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How to Read 1 Character 5 Different Ways

This one simple Japanese sentence contains five different pronunciations for one 'kanji' character. Can you pronounce them all?

33 Survival Kanji for Japan First-Timers

Coming to Japan, but don't know any kanji—or what kanji even means? Take a deep breath, relax and we'll get you started along the way!

Emoji: An Origin Story

The true meaning of emoji is not as simple as one might think.

Think You Know All the Hirgana Characters?

Only one out of five Japanese people can read these characters—can you?

7+ Kinds of Calligraphy Brushes

The kind of calligraphy brush you need depends on the kind of lines you want to draw. Here are seven-plus options from a historic shop in Toyohashi that you can order from anywhere!

Japanese Tech Breaking Communication Barriers

Do you ever wish there was an easier way to communicate while traveling abroad? Well, now there is with ili, a brand new translation device!

Become an Izakaya Guru with These 6 Videos

Impress your friends with your knowledge of the ins and outs of Japanese pubs and the drinks and food served at them!

5 Things I Learned Doing Japanese Improv

If you're getting tired of JLPT textbooks, kanji apps and watching TV you don’t understand, why not think about using improv comedy to study the language?

Mashikaku: Japan’s Edo-Era Typography Returns

In Edo-era Japan, several lettering styles known as 'Edomoji' were invented for advertising purposes. One design team wants to bring these characters back.

10 Easy Phrases for Shopping in Japan!

Reviewing these 10 phrases can make your Japan shopping excursion that much easier!

Learning to Love 'Sumi' Ink Sticks

Ink sticks, or 'sumi,' were a practical way of conserving and transporting ink. They're the classic tool for writing Japanese calligraphy—and using them has an almost Zen-like quality.

Otoshi: Izakaya's Compulsory Appetizer

Before heading out to an Japanese pub, you might want to read up on the infamous 'otoshi.'

Memorize Kanji With Cute Stop-Motion Videos

These adorable clips and characters will help you memorize kanji symbols and make you smile at the same time.

The History Behind Japan's 'Janken' Game

Whether resolving a dispute, deciding who pays the check for lunch, or simply passing the time, Japan’s “rock-paper-scissors” culture is simple, and a lot of fun.

Are You Coming or Not?

Depending on whether you live in the western or eastern part of Japan, this phrase is interpreted in two different ways!

8 Key Phrases for Navigating 'Izakaya'

Don't speak Japanese? Walk into a Japanese-style pub and order with ease using these eight key phrases!

Breathing New Life into Old Kyoto

Kyoto is famous for its rich history, including temples and palaces that have existed for more than a millennium, but there are some new and exciting sites around the former capital that are sure to delight people of all ages.

Why Would Buddhas Battle for France?

Would you associate Buddha with France? Japanese people would! Cable network WOWOW uses some clever kanji association to drum up publicity for its 2017 French Open coverage.

Inside the Secret World of Japan's LGBT+ Slang

Around the world, every language and culture has evolved to add jargon relating to the LGBT+ community, and Japan has its own words too. We'll teach you a few terms you may hear around the country—if you're listening carefully.

Use Caution When Uttering this Japanese Word

Be careful when breaking out this one—sometimes the person you’re pitying doesn’t want your pity.

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