totsuki

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GeneralNihongo Blog

Cats, cats and more cats

It’s the Year of the Rat according to the Chinese zodiac. In fact, the rat is the first in a cycle of twelve animals that take turns representing each passing year. Besides the rat, there’s[…]

GeneralNihongo Blog

What do we do for Christmas?

What do people do at Christmastime in a country, like Japan, with no Catholic or Christian tradition? Well, we also celebrate Christmas, but in our own way. Businesses kick off their Christmas campaigns well before[…]

GeneralNihongo Blog

Goethe wonders: “Is that ‘Gyoete’ me?”

This post’s title is the translation of some verses popularly attributed to the writer Ryokuu Satô (1868-1904, “Gyoete towa ore no koto kato Gête ii”). At one time, the name of the great German writer’s[…]

GeneralNihongo Blog

The second button

In Japan, March is the month of graduation. Colleges, schools and universities alike hold graduation ceremonies, which mark the end of one stage in students’ lives. For some people, graduation evokes memories of an era[…]

GeneralNihongo Blog

Kanji and the woman

While preparing materials for a Japanese course, we read that the kanji meaning “come back” or “return” (帰) comprises two parts, the left meaning “follow” and the right, “broom” and “woman”. Together, it represents a[…]