Archive for October, 2010

halloween = meat

Today, we went to Ikebukuro and enjoyed the Halloween holiday not with candy and costumes but with yakiniku and macarons. I guess you can only get Pierre Hermé macarons in France and Japan so we decided to splurge on a few (and they are a splurge! 250-300y a piece, so 3-4USD at the insane exchange rate right now). They were really good, though not something I’d spend 10 bucks on regularly.




Day 24 – Your favorite Japanese slang or borrow-word (外来語)

Just in terms of sheer versatility, yabai is great slang. It’s technically a negative word that means dangerous, but now it’s a catch-all for all things both good and bad.

“How was the movie?” “Yabakatta!!!!” = omg so good! (or awful!)

“This corn is chou yabai.” = This corn is awesome (or awful). Thanks Noji for this great example sentence.

“Yabai, my feet are going to fall off” = Oh man, my feet are going to fall off.

(I just googled “yabasugiru” (“omg so intense”) and the first page had these results:

“Softbank’s service is yabasugiru” i.e. total crap

“Dude, Wikipedia is yabasugiru” i.e. totally awesome

“The Black/White Pokemon designs are yabasugiru.” I am guessing they probably like them.)

Basically it’s the worst kind of slang because it just doesn’t really mean anything except amplification, but maybe that actually makes it awesome?

Other slang: meccha & chou (very), dasai (lame), bimyou (ehh), ~じゃね?, hanpa nai (same as yabai), ~teki, nanka, mitai na and all the other ways to not say exactly what you mean.

PS. my LEAST favorite Japanese-English is, without a doubt, “virgin road” (wedding aisle).


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What an anticlimactic typhoon. We ended up staying in, eating beef stew, and watching DVDs anyway– Shutter Island kind of sucked by the way– but it’s not even raining now. Halloween is saved! Except we weren’t planning on doing anything except stuffing our faces with food, which is a rain and/or shine kind of activity. I’m in disbelief that Monday is a) November 1st b) the 7th month I’ve been at my job. I am happy! Though no one told me that they were opening a Hooters when I was doing my job search…


Day 23 – What is something you have/do in Japan that you wish you had/could do in your home country?

Japanese-style karaoke. You get your own private room, fancy remote control to choose from thousands of songs, crappy overpriced food and drink. It is beautiful. It’s even better when you do all the useless add-ons, like ranking your singing (94 points, guys!). I seriously love karaoke here.

Also I know they have some ghetto machines in America, but real-style purikura would be nice too.

Other runners up: all the easily acquired, tasty, and cheap Japanese food; clean, safe trains that go everywhere.

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Supposedly a typhoon is coming tomorrow to ruin everyone’s weekend/Halloween/fun forever. Noji and I stocked up on food and DVDs and are very happy to be staying inside, thank you very much.


Day 22 – Your favorite Japanese saying or kotowaza (proverb).

Earlier this year I had this great idea to take the kanji kentei test so I started studying yojijukugo to prepare and they are the most useless phrases in the world. Even if I would use it appropriately, half the time Noji didn’t even know what it meant. Never ended up taking the stupid kanken and have promptly forgotten almost all the ones I studied. Still, there are a couple good ones:

A roof above a roof, i.e. useless and lacking creativity.

Dragon head, snake tail. Anticlimactic.

Having both beauty and smarts. (Something to aspire to, certainly.)


I made a kind of crap mistake at work this week so I will also add:

Even monkeys fall from trees.

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one more week!

Day 21 – Favorite and least favorite Japanese fashion trends.

Japanese people are considered to be very fashionable by the rest of the world, and maybe it’s because we pretty much only ever go to Ikebukuro with all the Shibuya rejects, but I don’t really find this to be the case. People definitely care about what they’re wearing, but that doesn’t mean that most don’t look like sloppy try-hards anyway. Everyone always tends to look the same, too, since all the magazines sell the same trends. see: gyaru with ‘coon tails.

That said, my least favorite fashion trend is ladies who wear stockings with open-toed shoes and men in shorts. Oh, and formal shorts. There is nothing I like about formal shorts.

My favorite is… compression tights ha ha. Actually tights of any kind.

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I like blogging everyday but I always only have just enough energy to answer the question before quietly konking out. I sleep on the train in the morning, but I actually ended up missing my stop a few weeks ago which is unlike me. Usually I slump gracefully over my bag, jerking up to check my stop every few stations, like any good Japanese commuter, but I guess I’ve been tired lately.

Day 20 – Favorite Japanese festival or folklore.

We used to go to the Otsuka one every year and it was fun because it never got too crowded and it was our ‘hood, but to be honest we probably don’t have any we’d go out of our way to go to. It’s not a festival but I like doing hatsumoude… even though we kind of forgot this year. We basically never do much of anything except go to Ikebukuro every weekend, clearly.

This also isn’t exactly folklore, but there’s a great Miyazawa Kenji story about some hunters who end up in a restaurant run by bakeneko (evil cats, of course) who almost eat them. This is a good English translation. No Momotaro for me, thanks.

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Autumn is my favorite season but can no one get the temperature inside the trains/shops/anywhere right? We took the bus home from shopping on Sunday and it was one thousand degrees. I had a crazy heat-induced dream of shouting at the bus driver to turn on the air, but then I woke up and we were at our stop.

Day 19 – Your favorite Japanese character(s) and Gachapon/UFO Catcher toys.


Kutsushita nyanko



Monsieur Kumao

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p-p-puri life

Day 18 – Post some amusing/cute/faily purikura.

Let a smoldering Erin and Noji invite you into picspam.




My favorite fails are when we mug for the monitor instead of the camera. damn!

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