The Manga Sensei Blog

Uchi and Soto

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

Direct Translation is Killing Your Japanese

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 

Who Exactly is the Japanese Emperor?

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 

Japanese Business Quirks

It’s good to understand the culture you are getting into, not just so you can impress a potential employer, but so you can show that you respect your boss, your coworkers, and anybody you come into contact with in a professional manner.  


By Jessica Hutchison

Suns Out Shogun’s Out

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 

Kachi Kachi Yama

A long, long time ago there was an old man and an old woman. They were poor, had no kids, and lived in the middle of nowhere. This is how every Japanese folktale starts so you might want to just commit that bit to memory… 


By Jessica Hutchison

Japanese History in 6 Minutes

In order to understand any culture, learning the history can really help. And Japan is no different. Japan has a wild history with dramatic changes in culture, government, and how they feel about foreigners. Figuring this out can really help you see where a lot of Japanese culture comes from. 


By Jessica Hutchison

Traveling Japan w/ Dietary Restrictions

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

Takayama; Japan’s Best Kept Secret

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

How to Decode a Japanese Resume

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

What I Wish I Knew About Kinkakuji

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

Japanese-ified Holidays

Japan has a lot of unique holidays. From O-Bon to Children’s Day to the Emperor’s Birthday, it can be a bit hard for a foreigner to keep track of all of them. But there are a few that the Japanese have adopted from Western culture that we can kind of understand. Kind of. 


By Jessica Hutchison

Tanabata: You Haven’t Missed it… Yet

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

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