Category: Other

Ten Quirky Objects

Here are 10 objects that pretty much any Japanese person would recognize, but which may not be so familiar to foreigners. How many do you know? (Bonus points for knowing the Japanese name as well.) There hints above the pictures...

Read More

How Japan Selects Astronauts

I’ve been reading an interesting book called Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. It’s about the quirky side of space exploration–things like what’s involved in getting an American...

Read More

Earthquake Sickness

Sometimes when I’m sitting at my desk, I suddenly feel the ground shaking, but when I look around, everyone else is just sitting there calmly. I always feel really stupid, and I was starting to wonder if there was...

Read More

The All-Japan Telephone Answering Contest

The Annual All-Japan Telephone Answering Contest is held in November every year. According to the contest’s official website, “The purpose of the Telephone Answering Contest is to preserve correct, eloquent Japanese,...

Read More

Money for Nothing

Sometimes Japan’s gift-giving culture can make life really complicated. Having to leave half your suitcase empty so that you have room to put souvenirs for all your co-workers, or trying to figure out if money envelopes are for...

Read More

The Kurtz Syndrome

The Kurtz Syndrome is a condition which affects many long-term residents, causing them to go native like Kurtz in Apocalypse Now/The Heart of Darkness. Symptoms in Japan include excessive bowing, sushi addiction, and...

Read More
Loading