Japan Articles

(Un)translatables: Japanese Top Ten

May 17, 2019 6:29 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

(Un)translatables – my term – are words in one language that may take a paragraph to explain in another language … and still not quite get it right. (Title Image: Hokkaido University, kanji: ‘Japanese language’) All languages have them. Japanese has some really good ones. (Un)translatables in Japanese: The Bad... read more


Nishinomiya: My Japanese Neighborhood

April 26, 2019 6:03 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

I arrived in Japan last week, my major stop being Nishinomiya where I’n visiting with my younger son, Gerard. Nishinomiya is between Osaka and Kobe, and I’ve been here before. I specifically requested my lodging to be Yakkoryokan. Because it’s a popular place, Gerard made reservations here for me a long... read more

Nishinomiya Shrine

Nishinomiya Shrine: Easter Day Reflections

April 23, 2019 6:13 pm Published by

Sunday, April 21, was Easter. Gerard and I went to the general meeting of the Nishinomiya Shrine. It is located in none other than Nishinomiya City. Nishinomiya Shrine: The Shinto God Ebisu The shrine honors Ebisu, the Japanese god of fishermen and luck. He is one of the Seven Gods... read more

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle: Pretty in Pink

April 16, 2019 9:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

I arrived in the Osaka area of Japan (specifically: Nishinomiya) late Thursday evening. The first thing we did on Friday was to travel west for an outing at Himeji Castle (hime = ‘princess’ + ji ‘road’). It’s the only original castle – do I have this right? – in Japan... read more

Sake: Ten Things to Know

June 20, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Title picture for sake: My son, Gerard, and his girlfriend, Rimi, opening a bottle of shōchū at Torisan, our favorite izakaya ‘neighborhood restaurant’ in Koshien When in Japan you’ll want to know that: 1. Sake Sake is the generic Japanese word for ‘alcohol.’ Everything alcoholic counts as sake. 2. Sake... read more

Observations on the Japanese Language

June 13, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Japanese Language: Baby Steps 日 ‘sun’ + 本 ‘origin/tree’ = Japan         日本語= Japanese Language I’m in Japan now. Sure, I can say ohayō gozaimasu ‘good morning’, arigatō gozaimasu ‘thank you very much’ and order basic food items, e.g. I have shōchū  rokku ‘(Japanese) vodka on the rocks,’... read more