Yoki-san ヨキさん

Yoki-san is my dog. His real name is Loki, but everyone calls him Yoki-san. He is a 7 year old Moodle, black and white, and super cute. He likes to be carried like a baby. He is tucked into bed each night. If we pay attention to anyone else, like the magpies who live in…

Uniquely Japanese- Ukiyo 浮世

In the last couple of weeks I have written a couple of blogs about ukiyo. One about ukiyo-e, woodblock prints of the Edo Period and one about Ukiyo, an excellent experience of story-telling and adventure in Melbourne. (Follow the links to read the blogs). During my research for these two stories I read quite a…

Uniquely Japanese- Omou 思う

Omou means, literally, to think, the verb. This is not uniquely Japanese, although maybe thinking is different in different languages and different cultures? It is however the root of many other Japanese words and several of them are unique to the Japanese language. I decided to write about omou first, so as to completely understand…

Uniquely Japanese- Komorebi 木漏れ日

I started this blog a long time ago. I have been waiting for the perfect photo for it. Finally, the other morning, I got my photo. When you read the meaning of the word, you will understand why this has taken some time to achieve. “The interplay between light and leaves when sunlight shines through…

Uniquely Japanese- Itadakimasu 頂きます

Anywhere you are in Japan, at any meal, with any person, you will hear them clap their hands together and say itadakimasu 頂きます which translates, roughly, to “I humbly receive” before they begin eating. This is such an ingrained aspect of their culture that you will see people do it even when alone. These days…

A Short Taxi Tale

Japanese taxi drivers are polite, sweet and very patient (except in traffic). On our way home from Fushimi, I think we had the most patient and sweet taxi driver in all of Kyoto. Lubricated by quite an amount of sake, I jumped in the front seat, to give directions, while Super Sake Boy, Mum and…

Marie Kondo and the “Spark Joy” phenomenon

Alternate Name: Uniquely Japanese- Tokimeku Featured image credit New York Times ときめくor tokimeku is the Japanese word that is translated in English to “sparks joy”. If you are not living under a rock you will surely have seen the Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, that is if you missed her New York Times…

Uniquely Japanese- Shinrinyoku 森林浴

Shinrinyoku literally means “forest bathing” in Japanese. I live in a magical part of the world, surrounded by lush forest. I live in amongst the National Park and I work on the edge of Sherbrooke Forest. Not a day goes by when I am not grateful for my amazing environment. I walk in the forest….

Sake, Shrines and Shopping…..

Despite what the children think, we have had opportunity to drink sake, but little time to explore it any further. Today we headed out early-ish to check out the Gekkeikan Sake Brewery Museum. Fushimi, in Kyoto is an area where sake has been brewed for hundreds of years, as the quality of the water is…

Uniquely Japanese- Inemuri 居眠り

Inemuri translates roughly to “snooze” or “doze”. There is no dirrect translation, however “sleeping while being present” or having some awareness about you while you sleep is potentially more accurate. It very common, in fact, an every day experience, to see Japanese people sleeping in public places. Most regularly, on trains. It is quite alarming…

Climbing Mt. Fuji… Metaphorically

If I had have seen the info graphic on how long different languages take to master before embarking on my language journey, would I have chosen the language which takes longer than any other, by far? Maybe… I like a challenge. I could have become fluent in French, German, Spanish and Italian in the time…