100,000 Hits


As of today, this blog has received just over 100,000 hits since my first post on February 23, 2006. Wow.

I began this blog as a way to keep my friends here in America informed of the major goings-on during my two-year stay in Japan. Over time, though, people started finding it via search engines and links and I began receiving more traffic. (It apparently became fairly famous around my school as well.) The blog has continued to evolve and, even though I'm back in America, I've decided to continue with it (albeit, with a temporary name change) for both Japanese practice (sorry the amount of English has dropped so much!) and to remind myself of my commitment to once again make it a true journal of life in Japan someday.

I fully intend to return to Japan. I liked it there too much not to. When I go, where I'll be, and how long I'll be there, I obviously can't say, but I want to go, live there, and especially return on my own terms as much as I can. I do have serious concerns about returning and living there, not as a foreign exchange student, but as more of a member of their society. That's an entirely different adventure. But it's something that I want to try.

So, thank you for the 100,000 hits and here's hoping for 100,000 more. (Hopefully the 200,000th will be from within Japan.)


(Rejected introduction: "I checked my blog's stat scanner today. Know what it said? The number of hits I've received is over 90,000!")

Changes in Immigration Law

David Chart relates some notable changes in Japanese immigration law that will interest some of you.



Country Clouds






「Fingernail clippersは日本語で何と言うのかしら?」と聞き出した。






Yesterday, I went to eat sushi with a couple of friends. As we ate, the server decided to quiz me on Japanese and asked me how to say "fingernail clippers" in Japanese. I didn't know at all, but took a stab at it: "Maybe it's tsumekiri?" (This is a combination of "fingernails" and "cutting.") She asked the store owner, who apparently can speak some Japanese, who informed us that I was correct. It was a simple thing, certainly, but I was pretty pleased with myself nonetheless.

(I also scored us free ice cream for correctly counting in Korean from one to eight, as the server has been teaching me to do.)







Sex and Japan

An interesting piece I found on Mainichi, which certainly helps to explain the country's low birth rate:

One in three married Japanese couples is apparently "sexless," a startling proportion said to be swelling by the year. However, it's not just the marriage bed that's gone cold. Many young couples, too, are foregoing quality time between the sheets even before tying the knot. And while sex may be the most private part of our private lives, it's time to ask where the love has gone.




Substitute sensei

We had a substitute sensei in my intermediate Japanese class yesterday. Everything about her from her teaching style to her way of speaking and even her appearance greatly reminded me of the sensei at Yamasa. It placed me in this very weird position in which, throughout class, I felt like I was sitting in some sort of Bizarro Yamasa class, experiencing this unusual amalgam of delight and withdrawal.*

After class, I was able to speak with her a bit, though not quite one-on-one like I'd wanted. I have to say that I like her a lot and I'm looking forward to her future appearances in our class (as she will be assisting our main sensei sometimes). I think she would make a great primary sensei at Yamasa, which, in my eyes, is about the highest praise that I can confer on a Japanese instructor.

* Now there's a good motto for Yamasa: "When you're done, you'll experience symptoms of withdrawal!"