猫好き 

Posted on May 08, 2017 | genkijacs

Here at GenkiJacs we are Cat People or 猫好き(ねこずき). (That being said, please let us know if they open a dog café any time soon....)

Our Pop Culture course includes a variety of exciting activities, including visits to various themed cafes. So off to the Cat Café we went. Surely you have heard of places where you get to drink your tea or coffee and pet one of these:
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Fukuoka has a number of such places and going there is always very adorably relaxing experience.

Cat Cafes or 猫カフェ are great for a quiet afternoon in the middle of the city. These cats are always very well taken care of by the friendly staff members that work very hard to keep these cafes clean and the cats happy.

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(He looks a bit nervous, but we can promise this student enjoyed himself immensely.)

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SO if you like cats or just would love to do something different, please join us next time!

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Any questions?

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花見

Posted on April 17, 2017 | genkijacs

As many of you are no doubt aware, late March-early April is the time for the cherry blossom. It is a wonderful time to be in Japan as parks and open spaces turn the most beautiful shade of pink. People from all over the world admire the transient beauty of the cherry blossom.

Sakura (桜) has a deeper meaning than just its beauty. Because of the fragility of these flowers, it presents itself as a perfect metaphor for life as life is just as fragile and beautiful as the flower of the cherry tree. In Japan it has historically been used to romanticize the idea of giving up one's life for the country.

To this day, Japanese people come out to admire the blooms and the blossoming is covered extensively by broadcasting companies all over Japan.

There is also an alternative view to it, which is very well encompassed by one phrase:

「花より団子」 (はなよりだんご)

This saying has a more mundane meaning. It literally means “Instead of Flowers, give me Dango”: 団子 or だんご is a kind of sweet dumpling made out of rice flour. It has nothing to do with the transient side of life or the beauty of petals falling from the sky. It has everything to do, however, with having food and something tangible to hold on to instead of watching something beautiful that has no value.

Kitakyushu International Manga Competition

Posted on October 24, 2016 | genkijacs

When it comes to Art and Literature, Japan is particularly known for its famous manga and anime. Now is the chance for all the skilled draughtsmen among our Japanese language students to prove their talent:

In order to “Widely disseminate the charm and potential of Manga from Kitakyushu in order to spread manga culture throughout Japan and abroad“ the Kitakyushu International Manga Competition is held annually. This year’s application deadline is November 18th. Entries from both amateurs and professional artists are welcome. Apply and you might have the chance of winning either an amount of up to 500,000 JPY or gaining support with your manga career.

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For further information visit: https://kitakyushu-mangataisho.com/en/

WIN up to one year of free Japanese study in Japan!

Posted on October 03, 2016 | genkijacs

In celebration of winning the top World Language School 2016 award, Genki Japanese and Culture school is giving away up to one year of free Japanese language study in Japan!

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We're so excited, we just can't hide it!!
After having been shortlisted for this award for the past 8 years, winning it has been such a massive honour for our school, we wanted to do something really special for our students. So we decided to run two concurrent competitions with huge prizes - don't miss this opportunity to study Japanese in Japan, totally free!!

Enter the competition here for your chance to win, and good luck!

If you have any questions about the competition, email us at info@genkijacs.com and we'll try our best to help!

節分 Setsubun festival

Posted on February 04, 2016 | genkijacs

If you have visited or lived in Japan, you are probably aware that the Japanese have very high awareness of the various seasons throughout the year. There are specific foods to be eaten and activities that have special meanings for each particular season. The 3rd of February marks the end of winter, and Setsubun (節分) is celebrated widely across Japan. Setsubun, or the Sping equinox literally translates to seasonal division.

On this day, Japanese people perform a special ritual, Mamemaki (豆撒き) that is supposed to get rid of all the evil and unwanted illness of the previous year. Beans (豆) are scattered (撒く) to chase away the nasty spirits and demons. People will chant ‘Oni wa soto, Fuku wa nai’ (鬼は外、福は内) which means ‘Out with the demons, in with good luck!’ In addition, Eho maki (恵方巻), a special type of sushi roll is also prepared and eaten while facing in the "lucky" direction of the year. (This year's lucky direction was South-South East).

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We had some brave volunteers who pretended to be the Oni, or the demons! And following the tradition, they of course have to be pelted with beans by everyone else! All in the name of luck, fortune and fun of course!

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When religions collide - Shinto and Bhuddism meet at Hakozaki Shrine

Posted on January 12, 2016 | genkijacs

On 11 January, students at our Fukuoka Japanese language school got to experience the very rare 承天寺一山奉賽式 (じょうてんじ ほうさいしき" - Joutenji Temple Visit). This ceremony is held once a year in Hakata, when 20 Buddhist monks from the Joutenji Temple pay an official visit to the Hakozaki Shrine, a Shinto shrine. This tradition started when the founder of Joutenji Temple got caught in a very bad storm on his way back from China. In the midst of the storm, he happened upon Hakozaki Shrine, and entered it in order to pray for his safe return to Joutenji. And so the tradition of Buddhist monks visiting Hakozaki Shrine was born!

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These two religions, Buddhism and Shinto, very rarely come together like this, so it was a very special opportunity for our students to learn more about these fascinating faiths and their beliefs.

Some of our students also got cornered by a TV crew for an interview!

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After the Temple Visit, students returned to school for a special lesson on how to make sushi, conducted by professional sushi chefs.

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Sakura 2015

Posted on March 25, 2015 | genkijacs

It's that time of the year again - birds are singing, the sun is shining, and the ever-lovely sakura are starting to blossom in Japan. Weathermap have released their official sakura forecast for 2015, and it's looking like both Tokyo and Fukuoka will have started seeing blossoms as early as 23 March this year, with full bloom being forecast for around the 1st of April.

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Have you booked your blue ground-sheet for upcoming hanami parties yet? Space at most majour parks is filling up quick, so best to RSVP ASAP to avoid disappointment!

St Patrick's Day

Posted on March 23, 2015 | genkijacs

Arguably the most famous March holiday in the Western world, St. Patrick's Day has so far remained relatively unknown in Japan. This is slowly changing however, with the addition of many St. Paddy's Day events held around the country each year. The first St. Patrick's Day Parade in Fukuoka was held at Shintencho in 2014. This year, the parade saw almost 100 people attending the festivities, which included Irish music, dancing and of course, lots and lots of green.

The Post Parade Party was held at the Hakata Harp Irish pub on Sunday night. We're almost entirely sure that has no relation at all to the amount of students who were absent from school on Monday...

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Setsubun 2014

Posted on February 04, 2014 | genkijacs

Setsubun is a special Japanese event marking the last day of winter. The event is celebrated by casting "demons" (ill luck, or bad happenings) out of the home, and welcoming good fortune into the home. This is done via the custom of 豆まき (まめまき, "mamemaki"), where beans are thrown at a person wearing a 鬼 (おに, "oni" - demon) mask, and yelling 鬼は外! 福は内! (おにはそと!ふくはうち! "oni wa soto! fuku wa uchi!" - demons out, good fortune in!). This is supposed to bring good luck for the next year to come.

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It is also custom to eat your age in beans on setsubun, for good fortune (although if you're very old, it might be a good idea to go easy on the beans...)

Another setsubun custom is to eat 恵方巻 (えほうまき, "ehoumaki"), a special kind of sushi roll which is eaten standing, facing in the "lucky direction" of that particular year. This year, the "lucky" direction was East-Northeast.

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When eating ehoumaki, you're not allowed to talk or laugh until the whole maki is finished. Harder than it sounds!

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There are more Setsubun photos on our Facebook page, so check it out!
Fukuoka school setsubun.
Tokyo school setsubun.

This is Halloween, this is Halloween!

Posted on October 16, 2013 | genkijacs

It's October, and the weather is finally starting to cool down over here in Japan. Apart from cooler weather, October usually only brings one thing to mind for many people - Halloween!

Genki Japanese Language School and our friends are REALLY getting into the Halloween spirit this year. With no less than four Halloween parties on offer at reception, all at different times and places, you're sure to be able to satisfy your every scary, costumed and sweet-filled dream this year!

GenkiJACS
Date: Friday, 25 October
Time: 18:00~
Place: GenkiJACS
Entry: ¥1,000
Dress as a character from your favourite Japanese anime/manga/game

IAC Fukuoka
Date: Saturday, 26 October
Time: 17:30~21:30
Place: Meet at IAC, party at Club Lab-Z REMIX
Entry: ¥2,800

Journeys English Studio
Date: Saturday, 26 October
Time: 21:30~late
Place: Buzz
Entry: ¥1,000

Fukuoka Friendship Network
Date: Sunday, 27 October
Time: 18:00~21:00
Place: Eternity (Club in Nakasu)
Entry: ¥1,500 for exchange students (¥2,500 for Japanese students)

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* image from Google and (c) its original owner