Hakata Ippudou Ramen

There is a Ramen chain store that always has a huge line at lunch time, it’s called “ippudou” 「一風堂」and it specializes in Hakata style Ramen.

Ramen is the poor mans delicacy, and there is an 「一風堂」near IUC, in Queen’s Square in Yokohama, so I go there when my student wallet can afford it.

When you order your ramen, I recommend hard noodles, and the “red” soup. I believe it’s Aka-Miso.

Snake Puking Faucets in Kanji

Kanji makes sense.

The Kanji for “faucet”. Like… a sink faucet, is 「蛇口」pronounced “jyaguchi”.

The first character is the character for “snake”. The kind that slithers.

The second character is the character for “mouth”. The kind that I’m speaking to you now with (not really though).

Snake + Mouth = Faucet

The neck of a faucet kinda looks like a snake right?

This is kinda sorta the way that the book “Remembering the Kanji” teaches you to remember how to write the characters, but on a individual level.

– Harvey

Photographer – Shibata Toshio

Dogs and Demonsrecently discussed here mentions a Japanese photographer named Shibata Toshio who takes dramatic photographs of the natural environment blended with Japanese construction projects.

You can read his profile and see some of Shibata’s most famous works on the Nikon Web Gallery.

One of my favorite shots is of a concrete wall in the forest.

Apparently one of his most famous photography books available is “Dam“. He has also done “Visions of Japan“, and “Landscape“, all of which I am sure would make good coffee table books… Though judging by the amazon prices the books would probably cost more than the coffee table itself…

There are other Shibata photos available on Luminous-Lint.

Cold hard imagery. Interesting stuff.

– Harvey

Language – kusai

Language fun everyone. Let’s talk about KUSAI.

「くさい」 means “stinky”, but if you add the term 「くさい」 to the end of the term to make it mean “seems”, or “has the traits of”.

Some examples of words you can stick 「くさい」to the end of include…




「うそくさい」fake (like a lie or sham)

「おじんくさい」old fogey-ish

「年寄りくさい」old fogey-ish

So you could say something like…


“Eh, isn’t that a bit too cheap? I don’t believe it (seems like a lie).”

It can also literally mean “smells of” if you say something like…

ガスくさい (smells like gas) or 汗くさい (smells like sweat).

There are other forms as well such as…

まじめくさってる which means someone who is so serious they have become boring or no longer interesting.

Here is one that is interesting.

「うさんくさい」 shady, fishy

The interesting thing about this, is that these days most people do not know what a 「うさん」is. Written in Kanji it is 「胡散」and it won’t show up in Breen or ALC online dictionaries. In the 広辞苑 Japanese-Japanese dictionary it is described as something that is 「あやしい」 or 「疑わしい」which means “shady” or “doubtful”.

It seems like a noun though.. I wonder what the background of 「胡散」is…

「胡」means… “ebisu”… Or the piece of skin that hangs from the bottom of an animals neck. (Say what?) It can also mean 「でたらめ」which means “nonsense”. Or 「命が長い 」, 「長生き」which means long life. (huh?)

「散」means to scatter.

I don’t get it. Why does 「胡散」mean “shady”?

That was a little geeky now wasn’t it…- Harvey

Denki Anma Attack

Yes. This is culture. Japanese Doritos?

Denki Anma is a technique, if you will, that was popular in Japan among elementary school kids approximately 15-20 years ago.

Much like the picture, one person will grab the others legs, and place their foot in the others crotch.

The foot is then jiggled, causing discomfort, and getting a hearty laugh(?) from the other.

The Denki Anma technique was used on female and male victims indiscriminately.

An “Anma”, is a type of electronic massage device, you can find them built into chairs at onsen and similar places.

The denki anma should be brought back. Or, “resurrected” if you will.

Please practice this at home, in you respective countries.

– Harvey

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