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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…

Aguyoshi In Milano

In November 2021, I interviewed Aguyoshi, a dance duo formed by contemporary dancers Aisa Shirai and KEKE. They usually explore the streets of Japan and their shapes through funny improvised dances that keep getting more and more attention online. As proof of their growing popularity overseas, the duo was invited to perform at the Triennale…

How to Become a CIR in Japan: Focusing Your JET Program Application Statement of Purpose

The JET Program: Most people who have considered working in Japan have probably considered applying. While it is most known for the role of ALT (Assistant Language Teacher), roughly 8% of participants move to Japan as a CIR (Coordinator for International Relations). Although there is a wealth of information available for ALT applicants, there is…

Nagareyama City Mayor Yoshiharu Izaki: Diversity and Municipal Marketing in Japan

I first learned about municipal marketing in the mid-2000s while I was earning my MBA in California. During that time, The City of Riverside Development Department hosted an on-campus presentation about promoting the city to businesses around the country, and the world, to create a vibrant community and increase economic activity. Upon graduating, I joined…

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