Why ‘The Japans’ as a blog name?

When I first decided to start this blog, I spent a lot of time thinking of a good name. One thing that kept popping up in my head was 'The Japans'. The term comes from the novel 'Shogun' by James Clavell. 'Shogun' is the story of an English pilot, John Blackthorne, who washes up on... Continue Reading →

Japan in a word: ‘KY’ – ‘Unable to read the air’

I recently got the idea to do a series of posts titled 'Japan in a word'. Japanese language is fascinating and holds many clues to cultural phenomena. I found that Japanese is rich in very specific vocabulary, more so than other languages that I have studied. When Japanese students of English attempt to literally translate... Continue Reading →

People watching – Legs for Days

After having lived in Japan for a while, I gradually started feeling more and more at home there. As life in Japan became 'normal' to me, I often forgot that I myself still looked all but normal to Japanese people. A tall, blond-haired, blue-eyed gaijin stands out in a Japanese crowd, no matter how 'Japanese'... Continue Reading →

This is not the end

My recent blog post about goodbyes has led to some speculation about the end of this blog. But fear not my friends! (Or alternatively, depending on how you feel about this blog, 'Sorry to disappoint you!') No such thing is the case. A goodbye to Japan does not mean a goodbye to blogging for me.... Continue Reading →

On culture shock, or the lack thereof

People living abroad often experience 'culture shock'. I find it hard to describe culture shock in just a few words, but simply put it refers to the process we all go through when coming into contact with a culture different from our own (see below for scientific definitions of culture shock). One of the most... Continue Reading →

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