Leaving for the States soon

I am going to take a long break (at least a month)on blogging.  When I get back, new fun posts!

Have a great summer!


“Library Lion” (Book Eleven of the Big Kid Picture Book Battle)


This western book is called “Library Lion” in English and has been a bestseller in the United States.

In Japanese, it is called “Toshokan Raion.”  (Library Lion)




Did I like this book?  Well, I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either.  Nothing much happens.  A lion goes into a library and helps out.  That’s about it.   I suppose the humor lies in the fact that it is a lion and you expect it to eat people, but it does the exact opposite.  Anyway…I found this book a little boring.

The English version is here.

The Japanese version is here.


Man illegally entered forbidden zone

His photos are going around.  This is what I posted to my FB friends:

I don’t know if you (a collective you) have seen the photos of the forbidden zone which were taken by a Malaysian man. He broke into the Forbidden Zone, broke into businesses and homes and took the photos. I first heard about them yesterday when I was checking the Fukushima ALT board….they said don’t look at them, don’t circulate them. The reason is that he broke into people’s private property, went through their things (possibly looted) and took photos of the insides of their homes and businesses without their permission.

I would like to clear up some things. First, the Forbidden Zone is blocked off for safety’s sake. It is NOT a secret. As you know, I know the wives of two foreign scientists, and they go into the Forbidden Zone to do research. Plus I believe my neighbor ( a physicist) has been in there. There are legitimate photos available. So it’s not that the Forbidden Zone is being kept a secret. It’s exactly what you expect….A place people left in a hurry and is now deteriorating due to lack of care. Everything is exactly like how they left it.

On the board, somebody brought up the very good point that a foreigner can not just go into another country and take advantage of their catastrophe for his personal gain. It’s disrespectful. The man who took the photos is not Japanese (he is Malaysian.) Plus he is not doing it for research or to advance knowledge, just for kicks and thrills and to get famous quickly.

Most people who live in Fukushima are actually from Fukushima, and their families have been here for generations, and feel very protective of it. I think that’s the biggest sense when I talk to people. They feel sad and protective.

So think about if you had to leave your home in a hurry…left everything the way it is…and somebody came in and took photos of the inside of your home and your things and posted them on the internet.

There are photos available with permission. You don’t have to look at the Malaysian man’s photos to see what the forbidden zone looks like.  The following are NOT the Malaysian man’s photos.  The following were taken with permission:


The Malaysian man’s photos look very similar.

There’s A LOT of misinformation that goes around about Fukushima.  The Malaysian man spreads that misinformation (he doesn’t know much about the situation) and his commenters spread that misinformation (their comments are virtually always based on …..nothing.)

I personally always try to give the true representation of Fukushima, good and bad.  I am not being paid in any way for this blog, so I receive no compensation for expressing my thoughts.

As you can see from my blog, Fukushima is a place where people live and who are, for the most part, happy here.  The nuclear disaster was a horrible, horrible thing.  The forbidden zone is a sad, sad situation.  (Currently people are moving back into parts of it.)  Are you using electricity right now to read this?  I think you are.  You are part of the problem, I am part of the problem, we are all part of the problem.

Let’s respect Fukushima and its people.

Kids’ Clothing Engrish Style

Back at Aeon Shopping Center.  I saw Engrish on clothes on the kids’ department.



Really?  I always loved losing.  It’s the best part of my day.


LOL  These shirts should come with a free dictionary.


For the child who frets about terrorism and nuclear war.


I kind of like this.


Yes.  Live the life you love.  What a nice message.


Engrish isn’t only in English, it’s also in French.  Without a doubt, English (whether correct or not) is what is mostly on clothing in Japan.  A distant second is French.  You don’t usually see other languages, and ironically you rarely see Japanese on clothing.  Engrish is just design here, to make clothing pretty.

Juice Bar


Riding our bicycles out to Aeon shopping center on a very humid and warm day!   That pink sign in the distance is the shopping center.


We had our choice of yummies, but darling son chose the juice bar.  Lots of fresh fruit juices.

This sign says at the top:  Kisetsu no Osusume (Specialties of the Season)

Then from left to right:  Peach Juice, Watermelon Juice, Lemon Soda

Peach and Watermelon are most definitely seasonal.  It’s mid-summer now so watermelon and peaches are abundant.  However, lemons?   Did not realize they were seasonal!


As you can see in the photo, lots and lots of fresh juices!  All delicious.  All expensive.


Ice cream, too.  Fruit flavors.  No razzle-dazzle-cheezle-nut-chocolate-crunch at this store.


Well, darling son consumed a peach juice, and boy, was it delicious.  Now time to throw it away…..  Oh no!  It’s all in Japanese!  So confusing!

At the bottom, on left, it says:  Moeru Gomi  (Burnable Trash) This is for paper, basically.

At the bottom, on right, it says, Purasuchikku Gomi (Plastic Trash)  Plastic cups and so forth.

Let’s recycle and keep our environment healthy!

Katakana English A GUESSING GAME–Answers

Okay, let’s find out the correct answers to yesterday’s quiz!   I think all the words on this list confused me at some time or another.

one piece This words means “dress.”  I heard this a lot when I first came to Japan because I was working and wearing dresses, so other female teachers would say, “Kawaii One Piece!”  (Cute dress!)

One Piece is also the name of a mega popular manga, but I don’t know much about that.

pan  This means “bread.”  Comes from the Portuguese, I believe.  I know in French the word is “pain” so if you know romance languages, it makes sense.

sharp pen This means “mechanical pencil.”  At first, I thought, “Well, why don’t you just say mechanical pencil?”  But really sharp pen just rolls off the tongue and is a million times better than the cumbersome  word mechanical pencil.

smart  This means “slim, trim, in a good sort of way”.  Related to the Smart of “Smartly dressed,” I do believe.  Also, got this a lot when I first arrived in Japan.  Don’t get it anymore. Wah Wah.

magic tape  This means “velcro.”  It’s tape with magical powers.

idol  This means “idol” as in pop idol, starlet, that sort of thing.  Japanese people LOVE this word and use it much more than Americans do.  “Oh, what a kawaii idol.”  (What a cute starlet.)  “I wanna be an idol when I grow up.”  (I wanna be some cute famous person when I grow up.)

jelly  This means “jello” or “gelatin.”  Gah…hate this word.  So close, yet so far.

love love  This means, gosh….what does it mean?  Um…I think it just means “really in love.”  Oh, look at that cute couple.  They are so love love.  (Meaning, they actually love each other rather than just tolerate each other or even hate each other like, um, most of us married couples.)

This word is interesting for me because I was confused about the meaning at first.  Yes, this is very weird, but I thought it meant homosexual love.  I don’t know where I got that meaning, perhaps an overactive imagination.  No, it just means love.

front  This means “Front desk in the lobby of the hotel”  I think my husband used this with me, thinking it was correct English.  I was confused because front of course probably would mean the actually front of something in the U.S.

mouse This means “computer mouse.”  Usually that is what it is referring to.

However, I was watching the news this morning and they were talking about mouse (rodent kind) experiments and they used the word “mouse.” However, usually rat or mouse is “nezumi.”  However, I doubt you care about this. However, it may be important in case you are ever doing mouse experiments in outer space in Japanese.

marmot  This means “guinea pig.”  According to guinea pig, marmots (in English) are large squirrels in the genus marmota.

trump  No, not Donald!!!!  (Well, he is known in Japan as Trump of course.  But let’s look at the real meaning of the word.)

This means “cards” as in a deck of playing cards.  For teaching English, I played a lot of card games and learned this word pretty quickly.

my pace This means “You do things slowly, dammit.  You slacker.”  But in the nicest way possible.  Basically they are saying you go at your own incredibly slow, lazy pace and not at the super quick and organized pace of the average person, i.e. Japanese.  Don’t ask me how I know this.  I would not know from experience.  I promise.

my bag “Your own bag.”  Not somebody else’s bag, but YOUR OWN BAG, the one you use probably for stuffing groceries into when you shop.  So I can say, “You dropped your my bag on the floor.”  Meaning, “You dropped your very own shopping bag, not the store’s bag or somebody else’s bag, but your own bag on the floor.”  Doesn’t Japanese make so much sense?

new half  This means “transsexual.”

It’s interesting because Bruce Jenner came out in America as a woman (or changed, or whatever the politically correct term is.)  Even from my far away viewpoint in Japan, I could see it was a huge story in America.  In Japan, there are a few famous transgender people, most notably Matsuko Deluxe (a man who is now a woman.)

I think Japanese people don’t care much if a famous person if gay or transgender or whatever….but if it is your own child…..then watch out.  No way.  My son is straight and going to marry a nice girl and blah blah blah.   Americans talk more about LGBT issues than Japanese people do, but also get more riled up about them.  As a straight person I can’t actually say which country is better to live in for a gay person.

Oh my god!  This means “Oh my goodness!”  I am saying that is what it means because I frequently hear this phrase OMIGAAAA! from Japanese students. In America, most well brought up kids would not say Oh my god! in front of their teacher.  I don’t personally think so, anyway.  It does NOT mean “God” in Japan because Japanese kids don’t know the meaning of the English word “God.”  You know what I mean?  It’s like if I swear in Russian, the Russians would be offended, but it doesn’t mean anything to me personally because I don’t know Russian.

pain juice  This means “pineapple juice.”  The Japanese word for pineapple is painappuru.  However,  it frequently gets abbreviated to pain.  (Japanese people love to abbreviate words.)  So pain juice is actually pineapple juice.  Long ago I saw “pain juice” on a sign at Narita Airport.  I thought it was pretty funny but I didn’t take a photo for Engrish.com because that was way before I owned a digital camera and way before I had even heard of Engrish.com  (Perhaps before it existed.)


Okay, there you go!  All ready to use your new cool words to impress Japanese people!


These are posters with Matsuko Deluxe on them.  It’s advertising for a local shop.  Not only is Matsuko a well-known “new half idol” who is frequently on TV, but she also does advertising for several companies.  I don’t really see her appeal…not prejudiced or anything.  I just don’t think she is particularly funny or interesting.



Katakana English A GUESSING GAME

The Japanese language was mostly influenced by Chinese, but recently it is being influenced by English.   So there are quite a few words that an English speaker can figure out because the Japanese word is so similar to the English word.  These borrowed words are ALWAYS written in katakana.  (One of Japanese’s writing system.)

However, even these “English” words can occasionally be tricky because the meaning has changed so much that it is different from what you think it is.  Or maybe the word is not actually originally from English, but from another language, like French or Portuguese.  (Yeah….there are other languages out there besides English!  Japanese has been influenced by Portuguese because the Portuguese were allowed to trade with Japan, long ago and once upon a time.)

So for you non-Japanese speakers, it is quiz time.   Think about what you think these Japanese words mean….it may not be what you think!  (I wrote them in English, but really they should be in katakana.  But I’m lazy…so I’m not gonna do that.)

Answers tomorrow!

one piece


sharp pen


magic tape



love love





my pace

my bag

new half

Oh my god!

pain juice







Silly Bollocks

Too much wine in rural Japan

Always leaving things unfinishe

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Lost In Translation

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Leza Lowitz

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Budget Trouble

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Jenna no Manga! ジェナの漫画! Ma petite blasian Family ♥

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Trading Tornadoes for Earthquakes

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.


A place for kids to learn about Fukushima...from a mom who cares

Life with hubby

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.


Finding Love, Self, & Home on the Far Side of the World

The Nomad's Land

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Kanagawa Notebook

Post-Quake Japan: news, experiences, and thoughts


A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

fern·weh (-ve) : n. 1. wanderlust; longing for far off places.


A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Viewed from the Outside

Outsider's viewpoint on art and a world where being creative is a daily necessity.

Gaijin Mama

Living and writing in rural Japan

nihongonomori New Now Next

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

The Kimono Lady

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

the piri-piri lexicon

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Amongst Lovely Things

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Melibelle in Tokyo

A Foreigner Laying Down Roots

From Island to Island

A Western Wife Learning the Japanese Ways

Surviving in Japan: (without much Japanese)

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Texan in Tokyo

Comics and stories from a American gaijin (foreigner) and her Japanese husband, living in rural Japan


A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.


A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Return to Fukushima

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.


Call me crazy, call me nuts, but don't call until you check the time difference.

Bilingual Monkeys

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Okaasan and Me

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Speech Time Fun

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

百物語怪談会 Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai

Translated Japanese Ghost Stories and Tales of the Weird and the Strange

Living La Vida Loca In Japan

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

jojoebi designs

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.


A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Jackie's Japan Journal

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Family in Fukushima

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

More glimpses of unfamiliar Japan

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Crafty Tokyo Mama II

Sewing and exploring in Kyoto

Bringing up Baby Bilingual

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.

Hiragana Mama

Resources for teaching children the Japanese language and culture

Blog, She Wrote

Homeschooling mom of 4

Mrs. N's Ordinary Life

The diary of a foreign wife living a simple life in the countryside of Japan

Life of an American mommy living in Japan

A Blog from an American Mom in Japan. Copyrighted.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.