Speaking Japanese: The Sushi Analogy

June 14, 2017, Posted by : James

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Learning to speak any new language is hard. Remembering all the vocabulary is hard. Getting the hang of new grammar is hard. Even after you have the basics down, you still have the inimical beast of Japanese interpersonal ettiquette waiting for you.

Learning Japanese is like eating at a rotating sushi belt. You sit down, you look at the menu, and you decide to order a couple ...

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Being Black in Japan

June 07, 2017, Posted by : James

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When every student first starts to study Japanese, they learn the basic writing systems, grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary - but then they have a decision to make. After brute force of will and repetition allows you to hang on to a few useful phrases, you need to decide if you want to focus on natural speaking, the some 3000 Chinese characters you need to know to be fluent, slang, ...

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What to Eat in Japan

May 26, 2017, Posted by : James

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Withdrawal

Few things can inflate the expat-in-Tokyo ego like having a Japanese person say "you're so Japanese!" It makes you feel like you have a chance at getting past tourist status.

Unfortunately, my healthy pessimism and general sense of distrust usually leads me to wonder, sometimes out loud, if they're just trying to mess with me.

One ...

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Walk Like A Japanese-ian

May 17, 2017, Posted by : James

Shibuya

I was walking home from the supermarket in my old neighborhood of Sasazuka one time, and I saw an adult woman on a bicycle run directly into a roadside barrier with a fleshy thud. It's one of those white railings that probably cost tax payers a fortune, but are supposed to make pedestrians safer. Actually, i'm pretty sure it was this exact ...

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My Taco Bell List

May 10, 2017, Posted by : James

Tacobell

I used to often ask myself "self, do you even want to live in Japan anymore?"
But recently i've figured it out.

You might not want to know, but there's no Digiorno's pizza in Japan. I'll be honest, I don't even know if there's Digiorno's anymore in the States, because I haven't had a frozen pizza since i've come to Japan. But there's definitely a frustrating ...

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