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Valentine’s Day in Japan

February is known to be the love month in some parts of the world. It is because of the Valentine’s Day on February 14. As we can see in Japanese shows and anime, there’s also a hype especially among schoolgirls when this time of the year comes.…

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Basic Japanese : Formal Japanese honorific titles

At first, I was going to write about how to say “you” in Japanese, but the most common “you” word is a person’s name usually with suffix like “san”, “kun”, or “chan”. (ex. Hanako-san) This way of calling is used as third person as well.…

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Shogi, The General’s Board Game – Shogi Pieces

Last time, we talked about the history and origin of the game shogi. In this post, we will learn the pieces use in shogi.…

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Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo – Exploring inside and out

In my previous post here, I talked about how to get the tickets and directions to Ghibli Museum. This time, I will share some details about the museum itself — inside and out. The building is covered with ivy plants.(Photo taken from balcony on the way to the rooftop) Sadly, I didn’t have enough time to check all areas in the museum and its vicinity.…

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Setsubun – Driving Demons Out and Luck In

Japan is blessed to have four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The word setsubun (節分, seasonal division) referred to the days marking the change from one season to the next. So, originally there were four of them, but nowadays, only the day before the beginning of spring in the traditional Japanese calendar, called risshun (立春) is called by that name.…

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Nara Quest : Yakushiji Temple (薬師寺)

The history of Yakushiji Temple Late in the 7th century(A.D.680), the erection of Yakushiji was planned Emperor Temmu to pray for the recovery of his Empress from a serious illness. The construction of Yakushiji on the site of Asuka, the south part of Nara, in the Fujiwara Capital, was not completed before the Emperor’s death.…

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Shogi, The General’s Board Game – History and Origin

In my last series of posts, we learned about the board game Go. Another popular Japanese board is the Shogi. It is also known as the Japanese chess or the General’s Game. In this series, we will learn its history, how to play it, and its influence to popular culture.…

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Basic Japanese : Historical “I” in Japanese

Old-fashioned / historical “I” in Japanese The following “I” pronouns are well-known and can be quite often heard / seen in historical stories especially those which are set in the Edo period. But, these are rarely used in the present time.…

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Let’s Play “Go”! – The Go Board Game in Modern Times and Popular Culture

The Go board game became popular not only in Asia but also in other countries. It also spawned many work of art and fictions.…

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Basic Japanese : How to say “I” in Japanese – Part 2 –

General, but not very often used “I” in Japanese Several first-person singular pronouns for common people, only used by some. Neutral [Jibun] “Jibun” means “oneself”. Can be used by anybody according to circumstances, but I guess few common people use this as a usual pronoun for themselves.…

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