Category Archives: Japan

Why? Because Japan is cool of course.

The Origins of Ecchi

Foreign words are great. Sometimes we use them to soften or obscure the meaning of a traditionally vulgar or taboo word or subject. Other times they are used to add a certain flare to a subject, or to form a slightly different connotation than that of its literal interpretation. It seems that both the Japanese and the Americans, or at least a small otaku (nerd / anime and manga super enthusiast) subculture thereof, have been doing this with each others’ words and in some cases the words gets passed back and forth. Continue reading

Cramer’s Guide to Visiting Japan

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Japan twice so far – once in 2007 and then again in 2008, both times with my friend Ryan. The following are my closing thoughts on our second trip as well as a few tips to anyone who wants to try visiting Japan for themselves. These are based on my experiences mainly in Tokyo and not necessarily Japan as a whole, so it is akin to judging all of America based on a visit to New York City. Still, I think my impression of Japan would be similar regardless of where I had gone. Continue reading

Easy Peasy Japanese Pronunciation Guide

Foreign words can often be intimidating since we English speakers have no frame of reference when it comes to pronunciation. This guide is intended to alleviate the intimidation when it comes to Japanese words. After reading this guide, you will no longer feel self-conscience when ordering at a Japanese restaurant, pronouncing a Japanese person’s name, or talking about your favorite anime. Continue reading

Sai’s Horse – a Japanese Proverb

I ran across a Japanese proverb the other day that provides an interesting take on the good and bad events of our lives. The saying goes:

Sai's Horse

ningen banji, saiou ga uma

(Check out my Easy-Peasy Japanese Pronunciation Guide)

Which is translated something like “All human affairs are like Saiou’s horse”. Personally, I would translate it as “All Humans: Saiou is a horse” but I’m sure I’m wrong about that. Continue reading