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New Learning Japanese Project and Traveling in Japan

I have been traveling around Japan for the last 4 weeks. I still have another week left before going back to the states.

After living in Japan for 7-8 years, I come back about once a year so my kids can see their grandparents and to visit friends. We always have a great time and enjoy our trip, but this year was different. This year I found opportunity and remembered why I fell in love with Japan in the first place.

I found myself wanting to share these experiences again. Except, I couldn’t. After a long period of focusing on other things this site was broken. I had also deleted my twitter account in order to streamline my online presence.

After a little bit of work, this site is working again.

But I want to take it further.

I am starting a new Youtube channel all about Japan, the culture, and learning the language. I am bringing back several items from Japan to give away to subscribers, including figures, toys, and Japanese manga.

I am already planning my next trip back to Japan.

I need your help!

To make the best videos and offer the best giveaways, I need to know what you want to see?

In the comments section, please let me know:

  1. What you want to see- are you interested in traditional culture, do you want to see pop culture, anime, games?
  2. What are your favorite shows? Who are your favorite actors and musicians.
  3. Which places in Japan do you want to see?
  4. What help do you need with Japanese language or traveling in Japan?
  5. Are you interested in living or studying in Japan?
  6. What kind of items would you like to see as giveaways?

I’m really excited to get started on this project. With your help, I can produce the videos and content you really want to see.

Please comment and let me know what you would like to see. I look forward to hearing from you.

**It appears that the comment section is currently not working. I am working on fixing this. I am sorry if you tried to post and were unable. Please come back again soon to let me know your preferences. **

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Japanese Tea Ceremony in Nagano

I hope you all had a great New Years. I spent mine in Nagano. It was very cold, but it was also very beautiful. It snowed the first night I was there and reached below 0 degrees Celsius every night. The last day we were there we visited my Aunt in law who teaches tea ceremony. We actually went there to eat Sukiyaki, but she also made us tea.

I recorded the entire thing and made a video. I hope you enjoy it. Japanese tea ceremony is very unique and each movement  has a meaning. The room itself is designed in the traditional style and has a very old feeling to it.

Please leave any questions below and I will do my best to answer them.

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Life of the サラリーマン?!

Japanese salary man

I recently found this movie on YouTube, and thought I should share it with you. It’s only a 30 sec video, but I think you can see a lot of Japanese culture of  the so-called サラリーマン(salary man).

I found it very funny and true. This video shows how a lot of Japanese men live their life.

First, they are expected to graduate a decent school and get a job, get married and have a baby. But, did you realize that all he did after his marriage was commuting in a 満員電車(a completely packed train), working, and drinking? And many losing their hair… 🙁 Many business men go out to drink till they throw up on the street or even in subway to forget about the work and stress.

It is slowly changing but many Japanese companies are still strong on 終身雇用(しゅうしんこよう) which means to work in one company for your whole life. To get promoted to higher positions 出世(しゅっせ), it is very important to have good relationship with your superiors, 先輩(せんぱい), which often also means social obligations.  So, if you are asked to go out to drink after work by your superiors, you “have” to go.  We call this relationship building with your superiors 付き合い(つきあい).  Building a good relationship with your customers is often based on drinking as well, which is called 接待(せったい). Many corporate men have to be good at 付き合い and 接待 to financially support themselves and their family, which often makes them focus on their work much more than their family.

Japanese Words List

サラリーマン (sararii man) – men working for a corporate company.

満員電車(まんいんでんしゃ、manin densha) – a completely packed train

会社 (かいしゃ、kaisha) – a company

終身雇用(しゅうしんこよう、shuushin koyou) – To  work for one company until retirement

先輩 (せんぱい、senpai) – superiors in your school or company

付き合い (つきあい、tsukiai) – social/business acquaintance

接待 (せったい、settai) – business reception

飲みに行く (のみにいく、nominiiku) – To go out to drink

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Wedding Etiquette in Japan

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Have you ever attended a wedding in Japan?? I’ve just attended one in Tokyo last month for my friend. Everything was amazing, the location, the food, and the way they planned out the whole wedding! And most important, the bride and the groom looked very happy together 😀 But, did you know an average wedding in Japan costs almost 3,000,000yen (about $30,000)??

Japanese weddings are usually very formal, and they have some manners that guests should know.

In general, if you are invited to a wedding, you are supposed to bring ご祝儀(goshuugi). Goshuugi is gift cash for celebration that is inserted in a special envelop for the bride and the groom. If you are a friend of the bride and groom then you need to bring about 30,000 yen as a ご祝儀, and if you are family, it is around 100,000yen from one family. I know it is very expensive to attend one wedding!! So, you should really enjoy the special time for the marring couple!!

It is also important to be very careful with your outfit! For ladies, it is Not okay to wear white or all black because white is bride’s color and black is the color for funerals. Basically, guests are not supposed to stand out more than the bride. Dressing way too sexy or too casual is also a big no no.  When you are attending daytime weddings, you shouldn’t expose too much of your skin. For no sleeved dresses, you should have something to cover your shoulders. For men, formal suits with a white necktie is the usual look.

At the end of wedding, you will receive 引き出物(hikidemono), which is a gift from the couple in return. Nowadays, a gift catalog is very popular for 引き出物 so that you can chose what you really want.

It is important to note that Weddings can be very different depending on how the couples preferences, but these are the basic manners to know when attending a Japanese wedding party.

Japanese Words List

白い (shiroi) – white

黒い (kuroi) – black

色 (iro) – color

東京 (Toukyou) -Tokyo

結婚 (kekkon) – marriage

結婚式(kekkonshiki) – wedding

ご祝儀 (goshuugi) – gift cash for celebration

引き出物 (hikidemono) – a gift guests receive at a wedding

新郎・新婦 (shinrou, shimpu) – a groom and a bride

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