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The “Gentle Way” of Judo – The Judoka

As we learned about the history of Judo in our previous post, this time we will learn more about the sport and martial art, particularly on the practitioners (called judoka).…

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Japanese Seasonal Food: Fresh Raw Whitebait Bowl

One of the things that I look forward every year during this spring season in Japan is having “nama shirasu don.” What is “Nama Shirasu Don”? “Nama shirasu don” is a bowl of rice topped with raw whitebait. “Nama” means raw while “shirasu” means whitebait (in Japan, mostly it refers to the young anchovies).…

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The “Gentle Way” of Judo – History

Judo is a martial art that was born in Japan, and it is now known around the world as an Olympic sport. Judo was established in 1882 by combining jujitsu, a form of wrestling, with mental discipline. The roots of jujitsu lie in sumo, which has a long, long history; sumo is mentioned in the Nihon Shoki (Chronicle of Japan), a document from 720 that describes the history of Japan from the mythical age of the gods until the time of Empress Jito, who reigned from 686 to 697.…

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Basic Japanese : Large numbers in Japanese – Thousand and over

Large numbers in Japanese : Thousand to quadrillion From thousand to quadrillion, the common units you hear in everyday life in Japan including in the news. As I wrote in the previous post, for digits over ten, “4” is always read as “yon” and “9” as “kyuu”.…

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Kotoba Asobi – Goroawase 2

In our last kotoba asobi post, we learned about goroawase or substituting number pronunciations to make a new word or phrase. Goroawase is used as a mnemonic technique, especially in the memorization of numbers such as dates in history, scientific constants, and phone numbers.…

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Basic Japanese : Numbers in Japanese from eleven to hundreds (and Zero)

Numbers in Japanese : Zero and over ten to hundreds Zero and from 11 to 999. Zero in Japanese “Zero” or “Rei”. “Zero” from English, and “Rei” from Chinese. The pronunciation of “rei” is almost the same as English “lay”. Both are very commonly used, and generally considered as the same meaning.…

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Kotoba Asobi: Goroawase

Goroawase (語呂合わせ) is a form of Japanese wordplay whereby homophonous words are associated with a given series of letters, numbers or symbols, in order to associate a new meaning with that series. The new words can be used to express a superstition about certain letters or numbers.…

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Basic Japanese : Numbers – Minor one to ten in Japanese

One to ten in Japanese 2 In this post, I’m going to write minor version of one to ten in Japanese. I doubt if this is introduced in Japanese textbooks for foreign people. This is still used, but rather rare I guess.…

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Around Okayama : Ushimado Olive Garden

I have never been a fan of olives. If there is olive on my food, I patiently remove and set them aside. But when my friend invited me to go to an olive orchard, I immediately assented because I was curious about it and maybe they have some olive variant to my liking.…

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Basic Japanese : Numbers – General one to ten in Japanese

How to say one to ten in Japanese There are (more than) two ways for general counting. The one that is supposed to originate in China and the other is (probably) Japanese original. Now, the Chinese one is commonly used. The most common Japanese for one to ten With Kanji characters, their sounds should have been introduced to Japan.…

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