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  • Month: June 2015

Monthly Archives: June 2015

Tuesday: Nihon-no Kotowaza

Hara Hachibu-ni Isha Irazu (はらはちぶにいしゃいらず) [vocaburary]  hara: the abdomen; the belly; the bowels; the stomach; a heart; spirit; guts.  hachibu: 80%  isha: doctors  irazu: you don’t need … <word-by-word translation>  You don’t need doctors if you don’t eat more than you need to. <transaltion>  Temperance is the best physic [medicine]. or  Feed by measure and defy the physician.    

Monday: One Point Nihongo Clinic

Yes (はい) or No (いいえ)?  Are you totally comfortable Japanese “Yes” or “No?”   Situation: Yukiko overheard you say to your friend that you were NOT going to Yukiko’s birthday party next Saturday. Yukiko caught hold of you to ask you if that was true…  Yukiko: “Are you … are you NOT coming to my birthday party next Saturday? I overheard you say so to Kumiko.”  You: “No, I won’t. I’m invited to Takeo’s birthday party next Saturday. I promised to him I would come a couple of month ago. I wish I could.”  ゆきこ:「あのう、らいしゅうのどようび、わたしのたんじょうびにきてくれないの?くみこさんにそういってたでしょ?」  あなた:「うん(はい)、いかないよ。たけおくんのたんじょうびにいくんだ、そのひは。なんかげつもまえからいくってやくそくしてたからね。わるいけどさ。」  In English, “Yes or No” and “Affirmation or Negation after that” coordinates with each other. …

Friday: Kojiki (「乞食」ではなく『古事記』ですヨ!!) #18

Takemikazuchino Okami (たけみかづちのおのかみ)   So far, three gods from Takamagahara (たかまがはら), the Heavenly World, were dispatched to Ashiharano Nakatsu Kuni (あしはらのなかつくに), the Earthly World, but only in vain. Amaterasu Oomikami (あまてらすおおみかみ) was wondering who would be the next to accomplish their mission.  Omoikaneno Kami (おもいかねのかみ) and other gods suggested to Amaterasu that she send Itsuno Ohabarino Kami (いつのおはばりのかみ), who lives in a holy cave upstream of Ameno Yasuno Kawa (あめのやすのかわ). They also said that Takemikazuchino Onokami (たけみかづちのおのかみ), his son, should go if Itsuno Ohabarino Kami or Ameno Ohabarino Kami (あめのおはばりのかみ) cannot. By the way, they continued, Ohabarino Kami is in the way to stop the water of Ameno Yasuno Kawa …

Thursday: Japanese Food (日本の食べ物)

Gomokuzushi (ごもくずし)  Do you happen to know “Gomokuzushi (五目寿司・ごもくずし)?” This is one of festive foods, but is cooked quite often at home. The sound “zushi” comes from “sushi.” When you combine “sushi” with some other words to make one word, “su” sound turns into “zu” sound. So, you are supposed to call this kind “Gomokuzushi,” instead of “Gomokusushi.”  As you see in Kanji, if you can read kanji, “gomoku” means “5 items.” Since this is a home cooking item, each household has its own recipe. In other words, each household use different ingredients for thier own “Gomokuzushi.” What matters most here is you are supposed to use 5 different colored …

Wednesday: Nihon-no Manga (日本の漫画)

Speed Racer (マッハGoGoGo)    “Speed Racer” is an American title, imported from Japan. Original tytle of “Speed Racer” is “Mach (まっは) GoGoGo,” aired beteen April of 1967 and March of 1968. This TV anime became so popular that it had many re-runs later on.  In “Speed Racer,” the name of main character is “Speed Racer.” In its original, his name is Mifune Go (みふねごう). His first name comes from the name of the title – “Go.” On the other hand, his last name is said to come from the family name of a Japanese big-name actor, Mifune Toshiro (みふねとしろう), without whom no Japanese Samurai movies have worked well.  Here is the …

Tuesday: Nihon-no Kotowaza (にほんのことわざ)

Kirin-mo Oitewa Doba-ni Otoru (きりんもおいてはどばにおとる) = A genius grown old becomes worse than mediocre. [Vocaburary]   Kirin (Kilyn): <art> A fiery horse (imaginary creature) drawn on Japanese or Chinese ceramic ware. Usually it is considered as a superior creature like a unicorn in Western World.    Oitewa (Oiru): get old + -tewa (if you get old…)  Doba: a hack; a jade; a worn-out horse  Otoru: be inferior to; be worse than  A genius cannot be a genius for the rest of his life.

Monday: One Point Nihongo Clinic

Sale? Bargain Sale? Bargain?  Here is a typical conversation between you (a native speaker of English) and your Japanese friend.  Your Japanese Friend: “Baagen Seeru-ni Ikimasho (「バーゲンセールにいきましょう。」).”  You: ???  When your Japanese friend says, “Seeru (Sale)” or “Baagen Seeru (Bargen Sale),” she means “sale” for you, such as “Father’s Day Sale” or “Christmas Sale.” That is, ” Seeru (sale)” in Japanese almost always means “on sale.” You will be able to purchase a particular item or service for a discounted price. For the Japanese, there is not much difference between “(on) sale” and “bargain.” So, sometimes, like the example above, they say, “Baagen Seeru (bargain sale),” using 2 similar words …

Friday: Kojiki (「乞食」ではなく『古事記』ですヨ!!) #17

Conspiracy of Ameno Wakahiko (Gods in Takamagahara)  Amaterasu Oomikami (あまてらすおおみかみ) suggested to her own son, Ameno Oshihomimino Mikoto (あめのおしおみみのみこと), that he should rule Ashiharano Nakatsu Kuni (あしはらのなかつくに). Then, he followed his mother’s suggestion. However, Amenohoshihomimi stood up on the heavenly bridge between the Heavenly World and the Earthly World and looked down at Ashiharano Nakatsu Kuni. He was disgusted by what was going on in the Earthly World, saying “Ugh, what caos down there!” He immediately took his way back to his mother and reported how he felt. He gave his mission back to his mother, Amaterasu.  Takamimusuhino Kami (たかみむすひのかみ) and Amaterasu summoned all the gods to the riverbank of …

Thursday: Japanese Food (日本の食べ物)

Miso Soup (みそしる) [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miso_soup] (Typical Miso Soup – Tofu and Wakame)  Do you like miso soup? Like it or not, one is served at Japanese restaurants, isn’t it? Just let you know – You don’t need a spoon. You will eat soup with hashi (a pair of chopsticks).  Miso soup is made of miso (soy bean paste), which is made from soy beans. Also, depending on how much it was fermented, there are mainly 3 kinds of miso soup in Japan – Akamiso (あかみそ), Shiromiso (しろみそ), Awasemiso (mixture of the two – あわせみそ).     Ingredients consist of Wakame (わかめ:Seaweed), Tofu (とうふ), Daikon ( だいこんらでっしゅ), Mituba (みつば: kind of ciantlo), and …

Wednesday: Nihon-no Manga (日本の漫画)

The Rose of Versailles (ベルサイユのばら) [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rose_of_Versailles]  This Manga (まんが) became an epic hit in Japan in ’70s. As you see it, Riyoko Ikeda (いけだりよこ) is, no doubt, one of the most skillful Japanese cartoonists. The story line was based on the historical events during French Revolution and made “The Rose of Versailles (ベルサイユのばら)” an unforgettable piece.   Although I myself was not such a big fan of this manga in those days, I had to admit that no Japanese person could have ignored this phenomenal social trend in those days. Ikeda Riyoko, because of “The Rose of Versailles” only, instantly became the Japanese J.K. Rowling (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._K._Rowling).  The Takarazuka Revue ( たからづかかげきだん: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takarazuka_Revue) immediately …

Tuesday: Nihon-no Kotowaza (にほんのことわざ)

Todai Moto Kurashi (「灯台下暗し」) = You must go into the country to hear what news at London. [Todai: lighthouses; Moto: at the bottom of; Kurashi: dark]  Did you ever notice that it is very dark at the bottom of the lighthouse? Likewise, you tend to overlook somewhere very close to you when trying to find it. Most of the time, it’s really worth it!  

Monday: One Point Nihongo Clinic

Q: How different is “Watashi-wa Ikimasu. (「わたしはいきます。」) “ from “Watashi-ga Ikimasu. (「わたしがいきます。」)” ? A: Very different.  “Watashi-wa Ikimasu.” is NOT really a complete sentence. You usually say, “Watashi-wa Yubinkyoku-ni Ikimasu. (「わたしはゆうびんきょくにいきます。」= I am going to a post office.)” or “Watashi-wa Puuru-ni Ikimasu. (わたしはプールにいきます。」= I am going to a pool.).” Something like that. You need to let your listener know where you are going now. Your listener’s interest is learning where you are going. You are giving out the information to your listener. He got an answer from you. That way, this conversation is now complete.  “Watashi-ga Ikimasu.” is a complete sentence. Your listener(s) know where you are going before you said, “Watashi-ga …

Friday: Kojiki (「乞食」ではなく『古事記』ですヨ!!) #16

 Ashiharano Nakatsukuni (葦原中国) (Ookuninushi and Sukunahikona)  Ookuninushi (大国主), whose wife was very jealous of his new wives, successfully expanded his territory while getting married to the daughters of local powers and having his children. There was a strong belief in those days that you would gain strong spiritual power of the local god if you married the daughters of local rulers. Kojiki shows the names of Ookuninushi’s wives and their children. All of them ends with honorrific titles like Mr. whatever god or Mrs. whatever goddess. That means Ookuninushi (a god) got married to a local god’s daughter (Miss Goddess) to have children of gods (Mr and Mrs. gods). I …

Thursday: Japanese Food (日本の食べ物)

Curry and Rice (カレーライス) or Curry Udon (カレーうどん)   (Curry and Rice)   (Curry and Udon)  In any country in the world, children should have, at least a couple of them, their favorite home cooking. In Japan, one of them is “Curry and Rice (カレーライス)” or “Curry Udon (カレーうどん).” When you walk down on the street at dinner time, you can tell people will have or are having “Curry” for their dinner because it has a very strong flavor.  You usually cook curry first. Ingredients are most likely beef, carrots, onions, and potatoes. Of course there are a couple of variation regarding “meat.” Some people love (deep fried) shrimp curry (and rice) …

Wednesday: Nihon-no Manga (日本の漫画)

Tomorrow’s Joe (あしたのジョー)    Last week, you were introduced to Sports (JUDO) Cartoon called Judo Icchokusen. This week you will see another Sports (Boxing) Cartoon callled Tomorrow’s Joe (あしたのジョー). Japanese kids (their dads too!) were so anxiously waiting for this TV show. As time went by, lots of TV shows were forgotten as “No Biggie!” But, this show has stayed in Japanese people’s mind for such a long time that they made a remake (movie this time!) in 2011. You can watch it free at YouTube (https://youtu.be/yWC4_lkYGUU).  An orphan boy called Yabuki Jo (やぶきじょー) was “found” by an ex-professional boxer Joe called “OSSAN (おっさん).” The jouney of these two (Boxing …

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