Archive for October, 2006

Funny English – “Restarant”

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

Disclaimer:This series is about funny English found in Japan. Japan is notorious for its terrible misuse of English, and sometimes you can really get a good laugh. I’d like to point out something very important, though, WITH THIS SERIES I DO NOT INTEND TO MAKE FUN OF JAPANESE PEOPLE. As an English teacher, it would be unethical for me to do so, and as a language learner, I wouldn’t like anybody to make fun of me, either. What I’m making fun of are THE STUPID COMPANIES WHO ARE EITHER TOO CHEAP OR TOO LAZY TO HAVE THEIR ENGLISH CHECKED OUT BEFORE THEY USE IT. I mean, how much time and money does it take to have someone proof read a couple of sentences, or sometimes even single words?

Keiko wants you!

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

If you’re a good-looking caucasian male under 35, that is. Ok, this is probably a joke, but I couldn’t resist posting it!


Edit: Well, well, it seems she’s not who she claims to be after all. The person who owns that domain is NOT Japanese. Anyone with minimal Japanese skills can see that her Japanese page obviously came out of an online translator. With the help of some of Japundit’s readers, I now know that the girl on the pictures is in fact a Chinese-American called Jenni Cheung. Now the question is: Is it Jenni impersonating a Japanese girl for fun, or is it someone using Jenni’s pictures without her knowing it? There’s only one way to find out, I’m sending her an email!

More Edit: She hasn’t replied yet, but she wrote on her blog that she was informed by someone else about that page. She claims “someone” is using her pictures, but she doesn’t seem too worked up about it. What’s bugging her is that they used her “old pictures”, eventhough she looks good now. Weird…

Ainori #333

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

Ainori is a popular reality show in Japan, aired on Fuji TV on Monday nights at 23:00.

In August 2005, I discovered that Ainori was not only popular in Japan, but also all over the world thanks to Bit Torrent technology. I decided to write a summary of each episode, and do a translation of the weekly photo captions from the official site. What do I get out of this? I get to improve my Japanese, I get more traffic to my blog, but above all, I get the satisfaction of knowing many non-Japanese speakers all over the world can appreciate a truly unique reality show. Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to post any comments or questions you may have.

Ainori’s official homepage (Japanese only).
Current participants

Ainori’s BT downloads available @ D-Addicts

Good News, people! It seems streaming videos of Ainori are still available on

Ainori #333


A lot of things happened this week. First, there is a new theme song called “My LOVE” by Ai Kawashima, who used to sing another of Ainori’s theme, “Ashita e no tobira”, as the lead singer of I WISH. The new theme didn’t impress me very much, but I guess I need to listen to it a bit more. Then of course, Tachi declared his love to Junko, in a somewhat, ahem, unusual manner. Uekki is now definitely in love with Chaki, who seems to be responsive, too.”


So Tachi tried to talk to Junko a first time, telling her how he was in love head over heels with one of the girls (her), and a very supportive Junko, who kept believing he was actually in love with Chaki, told him how she didn’t really have feelings for anyone, yet. As you can imagine, that came as a shock for Tachi. The next day, the group heard about the legend of Torun’s Katajinki gingerbread. According to the local legend, a long time ago a poor man and a princess fell madly in love with each other, but their relation wasn’t accepted due to the social gap between them. The man decided to make a gingerbread shaped like two hearts and two rings and gave it to the king, who was so impressed at the way the young man conveyed his feelings that he allowed the two to get married. So Tachi decided to bake his own Katajinki gingerbread, in order to declare his love to Junko, which he made with a “T” for Tachi and a “J” for Junko.

He then went to get the fateful plane tickets from the driver, and asked to talk to Junko once again. He was quite nervous at first, but then proceeded to explain how she grew on him since she had joined the group. From the moment he had noticed she had a “The North Face” backpack, how they could talk about the outdoors and skiing, etc. and then told her that his trip was coming to an end. At that moment, Junko still wasn’t realizing he was in the process of declaring his love to her, until he stood up, and screamed at the top of his lungs “People of Gdansk, I love Junko, I love Junko, I love Junko”.

“I loooooove Junko!”

He then started crying, apologizing profusely for that display of emotions, and gave her the WRONG ticket (he kept hers and gave her his, which he realized only later), and the gingerbread. Afterwards, when Junko was back in her room, she mentioned that she would have liked to get to know him better, and how she didn’t want to get involved with him on a whim. She even went as far as saying that she wondered what kind of face she should make when she turns him down, which is highly unusual. Usually, the producers don’t show such a clear intent from the participants right after a kokuhaku (love declaration in Japanese), so I think they manipulated the editing again to mislead us, the viewers. Personally, I think Junko is right, i.e. that Tachi rushed into this, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.


Well, well, it seems Uekki and Chaki are really getting along, and while they were cooking together, they were having so much fun they looked just like a couple in love. Uekki confessed to the staff that he loved her, and by the way she behaves I believe she also has feelings for him. It really looks like they would make a nice couple, and I hope Uekki will make a move soon.

“Ha, ha, ha”

On a completely different note, I hate Wentz’s new Japanese metrosexual haircut, which only echoes the quality of his stupid comments! Then again, what does a bald guy like me know about hair?

Next week we’ll hear Junko’s answer to Tachi, we’ll see Yankumi finally developing feelings for someone (I bet it’s Yokomi), and Sanchan will be inviting a girl for the first time in his life. Now THAT should be fun!(^o^)

:-) Ainori #333 – Special treat for non-Japanese speakers :-)



Imonikai 2006

Monday, October 16th, 2006

Yesterday we had a yearly event held in the fall, typical of the Tohoku district, i.e. Japan’s North-Eastern area. For this event called “Imonikai”, people usually gather outside, preferably in natural surroundings, and make a kind of soup/stew as the main dish. “Imo” literally means potato, and “ni” comes from the Japanese verb “to boil”. The suffix “kai” is usually used for gatherings, hence “Imo-ni-kai”. Obviously, the main ingredients include sweet potatoes and other vegetables, but there are also local variations within the Tohoku area. For example, here in Miyagi prefecture the soup is miso based, and the meat is pork, which is called “tonjiru”(literally: pork soup). However, in Yamagata prefecture, the soup is shouyu based and they use beef instead of pork.

We were invited to Tome city, by the family of some of my private students. The weather was fantastic, and this was the first imonikai we were able to spend without wearing jackets. We had it “Yamagata style” (see above), and it was really great. If you ever come to North-Eastern Japan, this is definitely a must!

Yamagata style soup

Rice mixed with soy sauce, topped with salmon and ikura

Sweet potatoes in foil, sausages and oysters

That beef was excellent, too

Friday the 13th Special

Friday, October 13th, 2006

It’s a little known fact that after all the killing sprees, Jason actually moved to Japan and became a regular salary man.

Here in Japan, Jason goes to work every morning and comes home at night tired, just like any other Joe-six-pack.

Yep, at the end off the day when Jason takes off his mask, there’s no way you could tell him apart from any other hard-working foreigner living in Japan. Happy Friday the 13th…