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  • Author: Anthony Griffin

Beginner Japanese Tip: Overcoming the Ambiguity of “Daijobu”

One of the more challenging aspects of learning Japanese is dealing with words that have multiple—often opposite—meanings. For beginners, one prominent example of this phenomenon is the word daijobu. Essentially, this word represents the concept of being “OK” or “all right.” For example, if you trip and fall in public, a passerby may ask, “daijobu…

Norio Tera: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Japan’s Media and Entertainment Industry

Following the news is critical for getting a pulse on what’s really happening in Japan—the events and trends that are shaping Japanese culture in real time. Additionally, Japanese entertainment such as television shows, video games, and comics refract culture as a prism does light, enabling people all over the world to analyze and reflect its…

Why the Japanese Nintendo 3DS Is an Amazing Device for Learning Japanese

In my ongoing (and perhaps never-ending) quest to achieve full Japanese literacy, I’ve developed a reputation for being a digital flashcard addict. However, effective as they are, flashcards alone are not enough to become fully literate in Japanese (as friends and colleagues often remind me). Going beyond textbooks and immersing yourself in native Japanese content…

Cynthia Usui: Taking the Road Less Traveled through Japan’s Hospitality Industry

Despite government attempts to increase labor mobility and gender equality, Japan’s labor market remains notoriously rigid. The lifetime employment system is still common and coveted. Obtaining the lauded status of seishain (permanent/regular employee) at an established organization means following a well-trodden path with little room for detours. Deviate from the status quo, for whatever reason,…

Japan on the International Stage: A Brief Explainer

From economic sanctions to meetings with NATO, Japan’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been making headlines. This has spawned international curiosity about Japan’s role as a global power, especially when it comes to geopolitical conflict. In this brief Q&A, I’ll answer three common questions about Japan’s relationship with global powers and organizations….

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