Japanese soccer terms

Posted on June 23, 2014 | genkijacs

The FIFA World Cup is upon us, and it's the topic everyone is talking about. Whether you're watching the match in a bar, catching the results on the news or betting on winning teams with your friends, we thought our Japanese language students might be interested in knowing some soccer lingo in Japanese. (Most of these are transliterations in katakana, so they should be very easy to remember!)

Midfielder... ミッドフィルダー
Goalie... ゴールキーパー
The Goal... ゴール
Referee... レフェリー/審判役 (しんぱんやく、"shinpanyaku")
Yellow/Red Card... イエローカード/レッドカード
Throw In... スローイン
Offside... オフサイド
Stepover... オコチャダンス/ステップオーバー
Group tournament ranking system... 勝ち点 (かちてん、"kachiten")
Wall pass... 壁パス (かべパス、"kabepasu")
Goal difference... 得失点差 (とくしつてんさ、"tokushitsu tensa")
Attacking midfielder... トップ下 (トップした、"toppu shita")
Free Kick... 直接フリーキック (ちょくせつフリーキック、"chokusetsu furi- kikku")
Indirect Free Kick... 間接フリーキック (かんせつフリーキック、"kansetsu furi- kikku")
Penalty Kick... ペナルティキック/PK
Pass... パス
Juggle... リフティング
Bicycle Kick... オーバーヘッドキック
Shin guards... すねあて ("suneate")


We're of course crossing our fingers for Japan to make it to the finals of the World Cup. Which teams do you support? Who are you hoping will win the finals? Let us know!

Fukuoka and Tokyo both ranked in world's top 10 cities!

Posted on June 22, 2014 | evankirby

Monocle Magazine have released their Quality of Life Survey 2014, and this time Fukuoka has moved into the top 10! Three cities in Japan are ranked in the top 10: Tokyo at 2, Kyoto at 9, and Fukuoka at 10. It's great to see Fukuoka continuing to receive recognition as a great place to live. We can't wait to welcome you here too!

Do you know Hikakin?

Posted on June 18, 2014 | genkijacs

Hikakin is a famous Japanese beatboxer and video blogger who regularly uploads videos introducing interesting Japanese foods or products not often heard about overseas.
Not only are his videos quite funny, but they can also be beneficial to your Japanese language studies, since he always explains what he is doing, and so you can pick up on quite a few verbs as he talks. He also uses English sometimes, and some of his videos are subtitled.


Here are some of our favourite Hikakin videos:

Super spicy instant yakisoba
"Interesting Cake Shop" DIY sweets kit (Almost entirely in English!)
Mega-takoyaki kit from Don Quijote (Also learn a takoyaki recipe!...Sort of!)
Russian Roulette spicy snack sticks (Only one in 6 of the snack sticks is super spicy, so you never know when you're going to get a hot one. Play it with your friends and see who is the unlucky one!)

His Youtube channel is here; there are many more interesting food videos, as well as Japanese game reviews and weird product explanations.

Photobooks of Japan

Posted on June 16, 2014 | genkijacs

Heli-san, who has studied at GenkiJACS 3 times in the past, came back to study Japanese language with us again this year, at both our Tokyo and Fukuoka branches.
She brought us these lovely photobooks of her last stay in Japan in 2013, filled with beautiful photos of Tokyo, Fukuoka and GenkiJACS!




Thanks so much, Heli-san!

Emoji and the art of ASCII

Posted on June 09, 2014 | genkijacs

You've probably heard of Japanese emoticons called 絵文字 (えもじ, "emoji"), right?
This refers to the art of taking Western emoticons such as :-) or D: and expressing them horizontally, as in (^v^) or (>_<), often using Japanese or other special characters.

These emoji range from the expressive to the downright bizarre.
For example, this guy has clearly been asked a very difficult question:
And this guy, well... Have you ever been so angry you turned into a wobbly pudding of rage?

Considering the popularity of these emoji, very frequently used in informal mails and texts, it should come as no surprise that Japan also has some of the most amazing ASCII art in the world.

ASCII art takes the creativity of emoji to a whole new level.

For example, some people create short manga using only computer characters:

People with slightly more time on their hands draw famous anime characters:


This person has clearly transcended the bounds of normal human talent and exists in a parallel universe where people can control computer keys with their minds.

Sites like this one have a whole bunch of different styles of ASCII art if you're interested in seeing more.

Keeping cool

Posted on June 05, 2014 | genkijacs

As we head into summer, we'd like to remind everyone coming to study Japanese language with us from June onward that Japan gets hot. Very hot. It can be quite easy to forget about the heat when you're out having fun on the beach or in the city, but the sun can be quite dangerous, and with temperatures soaring above 45 degrees Celsius a lot of time, even some Japanese people (who are used to the heat) had trouble keeping cool last year.

We've blogged about this before, but here is a quick refresher on how to avoid overheating this summer:

- stay out of the sun between 10AM and 3PM. These are the hottest hours of the day, so if you're planning on hitting the beach, try to avoid going during those hours.
- drink lots of water. It can be quite easy to get dehydrated in summer - water will keep you cool and make sure you don't dry out in the heat!
- get a folding fan. Hand-held fans (called 扇子 - せんす, "sensu") are available at all 100yen shops, and literally everyone uses them here. They are compact and convenient to carry around!
- if you have to walk some distance in the city, do some store-hopping. All majour stores and convenience stores are air-conditioned, so you can make your way down the street by dashing from cool haven to cool haven.
- eat spicy food. It sounds counter-intuitive, but hot foods like curry make you sweat, which cools your body down. Japanese curry is famously not as spicy as its Indian or Thai cousins, but some spots like CoCo Ichibanya allow you to customize your spice level (just don't go too high - they do have some kick!)
- use a cooling spray. These sprays (called 冷却スプレイ or れいきゃくスピレイ, "reikyaku spray") come in many different brands and are available from most convenience stores and drug stores. They also make cooling sheets, which are great for cooling your forehead and neck.

GenkiJACS Tokyo - 1 year anniversary

Posted on June 04, 2014 | genkijacs

On Friday, GenkiJACS Tokyo celebrated their 1 year anniversary. We're very proud of how much our Tokyo school has grown in the last year, and are vry excited to see where the future will take us! Our students and staff in Tokyo celebrated by going to a samurai-themed restaurant. 
Check out more pics of the event on Facebook!

We here at Fukuoka school weren't to be left out of the celebrations, and had our own party at school.

Our Japanese language students joined us for some delicious taco chips, sushi, and...


And then the fun really began when teachers and students decided to turn on the Wii. You'd think between 4 people, this would be an easy task. Alas.

"How does this work?"

20 minutes later...(Three remotes, but 4 players.)

30 minutes later... Still no Wii.
Time to call in some reinforcements!

Finally! Success.

GenkiJACS Wii: a spectator sport.

We wish everyone at our Tokyo school a great year ahead, and hope our students there continue to have a lot of fun in Japan while studying the language!