Friday, October 22, 2010

Things I Learned In Japan 1: Yatte shimau koto

So here is my other series, so I'm not always writing about the same thing.
It's entitled "Things I Learned In Japan" and I'm not sure how many parts it'll be, but this way, when I think of something I learned, I can post it here instead of boring everyone I know about it.

So, without further delay, lets begin!

Yatte shimau koto(やってしまう事)
Yay for Japanese lesson!!
The -te verb ending "shimau" in Japanese means, literally, to do something so thoroughly it has a negative effect. In informal Japanese, it's the -chau ending.
The verb "yaru" means "to do", in a very colloquial sense.
And "koto" means "thing".
........Put it all together and you get: "Things that you do so thoroughly it has a negative effect".

In other words, "mistakes". (note: this is NOT the actual word or words for mistakes, but simply a way of expressing it.)

During my stay in Japan, I realized that there are different ways people deal with problems, particularly with how they react when people do things that upset or hurt them.

For example, your husband has an affair. Instead of accusing him of betraying you, some Japanese women will ask themselves what they could have done to cause him to want to have an affair. They may blame it on their lack of skill in cooking, housework, etc.
Now, to an American, this sounds kind of crazy, doesn't it? Well, true story, I was told that unless I learned how to cook fish and all the Japanese meals and "got better" at doing housework, if I married a Japanese man, he'd definitely leave me for another woman or cheat on me.

Also, when things go wrong with friends, it's a more Japanese way to think about what you could have done wrong rather than jump in blaming everything on your friend.

They also have a tendency to apologize for EVERYTHING first. You bump into someone on the train, within half a second, they will say "sumimasen" or "gomen nasai".

I think this is really an effective way to deal with things, personally, and I've started applying it to my own life. I've been told by many people that I'm much, much more considerate than I used to be and that I seem to be much more peaceful.

I now usually say sorry whenever I make a mistake doing ANYTHING, and since I've just started at Dunkin Donuts, I've been making a lot lately (just a fun fact, we put the flavor in first, sugar second, cream third, and THEN the coffee. If it's not in that order, we don't sell it.). I quickly respond "I'm so sorry" and everyone says, "no worries" or something like that, but I can tell they appreciate that.

They have a word that's often translated as "opponent" called "aite"(the kanji is 相手 "inter, mutual, together" and "hand"), but it literally is "the other person". My last host dad taught me a lot about Japanese culture and the way things are done in Japan. He always told me that I should always always always put aite no kimochi (the other person's feelings) first.

It's a deeper concept than karma, which is usually based out of a fear for the repercussions and a selfish desire to be treated fairly, but instead, based out of a mutual desire to maintain peace. If everyone considers others feelings when making decisions, the best decision for everyone can be made. It's also partially just "one of the things you do" in Japanese culture, which probably doesn't make much sense to most people.

HOWEVER, this desire to seem unselfish also can lead to company workers being bullied and not voicing their opinions for fear against repercussions for going against the grain. Oh Japan, there's just so much to talk about...

So, any questions? comments? I'd be happy to discuss more about this if asked. Let me know.
Next post in this series: For a country that wants everyone to be the same, they sure do like ranking themselves, and everything else.(maybe the title will actually be shorter, but you get the gist)

Side note: New photos post coming soon. My charger crapped out on me so I have to convince my dad to let me borrow his again.

Thanks to all the new commenters and everyone who views this!! I hope I can continue to post more interesting stuff in the future. If I haven't responded to you yet, don't fret! I will try to get on tomorrow :]

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Around the town...

Today's post is about my town, but it's mainly for my Japanese host brother, so it's primarily going to be in just Japanese, sorry!

I'm writing a new post and working on finding good pictures for my new series. I'm also planning to add a new series too.

Also, any suggestions for the "About Me" page? I might try to do a survey or something to make it more fun. let me know if you have any ideas! :]

So, from here on (until the end of the post), 日本語でしましょう







United Methodist Churchです。(



英語でJapanese Mapleと言います!











Sunday, October 10, 2010

Remembering my school life in Japan: Part 1(VERY PIC HEAVY)

I'm introducing my new series! It will be divided into a few parts and will be about my high school exchange in Japan!

Here's how I plan on dividing it up:

Part 1 - Introduction to my school and 2年2組 - My first homeroom

Part 2 - 2年3組 - My second homeroom
Part 3 - Events at school/daily life/being a gaikokujin seito
Part 4 - Relationships in Japanese High Schools
Part 5 - Public vs. Private High Schools
Part 6 - Random Memories

I may be adding more if I feel more ambitious, hah!

I've been having mood swings lately and I've decided to start by blogging about my exchange as a way to channel all this change of thought so the loneliness doesn't kill me. I miss Japan too much.

Part 1 - Introduction to my school & 2年2組, my first homeroom
I was a one-year exchange student at 清真学園高等学校(Seishin Gakuen Koutou Gakkou, link).
It's a private Junior/Senior High School located in Kashima, Ibaraki. Students from as far north as Mito, Ibaraki and as far south as Narita, Chiba come to this school.

It's considered one of the top schools in the area and has a strong Rugby team and Shorenjikempo club. In 2007, it was selected to be a "Super Science High School" meaning, for 3 years, they would get special funding, textbooks, and money for trips to further their school's studies all while relating it to science. Even our English textbooks were primarily about science.

There is about 1,000 students school-wide and has over 100 teachers. Two are Americans, both from Washington State and teach English. Many of the teachers are graduates of Tokyo University, Meiji, and other top Japanese universities, making it a very prestigious school.

I attended Seishin with the exchange student from Thailand. We were the first year-long exchange students in over ten years, so it was a very new concept at Seishin.
Even with three other foreigners, I was the ONLY person with light hair that wasn't grey, which made for some funny looks, but some great laughs.

The 11 months I spent there was amazing and I made tons of friends and tons of memories. So hopefully I can share some of that with my readers (if there are any, hah!)

My first homeroom was 2年2組 or 2nd year, 2nd class(same as 11th grade in America). There were 41 people + 1 gaijin.

 Class picture - from my LAST Long Home Room (where we had assemblies, played games, had study time, etc) as a 2-2er but it was so much fun!

I will always have a lot of love for this class because they put up with me when I couldn't speak Japanese at all.

(should go under memories, but time appropriate)
From Halloween last year. This was from a Halloween cookie container. It turned into a pumpkin mask.

We had a "Halloween Party" during lunch, but that just meant they MADE cookies. Stupid American me went out and made treat bags for my main friends and brought in candy for everyone else.

.......Halloween in Japan is not Halloween in America.
My friends and I all got matching back-packs from Uniqlo.

We took pictures of us all together, and then we vowed never to use them on the same day because it was too embarrassing (so they said).

I gave mine to my last host sister because I couldn't fit it in my suitcases :[ But I will always have this lovely picture to remember them by♥

This is the one-week exchange student we had . She was staying in Tokyo originally but came to visit us for a week and she was SO COOL!

She helped me with my Japanese some, which I'm really thankful for.

Random picture from lunch. This girl became my BEST friend from this class.

She and I sang anime theme songs in karaoke... a few times! haha. She was a secret otaku.
 My shadow buddy!
She had to show me around a lot during my first month.

We, sadly, didn't stay very close at all. She became tired of having to "take care" of me, I think. Would someone like a blog about the pressures of being an exchange student vs being an exchange student's friend vs being a host family? I think it's a very interesting topic that I'd LIKE to write about.

 My group of friends at our bbq!

me and my two friends in our horribleeee winter uniforms. DEFINITELY not meant for white girls.

it started SNOWING but we still had the bbq.

The boys, hiding under umbrellas, and all trying to "sneak" into my shots without making it obvious. They were so cute.

The people in this class were very, very, very shy. The boys would run up and "test their English skills", sometimes ignore, and made my gaydar go off many times before I realized it was just a difference in culture. The girls were sweet, but since they were very rich, were pretty into labels.

I had 7 girls in this class who I ate lunch with, had all my classes with, and relied on for a long time. However, I think they had some issues between them that, due to my lack of Japanese cultural awareness/lack of language ability, were never explained to me and I'm not really sure why we kind of "split up" right before spring break. Sometimes I think it might have had something to do with me..... *sigh*

Do YOU guys have any questions about this class? Or any questions about Japanese high schools in general? I'm willing to answer anything so feel free to ask, ask away~! Maybe I'll add in a Q&A page for this series?

I'll try to update tomorrow as well, hopefully with a coordinate post as well. :]

Sara Mari's Cat Naming Contest!

I recently entered Sara Mari's Cat Naming Contest!
I entered with the name "Momiji" because "who doesn't love the leaves changing for fall? Also, your birthday is in the fall and you got her in the fall and she's orange. Anddd what Japan lover doesn't want a japanese name for their pet?"

annnnddddd I won 3rd place! (link)
I'm very excited and I highly recommend that anyone who reads this check out HER awesome blog which is full of fun Gyaru-kei stuff.

My next post will be about my high school in Japan, so please check back in like an hour, haha.

Friday, October 08, 2010


















"Hi Aunt Stacy!"









I love my niece more than anything.


Monday, October 04, 2010

today's coordinate!

I started to make a header last night but noooo Gimp had to screw up my layers and my two hours of work meant nothing. I want to come up with a definitive title for my blog.

I guess I'm getting serious about it (笑)

so, here is today's coordinate~

Skirt: Charlotte Russe


Black Leggings: Charlotte Russe

they're now currently all covered in lint, hah.

Shirt(or dress on Japanese girls >_<): Paul Royal

This shirt I absolutely adoreeee. I got it on sale at my local Jusco in Kashima, Ibaraki last fall. For those who don't know, Jusco is like Japan's mini-shopping mall with like a Wal*mart in it.

This shirt is definitely some knock-off brand, but I love it just the same&hearts;

Boots: who knows!

I saw these as a 1000円 sale in a Jusco(hah I'm a loser) in Chiba!
I love love love them sooo much. They are soft on the inside and were the LAST pair of LLs so it was like fate.

Put it all together and......

Okay, so it's not ALL together because I'm wearing my slippers, but I'm going job-hunting later and that's when I'll be putting my boots on.

It's cold and rainy and blahhhh.
I was going to be nice and erase all the distractions from this photo but meh, you can enjoy wondering what the heck it all is. :]

(my room here is VERY small. and I have LOTS of things. >_<)

So yeah, today I am going job hunting. I WILL find a job, I WILL find a job, I will! I will!
I just need to keep positive and keep working!


Sunday, October 03, 2010

new nails!! twitter!! and some information!

I'm sick still, so I haven't responded to the emails that have piled up. >_<

but, Lynda's friend Melissa came down tonight and did my nails!
check them out:


Recently I've begun using Twitter. I'm pretty sure we all know what Twitter is, so I'm not going to do a big introduction to it butttt if you use it, please follow me! :]

Originally, I had only updated in Japanese, but I think I may start posting sometimes in English and sometimes Japanese, depending on what I have to say.