Why do electronics shops like Bic Camera stock alcohol?

And pharmacies! This is a sure sign that the profit margins are as huge as in drugs and consumer electronics, so Kirin and Sapporo have obviously decided not to compete on the price of beer, something that the availability of cheaper happoshu conveniently hides. An uncompetitive practice that is very close to my heart…

Japanese naughty word of the day

Japanese-mimizu senbiki (蚯蚓千匹)
Literal translation- One thousand worms
Meaning Read the rest of this entry »

New Japanese expression of the day

Japanese-kaaringutaipu(カーリングタイプ) Read the rest of this entry »

Why have the Japanese not expanded their worldwide strength in technology into software?

A lack of people leaving the big companies to set up start ups, banks being unwilling to lend to companies with few physical assets, office software being based on rationalisation and restructuring that Japanese companies are behid the Americans in, and the big Japanese companies making software that only worked without their own systems until recently. You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the usual cliche of lack of Japanese creativity…

(Based on a few ideas in the excellent book Saying Yes to Japan)

What your belly really means- Japanese idioms quiz

Japanese- hara o tateru (腹を立てる)
Literal translation- make your belly stand up
Guess the meaning:
a) To get sculpted stomach muscles
b)to be full/stuffed
c)to get angry

Meaning- Read the rest of this entry »

The big list of my Japanese faux pas

Giving the impression I thought the UK was safer than Japan
I think I mentioned no earthquakes, tsunami or bears, and therefore squashed the great national myth about Safe Japan Read the rest of this entry »

What the Japanese really mean today

As usual with my “What the Japanese really mean?” posts, the idea is that you read the Japanese and literal translation and then try to guess what they mean in English before scrolling down the page to check. Have fun (I did)!


Japanese- Wanpatan
Literal translation- Japanese pronunciation of the words “one pattern”
Meaning Read the rest of this entry »

Why do the Japanese knock on the toilet door? Third attempt

“in Japan it is wrong to leave the toilet door open when you are not in there, so they genuinely have no idea if someone is in the cubicle or not….
Apparently this is all about Japanese people seeing toilets as ‘unclean’ areas and so hiding them away” Read the rest of this entry »

Scary Japanese stat Quote of the Day

“In spite of [the] dramatic drop in value, real estate prices in Japan remain among the world’s highest and must fall to 1975 levels before they will represent fair values, according to some analysts” Read the rest of this entry »

Japanese Myth of the Day

Japan is a small country

MYTH! Read the rest of this entry »

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