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Basic Japanese : “Iroha-uta”, line by line – Part 1 –

2015/04/23 | Others

“Iroha-uta” as a poem - "Iroha-uta" - I’m going to explain the meaning of the poem in two posts. As I wrote in the previous post, it is thought to be composed in the Heian era (794 – 1185). In the major theory, the poem is said to express a doctrine from the Nirvana Sutra.…

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Basic Japanese : Old Japanese Alphabets

Old Japanese Alphabets or Historical Japanese Alphabets - "Gojyuu-on" : Hiragana version - - "Gojyuu-on" : Katakana version - - "Iroha-uta" - The two red characters in “gojyuu-on” and “iroha-uta” are out of use now. Both characters had their own sounds consisting of a consonant and a vowel, but each of them changed into the same sound as a vowel which has a similar sound.…

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Basic Japanese : Japanese Alphabetical orders – “Gojyuu-on” and “Iroha-uta”

General Info : Japanese Alphabetical orders There are two patterns of Japanese Alphabetical orders. One starts with “A”, “I”, “U”. This is now used at school to learn Japanese Alphabets, Hiragana and Katakana. Known as “Gojyuu-on” (lit. “fifty sounds”). The other starts with “I”, “Ro”, “Ha”.…

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Go west : Tenman-guu to console Michizane

“Kitano Tenman-guu” in Kyoto to console Michizane In 942, Michizane’s spirit showed up before a girl from a poor family in Kyoto and ordered to build a shrine for him in “Ukon no baba” (“hippodrome controlled by the right guard office”), the place where he often visited during his life.…

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Go west : Sugawara no Michizane strikes back

After Michizane’s death in 903, people, who were involved with the conspiracy to frame him, died in a mysterious death one after another. Also, there were natural disasters in Kyoto. Victims of vengeance by Sugawara no Michizane Illustration from Illust-ya Year: Person 906: Fujiwara no Sadakuni (Age: 40) 908: Fujiwara no Sugane (Age: 53) He reported to the emperor along with Sadakuni that Michizane was plotting against the regime.…

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Go west : Sugawara no Michizane – Legends

There are mysterious legends around Sugawara no Michizane. Most of them are episodes after he was framed by his political enemy. Michizane and the flying plum tree This legend is very well-known along with the following poem. The night before he left his home in Kyoto, the capital at that time, he composed a poem to a plum tree in the garden.…

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Go west : Dazaifu and Sugawara no Michizane

2015/03/20 | Others ,

- Michizane by Yoshitoshi Tsukioka (1885) - On the top right, his poem, which was written when he was eleven, is shown. Illustration from GATAG Sugawara no Michizane is the person who is worshipped as god of study at the shrine, “Dazaifu Tenman-guu”.…

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Basic Japanese : Japanese business titles

The last post of “Japanese honorific titles” series. For people who are in a (supposed-to-be) honorary post, their business titles are generally used. There are too many to pick up everything, so I just write about some of the most common ones.…

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Basic Japanese : Japanese honorific titles in text

Many of Japanese honorific titles in text are the same as ones in speech. However, “sama” or “dono” is much more often used in text, especially for address. Maybe it’s because a writer is in the distance. In a letter, use the same title as one in speech.…

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Basic Japanese : Casual Japanese honorific titles

2015/02/18 | Others , , , , ,

The following titles are commonly used casual Japanese honorific titles and very rarely used titles. Never ever use any of these to higher ranking people or your customers unless you are very close to the person. If you are not so sure which title to use to somebody, the person’s family name with “san” is probably the best choice to an adult or a girl.…

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