A typical Life header image 4

English Only Please

March 20th, 2008 · 20 Comments · Daily Life

In the Japanese blogosphere there is a discussion that comes up fairly often about discrimination against foreigners in Japan.  Today I ran across an article on CNN about English Only Signs at a cheese steak store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The sign in question reads “This is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING ‘PLEASE SPEAK ENGLISH.’” and the city’s […]

[Read more →]

Tags:····

Internment of Japanese Canadians

January 21st, 2008 · Comments Off on Internment of Japanese Canadians · Japan News and Notes

I recently read an article in The Japan Times titled “Canadian Garden of Unity and Reconciliation“. On its face it is a touching story of the dedication of a garden built on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada (my home province). Rumiko Kanesaka, a Japanese national, married a Canadian and moved with him back […]

[Read more →]

Tags:·····

Good Enough Japanese?

January 7th, 2008 · 4 Comments · Language

I recently read an article in the Daily Yomiuri that advocates the ‘good enough’ or ‘just try’ approach to conversational English. This brings a new perspective to my goal of improving my communication skills in Japan. I would be happy to speak ‘good enough’ Japanese but the question then becomes what is ‘good enough’? Here […]

[Read more →]

Tags:····

Japanese New Year Tradition – Mochi

January 3rd, 2008 · Comments Off on Japanese New Year Tradition – Mochi · Art and Culture

In Japan one of the traditional activities of the new year celebration is the pounding of mochi. We also pound mochi here in Hawaii to celebrate the new year and if you click on the picture to the left you can view more photos and a video on mochi pounding in action (via the Honolulu […]

[Read more →]

Tags:·······

8 for 2008

January 3rd, 2008 · Comments Off on 8 for 2008 · About me, Philisophy

Let me start by saying these aren’t your typical new years resolutions. Of course I want to lose weight, quit smoking, be nice to the planet etc. but none of these are on the list. These are more philosophical and personal. So here they are – My 8 for 2008: Keep a positive attitude in […]

[Read more →]

Tags:···

Memories of Japan – The Gardens

December 12th, 2007 · 2 Comments · Memories of Japan

To visit a garden in Japan is to take a step away from reality for a moment and step back in time. Many of these gardens are an oasis in the center of a very vibrant and bustling country. Once you step foot within their walls it’s really hard to imagine all of that action […]

[Read more →]

Tags:·····

Memories of Japan – The Language Barrier

December 11th, 2007 · Comments Off on Memories of Japan – The Language Barrier · Memories of Japan

Learning Japanese can be a tough proposition, trust me, I know, but life in Japan when you can’t speak the language is fraught with uncertainty and some pretty amusing experiences (looking back that is!). Here is a portion of a comic strip from the Japan Times that illustrates the challenges well (click on the image […]

[Read more →]

Tags:·····

Memories of Japan – Eating Out

November 29th, 2007 · 3 Comments · Memories of Japan

Eating out in Japan is a neat experience. There are stand alone restaurants and also food courts on the top floor of most department stores with a variety of different restaurants to choose from. Most have plastic models of the food they serve in the front window or menus with photos. Believe it or not […]

[Read more →]

Tags:······