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Showing posts from March, 2019

Slave labour in Japanese hospitals

One of my Japanese friends, whom I met in Canada, was not happy with her doctor. She went to see him and was diagnosed a cold. The doctor said that she needed to take a rest at home and she left the clinic. She was not happy, because her doctor didn't give her any medicines at all. She said that it would've never happened in Japan.

Who are the most British-like people in Japan?

Have you ever found that it is not straightforward to understand what Japanese people really are saying? It sometimes is true what Japanese people say is not what they exactly mean.

You had better not make the same mistake twice in Japan

Marriage is one of the biggest events in life for Japanese people. So is divorcing. It didn't use to be that easy, but now, divorcing is not very rare. I have some friends who have divorced, and some of them even did twice.

Where did the Fortune Cookie come from?

When I first went to a Vietnamese restaurant in Montreal, Canada, I was served so-called "Fortune Cookies", after the meal.
They look like twisted shells containing a piece of paper inside, on which there is a message, telling fortunes.

What is the difference between Sake and Shochu?

This is one of the most frequent questions when I was working in Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong. Sake is more popular than Japanese Shochu, there are lots of Sake breweries who already have been exporting their products.

When it comes to Shochu, you may think it is a Korean drink, but we have a lot of Shochu in Japan, too. Today, I am going to write what the difference between the two of them. If you want to try some Sake or Shochu in Japan, this article might be helpful for you.

What does "long life" mean to Japanese people?

When my boyfriend, who is British, and I went to Indonesia, one guy asked us;

"Why can British and Japanese people live so long? What do you think is the secret?"

That Indonesian guy is an English teacher, living in a beautiful house with his wife. I thought that it is universally common to think about their lives and health after they got enough money to live.

Extra revenue generating activities are officially allowed in Japan since 2018

Recently Japanese government encouraged companies to allow their employees to make money on the side. Most of them have banned workers doing side work while they guaranteed that all of the employees could stay with their job throughout their working life.

Are Japanese people nice? : Two Japanese men arrested in Cambodia for murder of a taxi driver

March 17th in 2019, two young Japanese men were arrested in Siem Reap province. When I read this news, I thought that Japanese guys were killed, but it was not.

According to several medias, both of them used to be members of
self-defense force of Japan. They were trying to steal the car for a money-changer robbery, and then killed the driver.

They planned it in Japan, because they are in debt of 4 million yen, 36,000 US dollars. They decided to come to Cambodia, where US dollars are used frequently.

Are you brave enough to eat a poisonous fish?

Japanese traditional diet is based on fish and veggies. We have lots of vocabulary related to fish in everyday-conversation Japanese.  Although the price of fish is getting expensive for the last several decades, people love eating fish, including a poisonous fish called “Fugu”.

Attention! You mustn’t talk on your Phone in Public Transport in Japan!

When I was waiting a bus to get my hometown after I arrived the Kansai airport in Japan, I got a phone call from one of my colleague in Hong Kong. A couple minutes after I picked up the phone, the bus arrived there.

I tried to get in the bus, talking on the phone, and then, I was stopped by the bus driver. “Excuse me Madam, you are not allowed to talk on the mobile phone in a bus.”

I had totally forgotten about this. In Japan, it is banned to speak on mobile phone in public transports such as trains or buses.

You can use your phone, but you cannot talk on it. You might think it is strange, you can talk freely with other people, person to person, I mean, not on the phone. However you shouldn’t talk on mobile phones.

Some experts say that people feel more uncomfortable when they are only hearing one-side-conversation than interactive two-way dialogue. When the mobile phone was getting popular in Japan, people realized how annoying it is to hear a part of conversation without the other p…

Does everyone have a sharp knife in Japan?

“I understand your frustration, it’s because we came from the country of Samurai !” said Saori, one of my Japanese friends.

I used to have three Japanese friends in Montreal, Quebec, who I met in a French school. Four of us would regularly get together to have a cup of tea and chat. We talk about the life in this country and some differences from Japan. Sharpless knives is one of the hottest topic for us.

Why do Japanese like Sakura so much? Sketches of Sakura (Cherry Blossoms)

Sakura may sounds familiar to you already. You might have a “Sakura Japanese Restaurant” or a “Sakura guesthouse” around the corner.

In Japanese, ‘Sakura’ means cherry blossoms, which some people say is one of national flowers (another one is chrysanthemum). However, Sakura means much more than that for Japanese people.

Why is Sakura so important for them? ___We love it, admire it, talk about it, write about it and adore it. There are some stories that I am going to write randomly, they might be helpful to understand what Sakura symbolize to us.

Are people nice in Japan?

Yesterday I went to have a colonoscopy test in Montreal, Quebec. In the hospital, the doctors were nice, but some of the receptionists were surprisingly rude. At the main entrance, the people behind the counter were very nice, but the people on the same floor of the treatment were not nice at all. They made me feel sick.

Are women NOT worth being called by their individual names in Japan?

After I came to Canada, I was quietly surprised that people call each other by their individual names. Maybe you don't understand what I am talking about, or you might think I am insane saying like that. But, please don’t close this page, yet. I am pretty serious.

I read a somebody’s tweet, the other day.


そもそも役職でその人のことを呼ぶって結構失礼というか人として扱っていない感があって嫌なのは僕だけでしょうか? — たんたん (@tantan4423) 2019年3月10日

He said,

...there are many places where you are called by your title (of your job) rather than your name. I think it is a kind of insult, feel like that I am not treated as a human. Is that only me?


先生とか尊敬的呼称ならいいけどねー — はなたびと (@hana_gardener) 2019年3月10日
This is my retweet, saying about women in Japan who are also not often called by their names.

It is true that people often call the others by job titles or the relationship to themse…

Layers of Paper Packaging in Japan

When I was staying in Japan, I went to buy a gift for one of my friends. I went to one of the most famous department stores where I found a beautiful wallet. I picked it up,  went to the counter to pay. 

3 Reasons why I do NOT think Japanese Food is Healthy

I am glad to know that some people consider Japanese food as a healthy diet. However I cannot always agree with that.

I could say that TRADITIONAL Japanese diet is relatively healthier than other diets, but the modern Japanese diet has been changed a lot. You might be surprised with the food provided in casual restaurants like “Izakaya” in Japan, if you believe that it must be healthy.

Why is that? How did it change?

Here are 3 reasons why I don’t really think Japanese diet is healthy.

Is it easy to find gluten-free food and restaurants in Japan?

I was asked from one of my friends whose niece has a serious gluten allergy, and she was planning to go to Japan. My friend wanted to know if her niece can survive in Japan even she couldn’t speak Japanese.

So, I researched some information about gluten-free food and restaurants in Japan, products in supermarkets, also if there is any organization to help gluten-allergic people.

I am not a expert of allergy, but I want to share the information that I got, because some of them could be useful for you.

Chopsticks vs. Knives and Forks

When I make home-made Fish & Chips, my boyfriend is always amazed, because I use my chopsticks to pick up pieces of potato individually form the oil. I think professional Tempura chefs do the same thing. You just have to move them quickly, otherwise the last potato will be burnt.

Why do I blog in English?

I have been blogging since 2015, talking about the life, languages, travel, wine, football and so on. All of them are written in Japanese. I didn’t have any idea to write in English until 5 days ago, because my writing in English is not good enough.

What made me change my mind was a small comment to one of my blogs.

Are Japanese people afraid of earthquakes?

January 17th in 1995,  at 5:46 am, I was sleeping in bed when it occurred. I was woken up by the shake and saw the light on the ceiling wide-swinging round. It was big enough for me to wake up, but my hometown often has that size of shaking, so I stayed in bed, slept again.

Who am I?

When I was little, I was always dreaming about getting out of Japan. My dream came true. I went to China to learn Chinese language and luckily I got a job in Hong Kong where I ended up spending almost 10 years.

Currently I live in Canada. And I started blogging in Japanese about my life a couples years ago. And then I started thinking if I could write some English blog...?

Lots of people asked me about Japan and Japanese people.

Japan and their culture, their way of thinking may seem unique or not easy to understand. Honestly I think so, too:)

So I am trying to write just like answering your potential questions.

Hopefully I could give you some tips which might help for understanding about Japan and the people, and you could find more interesting about them.