Japanese Onomatopoeia and "Ideophones"

Posted on October 20, 2010 | genkijacs

To celebrate being shortlisted as one of the world's Star language schools for the fourth year in a row, Genki Japanese School is currently offering big discounts for study. Request an estimate today!

The Japanese have an absolute plethora of onomatopoeia and ideophones, many of which have very little to do with actual sounds. Our students here at Genki may come already knowing some from manga or other Japanese media, but I thought I would post about some less commonly known ones we discussed in our class last week.

If you are ever needing medicine or to go to the clinic here in Japan, there 3 could be useful
Hiri Hiri means a stinging sunburn kind of hurt
chiku chiku is a pricking pain, both empty and keen
zuki zuki is a throbbing pain pulsing pain.

For those who have ever heard of the pokemon Pikachu, which I imagine must be most of the world by now, this one may be enlightening, Pika Pika means to shine.

If you are a fan of storms, zaa zaa is a pouring drenching rain, while para para, as it sounds, is a much softer rain, a pitter patter if you will. Potsu potsu is a rain that falls intermittently, at times stopping. As far as thunder goes, goro goro means to roll, and is often used for a rolling thunder. (Or to mean you lazed about all day.) Don Don is, as it sounds when pronounced with a Japanese intonation, is a loud booming thunder. Gata Gata is the kind of loud thunderous noise that is reminiscent of earthquakes, a sound Japanese are familiar with.

Some other onomatopoeia you may hear commonly or already know are...
Jiro Jiro-to stare
Peco Peco- to be hungry
Pera Pera- to be adept or skilled at, most often applied to language and fluency.

Student Actors

Posted on October 17, 2010 | genkijacs

Today some students from Genki Jacs went with students from the Media and Film School to do some filming in and around the IMS building. The videos were about language misunderstandings and differances between Japanese usage of English words and how foreigners might use those words. In particular issues with the request for a "Body check" and the Japanse loan word (actually German) baito. Afterwards the film students treated the Genki JACS actors to dinner at Joyful. We were very impressed by the prowess of the Japanese actors. While filming meant opurtunities for pictures were limited, after the video is produced, we hope to be able to link to it from our site here.

Handy currency converter

Posted on October 17, 2010 | evankirby

We've updated our site with a small but important feature: a currency converter! This lets you choose the currency that prices on our site are displayed in. Selecting a different currency automatically updates all of the displayed prices. As if by magic! The rates are based on the current exchange rate, but it's important to mention that they're only provided for reference purposes - the actual price is always in yen. This tool should make it a lot easier to figure out just how long you can afford to stay in Japan!

Try it out here.

A big thanks to our intern Brendan for working so hard on this. Good job!

Interview With Etai About Nagasaki!!

Posted on October 14, 2010 | genkijacs

There was a national holiday a couple Thursdays ago, so GenkiJACS arranged a trip to Nagasaki for the students. I interviewed one of our students, Etai, to see what happened!! (All the Nagasaki pictures below were taken by Etai.)



Where were you before Japan?
New York, USA

Where are you going after Japan?
Maagan Mikhael, Israel to learn Hebrew

Why Are You Studying Japanese?
I want to be an English teacher abroad and learn many languages.

What was your impression of the Memorial Peace Park? Did it change the way you view the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
The Peace Park was very beautiful. There was a fountain shaped like dove`s wings, thousands of cranes, and big monuments. The peace park monument was particularly symbolic: One hand points up at the bomb, the other asks the people to stay calm. One leg meditates and rests and the other steps forward to progress. At one point during the tour I saw young children playing with their grandparents near a monument decked in paper cranes and water bottles. It seemed like a message that life can bloom after death.

What other parts of Nagasaki did you get a chance to visit?
After the peace park we went to the museum after which was a powerful experience (albeit one-sided). Where there were many stories about the experiences of those affected by the bomb and subsequent radiation.

What foods did you try?
For lunch we went to a surprisingly delicious restaurant in Nagasaki's China Town.

Any omiyage?
Only the memories...

What is your most lasting impression of Nagasaki?
Nagasaki is a beautiful city with much to offer. Though not the powerful trading port it once was, it is certainly a nice place to visit or even to live!

Are there any other cities you’d like to visit in Japan during your stay?
I want to visit Tokyo again while I`m in Japan. I`d also like to see Osaka!


Thanks, Etai!!

Tsugumi Sensei Heading to the Dominican Republic with JICA (Interview)

Posted on October 13, 2010 | genkijacs

One of our beloved teachers, Tsugumi Sensei, is going as a participant of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) to the Dominican Republic for two years next year to teach Japanese. JICA is an independent governmental agency that assists with economic and social growth in developing countries and promotes international cooperation.

We did an interview with Tsugumi Sensei so she could further explain exactly what she'll be doing and how she feels about everything. The interview's in Japanese, so we invite current students and future students to look at it as a challenge in the Japanese language!

Here's an overview of the questions we asked her-
1) どうやって JICA のことを知りましたか?少し JICA について教えてください。
2) JICA にはいろいろな職種がありますがあなたはその中で何をされますか。
3) JICA に応募しようと思ったきっかけは何ですか?どうしてドミニカ共和国を選びましたか。
4) 長い間海外に住むことについて、どう思いますか。
5) ドミニカ共和国で挑戦してみたいことはありますか? HAI- それは何ですか。また、どうしてですか。今までに、ドミニカ共和国の伝統の食べ物を食べたことがありますか。

1) How did you first find out about JICA? Can you tell us a little bit about JICA?
2) JICA runs many programs and offers much help around the world- what specifically will you be doing with JICA?
3) What made you decide to join the program? And why the Dominican Republic?
4) What are your feelings about being in a foreign country for so long?
5) What’s something you’ve heard about the Dominican Republic that you’re excited to try or do? Have you had Dominican Republic food before?

We're very proud of her and wish her the best of luck.
You're doing a great thing, Tsugumi Sensei!!

Upcoming Fukuoka Festivals - October 2010

Posted on October 07, 2010 | evankirby

October is a good time for festivals in Fukuoka, with three big ones coming up soon.

20101007-nakasu matsuri.jpg
Nakasu Matsuri
October 7th to 9th
On the streets of Nakasu
Nakasu is one of the nightlife centers of Fukuoka, and the festival focuses on celebrating that aspect. Unlike most other festivals, women carry heavy shrines through the streets. There’s also a dancing parade, and a beauty competition.

20101007-hakata okunchi.jpg
Hakata Okunchi
October 23rd and 24th
Kushida Shrine, near Nakasu
An autumn festival more than 1200 years old, with music, parades, festival shops, and more.

20101007-lantern festival.jpg
Hakata Toumyou Lantern Watching
October 18 (Naka river area), October 25 (Hakata Station area)
Paper lanterns are arranged into beautiful designs around the Hakata area of the city. These designs are only visible between 6pm and 9pm on the days of the festival, and are arranged to make a lovely walking tour. Start in Nakasu, near the big shopping center.

And of course don’t forget the November Fukuoka sumo tournament, coming up! Buy tickets now if you want to go.

Strange Drinks in Japan

Posted on October 05, 2010 | genkijacs

We all know that Japan is full of all sorts of delicious food and drinks on every street corner. It seems like every restauraunt, konbini, or yatai you go to, no matter what you order will turn out to be oishii.
That's not to say that you can't find super strange food and drinks, though. Prime example- look at this pancake flavored "milkshake" drink you can find in some vending machines in Fukuoka. The weird thing is that it's actually pretty good.
pancake flavored milkshake drink
If you want to try it, check out the vending machines on Oyafuko-dori in front of the Dark Room building. Enjoy!! ★★

Paper Crane Festival

Posted on October 04, 2010 | genkijacs

Origami Crane Matsuri

The students that have been visiting us making origami cranes, with the goal of 100,000 peace cranes had their festival finale at the park by city hall this past weekend. When I visited on Saturday afternoon they were at 70,000 and Sunday morning it looked like they had probably come close to completing the daunting project. They made cranes with various patterns of recycled papers, and the different colored cranes were then used to make a giant design on an enormous piece of paper, with strands of cranes making a large crane of their own, riding on a rainbow, surrounded by flowers, with We Love Fukuoka 2010 below. The photos show the project partially completed, from Saturday and Sunday morning. In addition, there were many booths selling tasty foods like Tacos or gyoza, or marketing prizes for participation. At one booth they gave away chances at signed athletic merchandise for completing peace cranes.
In addition, there was a stage where local artists or performers showcased art. Fashion shows from design students at a local school showcased amazing and creative Japanese clothing, hip-hop artists rapped, and a children’s dance troupe performed.
We’ll work on getting photos up as soon as we can get some.

Don Quijote Mania!!

Posted on October 03, 2010 | genkijacs

If you come to Fukuoka (or Japan in general), one store you must visit is the crazy wonderland that is Don Quijote. It is often referred to as Donki by Japanese people because of the shortening of the katakana name: ドンキホーテ --> ドンキ .

Inside you fill find a store with winding aisles, goods packed to the ceiling, and the song "Miracle Shopping" playing over and over again. It sounds strange, but once you're in, it's almost impossible to get out. You can find a range of electronics, cellphone straps, Hello Kitty slippers, food, groceries, Halloween costumes, jewelry/watches, etc. Anything the heart desires can be found at Donki!

And the Don Quijote penguin is all over the store, showing you discounts and telling you what's new. Be sure to take a picture with him! ★
don quijote penguin
inside don quijote
inside don quijote 2