Karaoke – some singing and a lot of fun

Karaoke – is a portmanteau of two Japanese words – Kara (empty) and Oke (from Orchestra). Although the word is Japanese, whether or not this favorite pastime of many in Japan was invented here or not, is a matter of …

Learning to bow – Ojigi

Incidentally, this is also the name of the book that I am reading right now. But what I write here is not about the book It is about the “art of bowing”, which is an integral part of the Japanese …

Daruma – the ‘Dharma’ doll

Those of you who have been to Japan must have seen this doll several times – they are sold at omiyage (souvenir) shops outside various temples, shrines and other popular tourist destinations around Japan and onlookers are often fascinated by …

Jishuku – Self restraint

“The Sakura were late this year as if they too observed some form of “Jishuku” …….quoted from a photo essay by Francis Harrison , a photographer who captured Tokyo in a somber mood after the triple disaster (earthquake, Tsunami and

Hotaru no Hikari (Glow of the fireflies)

I am sure you must have heard this ‘one’ music at closing time (see the link at the end of this para) in shops, department stores, supermarkets, gyms (my gym plays it) and a lot of other places in Japan. …

Nemawashi:A management technique

Nemawashi – literally meaning ‘going around the roots’ (ne = roots; mawasu = go around), is a Japanese word which is quite difficult to interpret effectively, although it may be often translated as “laying the groundwork”. Sometimes difficult for foreigners …

Honne and Tatemae – two sides of the same coin

Honne is a person’s true feelings and desires, whereas Tatemae literally means ‘facade’ or the behavior or opinion that one displays in public (quoted from Wikipedia)

These two words are considered to be of immense importance in the Japanese society …

Omikoshi – wa-shai, wa-shai!!


Omikoshi is an honorific term for Mikoshi – a portable Shinto shrine. (In Japanese, O is a prefix that is usually added to the names of objects to make them sound polite) It resembles a miniature temple building, with the …

Kimono – the traditional dress

Kimono – is a traditional Japanese dress, worn by men, women and kids. The literal translation of the word is “something to wear” (Ki = wear; mono = thing). It is a T-shaped, straight line robe, which comes in all …

Celebrating life – no matter what (the age)

One of my Japanese friend’s family will be celebrating her father’s 88th birthday very soon. According to her, it is an important celebration in Japan and her whole family will get together at her hometown, on the occasion. The festivities …

I love my chai (tea)


A blog on Japan and we are discussing tea..strange??
I know it is…but this is one of the few aspects of living and working in Japan that I struggled the most with..ha ha!!..Being a true Indian, my relationship with tea …

Departure (death) – a way of life?

I am sure many of you must have watched the Oscar award winning film – Departures or Okuribito (in Japanese) This is one visually and emotionally stunning movie because of the way it portrays death, an inevitable part of human …

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