On the Keyboard 2013年以前のバックナンバー
Why I still carry pomegranate seeds in my wallet
(2020/1/1付 朝日ウィークリー 6ページ)
Everyone is probably back to work, back to school or back to your normal routine of life. How was your New Year's holiday? What did you do? Do you usually do the same thing each year? This must be a tradition, even if you don't think it is. In this article, a writer from Brazil explains some interesting New Year's traditions that some, or many do in Brazil. For example, many Brazilians only eat pork or fish, animals that move forward. They don't eat chicken for New Year's because chickens can sometimes walk backward. I think this and many other Brazilian New Year's traditions she mentioned are interesting!
Japan teaches me the lovely pastime of peaceful napping
(2019/9/15付 朝日ウィークリー 6ページ)
I have always found sleeping in public to be interesting. Like the writer, we come from cultures where we feel uncomfortable if we sleep in public places. Also, we worry that something will be stolen from us if we do. The writer gives some examples, and comparisons from his experience. I too can add that when I lived in South Korea, many people took naps, perhaps even in more random places than Japan. I remember one summer day in Korea, that after a Korean man caught a big fish, he threw the dead fish to hang over his bicycle, and he then decided to take a nap on the sidewalk, next to his bike. We had to walk around him. Probably most people wouldn't nap in his chosen spot, but it did create a lasting memory.
Language learning adice from a‘septilingual’
(2019/1/13付 朝日ウィークリー 6ページ)
Great language learning advice from a lady who speaks seven languages. That's right, she speaks seven languages! I think her advice can help all of us. There's some new advice here that I don't normally see, but often recommend to others. Talk to yourself. Have a pretend conversation with yourself. I think this helps a lot! She offers more useful advice that I think would be great to use. I must take her advice, too! I hope that those who read this article can get some great advice!
Fear dissolves in the face of a multicultural encounter
(2018/9/2付 朝日ウィークリー 6ページ)
This article was interesting for a lot of reasons. First it's talking about stereotypes. Two, the stereotype was coming from a young girl. Three, this young girl was in a wheel chair. Four, this girl is unable to speak verbally. She speaks with her hands, or through sign language. For these reasons, it means that she is handicapped and maybe has people stereotype her. Five, the whole article is written by this young girl's mother. I find this whole article interesting for so many reasons more than what is specifically talked about. Another words, there's a lot in this article that is not mentioned.
(2017/6/11付 朝日ウィークリー 5ページ)
Etiquette differences: A tale of slurping and snot
Slurping, or making sounds when eating, noodles is something I don't understand. Why is it done, I'm not sure, but I've been told various answers. The writer discusses this and other traditional actions that Japanese people and western people do. I find this article interesting.
(2017/2/12付 朝日ウィークリー 5ページ)
Yo Japan, it’s time we had a little talk about gift giving
Receiving a gift means that you should return a gift. I'm not talking about souvenirs, but larger gifts. I think many Japanese have even sometimes felt that returning a gift is a hassle and sometimes causes extra unneeded stress. In fact, the trouble caused by returning a gift sometimes makes me not want to receive a gift in the first place. It's too bad, because the person who gave the gift meant it with all kindness and good intentions. The good thing about gift giving the gift giver is that it's good for shops and stores! They get more business because of it. The writer in this article says that Japan has a gift giving problem, and shares his opinion about it.
(2017/2/5付 朝日ウィークリー 5ページ)
Reverse culture shock and the adaptable human being
Reverse culture shock. If you're not familiar with it, it's what happens when you experience culture shock from returning to your home country. The writer uses the example of not having to take off shoes when entering people's houses, but at my house in America we always take off our shoes at the entrance. My examples of reverse culture shock were from many other experiences. For example, being able to perfectly understand everyone's conversation around my table when going out to eat, strangers saying "Bless you" after I sneezed, and paying tips for so many service related businesses. It was a strange feeling in my own country. Although, I quickly adapted back to my American culture.
(2017/1/29付 朝日ウィークリー 5ページ)
No stigma attached to drying clothes outside in Japan.
Drying clothes outside without a dryer? When I first moved to Asia, I was really surprised to see laundry hanging off apartment balconies, outside of homes, etc... I thought that those people were too poor to own a dryer. I was wrong. After moving to my small studio apartment in Korea, I too had to learn how to evenly space all my clothes on the drying rack and position it properly next to my only window so that my clothes would receive maximum exposure to the sun. Here in Japan, I now have a washing machine that has a built in dryer, but it takes a really long time. Not to mention that my electricity bill goes up quite a bit if I use the dryer often. In America, I never worried about electricity prices, because it was much cheaper than what I pay in Japan. After about 45 minutes of using the dryer, all my laundry was done and I'd put it away. Sometimes I had roommates that would hang dry a few articles of clothing, but mostly all laundry would go into the dryer. Because Americans use the dryer so often, many times we specifically buy bigger sized clothes because we know that over time it'll shrink from using the dryer. When I was young, my mother would sometimes hang the laundry outside on a hot summer day. She did this because she said that the laundry felt fresh. Perhaps she was right, but I'd just rather use the dryer and be done as fast as possible.
(2017/1/15付 朝日ウィークリー 5ページ)
An American masked man joins the throngs in Tokyo.
The writer describes his experience with masks in Japan, which may be similar to many foreigners visiting Japan. I know that when I first moved to Korea, I was quite surprised to see people wearing masks. I thought there were hiding their face from something, but didn't know what. I later learned that the main reasons were because they didn't want to spread their sickness, or didn't want to catch someone's illness or to help calm allergies. The only time I wore a mask in America was after the Mt. St. Helens volcano erupted and volcanic ash was everywhere on the ground, trees, streets, cars, etc... Other than that, I never used them in America. This is a great tradition, but it took me a while to become comfortable with the masks. Maybe the American masks are larger, because at first the masks in Japan were uncomfortable and the string hurt my ears, perhaps because my head is larger than most in Japan. Regardless of the reason, I've become used to the Asian masks and wear them whenever I'm sick. I wish America practiced this.
(2017/1/1-8付 朝日ウィークリー 5ページ)
Drink in the morning or at night? Have fun on New Year.
I have often thought the same as this writer. America celebrates New Year Day mostly on New Year's Eve. It's a big party, and the next day is a relaxing day to do whatever you'd like. Japan seems to start the main New Year's Day celebration once the clock hits midnight, or the new year begins and it extends into the following day(s). Maybe not all celebrate it this way in Japan, but so far this has been my experience, as well as the writer. I think cultural differences are interesting, and each culture has their own way of celebrating New Year's Day around the world. Some cultures don't celebrate the new year until February or even April! Happy New Year!
(2016/5/8付 朝日ウィークリー 5ページ)
It's quite hard not to take personal safety in Japan for granted
This is an interesting look at Japan, and one that I feel is very true. Japan if a very safe country, especially when comparing it to America. Thieves are not as common here in Japan, but I'm sure things get stolen more than we hear of. I agree with this article, but just as it says, we shouldn't tempt others by leaving our valuable items out for someone to take. I must add that the parents and the society of Japan should be thanked for creating this safe environment. Thank you Japan!
(2014/12/28付 朝日ウィークリー 5ページ)
If you don’t have much,you don’t have much to think about
This article's Q & A worksheet is a little more difficult, but it's a good article from a foreigner's perspective. After living and traveling around Asia, I now find the smaller style homes more comfortable and relaxing than the larger western style houses or apartments. There are so many benefits to a smaller place, some of which are mentioned in this article.
(2014/10/05 付 朝日ウィークリー 5ページ)
Giving and receiving ? more complicated than in the West
This article discusses what many foreigners have thought about and discussed many times. In Japan, when we receive a gift, we're very grateful and happy, but it's a little complicated to figure out what to do next. Maybe many Japanese natives find it a little complicated too. However, no matter what our thoughts are, either being Japanese or a foreigner, we can all appreciate the kindness and care that went into giving a gift to another. Plus, by giving AND receiving, it probably helps out the economy a little more as well!
(2014/05/04 付 朝日ウィークリー 5ページ)
Can soccer surpass baseball in popularity in Japan?
★ワークシートあり★ Manchester. An old industrial city in the north of England. A city united in their passion for the world’s most popular sport, soccer. But equally, a city divided by rivalry between the colors red and blue...
(2014/01/05 付 朝日ウィークリー 5ページ)
Living in Japan is a bit like being Alice in a wonderland
★ワークシートあり★ While I don't agree with everything the writer says, it's still a good example of what some foreigners may think about onsens/hot springs. It also gives me the chance to share my own hot springs experiences when growing up in Oregon, USA. We had many natural, outdoor hot springs, only a short drive away from my house. My family would pack a lunch and drive to the location. From the road, or parking lot, we would then hike down the forest trail and change into our swimsuits once we reached the hot springs. The hot springs would usually flow into a small river/stream, so this created different temperatures depending on where you sat in the slow moving river. Some of these hot springs were more popular than others, but all were free and natural. It was always a great experience!
(2014/01/26 付 朝日ウィークリー 5ページ)
The 'omiyage' kingdom; Trying to compete with Snickers bars
★ワークシートあり★ I love traveling. I have “ conquered”46 prefectures in Japan. Only Akita remains. I enjoy local cuisines, unique landscapes, dialects, and more than anything else, local souvenirs! ...
(2014/01/19 付 朝日ウィークリー 5ページ)
Shrines, superstitions: Foreigners potentially immune to bad luck
★ワークシートあり★ I sometimes visit Japanese shrines. I think shrines are not specifically religious, but are simply just a part of the lifestyle here. People in any religion or those having no religion can go to make a wish. I love the tradition of washing hands at the entrance of shrines to purify oneself ...
(2014/01/05 付 朝日ウィークリー 5ページ)
Connections: Parking lots and cars and doorways and shoes
★ワークシートあり★ While living in America, I was asked, "Why do you always park backwards?" Now living in Japan, I feel perfectly at home with how I park my car. However, this topic has come up many times among foreigners! This article discusses this topic as well as a few other things that could be discussed in class. For example, the driving age in other countries. In my country, each state is in control of the legal age of when you can start driving. Some states allow one to start driving, with supervision, at the age of 14! In Oregon, I was allowed a "Learner's Permit" to start driving with my parents at the age of 15.
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