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I love this post, and not because it shows not merely the complexity of some kanji. Rather, the use of repetition is a characteristic of Japanese that I love. It is not just true in kanji, but in its onomatopoeia. There are so many examples of this. These are extreme ones, which highlight the practice. One thing that is particularly common is that multiples of the same kanji not only “add” to its meaning, but in an extreme case, can even “subtract” from it.

The case of the “dragon” 龍 is particularly poignant. Three dragons together – 龘 – means a “moving dragon,” but four dragons together – 𪚥
– means “many words, verbose.” The character doesn’t even have a ASCII code, so it can’t be typed. The meaning, though, can be considered humorous.

I really love this aspect of Japanese, where repetition and wordplay coexists.


most difficult kanji topThe kanji with the most strokes – you may run out of ink before you finish writing some of these.

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I love this! There are many kanji I love, including some of these in this short list of ten. One of my favorites is simple, 木 (ki), or tree. It looks much like a tree does. It is also a root in many words, which is something that reveals much about how Chinese and Japanese view words and concepts. Adding trees together, as in 林 and 森, creates the words, loosely translated, into forest and woods. And when these three characters are combined with other characters, as in 木村, 竹林, or 森島, the resulting surnames reflect the family origins of a person: Kimura is tree-town (possibly living by the biggest tree in the village), Takebayashi is bamboo-forest (probably in their backyard), and Morishima is woods-island (one can imagine the lush woods on the island). The tree character is one of the most common kanji found in Japanese writing. For a hiker, camper, and nature-lover like me, it is a joy to find trees throughout the Japanese language!


Proves that we have a soft spot for flowers, wind, and little wavy boats.

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Tokyo Roar is a very intriguing look at japan and, of course, Tokyo. Some of the scenes are definitely not from Tokyo, but that matters little. The imagery is often breathtaking.

The filmmaker, Brandon Li, shows his love for the city with images from skyscapes, back alleys, shrines, wedding ceremony, purikura girls, bamboo groves, and the Robot Cafe. But he also shows the dark side, with homelessness and despair. It’s a wonderful journey and, at just shy of 4 minutes, a short and sweet one.


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Filmmaker and travel enthusiast Brandon Li’s latest venture ‘Tokyo Roar’ is a love letter to the world’s ultimate metropolis. This remarkable short film encapsulate’s Tokyo’s unique blend of traditional and modern, urban and nature – all in under four minutes.

But it’s not all rose-tinted positivity here. While Li’s video takes us on a winding tour of Tokyo’s dazzling streets – through pachinko parlours and hobby shops, before peeping in at bamboo groves and Shinto shrines – we also glimpse homelessness, loneliness, the grind of the daily commute.

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A very well compiled list of things I might miss, too, when I eventually leave Japan. But then again, I’d probably make many of these customary where I go! 🙂



As a reader of RocketNews24, chances are you already have a pretty big soft spot for Japan. You may even already be living in the Land of the Rising Sun or have plans to fly out just as soon as circumstances allow.

But sometimes, even when we love a place with every fibre of our being, we just can’t stay forever. Family anxiously awaiting our return; work commitments; financial constraints and more mean that, at some point or other, many of us have to wave goodbye to Japan and return to our respective homelands.

Some of the things people miss about Japan will be immediately obvious, but others tend to sink in only a few weeks or months after returning home. Today, we’re taking a look at 21 of the little things, in no particular order, that Japan does so uniquely or so incredibly well that foreigners really start to pine for them…

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I’ve been “studying” cosmetics the past couple of months, since Japanese Greats is beginning to work with a few cosmetics companies and I am only interested in working with companies and products I can vouch for. That being said, it is still very difficult for me to have the fine appreciation for cosmetics as a only partial user.

Still, good, healthy, supple, and moist skin is something that anyone can appreciate. I do use a range of lotions and creams to keep my skin healthy, mostly after shaving (face and head), but also after getting too much sun and, especially, when I’m tired. Not enough sleep is ravaging on health, including the skin. And the skin is one of the most important and sensitive of body organs. After all, it is the one that provides the biggest barrier between our internal organs and the outside environment!

But despite my efforts to understand what makes great cosmetics so wonderful, I have to defer the finer points to my female colleagues. I’m sure that I’ll be posting more about cosmetics – here and elsewhere online – but I don’t expect ever to be doing research like this post! Kudos to Kuv for this!

Odigo Travel Blog

I’ve been living in Japan for a little over 8 months. I spent most of August 2014 sweating 24/7 and I noticed that most Japanese women had perfect glowy skin, completely unaffected by the 30+ degree heat and humidity. The sensible side of me knows that the reason Japanese women look so amazing comes mostly down to science and genes, but the consumer in me wants to know what products they use to look like this. If I could reach just a fraction of that I would be delighted!

Perfect Whip Japans top selling face wash which you can win through our Instagram competition! Details below.

I held off buying anything until winter as I still had my UK products from home. One morning in December I woke up with skin that felt like a paper bag. I decided that it was time to adapt and search for some products to help me…

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I quite agree that this is a good Bucket list. I’ve done all but #7. I think there are probably a lot of others that could be included, but I love that she doesn’t say anything about visiting a temple in Kyoto. I think it is something that should be done, but it gives far less insight to understanding and appreciating the heart and soul of Japan than most people realize. (My middle name comes from a Buddhist monk from a major Kyoto temple, so I feel somewhat uniquely qualified to say this.) To become a Zen priest is one thing, but you don’t get much enlightenment from taking a photo of a Golden Pavilion with a thousand others being whisked through the line after paying an entrance fee – oh, sorry, a visitor’s donation. I’m much more enlightened after a dip in a remote onsen rotemburo in Yuzawa (or substitute any number of other great places).


Your first trip to Japan is bound to be a whirlwind visit as you try to pack so many things into a short period of time. Do go to Tokyo and see the white-gloved train pushers, the famous Shibuya scramble crossing, and many of the scenes depicted in anime and manga. Do go to Kyoto and see the shrines and temples that are simply amazing.

But as a country that has so much to offer, it can take years to really get to know and understand Japan, even when you live here. So if you want to take your understanding of Japan a step further, we’re here to suggest a few things you’ll want to experience in order to better understand Japanese culture: things that give you insight on what’s behind the Japanese way of thinking.

These experiences will help you understand who the Japanese people are, and why they…

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I’m not surprised by this at all. Bullying by adults after they are finished with what they did in school is way more harsh than the kids stuff. No doubt, the hierarchy in the countryside is based primarily on muscle and is only circumvented at times by the power of money. While the real rural lands are plagued now with a dearth of people and the only ones left are getting old, the less populated cities and towns are much like the hick towns in the U.S. and other western nations. it’s just a different form of the same jaded blue-collar cowboy conservatism that puts the power in the hands of the “redneck” ruffians that rule with their fists.


Ijime, or bullying, is sadly as much a part of Japanese school life as it is in any other country. In Japan, too, each school has a sort of social hierarchy, where the “cool kids” often pick on or exclude the nerdy/unsporty kids, and everyone gets shuffled around until the “stronger” kids are on the top and the “weaker” kids are on the bottom.

But in a society like Japan, where group mentality is so important, you’d be mistaken for thinking that after high school everyone just flutters off to become their own special snowflake and cast off the mental wounds of a tough adolescence.

In other words, if someone was bullied in school, there’s a chance they’ll keep on being bullied by the same people right on through their working days if they stay in the same town. So how does this “high school hierarchy” continue to affect…

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I’ve pounded mochi the traditional way around 50 times. Never like this, though!



The making of mochi, traditional Japanese rice cakes, is a traditional activity for many Japanese families around the time of the New Year’s holiday. The term for this important ritual in Japanese is mochitsuki (餅つき), which quite simply means “mochi pounding.”

While there are dozens of mochi specialty shops scattered throughout Japan, one particular shop specializing in yomogimochi (mochi mixed with mugwort, giving it a distinctive green color) in Nara Prefecture boasts much more than delicious sweets–its second claim to fame is that it employs the fastest mochitsuki champions in all of the country!

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Anime girls are here to promote the subway – in Kyoto!


As we recently reported, the bigwigs at the Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau got together a while back and had a little brainstorming session regarding how to convince more people to use the subway. So what did they come up with?

Super-kawaii moe anime girls plastered all over the place! All part of the “Let’s ride the subway” advertising campaign, which hopes to bring in an extra 50,000 passengers a day. So how are people reacting to the sudden plethora of brightly colored cuteness all over their train platforms and carriages?

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This is not made in Japan, but Toriyama Akira’s manga and anime, Dragon Ball, has spawned an industry of spin offs and rip offs. This is the first fan-made film I’ve seen made in the west that is so true to the spirit of the originals (excepting, possibly, the lack of humor that is integral to DZ) that it made the 13 minutes seem to fly by. I love it!



A fan-made sequel to Dragon Ball Z has racked up 3 million views on YouTube, and sent fans into a frenzy of anticipation for the following episodes – if the rest of the series gets funded. The pilot episode of Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope is based on animated special ‘The History of Trunks’, a DBZ sequel that tells the story of (you guessed it!) the young warrior Trunks.

In the words of every fan ever: “It’s better than ‘Dragonball Evolution’!” On the one hand, that’s not saying much, as Dragon Ball Evolution got spectacularly bad reviews. But on the other hand, when a fan-made film is better than one with a Hollywood budget, that’s certainly something to be proud of.

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