義理チョコ: Obligation Chocolate and Valentine’s Day in Japan

We announce the end of class, stand to attention, and bow. Some with more gusto than others, some merely nodding before collapsing into their chairs again. Four girls, in a rehearsed and giggling mass, come up to the lectern. They laugh at each other, and at themselves, look at me, and in unison say 'happy …

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おみくじ Omikuji: A Japanese Fortune Telling Slip

A Japanese language teacher gifted me an おみくじ, Omikuji, from the Dazaifu Tenman-gū, a famous shinto shrine in Fukuoka, Kyushu. She sat down to explain it to me, letting me know that Omikuji is best translated as a 'Fortune Slip'. As the Dazaifu Tenman-gū is a large and famous shrine, they had English Omikuji available. She happens …

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廃虚 Haikyo: Abandoned Bowling Alley

My accidental encounter with an underground Japanese hobby happened when we came to Sagami to spend a day drifting over the lake. We were taking in the burnt shades trees give off at that time of year, when we saw it. The entrance to a building over run with foliage, a squat Doraemon with waves …

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