In Japan, a chimpo has a whole other meaning.
It’s now been just over a year since Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle officially stepped back as senior members of the British Royal Family. Since then, the couple, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, made the move over to the U.S., where they’re now expecting their second child, and Harry has landed a new job as a Chief Impact Officer for a Silicon Valley mental health services startup called BetterUp.
Like many job titles, the role of Chief Impact Officer can be shortened to an acronym, and in this case it’s being referred to as “CHIMPO” in the U.S. While a lot of people in Britain have mused over the odd-sounding acronym, here in Japan, the musing has turned into stifled giggling, with even local media outlets tittering at the news.
That’s because, in Japan, the word “chimpo” is slang for “penis”.
Yes, that’s right–Prince Harry is now a “chimpo”, and you can bet people in Japan weren’t going to let the news go without a laugh.
A situation like that last one there would leave any Japanese-speaker red-faced, so let’s hope Harry gets the memo on what the word “chimpo” means in Japanese. But given that he was once mistaken for a wax figure by a Japanese newspaper, a trip to Japan probably won’t be on the cards for a while.
Now that that pun is out of the way, let’s get to the heart of the batter.
Well, another year is upon us, and you all know what that means: the 12th Karaage Grand Prix was held by the Japan Karaage Association. This tournament determines the very best in Japanese-style fried chicken nuggets and strips in the country.
The competition has been around since 2010, but in recent years it has taken on a new importance. Due to COVID-related dining restrictions, the easy to take-out nature of karaage has triggered a boom in street-side stands. Many shops that once served cups of “tapioca” bubble tea now emit the savory smell of fried chicken.
This year all eyes were on the winners in each of the four categories, but surprisingly almost everyone won!
▼ “Every karaage restaurant has won the 12th Karaage Grand Prix. I was curious so I checked their website and laughed at how they use every trick in the book to give awards.”
The tweet goes on to point out that there is a distinct category for every possible way of selling karaage, from bentos to food stands to supermarkets. Furthermore, an award was given to each of the major convenience store chains: 7-Eleven, Family Mart, Lawson, and Mini Stop.
And when looking at the website, there is indeed a very long list of Karaage Grand Prix Award recipients even within each of the regional categories. One must also take into consideration the different seasoning categories like “salt” and “soy sauce” as well as the “New Wave” division, honoring up-and-comers in the field of …continue reading
School principal appears to be laying the blame on the 12-year-old girl and her family environment.
On 13 February, second-year junior high school student Saaya Hirose disappeared from her house in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, at around 6 p.m. when temperatures were minus 17 degrees Celsius (one degree Fahrenheit).
Police began a public investigation and family, friends and volunteers searched for over a month for the 14-year-old, whose body was eventually discovered in a snow-covered park on 23 March. An autopsy deemed hypothermia to be the cause of death, and experts say it’s likely Hirose had succumbed to the cold on the day of her disappearance, with the body only being found once the snow began to melt.
▼ Hokkaido is one of Japan’s snowiest regions, receiving an average of 3.83 meters (12.56 feet) of snow each year.
As investigators attempted to piece together the reasons why Hirose had gone to the park on a freezing night, disturbing details of bullying came to light. Weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun received permission from Hirose’s mother to publish her daughter’s real name and report on the details to share her daughter’s plight, and the extent of what the young teenager had to endure has shocked everyone around the nation.
According to Shukan Bunshun’s report, Hirose’s mother first noticed a change in her daughter’s character when she entered junior high school in April 2019. Very few students from Hirose’s elementary school entered this school, which made it hard for her to adjust.
In mid-April, Hirose became acquainted with a student at the school, two years her senior, while at a children’s park nearby, where Hirose would often study or read in the time between the end of school and the start …continue reading
Students driving you to drink is no excuse to open a cold one in the classroom.
Japanese schools are known for enforcing strict regulations, and one of the most common rules implemented by a large majority of schools is a no-drinking policy during class-times. It’s not just students who aren’t allowed to drink during class either, it’s a frowned-upon act for teachers too, given that they should be setting a good example for the children.
Sadly, not all teachers care about setting a good example, however, as evidenced by one elementary school teacher on the main island of Okinawa Prefecture recently. According to the prefectural board of education, the 51-year-old teacher wasn’t just sipping on water or juice while teaching — he was found to have been imbibing alcohol during class.
The incident occurred on two occasions, with the teacher drinking a 350-millilitre (12.3-ounce) can of chu-hai at the front of the classroom during class on 22 February, and then again on 26 February, while the students were working on individual tasks.
▼ A Chu-hai (often rendered as “Chu-Hi”) combines shochu, a distilled spirit, with carbonated water and a flavour like fruit juice, and can contain as much as 12-percent alcohol.
A wide variety of chu-hai brands exist on the market, and while it’s not known which one the teacher was drinking, a student in the class at the time recognised the can to be an alcoholic beverage and reported it to another teacher on 26 February.
When questioned by fellow staff, the teacher admitted to drinking alcohol in class, expressing remorse and saying he “drank it on impulse“.
On 15 April, the Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education told the media that the teacher had been disciplined with a ten-percent reduction …continue reading
Congrats! You’ve been chosen as a special guest for someone’s big day. Yet, you stand there puzzled, Japanese wedding invitation in your hands, sweat dripping off your forehead, wondering how different the experience would be from what you’ve seen back home and whether you’ll be able to pass through all formalities in grace and style in this culturally challenging land of emotions. Well, wipe that sweat, start reading and get ready to celebrate your Japanese wedding debut.
First of all: feel very honored, because it’s generally only family and close friends who get the invitations. Your second task? Start preparing right away.
When choosing your outfit, present, even the congratulations card, make sure you follow some (rather non-negotiable) rules.
How to RSVP
No matter if you attend the wedding or not, you are expected to send a written answer. You will find a card along with your invitation, which requests you to confirm your presence or absence. If you’re attending, circle 出席 (shusseki) and if you’re not, circle 欠席 (kesseki). Make sure to delete the honorary ご (go) before each word with two lines, and write a short congratulatory message in either Japanese or English. Send the card back as soon as possible.
How to dress
No big difference here with other countries — it’s a formal event, so wear something formal unless you’re specifically told not to. However, there are a few taboos for women that you’ll find everyone silently obeying, regardless of the type of wedding you’re attending. The biggest of them all is to never wear white at a wedding, because, well, the color’s already taken by …continue reading
Spring is a very fun season in Osaka. Lots of sakura (cherry blossoms) bloom and there are many beautiful places to visit. During this season, temperatures in the city are between 15 and 25ºC, which makes it one of the most ideal times to visit it. Similarly, in Japan both the school year and the work year start in April. Therefore, spring is a season full of new encounters, activities, and life. We gather here some of the best sakura viewing spots in Osaka and some of the most impressive events and festivals held in this city during spring.
Places to see the sakura
In Osaka, cherry blossoms usually start to bloom in late March and last until early April. During this period of time many parks and gardens turn pink and offer unforgettable views.
Nishinomaru Garden in Osaka Castle Park
In spring, this park becomes one of the best places in Osaka for the hanami (cherry blossom party), as there are about 3,000 trees. Included in the Sakura meisho hyaku-sen (“Selection of the 100 best places for sakura”), among its trees there is the one that serves as the criterion to make the “official declaration” of the start of flowering of the city. According to the experts, the Nishinomaru Garden offers the best angle to enjoy the beautifying views of the sakura and the castle. You have to pay a special rate to this area, but it is a really worthy visit.
Besides, Osaka Castle also includes a spectacular night walk called “Sakuya Lumina”. This is a fun-filled castle night tour. There you can feel the magic of the castle and enjoy every corner illuminated with vibrant night lights. What makes this tour different from all the others is that you can walk alongside a girl named Akiyo and her friends, Pulpo, Balun, …continue reading
Before I moved to Japan for the first time in 2015, I didn’t really like green tea at all. I had heard about the health benefits, but to me, it always tasted quite bitter, and I didn’t know how to sweeten green tea without adding sugar, which would defeat the point of having a healthy drink!
However, shortly after I arrived in Japan I was offered green tea everywhere I went, at work, in restaurants, even whilst I was waiting at the mechanic’s for my car to be repaired. It would have been rude to refuse the tea, so with no other choice, I drank it, and to my surprise, it wasn’t bitter! It turns out the secrets of how to make green tea taste good are pretty simple, it’s all in the brewing process!
Recently, I joined an online green tea time session with Arigato Japan, one of my favorite tour companies who organize AMAZING food tours and virtual experiences. During the hour-long session, I learned so much about green tea, the correct way to brew it, and some awesome pro-travel tips that I can use the next time I go traveling in Japan. I highly recommend booking one of Arigato Japan’s online experiences, you can choose from making Japanese cocktails, or learn all about Japanese food.
Read on to discover what I learned during the green tea time session about how to brew the perfect cup of green tea with flavor at home and other pro-tips from the Japanese tea masters!
If you are planning a trip to Japan then check out my 3-day Kyoto itinerary <a target=_blank href="https://ryokougirl.com/3-day-kyoto-itinerary-a-guide-for-first-time-visitors/" …continue reading
Of course, the new rules will come with a few catches.
In terms of public transportation, what you have access to is dependent on where you live. Naturally, some folks prefer to take matters into their own hands, or out of necessity, to purchase and travel by car, motorbike, and/or breakfast bus. And with the advent of new transportation technology, such as electric bicycles, electric scooters, and Segways, Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) has decided to move forward in re-writing the rules for smaller electric vehicles, while also unbanning the Segway from public roads.
▼ People may hate to admit it, but this is the ultimate human form.
Previously, the rules which applied to your electric non-automobile vehicle depended on what kind you had. For example, Segways were only permitted in designated areas, typically a park, and one had to have a driver’s license to operate one, whereas electric scooters could not be ridden if they exceeded a speed of 15 kilometres per hour (9.3 miles per hour).
However, with new considerations underway, the NPA is currently determining what regulations stay and which ones get revised. So far, the NPA has chosen to sort smaller electric vehicles into three categories, each with their own specific guidelines. The categories are vehicles which travel at least or below 6 kilometres per hour (3.7 miles per hour), vehicles which travel at least or below 15 kilometres per hour, and vehicles which travel over 15 kilometres per hour .
Source: East Asia Forum
Author: Patrick Strefford, Kyoto Sangyo University
On 1 February 2021, military television channel Myawaddy told the people of Myanmar that a state of emergency had been declared. President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, both senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), had been arrested.
Former vice president Myint Swe — now serving as President — used his constitutional authority to declare the state of emergency, then transferred state power to the Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw), Min Aung Hlaing.
The Tatmadaw claimed that widespread election fraud in the November 2020 elections resulted in the NLD landslide victory. On 2 February 2021, they announced that a new State Administrative Council had been formed to take over all state legislative, judicial and executive functions. This has been called a coup by most Western media.
After 10 years of varying levels of cooperation between the Tatmadaw and the NLD, the democratic transition has taken a serious U-turn. But given the strained relations between the Tatmadaw and the NLD — and given the fragility of all democratic transitions — the potential for such a reversal was always there, lingering in the shadows.
Most Western governments and media outlets were quick to denounce and condemn the Tatmadaw and tried to draw attention to what they saw as a slow and weak response from the Japanese government. Certainly, Japan was not included in the 15 February statement by ambassadors to Myanmar that called for the military to show restraint and condemned the detention of political leaders.
But Japan was a signatory to the G7 Foreign Minister’s statement on 3 February, ‘condemning the military coup’. On 21 February and again on 28 February, the Japanese government said it ‘strongly condemned’ the situation in Myanmar. In the same statement it said, ‘the …continue reading
Source: Manga Therapy
So this was finally it, huh? A manga that debuted in 2009 which became an anime/manga phenomenon in 2013 and would later still have a significant place in manga history ended this month. Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan was a title that I liked a lot and while there were some great moments in its final arc, the manga seemed like it tried a bit too hard to emphasize the complexity of human beings. Then again, maybe that’s been the whole point of the series.
Spoilers abound after the jump.
I got to read up on the chapters that made up Volume 34. To be honest, it felt like somewhat of a mess. The whole backstory about Ymir Fritz confuses me a bit. I know that I will need to re-read the entire series to get a clearer idea. I got that the series became some kind of commentary on how people are always finding ways to divide one another via their differences.
It’s just that I missed the old days, pre-basement. Attack on Titan was labeled as a horror action manga to a certain degree. I recently was reading an article about CM Punk (a former WWE wrestler who was very popular, but left the business after frustrations with management) and he talked about a horror movie he was cast in. Punk was asked about his love of horror and he said:
“I grew up on it, you know? I grew up on it because it was taboo. When things are taboo and you’re told you’re not allowed to watch it, what do you do? You watch it! You watch a lot of it. As you grow older, smarter and get some wisdom about the world, you realize that horror is the genre that tackles, before any …continue reading