The Manga Sensei Blog

Geisha are a popular image of Japan. Most people who see a geisha, even if they aren’t familiar with the term, will probably associate her with Japan. However, people in the West also have a rather large misconception when it comes to these fancy-looking ladies.

 

By Jessica Hutchison

Samurai have become an icon of Japan, even for Japanese people. And it’s pretty easy to see why. Samurai are really cool. Who doesn’t want to walk around with a sword and sweet armor all day long? They fought in crazy wars and basically ruled the country.

 

By Jessica Hutchison 

As you look more into Japanese history, especially the Tokugawa Period (1600-1868), you will quickly come across a lot of woodblock prints. These are generally referred to as ukiyo-e (浮世絵), or pictures of the “floating world.”

 

By Jessica Hutchison

One of the most recognized symbols of Japan is the cherry blossom (Sakura 桜). You can find cherry trees all over Japan, generally lined up along paths and rivers. During most of the year, you may wonder why there are only cherry trees planted on these paths, but when spring comes around, it’s pretty obvious.

 

By Jessica Hutchison 

People that are learning Japanese, or any other language, often fall into bad habits unknowingly. After years of hard experience, teaching language and learning two (Japanese and Korean) I have fallen into enough pitfalls to know my way around the major ones. In my years of experience, there are 5 main pitfalls and problems that beginning language learners should know about in order to avoid.

 

By John Dinkel 

Japan has an emperor. Who exactly is he, and why is he important? Today, I’m going to try and explain that

 

By Jessica Hutchison 

One of the most prominent pitfalls for those attempting to learn a second language occurs when the student attempts to directly translate from one language to another.

 

By John Sorenson 

So if you had your hopes set on celebrating Tanabata, and you think you missed it, you actually didn’t! And if you don’t know what Tanabata is, stick around and you can learn about one of Japan’s traditional festivals.

 

By Jessica Hutchison 

Chances are since you’re on the internet, you’ve already heard this word. Maybe even in real life you’ve seen a gaggle of middle school girls in animal-themed hoodies walking around and pointing at things saying “Kawaii desuuuu~” (emphasis on the “u” sound). I know I have.

 

By Jessica Hutchison

You’ve probably heard of the shogun before. He’s basically the top dog of the samurai. He’s in also in charge of Japan. How does that work when there’s an emperor? Fear not. I am here to explain.

 

By Jessica Hutchison 

Japan has some amazing ghost stories, and it is well known for them. If you don’t believe me, remember the movie The Ring? What about The Grudge? They are both based on Japanese stories and those are just the modern examples.

 

By Jessica Hutchison

Making travel plans in a foreign country can be downright terrifying. You never know what you’re getting yourself into without having experience yourself. It can be difficult to get a straight answer to the most basic questions, such as “What is the best airport to fly into?” “How do I get to my connecting train?” and “Will anybody be able to speak English?” In order to alleviate some of the stress concerning one of the basic questions that just about everyone has when traveling, I’m going to address all of the ins and outs of lodging in Japan.

 

By John Sorenson

Ramen, the traditional food of broke college students. In American we know Ramen as the instant, cheap noodles we all grew up with. I remember the day my roommate got a book on how to level-up her ramen. I learned the ancient art of adding some scrambled egg to my ramen and thought I had taken my ramen game to a whole new playing field. Little did I know, America has ramen all wrong.

 

By Christine Edmunds

There’s no better place in Japan than Hida Takayama. Ask foreigners and they will likely never have heard of this small town, nestled in the Japanese Alps. Ask Japanese natives and they will tell you it is a favorite destination for the Japanese to go on vacation. What makes this small town so special? What can you do there, and most importantly–should you go too? Heck yes, you should! And I’m going to tell you why.

 

By Christine Edmunds

So you want to go to Japan, or you are in Japan and you want to apply for a job. That’s awesome. Congrats on your goal. However, when you look at that nasty blank template that you downloaded from the internet you have absolutely no idea where to start.

 

By John Dinkel

Special diets are hard. And traveling abroad with any sort of dietary restriction—especially in a country that doesn’t speak English—can seem impossible. But it is doable! Having lived in Japan for over a month on a gluten-free diet, I am here to give you some tips on how to navigate Japan while meeting your dietary needs.

 

By Jessica Hutchison

If you know even a little bit about Japan, you’ve probably heard of this place. It’s a Zen Buddhist temple that is almost entirely covered in gold leaf. A lot of people probably had it as their computer background, because some computers had it as a preloaded desktop picture. In any case, you’ve likely seen it. I had too.

 

By Jessica Hutchison

If you really want to understand Japanese culture, one of the things you really need to get is where you stand. Knowing your social standing in any sort of group situation dictates everything you do, including how you speak. We can coast by in Western culture, for the most part, but this is super important in order to not offend someone in Japan.

 

By Jessica Hutchison

If you go to Japan, you’ll notice that they do a lot of things differently. Even though they seem out of place to us, they are actually pretty normal there, and Japanese people probably don’t even know we think it’s weird.

 

By Jessica Hutchison