Experiences like this make you wonder why you are doing them. Why does the Japanese government want a whole mess of foreigners sprinkled throughout the country, having misunderstanding after misunderstanding, many awkward moments, cultural blunders, chance encounters, experiences of a lifetime...? Is English that important that they want to spend hundreds of MILLIONS of dollars … Continue reading why we learn (& teach) languages
あいさつ - aisatsu - 挨拶 greeting, well-wishing, salutation, recognize 挨 - push open, greeting 拶 - be imminent, a message “...greetings make others feel happy, since it shows that you acknowledge them.” (Japan Today) In the four minutes we had between classes in middle school, I don't recall ever really greeting anyone in any kind of conscious … Continue reading the magic of greeting
...take a pause and make sure your jitsuin (実印, official personal seal - the kanji is "reality/truth" + "seal/stamp") is facing the right way. There are several different types of inkan or "seals" that bear one's name in Japan. They're used much like our signatures in the U.S. Because Japan is a cash-based society however, … Continue reading Before you sign your life away….
The other day in class, we were covering a page in the textbook where a teacher says to a student, "That's a nice T-shirt!", when a question arose. Was it actually a nice T-shirt? I didn't think it was anything special. It had some kanji written on it, which translated to something like "Health First!", … Continue reading Is that a nice T-shirt?
Alexis and I met at a beautiful little café called La Laterna in the West Village, just down the street from where I was living at the time. How we ended up there is interesting to look back on. One of my interviewers for the JET program was a counselor at NYU and in … Continue reading Japanese Kyuushoku (School Lunch)
My aunt gave me some hijiki and my extended family gave me an incredible bilingual cookbook with a recipe for hijiki salad. It didn't come out as good as hers but she probably put more love (read: sugar/mirin) in than I did. Next time I want to try it with honey. Need first a … Continue reading Hijiki Salad