Japanese Security Parody

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEeRD26hDDw

Some Japanese that you can learn from this video.
This isn’t a transcription, but should help!

金属 kinzoku
Metals (metallic objects)

いいえ、持ってないです。iie, mottenaidesu.
No, I don’t have any. (in response to the “do you have any metal objects question.)

鳴る なる naru
To ring out. The guy says, 鳴っちゃいましたからね a lot, as in, “See! It’s ringing! That’s why!”
Also, 鳴ってますんでね。(“Because it’s ringing, ya see.”)

触り過ぎじゃないですか。sawarisugijyanaidesuka
Aren’t you touching (her) a bit too much!?
触る sawaru to touch.

なんか金属入ってますか、これ? nanka kinzoku haittemasenka, kore?
Are there any metals in there?

拝見しますよ。haikenshimasuyo
I’m going to take a look. (polite form)

上を脱いで下さい ue wo nuide kudasai
Take of your top.

規則ですからこれ。kisokudesukarakore.
Because these are the rules.

何やってんの?! naniyattenno?!
What. Are. You. DOING!?!

正服 seifuku
Uniform

着ちゃだめ kicyadame
You can’t wear it.

連れて行っちゃだめ!tsureteiccyadame!
You can’t take her with you!

Heh.

I went through the new security this Thanksgiving season and got a pretty frisky upper body pat down because I was wearing a baggy hoody. It tickled.

– Harvey

The tourist’s guide to avoiding tourist attractions in Japan

With its unique blend of both extreme modernity and rich historical traditions, thousands of people every year continue to book their airline tickets and holidays to Japan. While there are certain touristy sites and attractions that are a must on all itineraries, consider getting off the well-trodden tourist track. Here’s a guide to some of Japan’s interesting and lesser known attractions.

Museum of Emerging Science & Technology (MeSci)
Many bloggers have been astounded at how few people there were at this fantastic Tokyo museum when they visited themselves. Admission costs just 600 yen (around $7 AUD) for adults, and the museum offers discounts for groups of more than 8 people. Check their website for a list of fascinating current exhibitions, and information on getting to the museum.

Waseda University
Established 1882, Waseda is one of Japan’s largest and most respected private Universities. Wander through the famous half-Japanese, half-Western Okuma Garden, and take in the view of Tokyo from the university campus.

Snowboarding Competitions
Japan is famous for its many great ski fields, and many people travel to Japan to hit the slopes themselves. But what could be more exhilarating than watching professionals hurtle down mountains or perform impossible stunts in a half pipe? Check for any upcoming competition dates at the time you’ll be travelling, and you may just be lucky enough to witness the action first hand.

Language Exchange
One thing many people don’t realise is that the majority of street signs in Japan will in fact be written in Japanese. If you’ll be in Japan for some time, Language Exchange websites offer the details of people looking to learn a new language, offering lessons in their own language as a return favour. Check www.japan-guide.com.

The Japanese Sword Museum
Experience a unique part of Japanese cultural history. Operated by The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords, this small museum is a short walk from Tokyo’s main district of Shinjuku, and admission costs just 525 yen (around $6.50 AUD) for adults.

Public toilets
Yes, you read correctly. Large shopping malls and restaurants have extremely high-tech toilets – a novelty in themselves. Cubicles typically have a control panel on the wall, with buttons to change the temperature of the toilet seat, spray air or water, or make fake flushing noises to cover up any awkward noises…

If you’re planning a trip to Japan, now is the best time to go. With many airlines offering cheap flights, check around online to find the best flights for your travel dates and needs.

Sources:
http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/laura1/the_big_trip/1206974940/tpod.html
http://extravigator.com/discussion/34/nontouristy-things-to-do-in-tokyo/

(This is a sponsored post.)

Holiday Gift Ideas for Japan Geeks

Here are some holiday gift ideas that Japan geeks will probably enjoy…
I’m going to try to be a little one-off here, because I know lists like these are everywhere!

Life Lessons from the Masters

If you have anything you would recommend please tell us in the comments!

Gift Idea Number 1! Zen in the Martial Arts

I received a used copy of Zen in the Martial Arts as a gift many years ago. I recently pulled it out again and have been reading a chapter from it before going to sleep at night. This little book is great stuff. It gives you zen-inspired life advice based on the lessons that Joe Hyams learned while training with Bruce Lee himself.

This is one of the best “personal development” books I have ever read. It’s really timeless.

Gift Idea Number 2! Playstation 3

I, for one, will be getting a PlayStation 3 on Black Friday assuming I can snag a particular deal I’ve got my eye on.

Why a Playstation 3 you say?

  • Games are region free, so you can play Japanese games.
  • Final Fantasy XIII in Japanese.
  • Access to the Japanese PSN online store.
  • Did I mention Final Fantasy XIII in Japanese?
  • Miyazaki Hayao on Blu-ray! Like Ponyo (Not my fav, but readily available.)
  • 龍が如く 見参!(Ryu ga gotoku KENZAN!)
  • Many US-purchased games have the Japanese on the disc!
  • I’m about to graduate… so I’m going to treat myself!
Play Japanese Games. All Day Long.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vm205XIF8jQ

Of course, if you’re not in Japan it may not be easy, or cheap, to get these games in Japanese, but it’s not impossible!

Gift Idea Number 3! KINDLE

With a Kindle your Japan-geek can carry around a ton of Japanese texts everywhere.

I wrote in a previous post about how I use my Kindle to read and study Japanese. Check it out.

With a Kindle your Japan-geek will have no excuse not to have Japanese reading material with them at all times.

It’s really cool and there are tons of free texts out there.

Namiki Power

Gift Idea Number 4! Namiki Pens

These Namiki Pens are ridiculously fancy.

Ummm… If you’re feeling generous get me this 6,800 USD Namiki Emperor Rabbit In Moonlight Fountain Pen. It has a rabbit on it.

Actually… just give me the 6,800 dollars and let me spend it how I want.

Here’s the Namiki Website for those who like to look at pretty things.

Gift Idea Number 5! Advanced Japanese for iPhone iPod Touch

Our friends over at TheJapanShop.com have released yet another quality iPhone App to teach you Japanese.

Their Advanced Japanese Phrases, Idioms, and Newspaper Terms App is specifically for advanced users, and is great as always. Check out the screen shots below. If you’ve used their insanely popular Japanese Phrases App then you’ll know what to expect (except this one is prettier).

Advanced Japanese Phrases, Idioms, and Newspaper Terms – TheJapanesePage.com

This may look like work, but it's actually awesome.

Gift Idea Number 6! A non-Anime Japanese Movie

I have talked about a lot of Japanese movies on this blog, I’m a fan. Check out these older movie posts and take a look at what I have mentioned before. I like recommending non-anime movies because I think that usually they’re better for actually learning Japanese. The mannerisms, vocabulary, and speech patterns of the characters are usually more realistic than those found in Anime. However, you learn best from what you enjoy, so if Anime is your thing, by all means! I indulge in a little Miyazaki Hayao myself sometimes…

If I were to recommend one random non-Anime Japanese movie, it would be The Twilight Samurai.

This movie is gritty. Love it. Of course, you might end up talking like a Samurai… Heh.

Check it out.

That’s all! Let me know if you have any more “off the beaten track” gift recommendations for Japan-heads!

– Harvey

Marimokkori Again, now in BEAR!

Marimokkori again!

If you’ve been keeping up with “weird things Japanese” over the years, you have probably noticed marimokkori.

I hadn’t seen him or his giant lump for quite a while, but then I was over at a Japanese friends house, and lo’ and behold! There he was, lump and all!

Two Marimokkori's in Action

The one on the left is holding the sign that says 白虎隊 (びゃっこたい). This I had to ask around and research a tiny bit as I hadn’t heard of it before. To keep it short and sweet, the byakkotai were a group of young teenage samurai warriors who fought in the Boshin War, a 1-year long Japanese civil war that occurred from 1868 to 1869. So umm… yeah… the marimokkori on the left is a healthy teenage samurai warrior from the byakkotai… Moving on.

The marimokkori on the right is wearing a pink bear costume. He’s a ひぐまりもっこり higumarimokkori. Marimokkori is from Hokkaido. Hokkaido is also famous for bears, and especially ひぐま (higuma), which my dictionary says is a brown bear. So, you can combine the last sound in ひぐま (higuma) with the まりも (marimo) and then link the も(mo) to the もっこり(mokkori), as they did. Genius right? ひぐまりもっこり (higumarimokkori). If you Google Image ひぐまりもっこり you get a lot of results.

Check out this older post from November 2006 for more marimokkori action.

– Harvey

Interview with Yuka-sensei

We have another interview for you! This time with my good friend, Yuka the Japanese teacher!

Sensei in her graduation kimono

Why did you decide to come to the U.S. to teach Japanese?

I received a scholarship to study TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) while teaching the Japanese language at Boston University.

The initial motivation to come to the U.S. again (I was an exchange student in upstate NY for 9 months) was the urge to explore outside Japan more after going around the world on a cruise ship as an interpreter. Also, I did not have such a great experience in NY because of my lack of understanding of the American college lifestyle, so this time I wanted to achieve what I could not do last time I was in the U.S.

Interesting.. what about American college life didn’t you understand that gave you a hard time? We’re curious to know what about the American lifestyle might be tough for Japanese people.

I did not like the crazy parties on campus especially because my next-door neighbor was a DJ… Also, I did not like some students’ crazy drinking on the weekends. Also, since I was in upstate NY and there were not so many Asian people, the school cafeteria did not serve rice at all. The difference in food was one of the biggest culture shock experiences for me and made me miss Japan a lot.

Another thing that was difficult in upstate NY was to make “American” friends. I lived in the International House, so I was able to make a couple of really good international friends. But, it just felt like no American students were interested in me and I was sometimes too scared to talk to native speakers of English. I felt very self-concious when I spoke English and I did not want them to judge me based on my English.

Wow, thanks for sharing that, and you should know that it’s very courageous of you to give study in the US another shot. Many people would have just been done with it! Nice job! Now, could you briefly describe your job now?

I teach first and second semester Japanese at BU. I teach two sections of 20 students. So, each semester, I have about 40 students in total. We have a 50-minute class four days a week and we cover all the four skills of language. We use the textbook Genki and the first semester covers from Chapter 1-6 and the second semester covers Chapter 7-12.

I have students from different backgrounds such as students from Korea, China, Mexico, the Philipines, Vietnam, and the U.S. They are very studious and many students study Japanese not because it is a requirement of the department but because of their genuine interest in the language and the culture. This is my 3rd semester to teach Japanese at BU, but as I get used to teaching and gain more experience, I can predict my students’ mistakes and change my instruction styles depending on the “teacher instinct.”

I love my job and I would like to continue teaching Japanese in the future although I am thinking of applying for a PhD program in one or two years from now.

So what were your initial impressions of people who study Japanese in the U.S.?

I was very impressed with my students’ ability to speak. Also, I am very happy to see students who are are very energetic and genuinely interested in the language. Although the first two chapters of Genki are very overwhelming for native speakers of English or Spanish since they need to learn “hiragana” and “katakana” in less than a month, once they grasp the broad picture of what the language is like, they seem to succeed very quickly after that.

Do you think that learning Hiragana and Katakana in a month is unreasonable? How do most of your students handle that pace?

I think it is reasonable to learn Hiragana and Katakana in a month because they are the two core alphabets in Japanese and I believe that students would learn better by “recycling.” In other words, rather than being stuck at the same learning stage, I believe it is better to move on to the next stage and come back to the previous stage later and review it again and again. Students would inevitably have to see the two writing systems anyways, so I do not think it is unreasonable at all to learn Hiragana and Katakana in a month (although it may be difficult for some students).

What are your recommended textbooks for people learning Japanese at the level that you teach?

I recommend the textbook “Genki” that we use in our school. The textbook is great in that it has a number of picture prompts and has CDs (You need to purchase them for the current edition, but the new edition, which will come out next year, will come with CDs.) Also, it has a website called “Genki Online” which has a lot of useful resources. You can easily self-study Japanese using the resources online.

Another textbook that I recommend is “Minna no Nihongo.” It is the most-commonly-used Japanese textbook in the world and it is translated into many languages. Although it would be a great textbook for native speakers of English, grammatical explanations in other languages could be confusing for some who do not know any English because the textbook was written for native speakers of English and then later translated into many other languages.

What do you notice about students who are able to learn Japanese well? Do they do anything different from those who… well… don’t?

The second language acquisition theory of “Interaction Hypothesis” states that students need to interact with others and negotiate meanings to acquire a language. What I notice in my class is that students who are outgoing and interact with me or other people who speak Japanese have a great command of speaking whereas very serious straight A type students score high in quizzes and exams. Thus, I do not think the academic grade necessarily reflects their true linguistic ability. However, each student has his or her own learning style and those who already know how to study a language and know multiple learning strategies succeed in the language in the long run.

Thanks for your time Yuka! I know you’re busy keeping all those students in line so we’ll leave it at that.

Thanks for having me! It’s fun to share!

Good luck with the rest of your studies and work!!!

– Harvey

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Interview with Translator @Durf
Interview with @Sandkatt
Interview with a new JET CIR
A JET CIR Interview