Posted on April 30, 2009 | clarice

I did an interview with one of our students, Alan-san, today. But, it is in audio- and in Japanese! Can you understand?

(I stole this picture from the Japanese blog on a totally different subject... sorry Alan-san!)


Posted on April 29, 2009 | clarice

Most post-graduation students wish to keep studying Japanese but may have a difficult time continuing to learn as easily as they did during their time at GenkiJACS. We therefore have compiled a list of tips for students that will hopefully motivate studies!

Golden Week

Posted on April 27, 2009 | clarice

Starting from tomorrow, Golden Week begins throughout Japan. Golden Week is the longest vacation period for the year, and when most Japanese travel both domestically and internationally. The following holidays are recognized:
* April 29 - Showa Day (昭和の日)
* May 3 - Constitution Memorial Day (憲法記念日, Kenpou kinenbi)
* May 4 - Greenery Day (みどりの日, Midori no hi)
* May 5 - Children's Day (こどもの日, Kodomo no hi)
GenkiJACS is planning a school trip to Mount Aso during this time. I hope we don't get too stuck in traffic!

Cosplay Event!

Posted on April 22, 2009 | evankirby


A few weeks ago, we happened to be visiting the nearby Edo period theme park 肥前夢街道 (Hizen Yume Kaidou) on the same day that they held a cosplay event in conjunction with local cosplay company 楽装 (Rakushou). It was amazing to see the detail that some of the attendees put into their costumes! We were also surprised that more than 90% of the attendees were female, with only a few men. Local contacts tell us that the reason is that most of the costumes are handmade, and guys don’t often put the required time into making a costume.

Street fighter

Anyway, we were so enthralled with the event that we decided next time we wanted to take students too. So, last weekend, we took a few Genki Japanese school students to another Rakushou event, this time at Bayside Place, a now-abandoned shopping center by the ferry port. Presumably it was chosen because the destitute atmosphere looks something like a futuristic wasteland. Students took a bunch of photographs, and we’ve uploaded some of the better ones to our gallery here. How many of the original manga can you guess? Our student Lionel managed to get about half!




Tenjin Core

Posted on April 22, 2009 | clarice

For those who want to go shop for the latest Japanese teen/young adult fashion, Tenjin Core is the best place to go in Fukuoka (though it really cannot be compared to any of the equivalents in Tokyo). Located at the heart of Tenjin (right across the Tenjin bus/subway/train exits), it's a positively bustling place on weekends. Famous brands from Tokyo such as moussy, Cecil McBee, Liz Lisa, and Egoist have shops here. There is also a Shibuya 109 men's section.
There are a few things that annoy me about shopping in these places in Japan though. First, expect the staff to target you and stick to you like glue until you buy something. For example, whatever item you are looking at, they will start saying how 'kawaii' it is, mention every detail of the clothing, and rummage two or three other items that would match with it. It's hard to shop in peace! Secondly, most of these brands have little or no sizing. A medium in North America would be considered large size in Japan, and many brands do not have a large. Which leads to the next problem- many brands will not let you try on new or popular items, and it ends up being a gamble.
But, even so, I love shopping (or window shopping) there! If you follow Japanese fashion magazines (Vivi, CanCam, etc.), you'll find all the outfits there :)


Posted on April 20, 2009 | clarice

Most visitors who come to Fukuoka always end up in an arcade at some point or another. It's actually a good place to waste time ;) For example, although UFO Catchers are found everywhere in the world, in Japan, it is an arcade staple. Starting from 100 yen and up, players try to pick up stuffed animals, candy, and memorabilia with a controllable claw in a glass box. In many arcades I've been to in Japan, these games usually occupy a whole floor of the arcade. In Fukuoka, there are several major arcades located all downtown, maybe 7 minutes walk from the school. Besides the UFO Catchers, you can play the usual arcade shooting games (some of them look very, very nice with big plasma screens) and musical games. There are also sections for purikura (photo booths) and gambling (though it is not called that way in Japan since it is illegal). The oddest game I've played was a few weeks ago. It's a jumping game, the equivalent to racing on a pogo stick. All the characters were bunnies and kangaroos and other hyper animals. I was so tired by the end...

Japanese Karaoke

Posted on April 16, 2009 | clarice

Bwahaha... I landed gold!
I found this online Japanese karaoke site and it is real karaoke with the latest Jpop hits. Registration is free (though you have to enter a Japanese postal code, which I'm sure you can find with a quick search). I think anyone who knows me knows I'm a huge karaoke junkie... I hope you will enjoy it too :)


Posted on April 15, 2009 | clarice

Students Becky-chan and Shelly-chan brought their home-made bentos to school today.


GenkiJACS Cultural Festival

Posted on April 13, 2009 | clarice

On Saturday April 11, the GenkiJACS Cultural Festival was held.
On the previous day, students created some beautiful flower arrangement to be displayed around the school.

People were able to make their own namestamps in Kanji and do some calligraphy as well. The teachers were surprised at how well the students could write, since it was their first time!

Everyone wrote 'dream'. Many dreams were collected.

In the tea ceremony class, students were kimono. Some people couldn't hold the kneeling posture for very long...

Thank you all for attending!


Posted on April 05, 2009 | evankirby


Every year GenkiJACS makes a donation to UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund. Before we became an NPO, we donated 5% of after-tax profits. As an NPO doesn’t have “profits”, it was a little harder to decide how much to give last year. In the end, we decided to just double our 2007 donation!

We really recommend UNICEF as a great organization. We were surprised to read on the UNICEF website that “[f]or the last five consecutive years, the Japan Committee has been the largest donor of private funds raised for UNICEF around the world, contributing more than US$100 million to UNICEF in 2003.”
The work that UNICEF does to help children around the world is invaluable, and we wish that we could donate more. If you live in Japan, consider donating to UNICEF Japan through their website. You can pay by credit card, automatic transfer from a bank account, or at convenience stores. If you live overseas, this form lets you find the relevant UNICEF organization for your own country. They need your help now!

いい天気(てんき)ですね! (Nice weather!)

Posted on April 05, 2009 | clarice

Finally, a week without rain in the forecast! I haven't experienced summer here but I hear it's very hot and humid, or as it is said in Japanese, mushi-atsui (蒸し暑い). It's not really humid right now- actually, quite breezy- so it's best to enjoy the nice Spring weather now, right?

Dogs and Cats

Posted on April 02, 2009 | clarice

Pets are a big market in Japan. There are pet spas and pet hotels (even one at Narita Airport), pet strollers and many, many shops selling costumes (I saw a dog wearing a Softbank Hawks uniform the other day). Not just any costume- they have pajamas, raincoats, dresses, sweaters, snow gear, etc.

That's the thing I find most different between Japan and what I see in Canada. In Japan, most pet dogs are super miniature in size (chihuahus, shit tzus, poodles) and most of them wear clothes or are carried by women in their bags or strollers. I think this isn't exactly the norm for many western countries (maybe besides the pets toted around by Hollywood celebrities). The price for pets are also very surprising. Most start from ¥150,000. Yikes!!!! Personally I like big dogs and ones wearing just their own fur (and ones costing 10% of the price of Japanese ones), so I'm not that tempted when I go by pet stores!

GenkiJACS receives Customer Satisfaction Excellence Award - again!

Posted on April 01, 2009 | evankirby

GenkiJACS excellence award logo

We received a lovely package from, one of the agencies we work with, today. They ask students to rate schools after finishing their study, and collate those ratings each year. The average rating of all GenkiJACS students in 2008 was 4.7 out of 5! This means we receive the 2009 Excellence Award, “certifying an excellent overall service rating based on the evaluations of former students”. We also received this award in 2008.

GenkiJACS excellence award