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Articles About Japanese Culture

A variety of articles about the Japanese language and culture.

Learn from Movie Dialogues

Valentine's Day in Japan
In Japan, it is only the women who give presents (mainly chocolates) to men on Valentine's Day.

Japanese Words for "Love"
Both "ai" and "koi" can be roughly translated as "love" in English. However, they have a slightly different nuance in Japanese.

How the Japanese See Red
How do the Japanese see the color of red? How do they use it in their culture? We will take a look at the Japanese conception of red.

Japanese Zodiac - The twelve Zodiac Signs
Learn about the Japanese zodiac and find out what animal you are.

The Year of the Ox - Ushidoshi
2009 is the year of the ox (ushidoshi).

The Year of the Tiger - Toradoshi
2010 is the year of the tiger (toradoshi).

The Year of the Rabbit - Usagidoshi
2011 is the year of the rabbit (usagidoshi).

New Year's Holidays - New Year's Holidays in Japan
In Japan "shogatsu (New Year's holidays)" is a time when everybody takes a few days off to celebrate the arrival of the new year.

Shogatsu - Japanese New Year
Shogatsu are considered the most important holidays for the Japanese.

Gairaigo - Borrowed Words in Japanese
Like most countries, other languages have influenced Japan.

Japanese Tea Pronunciation
Japanese tea is getting popular these days. This page helps you to learn how to pronounce various Japanese teas.

The Number Seven
It seems that every culture has lucky numbers and unlucky numbers. Seven appears to be a universally lucky or holy number. Find out how the number seven is used in the Japanese language.

Relationships with Nature (1): Cherry Blossom
The cherry blossom (sakura) is the national flower of Japan. It is probably most beloved flower among the Japanese.

Giri - Moral Obligation
The most basic definition one can give giri is a debt of gratitude and a self-sacrificing pursuit of their happiness.

English Language Education in Japan
In Japan, English language education starts the first year of junior high school and continues at least until the third year of high school.

What is Japanese school system like and what is their student life?
What is Japanese school system like and what is their student life?

Japanese Universities
Is it true that Japanese universities are hard to get in, but easy to graduate from? Find out more about Japanese universities.

Japanese Events in January
The Japanese word for January is "ichi-gatsu" which literally means "the first month."

Japanese Gestures
Some of the gestures the Japanese use might be different from your culture's. Find out about sitting, beckoning, indicating yourself and banzai.

The Year of Dragon - Tatsudoshi
2012 is the year of the dragon.

Japanese Number Seven
Learn how the number seven is used in the Japanese language.

Japanese Fish Proverbs
Fish are closely related to Japanese culture. There are quite a few expressions and proverbs including fish in Japanese. Find out more.

Kanji for "Fish" and Fish Proverbs
Learn the kanji character for "fish" and Japanese Fish Proverbs.

Children's Day in Japan and Koinobori Song
May 5 is Japan's national holiday known as, Kodomo no hi (Children's day). It is a day to celebrate the health and happiness of children.

Rainy Season in Japan and the Song "Amefuri Kuma no ko"
There is a rainy season called, "tsuyu". There are quite a few rain themed songs in Japan. I will now introduce a children’s song called, "Amefuri Kuma no ko".

The Tanabata Festival in Japan and the Tanabata Story
July 7th (or August 7th in some areas) is the Tanabata, or star festival, in Japan. People write their wishes on tanzaku (colorful small strips of papers) and hang them on bamboo trees along with other decorations.

Japanese Flowers in Proverbs
The Japanese word for flower is hana. Hana also means nose, though two words usually don’t get confused through a context. Japanese has a quite few proverbs that include the word flower, or the names of flowers.

Symbols of Japanese Summer
August is the hottest month of the year in Japan. Let's look at the symbols for the hot Japanese summer.

Urashima Taro – Japanese Folktale

The Role of Bamboo in Japanese Culture
Learn about the relationship between bamboo and Japanese culture.

Japanese Children Song - Donguri Korokoro
The Japanese word for acorn is “donguri”. Learn a popular children’s song titled “Donguri Korokoro”.

Dogs in Japanese Culture
The Japanese word for “dog” is “inu.” Learn the role of dogs in Japanese culture.

Japanese Events in February
The Japanese word for February is "ni-gatsu(二月)." Learn some Japanese events in February.

Japanese Snake Proverbs
2013 is the year of the snake. The Japanese word for snake is “hebi”.

Hinamatsuri Song
"Hinamatsuri (Doll's Festival)" is held on March 3rd. This is a day to pray for young girl's growth and happiness.

Relationships with Animals: Cats
Neko (cats) are regarded as both auspicious and fearful in Japan. You will learn some of many expressions including cats.

"Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi)" - Japanese Animated Film
"Spirited Away" tells the adventuresof a 10-year-old girl, Chihiro, who is accidentally thrown into a "spirit" world.

Japanese Ghosts
The Japanese ghost is usually a thing of summer. The Japanese have their own ghosts, and there are a few terms to describe them.

Movie Titles in Japanese
Western movies are popular in Japan. When the titles are translated into Japanese, they are sometimes turned into totally different ones. Find out more.

More About Japanese Ghosts

The Year of the Horse
2014 is the year of the horse. The Japanese word for "horse" is "uma". There are quite a few expressions including horse.

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