The Three Kubari’s: Expressing Consideration for Others

I recently started studying for N2. Today, my Japanese coworker explained the three くばり’s to me. They’re all related to taking care of something or someone, and they sound similar, so let’s look at their differences. We can understand and remember them by recognizing the meaning of the first kanji in the word. And, because... Continue Reading →

卍 : Trending Japanese Slang

  This symbol has been popular with JK  (Joshi Kosei, or female high school students)  in the recent weeks. Let's find out what it means to them.   High School Girls Love Swastikas????   A lot of Westerners might be upset seeing this symbol. They identify it as the Nazi swastika, which you can see... Continue Reading →

Who Are You?: Determining Where Someone is from Using the Naked Eye

      I was once walking down the street with my Japanese friend when a blonde, blue eyed woman passed by. He immediately turned to me and asked, “Where is she from?” I was instantly confused. How was I supposed to know that? He was adamant that he could tell the difference between Japanese and... Continue Reading →

Kaze wo hikanai de kudasai ne. (Don’t catch a cold!): Why do doctors treat a cold with antibiotics?

In Tokyo, the temperature is falling and the leaves are slowly dying. Everyone on the train is wearing a mask to protect themselves from getting a cold. “A cold” is translated as “風邪” (kaze) in Japanese. This word also means “wind”. It’s actually quite similar to our idea of the coldness around us making us... Continue Reading →

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