I’d always love the Land of the Rising Sun
If I were to be anywhere in the world aside from the Philippines, I’d be in Japan right now.
I love Japan and I want to go back there again. It’s a very nice place to live. It seems almost a utopian place to live in there. Someday, we will reunite again.
Oh, anyway, there are a lot of Filipinos in Japan. However, I only saw only one Filipina there who speaks Japanese. Hanggang airport lang kami nakakita ng Pilipino. When we started to step in Japanese soil, nope, we didn’t see a Filipino.
Basic facts about Japan (for the traveller)
It’s capital is Tokyo, the language is Japanese (Nihongo) and yes, their religions are Shintoism, Buddhism, etc.
It has an ambidextrous traffic, although it is predominantly RHD since it allows both LHD and RHD. Its TV system is NTSC, and its AC outlet is the American one (NEMA 1-15/Type-A).
Its type of government is constitutional monarchy. The head of state is of course, the emperor (Emperor Akihito) and the head of government is no other than the Prime Minister.
It is the second largest economy in the whole world.
Its currency is the Japanese yen (1 yen = 100 sen).
Family-owned MNC’s are called zaibatsu.
A province is called a prefecture.
The Japanese school system is trimestral, but in tertiary education it is semestral. School usually starts in April.
The major metropolitan areas in Japan are: Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagoya.
Its principal island is Honshu.
It is the country where most of your favorite gadget/auto brands come from.
It is an export-oriented country, so expect that the prices are always appreciated. This means that it is considered as the most expensive country in the world.
Like other first-world countries, it allows/legalizes abortion, divorce and death penalty.
It follows jus sanguinis (right of blood) and dual citizenship is only temporary if you’re half-Japanese. In short, Japan doesn’t allow dual citizenship, so a half-Japanese people must be 20 to decide whether to rather be a Japanese citizen or not.
Japan is the third when it comes to tobacco consumers, probably in Asia or in the whole world.
Its economy can be comparable with Europe, especially with Scandinavia.
Of course, it is part of the Sinosphere.
It is one of the most peaceful countries in the world and it boasts a very low crime rate.
Contrary to popular belief, most Japanese people know how to speak English, but their level of speaking in English isn’t at-par with other neighboring countries (e.g., South Korea).
You step on the elevator at one side. Stay at the right side when you’re in the Kansai region.
Eat with a tray. Always.
Their lowest banknote is 1000 Japanese yen, which is equal to 500 Philippine pesos! Yes, that’s right. Their economy is at-par with Europe rather than the United States.
Like the Germans and the English people, Japanese love to play and experiment with words, whether in their own language or loanwords from English or any other language.
Osaka means “big slope” or “large hill.” In Chinese it is read as “Daban.”
In Chinese, Tokyo in Kanji is read as “Dongjing,” meaning Eastern Capital. Just like Beijing means northern capital and Nanjing as southern capital.
Japan is unfortunately, an earthquake-prone area. Expect that daily (or weekly) earthquake drills are conducted.
Japanese people are known for their distinctive almond eye shape. Among the yellow-raced people, they’re far unique from the rest of the Sinosphere.
Although Japanese are proud of being homogenous, however, they are tolerant than what people think.
Their national flower/tree is the Cherry Blossoms (Sakura).
Japan is a pacifist country and its army is for defense.
Japan/Japanese in many languages
Japanese – Nihon/Nippon, Nihongo/Nippongo, Nipponjin.
Filipino – Hapon, Hapones
Spanish – Japon, Japones
French – Japon, Japonais
German – Japan (pronounced as YA-pan), Japanisch
Korean – Ilbon
Chinese – Riben
Russian – Yaponiya
Introduction to Nihongo
It is a Japonic language. Yep, unfortunately it is considered as isolated, but some wanted it to be an Altaic language.
The Japanese writing system is composed of three (or four) alphabets. The first one is kana, which has two types: Hiragana (or the cursive, cute things that you see on most Japanese books) is designed for native Japanese words while Katakana is an angular, Hanzi-fragmented type of alphabet designed for loanwords or foreign words, that is. Kanji is the writing system with borrowed Chinese characters (there are some Chinese characters that are only found in Japanese, actually!) and most probably Romaji, the romanized version of Japanese.
There is no-L, however. It is yes, synonymous to the Christmas alphabet. 🙂
Kon’nichiwa – Hello, good day, good afternoon
Arigatou – Thank you
Sumimasen – Excuse me
Gomen nasai – I’m sorry
Hai – Yes
Iie – No
Sayonara – Good-bye
Moshi-moshi – Hello on the telephone
Hontoni desu ka? – Really?
Genki desu ka? – How are you?/Are you alright?
kokoro – Heart
gakuen – School
Okasa – Mother
Otosan – Father
gaijin – foreigner
en – yen
eigo – English
PASOKON – personal computer
Itadakimasu! – Let’s eat!
Hajimemashita – Pleased to meet you.
Yoroshiku Onegai Shimasu! – Pleased to meet you.
Chotto matte kudasai! – Wait a minute!
shi – death
mizu – water
hana – flower
banzai – something associated with 1000 years of reign, not sure about this
kamikaze – suicide pilots/bombers
Kokka Shugi – nationalism (specifically Japanese)
kimono/yukata – traditional outfit
shamisen – Japanese rondalla
shakuhachi – Japanese woodwind instrument
koto – Japanese zither
geisha – an entertainer who is mistaken to be a prostitute, due to their heavy makeup
anime – Japanese cartoons
zaibatsu – family-owned companies
okane – money
kuso – shit
baka – stupid
gago – elegant language
Japanese around the world
The most concentration of Japanese expats are in Brazil, so no wonder that Japanese passport holders need a pre-arrival Brazilian visa, which is synonymous to the fact that a Philippine passport holder should get a pre-arrival US visa.
Japanese-Brazilians are called Brapanese. Examples are Daniel Matsunaga, Hideo Muraoka and billboard favorite Akihito Sato.
A Japanese citizen of Korean descent is called a zainichi.
Famous Japanese people
Yoko Kanno – world-class musician who is always behind the most beautiful soundtrack in most anime.
Akira Kurosawa – Japanese filmmaker
Osamu Tezuka – the father of Japanese anime
Hayao Miyazaki – Japanese Walt Disney
Ichiro Suzuki, Sadaharu Oh – baseball players
Riyo Mori – Ms. Japan – Universe
Rocky Aoki – late Japanese-American founder of Benihana restaurant chain
Ayumi Hamasaki – J-Pop empress
Utada Hikaru – Japanese-American singer-songwriter
Suzuka Ohgo – Japanese child actress, known for Chiyo in Memoirs of a Geisha
Masi Oka – Japanese-American actor, best known for portraying Heroes‘ Hiro Nakamura
Marie Digby – half-Japanese YouTube sensation
Yuna Ito – Japanese-Korean singer, born in Los Angeles
Angela Aki – Japanese-American singer-songwriter
Posted on October 7, 2011, in Asia, Continental Talks, Japan, Opinion, States and Nations of the World and tagged East Asia, japan, japanese, japanized, japanology, Pacific, Sinosphere. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.