And we’re back with another Word of the Week! Here at PlaNeTV we are dying slightly from the summer Tokyo heat. Are you? This week’s word is…natsubate! Which means exactly what it sounds like, ”summer heat fatigue.”
Symptoms may include:
an unwillingness to go outside
a renewed appreciation for air conditioning
a curbed appetite limited to ice, water, and all things refreshing
a sudden curiosity for places like Antarctica and/or the inside of refrigerators
Feel like you have experienced natsubate? Send us a photo of you in the summer heat! 🙂
What is Inbound Japan, you ask? Well, it’s a pretty cool event that we went to the other day. We’ll tell you a little bit about it. But first, some photos.
Inbound Japan is an event that is specifically designed to anticipate tourism business trends in Japan. The three day exhibition is meant to enhance the ”Japan Experience” for foreigners by preparing campaigns and other market ideas to put on display for other Japanese businesses.
We interviewed representatives from JAL, ANA, and Gplus Media just to name a few. Each company is dedicated to making life in Japan that much more fun, exciting, and most importantly, accessible for foreigners, like us here at PlaNeTV! 😀
One of the most interesting booths we came across was Payke. This company makes an app that allows your phone to identify objects such as a Japanese band-aid box by scanning its bar-code. Once scanned into your phone it tells you about the object in the language of your choice, its contents, and where you can buy more of the object. Pretty neat, right? You can download the app on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.
That’s all for today, folks!
Stay cool ~
The PlaNeTV fam
p.s. be sure to check out our twitter and insta for some behind the scenes photos and videos that may or may not include a subway dance from one of our members!
Last week’s ”Do you like natto?” poll revealed a surprising amount of indifference towards the (in)famous dish, the highest response being ”Meh, it’s all right.” The second highest coming as no surprise to many being “No, it’s the worst.”
Are you surprised by the results? Let us know your natto feelings in the comments.
And please share with your natto-loving, natto-hating, or natto-indifferent friends! Thanks for taking the poll, everyone! 🙂📊💯
Hi world! Hope you’re keeping it wavy today. Because…today is Ocean Day! In Japanese, umi no hi. Fascinatingly enough, umi no hi is a national holiday. Every summer, the third Monday of July is designated as the day of the ocean ~ (splish, splash!)
Why does Japan have an umi no hi?
Well, don’t think too hard, but the island nation is surrounded by sea water–lots of it! Umi no hi is meant to be a day to celebrate the importance of the umi (ocean) to Japan.
What can you do to celebrate?
Well, if you’re in Tokyo like us here at PlaNeTV, you can hop, skip, or swim (not really) on over to Odaiba for some umi appreciation. According to this website, the festivities usually start in the evening, around 7pm. Check out this cool pic!
What will you do on your national holiday today?
(Tell us in the comments) 🙂
Have a great day off, folks!
The PlaNeTV fam (who are not actually at the office today)
Hello everyone! And welcome to a very hot week in Tokyo. This week’s Word of the Week is…(drum roll please)…fermented beans!! In Japanese, natto! Get excited.☀️
Fermented beans, otherwise known as ”natto,” is either a delight or disgust depending on who’s doing the eating. On Monday, we celebrated ”Natto Day” because it was July 10th. (July > nana gatsu > na ) (tenth > touka > to) (…na…tto!) Pretty cool, eh?
Grab your chopsticks or utensils of choice and let’s go eat some natto! (Or not!!). 🍽️
This week was kind of special because of the national natto holiday. So we even took a poll in our office today. 1 out of the 3 members that were in the room at that very moment like natto! However, as you can tell, our sample size is small. So we want to know how YOU feel about natto. Tell us your feels in the comments! Or you can hop on over to Facebook and take our poll.
Looking forward to hearing from you all. Can’t wait to tell you the results next week!
Welcome to our first BONUS Word of the Week. That means you get more than one word in one week! This week’s bonus word is, you guessed it, tanabata! In English, star festival. But once you know this word in Japanese, as many of you know, you’ll probably rarely say it in English. What is tanabata? Well, we googled it. Wikipedia tells us this:
”Tanabata (七夕, meaning “Evening of the seventh”), also known as the Star Festival, is a Japanese festival originating from the Chinese Qixi Festival. It celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair respectively). According to legend, the Milky Wayseparates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar. The date of Tanabata varies by region of the country, but the first festivities begin on 7 July of the Gregorian calendar. The celebration is held at various days between July and August.”
In other words, tanabata is a kind of holiday that celebrates two long lost lovers who are able to reunite once in a year! Now that is romantic. And also kind of sad. But mostly romantic! A friend of mine likes this story so much that he got tattoos on each arm of the respective star lovers–one on the right arm, one on the left arm to symbolize the fact that they can never truly be together/touch. Except of course on tanabata!
What can you do to celebrate tanabata?
Appreciate your loved ones, and thank the stars that you guys aren’t long lost lovers in the stars!
Did anybody raise their hand? If you’ve ever lived in Japan, you may be familiar with the clear, see through umbrellas that are sold at conbinis, aka convenience stores. Depending on the size you can buy one of these umbrellas for around 500 yen. Pretty good deal, right? It is if you’re suddenly confronted with rainy weathersomewhere between the beginning of June and mid July on your way home from work and desperately need cover. At the end of every tsuyu (rainy season) I find myself with a multitude–rather a collection of see through conbini umbrellas, and so do the various locations I tend to forget them at. (Sorry, Seven Eleven).
Well, it’s July 5th in Tokyo, and we are in the middle of tsuyu (rainy season). Today doesn’t feel like your typical tsuyu day, but if you take a look at the forecast for this week, you’ll be counting your see through umbrellas to make sure you’re covered (quite literally).That’s why this week’s Word of the Week is tsuyu(rainy season).
For all you kanji-enthusiasts out there you’ll notice that tsuyu contains the 雨 （あめ ame) kanji for rain. The first Japanese teacher that I ever had pointed out that this kanji kind of looks like a window pane with rain trickling down on it. Perhaps you’ll be able to remember this kanji forever now! I like to think that I will. Here’s a rainy video from my morning commute to PlaNeTV last week.
Enjoy your hot, sweaty, sunny day and stay tuned for PlaNeTV’s next Word of the Week! (Spoiler: it may be coming sooner than you think! Two words in one week? You ask. Yep, we’re just keeping it real).
''A Japanese word a week, brings you one step closer to being able to speak!'' (Yes, we made that up).
If you’re anything like me you love an easy way to study. Here at PlaNeTV we come across language and cultural barriers every day! For many of us working here, Japanese isn’t our first language, and dang, it’s tough sometimes. Perhaps you can relate. So we’ve created a fun way to study some Japanese vocabulary. Each week we will post a Japanese word and it’s English definition. Kind of like a flash card. It will look something like this:
Pretty nifty, right? Each post will include the kanji, hiragana, and romaji Japanese readings. And of course, the English definition. This week we chose shushō (Prime Minister) as our Word of the Week because we went to a political event last week where we saw Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. (Exciting!) He along with Minister for Foreign Affairs, Fumio Kishida, and various other politicians met at this event to speak about the future of Japan. Here are a few screen shots from our footage.
A couple of us here at PlaNeTV were left scratching our heads when we couldn’t think of what the Japanese word for Prime Minster was…One look at a dictionary–a dictionary app actually–told us there were a couple different ways to say it. For example, you can also say souri-daijin (総理大臣 そうりだいじん）or souri （総理 そうり) for short. However, we decided to use, shushō, this week because we hadn’t heard it before.
If you are up to date on your Japanese movies, you may have seen the most recent Godzillaadaptation, Shin Godzilla (2016). In English, Godzilla Resurgence. Don’t worry, no spoilers here. In this new Godzilla movie, the Prime Minister is referred to as souri quite often, so much so that if you’re an English speaker you might think that everyone is just apologizing a lot throughout the whole film because they say souri so much.
We wondered if souri and shushou were interchangeable, and if one could ever use the longer version, souri-daijin, when addressing the Prime Minister (if ever that opportunity arose). So, we phoned a friend! She told us that when talking about or even to the Prime Minister that both souri and shushō are okay to use. Our friend also said that when addressing him, you probably wouldn’t say the full title, souri-daijin, because that might sound too long or obvious, especially if you have to repeat it several times. Well, that explains why there’s a multitude of souri‘s in Shin Godzilla–at least that mystery is solved.
Our native Japanese speaking friend even made a list for us. It’s her best guess of the most common usages of ”Prime Minister” in Japanese.
Does your brain hurt yet? We hope you enjoyed our first Word of the Week! There are many more words to come. Join us each week as we stumble along on the journey to attempted fluency in Japanese. And yeah, maybe check out Shin Godzilla if you want to really remember how to say souri. ( *Laughs a little * )
Thank you! Arigatou! Danke! 谢谢 ( xiè xie )! Merci! Until next week!
The PlaNeTV Japanese Studying Fam
P.S. Do you get hungry after a lot of studying? I certainly do. Check out our instagram, it’s filled with photos of delicious Japanese food great for re-boosting that brain energy. Now go eat some ramen or something!
We are an international media company in Tokyo documenting all the cool, and somewhat mysterious tidbits of Japan. This is our official blog, our official space. We adventure quite a lot. So, we’re going to share a lot too. Our team is made up of peeps from all over. Germany, China, France, The U.S., and of course Japan (to name a few). Wanna be privy to our adventures? Follow us here and we’ll take you with us on our journey through Tokyo and beyond. Like what you see? Share with your peeps. Relate to what you see? Send us an email, maybe we’ll share your Japan story.