ABC

I’m going to play a game. I do this when I can’t sleep (like now) – usually in my head, but because this blog doesn’t get a lot of action, I thought I’d share.

Rules are simple. Pick the first word that comes to your head corresponding with the letter of the alphabet. Usually I do things like country names, types of trees, fruit, brands of cars, etc. Today’s topic is broad, and therefore, easy: Japan.

Annnnnd go~

A – Asakusa

1a

an area in Tokyo known for maintaining the ‘old’ feel of the entertainment district and its famous Senso-ji temple and shrine – more info

B – bento

2a

aka “boxed lunch” – more info

3a

lucky school kids have moms that do stuff like this with their bento

C – chanoyu

4a

tea ceremony

D – daruma

6a

good luck talisman modeled after Bodhidharma – more infoMy Daruma Story

E – enka

7a

traditional and/or sentimental ballads – more info – usually conjures up the image of something like this lady…

8a

…but then there is also this guy – Jero

F – fugu

9a

blowfish

10a

It’s poisonous. A chef has to be specially certified in order to prepare it. They usually have to train for at least 10 years. – more info

G – genkan

11a

entryway (technically, a foyer) – more info – The first tip you are always given about Japanese customs is “take off your shoes before you enter someone’s home”. IDK why people think that is unique to Japan. You better take off your shoes when you come into my house too!

H – Himeji-jo

12a

a beautiful castle in Himeji, Hyōgo – more info

I – Ikebukuro (Hubby has been randomly saying this apropos of nothing the past few days.)

13a

a commercial and entertainment district in Tokyo – more info

J – jizo

14a

protector of unborn children – more info

K – kaiseki

15a

traditional multi-course meal – more info

L – Licca-chan

16a

essentially, the Japanese Barbie – more info – She seems more like horror movie fodder than child’s plaything to me…

M – maiko

17a

apprentice geisha – more info

N – ninjin

18a

Japanese word for ‘carrot’ (I just like the sound of it. And also carrots in Japan are HUGE, and the ones in Kyoto are red. Weird.)

O – onigiri

19a

rice balls – more info

P – purikura

20a

shortening of “print club” – or photo booth stickers

Q – There is no Q …. Ichi Maru Q? That counts, right? LOL.

21a

109 shopping building in Shibuya, Tokyo – called Ichi (1) Maru (circle) Kyu (9)… and nine sounds like Q so it’s written to look sort of like one – more info

R – ramen

22a

noodle soup – more info (because it’s NOT the instant crap you eat)

S – Shinkansen

23a

“bullet train” – more info

T – tayu

24a

top ranked oiran (prostitute/entertainer of yore – NOT a geisha – more info

U – ume

25a

Japanese plum – usually eaten pickled and the blossoms are just as beautiful as sakura – more info

V – There is no V in Japanese… I’ll go with VICTORY! (not “peace”, like we think)

26a

inevitably, cameras come out and fingers go up – more info

W – wagashi

27a

traditional sweets – more info

X – X-japan

28a

super famous visual kei band

Y – yokai

29a

Japanese spooks – more info

 Z – Zatoichi

30a

Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman – There are several versions but I’ve only seen this one. It’s a great movie written & directed by and starring Beat Takeshi. more info – It has an ending dance number that is equal parts totally awesome and ‘WTF did I just watch?!’

First, zenzen popped in my head, but that’s hard to demonstrate in a picture.

FYI~ zenzen (one of my favourite expressions) means something like “absolutely”.
ie. zenzen wakarimasen – I don’t understand at all.
zenzen OK! – It’s totally okay.

(originally posted to Japan – Here I Come!)

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