East Asian Mythology: SHISA of Okinawa-the Stone Guardians of Japan

Off the shores of Kyushu (the third largest island of Japan), there are a number of volcanic islands flowing south-west towards Taiwan. These are named the Ryukyu Islands, also known as the Nansei Islands. In the center of this volcanic island chain is where Okinawa, the biggest of the Ryukyu Islands, can be located. It…

A Guide to Trash and Garbage Disposal in Japan

In most countries other than Japan, throwing away trash is pretty simple. Garbage is garbage, and that’s the end of unwanted items. Just put them in any container and bid goodbye to your waste. Although some efforts have been made in other countries to separate rubbish to a certain extent, such as cardboard or food…
Nanaco

Save more Japanese yen with the Nanaco card

Every bill, every dime. Whatever form of money, you name it, Japan has it! Japan is a country of handy dandy’s and if you’re not riding the wave then you’ll get washed out behind. In Japan, point cards can save you from high expenses as your rewards add up while using it. One of the…

Why do some Japanese parents give their children a ‘Kira-Kira’ name?

The ‘name’ your parents give you at birth is usually for a lifetime. Therefore parents should contemplate very carefully the best name for their child. Especially in Japan, where the Japanese name is always used in schools and workplaces (they even registered their full name on their Facebook accounts), and there is no culture of…

3 Very Useful Websites for learning Japanese

During my years of perusing textbooks and getting information on learning Japanese, I came across a variety of useful resources for gaining a better understanding of the language. Here are three websites which, I think, are the best sources for anyone seriously dedicated to learning Japanese. Wanikani jp.fotolia.com/ Learning Kanji is pretty damn essential in…

Eihei-ji – a Temple in the middle of a serene Cedar forest

Eihei-ji is one of those temples that many Japanese have heard of but few have actually visited. On New Year’s Eve, the temple is featured on Japanese television ringing out the old year with 108 purifying tones. This classical temple is famous for its Zen style meditation, distinctive vegetarian meals and of course, as a…
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