for articles; individual

Henshall Mnemonic:
headless, armless person
Stroke Order Diagram (SOD): 2 Strokes



Click the image above to re-display this Kanji On-Yomi Reading(s):
ジン
ニン
Kun-Yomi Reading(s):
ひと
-り
-と



ひこ
ふみ
English Meaning(s):
person

Popular words and/or phrases using this kanji:
Click any individual kanji to view it in a new window. Click the [K] after each definition to look up that character at WWWJDIC; Click the [D] to look up that word in WWWJDIC (the definition is the same but other features exist, like sample usage, variations of the word, etc.)
ご主人   [ごしゅじん]
(n) (hon) your husband; her husband [K] [D] 愛人   [あいじん]
(n) lover; mistress [K] [D] 悪人   [あくにん]
(n) bad man; villain [K] [D] 偉人   [いじん]
(n) great man [K] [D] 一人   [ひとり]
(n) one person [K] [D] 一人っ子   [ひとりっこ]
(n) an only child [K] [D] 一人で   [ひとりで]
alone; by oneself; voluntarily; spontaneously; automatically [K] [D] 一人一人   [ひとりひとり]
(n-t) one by one; each; one at a time [K] [D] 一人前   [いちにんまえ]
(n) (1) adult; full manhood or womanhood; (2) one helping; one portion [K] [D] 一人息子   [ひとりむすこ]
(n) an only son [K] [D] 一人物   [いちじんぶつ]
(n) man of some importance; character [K] [D] 一人暮らし   [ひとりぐらし]
(n) a single life; a solitary life; living alone [K] [D] 一人娘   [ひとりむすめ]
(n) an only daughter [K] [D] 恩人   [おんじん]
(n) benefactor; patron [K] [D] 何人   [なんびと]
(n) everyone; every person; all [K] [D] 家人   [かじん]
(n) the family; one\'s folks [K] [D] 歌人   [かじん]
(n) (Japanese) poet [K] [D] 外国人   [がいこくじん]
(n) foreigner [K] [D] 外人   [がいじん]
(n) foreigner [K] [D] 学校法人   [がっこうほうじん]
(legally) incorporated educational institution [K] [D] 求人   [きゅうじん]
(n) offer of job (situation) [K] [D] 巨人   [きょじん]
(n) giant; great man [K] [D] 軍人   [ぐんじん]
(n) military personnel; soldier [K] [D] 芸人   [げいにん]
(n) player; performer; actor [K] [D] 芸能人   [げいのうじん]
(n) performer [K] [D] 見物人   [けんぶつにん]
(n) spectator; sightseer; onlookers [K] [D] 賢人   [けんじん]
(n) wise man [K] [D] 原人   [げんじん]
(n) primitive man [K] [D] 玄人   [くろうと]
(n) expert; professional; geisha; prostitute [K] [D] 個々人   [ここじん]
(n) an individual [K] [D] 個人   [こじん]
(adj-no,n) individual; private person; personal; private [K] [D] 個人差   [こじんさ]
(n) individual differences; personal equation [K] [D] 個人的   [こじんてき]
(adj-na) individualistic; personal; self-centred [K] [D] 故人   [こじん]
(n) the deceased; old friend [K] [D] 公益法人   [こうえきほうじん]
legal person working for the public weal [K] [D] 公人   [こうじん]
(n) public character [K] [D] 国際人   [こくさいじん]
(n) international celebrity; cosmopolitan; citizen of the world [K] [D] 国人   [くにびと]
(n) indigenous person; inhabitant of a country [K] [D] 黒人   [こくじん]
(n) black person [K] [D] 差出人   [さしだしにん]
(n) sender [K] [D] 罪人   [ざいにん]
(n) criminal [K] [D] 財団法人   [ざいだんほうじん]
(n) (juridical) foundation [K] [D] 殺人   [さつじん]
(n) murder [K] [D] 三人   [さんにん]
(n) three people [K] [D] 産婦人科   [さんふじんか]
(n) maternity and gynecology department [K] [D] 使用人   [しようにん]
(n) employee; servant [K] [D] 支配人   [しはいにん]
(n) manager; executive [K] [D] 死人   [しにん]
(n) corpse; dead person [K] [D] 詩人   [しじん]
(n) poet [K] [D] 社会人   [しゃかいじん]
(n) upstanding member of society [K] [D] 社団法人   [しゃだんほうじん]
(n) corporation [K] [D] 若人   [わこうど]
(n) young person; young man [K] [D] 主人   [あるじ]
(n) master; head (of a household); landlord; one\'s husband; employer; host [K] [D] 主人   [しゅじん]
(n) master; head (of a household); landlord; one\'s husband; employer; host [K] [D] 主人公   [しゅじんこう]
(n) (1) protagonist; main character; hero(ine) (of a story); (2) head of household [K] [D] 狩人   [かりゅうど]
(n) hunter [K] [D] 受取人   [うけとりにん]
(n) recipient [K] [D] 囚人   [しゅうじん]
(n) prisoner [K] [D] 住人   [じゅうにん]
(n) dweller; inhabitant; resident [K] [D] 商人   [しょうにん]
(n) trader; shopkeeper; merchant [K] [D] 小人   [こびと]
(n) (1) child; small person; (2) dwarf [K] [D] 小人   [しょうにん]
(n) (1) child; small person [K] [D] 証人   [しょうにん]
(n) witness [K] [D] 職人   [しょくにん]
(n) worker; mechanic; artisan; craftsman [K] [D] 新人   [しんじん]
(n) new face; newcomer [K] [D] 人   [じん]
(n) man; person; people [K] [D] 人   [にん]
(n) man; person; human being; mankind; people; character; personality; true man; man of talent; adult; other people; messenger; visitor [K] [D] 人   [ひと]
(n) man; person; human being; mankind; people; character; personality; true man; man of talent; adult; other people; messenger; visitor [K] [D] 人々   [ひとびと]
(n) each person; people; men; human; everybody [K] [D] 人だかり   [ひとだかり]
(n) crowd; throng [K] [D] 人為   [じんい]
(n) human work; human agency; art; artificiality [K] [D] 人為的   [じんいてき]
(adj-na) artificial; unnatural [K] [D] 人違い   [ひとちがい]
(n) mistaking one person for another [K] [D] 人一倍   [ひといちばい]
(adv,n) more than others; redoubled; unusual [K] [D] 人員   [じんいん]
(n) number of persons; personnel [K] [D] 人影   [じんえい]
(n) man\'s shadow; soul [K] [D] 人影   [ひとかげ]
(n) man\'s shadow; soul [K] [D] 人格   [じんかく]
(n) personality; character; individuality [K] [D] 人間   [にんげん]
(n) human being; man; person [K] [D] 人間ドック   [にんげんドック]
(n) medical check-up [K] [D] 人間関係   [にんげんかんけい]
human relations [K] [D] 人間国宝   [にんげんこくほう]
living national treasure [K] [D] 人間性   [にんげんせい]
(n) humanity; human nature [K] [D] 人間像   [にんげんぞう]
(n) image of (an ideal) person [K] [D] 人間的   [にんげんてき]
(adj-na) human [K] [D] 人気   [にんき]
(n,adj-na) popular; business conditions; popular feeling [K] [D] 人気者   [にんきもの]
(n) popular person; favorite [K] [D] 人形   [にんぎょう]
(n) doll; puppet; figure [K] [D] 人件費   [じんけんひ]
(n) (1) personnel expenses; labor cost; (2) indirect labour costs [K] [D] 人権   [じんけん]
(n) human rights; civil liberties [K] [D] 人権擁護   [じんけんようご]
(n) protection of human rights [K] [D] 人見知り   [ひとみしり]
(n) shyness [K] [D] 人口   [じんこう]
(n) (1) population; (2) common talk [K] [D] 人工   [じんこう]
(n) artificial; manmade; human work; human skill; artificiality [K] [D] 人工衛星   [じんこうえいせい]
man-made satellite [K] [D] 人工呼吸   [じんこうこきゅう]
artificial respiration [K] [D] 人工的   [じんこうてき]
(adj-na) artificial; unnatural [K] [D] 人骨   [じんこつ]
(n) human bones [K] [D] 人込み   [ひとごみ]
(n) crowd of people [K] [D] 人差し指   [ひとさしゆび]
(n) index finger [K] [D] 人妻   [ひとづま]
(n) (1) married woman; (2) another\'s wife [K] [D] 人材   [じんざい]
(n) man of talent [K] [D] 人殺し   [ひとごろし]
(n) murder; murderer [K] [D] 人参   [にんじん]
(n) carrot; ginseng [K] [D] 人事   [じんじ]
(n) personnel affairs; human affairs [K] [D] 人事異動   [じんじいどう]
personnel change; personnel shift; reshuffle; (annual) staff reassignment [K] [D] 人事院   [じんじいん]
(n) National Personnel Authority [K] [D] 人質   [ひとじち]
(n) hostage; prisoner [K] [D] 人手   [ひとで]
(n) (1) someone else\'s hands; other hands; (2) hand (worker); aide; (3) starfish [K] [D] 人種   [じんしゅ]
(n) race (of people) [K] [D] 人出   [ひとで]
(n) crowd; turnout [K] [D] 人情   [にんじょう]
(n) (1) humanity; empathy; kindness; sympathy; human nature; (2) common sense; customs and manners [K] [D] 人心   [ひとごころ]
(n) human nature; human heart; human spirit; kindness; sympathy [K] [D] 人数   [にんずう]
(n) the number of people [K] [D] 人生   [じんせい]
(n) (human) life (i.e. conception to death) [K] [D] 人生観   [じんせいかん]
(n) view of life [K] [D] 人選   [じんせん]
(n) personnel selection [K] [D] 人前   [にんまえ]
portion of food [K] [D] 人前   [ひとまえ]
(n) the public; company [K] [D] 人相   [にんそう]
(n) physiognomy; looks; countenance [K] [D] 人造   [じんぞう]
(n) man-made; synthetic; artificial [K] [D] 人体   [じんたい]
(n) human body [K] [D] 人中   [ひとなか]
(n) society; company; the public; the world [K] [D] 人通り   [ひとどおり]
(n) pedestrian traffic [K] [D] 人的   [じんてき]
(adj-na,n) human; personal [K] [D] 人道   [じんどう]
(n) humanity; sidewalk [K] [D] 人道主義   [じんどうしゅぎ]
humanism; humanitarianism [K] [D] 人道的   [じんどうてき]
(adj-na,n) humane [K] [D] 人物   [じんぶつ]
(n) character; personality; person; man; personage; talented man [K] [D] 人文   [じんぶん]
(n) humanity; civilization; culture [K] [D] 人文科学   [じんぶんかがく]
social sciences; humanities [K] [D] 人柄   [ひとがら]
(adj-na,n) personality; character; personal appearance; gentility [K] [D] 人並み   [ひとなみ]
(adj-na,adj-no,n) being average (capacity, looks, standard of living); ordinary [K] [D] 人脈   [じんみゃく]
(n) personal connections [K] [D] 人民   [じんみん]
(n) people; public [K] [D] 人民戦線   [じんみんせんせん]
(n) popular front [K] [D] 人名   [じんめい]
(n) person\'s name [K] [D] 人命   [じんめい]
(n) (human) life [K] [D] 人目   [ひとめ]
(n) public gaze; public notice [K] [D] 人力車   [じんりきしゃ]
(n) rickshaw; jinrikisha [K] [D] 人類   [じんるい]
(n) mankind; humanity [K] [D] 人類学   [じんるいがく]
(n) anthropology [K] [D] 尋ね人   [たずねびと]
(n) missing person; wanted person [K] [D] 世話人   [せわにん]
(n) sponsor; manager; go-between; mediator; agent [K] [D] 成人   [せいじん]
(n) adult [K] [D] 成人病   [せいじんびょう]
(n) adult diseases [K] [D] 聖人   [せいじん]
(n) saint; sage; holy man [K] [D] 西洋人   [せいようじん]
(n) Western people [K] [D] 仙人   [せんにん]
(n) hermit; wizard; fairy [K] [D] 先人   [せんじん]
(n) predecessor; pioneer; ancestor [K] [D] 選挙人   [せんきょにん]
(n) qualified voter [K] [D] 全人   [ぜんじん]
(n) saint; person well-balanced morally and intellectually [K] [D] 素人   [しろうと]
(n) amateur; novice [K] [D] 村人   [むらびと]
(n) villager [K] [D] 他人   [たにん]
(n) another person; unrelated person; outsider; stranger [K] [D] 代人   [だいにん]
(n) substitute; deputy; proxy; representative; agent [K] [D] 大人   [おとな]
(n) adult [K] [D] 大人しい   [おとなしい]
(adj) obedient; docile; quiet [K] [D] 第一人者   [だいいちにんしゃ]
(n) leading person [K] [D] 達人   [たつじん]
(n) master; expert [K] [D] 知識人   [ちしきじん]
(n) an intellectual [K] [D] 知人   [ちじん]
(n) friend; acquaintance [K] [D] 中華人民共和国   [ちゅうかじんみんきょうわこく]
People\'s Republic of China; Communist China [K] [D] 中国人   [ちゅうごくじん]
(n) Chinese person [K] [D] 仲人   [なこうど]
(n) go-between; matchmaker [K] [D] 張本人   [ちょうほんにん]
(n) ringleader; originator; perpetrator [K] [D] 朝鮮民主主義人民共和国   [ちょうせんみんしゅしゅぎじんみんきょうわこく]
People\'s Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) [K] [D] 町人   [ちょうにん]
(n) merchant [K] [D] 超人   [ちょうじん]
(n) superman [K] [D] 哲人   [てつじん]
(n) wise man; philosopher; sage [K] [D] 土人   [どじん]
(n) natives; aborigines [K] [D] 当人   [とうにん]
(n) the one concerned; the said person [K] [D] 同人   [どうじん]
(n) literary group (coterie); same person; said person; clique; fraternity; kindred spirits; comrade; colleague [K] [D] 特殊法人   [とくしゅほうじん]
semigovernmental corporation [K] [D] 二人   [ふたり]
(n) two persons; two people; pair; couple [K] [D] 二人三脚   [ににんさんきゃく]
(n) a three-legged race [K] [D] 二人前   [ふたりまえ]
(adj-no) for two people; (work) of two; (meals) for two [K] [D] 日本人   [にほんじん]
(n) Japanese person [K] [D] 俳人   [はいじん]
(n) haiku poet [K] [D] 白人   [はくじん]
(n) white person; Caucasian [K] [D] 発起人   [ほっきにん]
(n) originator; promoter [K] [D] 犯人   [はんにん]
(n) offender; criminal [K] [D] 被告人   [ひこくにん]
(n) accused; defendant; prisoner at the bar [K] [D] 美人   [びじん]
(n) beautiful person (woman) [K] [D] 病人   [びょうにん]
(n) sick person; patient [K] [D] 貧乏人   [びんぼうにん]
(n) poor man; the poor [K] [D] 不人気   [ふにんき]
(n) unpopularity [K] [D] 夫人   [ふじん]
(n) wife; Mrs; madam [K] [D] 婦人   [ふじん]
(n) woman; female [K] [D] 婦人科   [ふじんか]
(n) gynecology [K] [D] 文化人   [ぶんかじん]
(n) person of culture; cultured person [K] [D] 米人   [べいじん]
(n) an American [K] [D] 別人   [べつじん]
(n) different person; someone else; changed man [K] [D] 変人   [へんじん]
(n) eccentric; crank; oddball [K] [D] 弁護人   [べんごにん]
(n) counsel; defender; advocate [K] [D] 保証人   [ほしょうにん]
(n) guarantor; bondsman [K] [D] 法人   [ほうじん]
(n) juridical (legal) person; corporate body; corporation [K] [D] 邦人   [ほうじん]
(n) fellow countryman; Japanese [K] [D] 本人   [ほんにん]
(n) the person himself [K] [D] 凡人   [ぼんじん]
(n) ordinary person; average person; mediocre [K] [D] 万人   [ばんじん]
(n) (1) all people; everybody; (2) ten thousand people [K] [D] 万人   [ばんにん]
(n) (1) all people; everybody; (2) ten thousand people [K] [D] 未亡人   [みぼうじん]
(n) widow [K] [D] 無人   [むじん]
(adj-na,n) (1) lack of help; (2) unmanned; uninhabited [K] [D] 名人   [めいじん]
(n) master; expert [K] [D] 盲人   [もうじん]
(n) blind person [K] [D] 役人   [やくにん]
(n) government official [K] [D] 友人   [ゆうじん]
(n) friend [K] [D] 有人   [ゆうじん]
(n) manned; occupied; piloted [K] [D] 余人   [よじん]
(n) others; other people [K] [D] 要人   [ようじん]
(n) important person [K] [D] 旅人   [たびびと]
(n) traveller [K] [D] 隣人   [りんじん]
(n) neighbour; neighbourhood [K] [D] 類人猿   [るいじんえん]
(n) anthropoid; troglodyte [K] [D] 恋人   [こいびと]
(n) lover; sweetheart [K] [D] 浪人   [ろうにん]
(n,vs) (1) ronin; lordless samurai; (2) out of work; (3) waiting for another chance to enter a university [K] [D] 老人   [ろうじん]
(n) the aged; old person [K] [D] 老人ホーム   [ろうじんホーム]
(n) senior citizens\' home [K] [D] 老人性   [ろうじんせい]
(adj-na) senile [K] [D] The sofware code used to make this page uses the EDICT and KANJIDIC files. These files are the property of the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group at Monash University, and are used in conformance with the Group\'s licence.

The SOD image used on this page is from the New Japanese-English Character Dictionary and the Kodansha Kanji Learners Dictionary (see http://www.kanji.org), and is used with the kind permission of Mr. Jack Halpern. This image must not be copied or used elsewhere without Mr Halpern\'s permission. Use of this image without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

The Henshall Mnemonics are the copyright of Tuttle Publishing and are the result of the hard work by Professor Henshall. See the list I used here.

If you are curious about the lexicography shown in the word definitions, visit http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/edict_doc.html#IREF05
23 Oct


Grade Level: 6
JLPT Level: 2

Frequency: 1129

Bushu (Radical) Info:
亠 (なべぶた)
lid
心 (シン, こころ, -ごころ, りっしんべん)
heart; mind; spirit
攸 (ユウ, ところ)
distant, far; adverbial prefix; relaxed; at ease; place

Henshall Mnemonic:
dead in one\'s heart"" means forgotten
Stroke Order Diagram (SOD): 7 Strokes



Click the image above to re-display this Kanji On-Yomi Reading(s):
ボウ
Kun-Yomi Reading(s):
わす.れる
English Meaning(s):
forget

Popular words and/or phrases using this kanji:
Click any individual kanji to view it in a new window. Click the [K] after each definition to look up that character at WWWJDIC; Click the [D] to look up that word in WWWJDIC (the definition is the same but other features exist, like sample usage, variations of the word, etc.)
度忘れ   [どわすれ]
(n,vs) lapse of memory; forget for a moment [K] [D] 忘れる   [わすれる]
(v1) to forget; to leave carelessly; to be forgetful of; to forget about; to forget (an article) [K] [D] 忘れ物   [わすれもの]
(n) lost article; something forgotten [K] [D] 忘却   [ぼうきゃく]
(n) lapse of memory; forgetfulness; oblivion [K] [D] 忘年会   [ぼうねんかい]
(n) year-end party [K] [D] The sofware code used to make this page uses the EDICT and KANJIDIC files. These files are the property of the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group at Monash University, and are used in conformance with the Group\'s licence.

The SOD image used on this page is from the New Japanese-English Character Dictionary and the Kodansha Kanji Learners Dictionary (see http://www.kanji.org), and is used with the kind permission of Mr. Jack Halpern. This image must not be copied or used elsewhere without Mr Halpern\'s permission. Use of this image without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

The Henshall Mnemonics are the copyright of Tuttle Publishing and are the result of the hard work by Professor Henshall. See the list I used here.

If you are curious about the lexicography shown in the word definitions, visit http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/edict_doc.html#IREF05
22 Oct
Learn a little Japanese everyday with the free Japanese Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary! 化粧 (けしょう) makeup (noun) 化粧用品けしょうようひんmakeup kit Own a blog or website? Share free language content with your readers with the Japanese Word of the Day with Audio Widget. Click here for instructions on how to embed and customize [...]
21 Oct
Learn a little Japanese everyday with the free Japanese Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary! 兎 (うさぎ) rabbit (noun) 兎が野原にいる。うさぎがのはらにいる。The rabbit is in the field.庭で、茶色い兎が葉っぱを食べている。にわで、ちゃいろいうさぎがはっぱをたべている。The brown rabbit is eating leaves in the garden.茶色いうさぎちゃいろいうさぎbrown rabbit緑の芝生にいる白い兎みどりのしばふにいるしろいうさぎwhite rabbit in the green grass Own a blog or website? Share free language content with your readers with the [...]
6 Oct
My latest column is in the Japan Times Bilingual page today: “Discovering verb stems: A gokan oasis in the desert of gobi” I address what was for me one of the most difficult adjustments to make during my first year … Continue reading
9 Mar

A documentary I coordinated and helped to film on Hashima Island (Gunkanjima) is airing on Sunday Night, an Australian television show, March 9th 2014 as we speak. Reporter PJ Madam shows us Japan’s ‘Ghost Island‘. The best source I have found so far to watch the video online is this one by movingentity: If that’s […]

The post Sunday Night Ghost Island appeared first on Gakuranman.

26 Oct
Nosogoshi!  

Violist Nicholas Cords likes his Japanese soba noodles on the quiet side.

On public radio today, there was a segment on a woman who went to Japan to learn the craft of soba-making, only to return to the United States to find it difficult to locate suitable soba wheat.  In explaining the ideal soba, she used the term "nodogoshi" which is the noun form of "smooth-tasting."  It is usually used to describe beer, and Kirin has used it extensively in advertising.

喉越し【のどごし】 (n) (often of beer) feeling of food or drink going down one's throat; drinkability; the quality of being smooth-tasting

喉越しの良い【のどごしのいい】 (exp,adj-i) (esp. of beer) going down smoothly; tasting good going down; smooth-tasting

Radio Segment:

http://pri.org/stories/2013-10-25/george-washington-ate-soba-noodles-and-la-woman-believes-you-should-too
9 Mar

Changes on the horizon for the YouTube channel, and for us in general.

Back to Japan, back to work, and back to the kind of focus on building something that I haven't had the need for in about a year.

So in that spirit, I'm stubbornly persisting in my "America's Best Japanese Teacher" series, in the hopes that one day it'll pay off. I upped the editing ante for the bulk of this one. Trying to get a handle on Final Cut Pro. Advice always appreciated.





Here's what's up with teh jokes this time around:

It's a Q and A session (Get it? Cause "nine" is "kyuu" and "rays" are "eis?" GET IT?????)

and the questions are all invented. The first one asks why Japanese people use the expression "18-ban" to talk about either something they've cooked, or a song that they sing. It actually means that the dish or the song is their specialty, and there's a really interesting origin for this that we posted about a long long time ago. Check the excerpt, and if you want to, the full original post.

The predominant theory is that this expression comes from kabuki theater, way back in the day (early 1800s) when kabuki actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII selected the 18 kabuki plays that he believed to be the best representations of the aragoto style of kabuki. The kabuki plays that are still performed today are taken from these 18. It took me a while to figure out why, of the 18, the 18th was considered the best. But then I realized that the phrase doesn't have to translate as "the eighteenth." It might just be "the eighteen." So when you say your 十八番、 you're not neccesarily identifying the 18th in a series, you're just referencing the idea of the best selection.
In the video, I'm being an idiot and taking it upon myself to decide that this means they're ranking themselves out of 100, and Japanese people, being big into humility ("Allow me to introduce my homely wife and my dumb-ass son.") would never dare to rank themselves any higher than 18.

The biggest joke here is suggesting that you respond to this by saying "It's not actually bad," which would be okay to say if someone WAS really being humble. If you said that to someone who was offering you their "specialty," on the other hand, they would probably NOT きっと喜ぶ*.


In Question #2, I'm asked to explain the word "幼なじみ" (osananajimi) in relation to a picture of two older gentlemen. The word means "a long time friend." Someone you were close with since you were 幼い (osanai)、which means "very young." However, since both gentleman in this picture could be identified, unflatteringly, as "おっさん" (ossan; rude for "old man"), Bobby-Sensei explains that the asker is mistaken the word is actually "おっさんの馴染み," (ossan no najimi) closeness between old men.


And finally a question perfectly matched to this brand of Japanese teaching: It asks about how "Japanese people often use the expression "その場だけの関係 (sono ba dake no kankei)." This refers to a romantic/sexual relationship that is limited to a certain place or time. Like... summer camp. You met someone, you had a thing, but it was never going to be anything outside of the environment it was born in. But since the Japanese expression relies on geography "only at that place," the questioner has assumed that there is actually a place he can go to for such a relationship.

And instead of explaining his mistake, Bobby-Sensei tells him plainly: That place is Roppongi. Off you go."

The end.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on places I could take this series, and what, if anything, you get from it. How do you think Japanese people will take it? Would it be insulting, or funny, or not even enough of a joke?

*definitely be pleased.
7 May

For Golden Week, I took a trip to Nagano, Gifu, Aichi, & Kyoto w/ a friend visiting from the United States. While we were in Takayama, Laura & I stopped in a nice restaurant recommended by one of the locals. At one point, my friend wanted a taste of my apple cider drink. It was kind of frothy, so I stirred it a bit, and then took the long spoon out of the drink so it wouldn't poke her in the eye.

Apparently, I didn't stir it enough because she proceeded to use the opposite end of her used chopstick to stir the drink, rather than ask me for the long spoon. My first reaction was to shout something like ***GAAAAAH***, then I sputtered something like "what are you doing?!? the spoon is right here! don't use your chopsticks for something like that...they're practically sacred!!" She didn't seem particularly fazed by it, and made it seem like I overreacted.

Well, maybe I did overreact, but it was a good exuse for me to do a little research into the terms used to describe the ways one can violate chopstick etiquette in Japan. If you ever commit a violation, it's good to know a few of these to have a conversation about chopstick-etiquette; my Japanese co-workers seemed to like trying to remember as many as they could.

Here are the ones I could find. I put a star next to the ones that seem to be the most common or at least widely recognized terms. (It seems that no one had even contemplated my friend's particular violation, so maybe I should invent a new one: 混ぜ箸 maze-bashi ("stirring chopsticks"). Otherwise, it's probably a combination of (3), (5) and (13).)

*(1) 迷い箸(惑い端) mayoi-bashi ("wavering chopsticks")
口に運ぶ料理に迷い、箸先を料理に向けて迷い動かすこと。
being indecisive about bringing food to one's mouth, that is, moving the tips of one's chopsticks over different plates before deciding which to choose

(2) 移り箸 utsuri-bashi ("transfering-chopsticks")
ある料理に箸を付けたり、付けようとしたにもかかわらず、気が変わり他の料理へ箸を移すこと。
in spite of having touched food with one's chopsticks, changing one's mind and moving the chopsticks toward another dish.
also defined as: helping oneself to two side dishes successively (instead of eating rice in between)

(3) 涙箸 namida-bashi ("teardrop-chopsticks")
汁物料理の汁を箸先から落としながら食べること。
dripping liquid (soup, sauce, etc.) from the tips of one's chopsticks

*(4) 突き箸 tsuki-bashi or 刺し箸 sashi-bashi ("penetration/stabbing-chopsticks")
料理に箸を突き刺して食べること。
stabbing food with one's chopsticks

*(5) 探り箸 saguri-bashi ("searching-chopsticks")
汁物料理の御椀の中で箸を使い、かき回して具を探すこと。
using one's chopsticks to find a food one likes by rummaging in one's dish, pot, etc.

(6) 寄せ箸 yose-bashi ("drawing near-chopsticks")
遠くの食器を取る際に箸を使い手元に引き寄せること。
using one's chopsticks to draw a bowl closer

(7) 空箸 sora-bashi ("empty-chopsticks")
一度、箸を付けた料理を食べずに戻すこと。
touching food with one's chopsticks, then removing the chopsticks without having taken the food

(8) 重ね箸 kasane-bashi ("pile-chopsticks")
同じ料理ばかりを食べ続けること。
continuing to eat the same dish, i.e., not alternating between types of dishes

(9) 椀ぎ箸 mogi-bashi ("tearing off-chopsticks")
箸先についた料理を口でもぎ取ること。
using chopsticks to tear food away from one's mouth

(10) 持ち箸 mochi-bashi ("holding-chopsticks")
片手で箸を持ちながら器を持つこと。
taking hold of something (e.g., a bowl) while simultaneously holding one's chopsticks

*(11) 指し箸 sashi-bashi ("pointing-chopsticks")
箸で人や物を指すこと。
pointing at something with one's chopsticks

*(12) 渡し箸 watashi-bashi ("traversing-chopsticks")
箸休めの際、箸置きを使わずに食器の上に箸を置くこと。
resting one's chopsticks across the top of one's bowl, like a bridge

(13) 洗い箸 arai-bashi ("washing-chopsticks")
汁物料理に箸を入れ、洗うこと。
sticking one's chopsticks into broth, etc., to clean them off

*(14) 舐り箸 neburi-bashi ("licking-chopsticks")
箸をなめること。
licking one's chopsticks

(15) 噛み箸 kami-bashi ("biting-chopsticks")
箸を噛むこと
biting one's chopsticks

(16) 掻き箸 kaki-bashi ("scooping-chopsticks")
料理を口に掻き込むこと。
shoveling food into one's mouth
(17) 握り箸 nigiri-bashi ("grasping-chopsticks")holding two sticks together as one would grasp a knife to attack *(18) 仏箸Hotoke-bashi ("Buddha-chopsticks")
standing chopsticks up in a ricebowl (resembling joss sticks) *(19) 箸渡しhashi-watashi ("chopstick-transfer")transfering food to another person's chopsticks (apparently, the action is frowned upon because it resembles the rite of transfering a deceased family member's bones. Fair enough!)>>NB: Not to be confused with 橋渡し 【はしわたし】 (n,vs) bridge building; mediation; intermediary; through the good offices of, etc. Phew! That's a lot to remember! Did I miss any?
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