Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Japan United Kingdom Relations

Relations between Japan and United Kingdom

Contact between United Kingdom and Japan first began in the 1600s when William Adams arrived on the shores of Kyushu, Usuki, Oita Prefecture. William Adams was honored as an advisor to the Tokugawa Shogun. He was given a Japanese name, Miura Anjin, given a house and land, and lived the rest of his life in Japan, his adopted country. This was followed by a treaty, the Anglo-Japanese Friendship Treaty signed in 14 October, 1854 signed by Admiral Sir James Stirling and representatives of the Tokugawa shogunate. Another treaty, the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed on 26 August, 1858 by Lord Elgin on behalf of United Kingdom and on the other part, by the Tokugawa shogunate for Japan. These were followed by a series of events, both positive and negative, including setting up the first Japanese Embassy in Europe in 1862 led by Takenouchi Yasunori and the bombardment of Kagoshima by the Royal Navy in 1863. And of course there was the World War I followed by World War II.

If I am not wrong, Japan had to manufacture the Mini Minor cars for United Kingdom as part of its compensation for its part in the World War II, but I cannot find any reference to it in my research, so this is only from memory and may not be reliable. But if true, then I believe that is how the now great automobile industry of Japan started.

Travel between Japan and United Kingdom

Western influence among the Japanese youth is strong with many dyeing their hair red and blond. It will be no surprise if the United Kingdom present an attractive place for them to visit. With Japanese being so enterprising businessmen, it would also not be unusual for them to make business trips to United Kingdom. But this is not a one-way traffic for there are many British who also travel to Japan. Those I know mostly go there as English teachers as many Japanese are keen to learn English which as ended up as the de facto International Language. The most likely points of arrival or departure would be London where there are 2 major international airport - Heathrow and Gatwick.

If on land you travel with the car, the most convenient form of transport, you will obviously need to find parking space for the car. You can easily book parking space online at UK airport parking. Business and those who are not too bothered about cost will probably use full service airlines. Full service airlines normally operate from the bigger Heathrow airport. Parking is available at Heathrow Airport parking.

For budget conscious travelers and for those who join organized tours, chartered flight is the most likely form of travel. The Gatwick Airport, the second largest airport in London after Heathrow airport, is the most popular airport for chartered flight as Heathrow does not accept chartered flights. Here is a photo of the Gatwick Airport:

Gatwick airport by Dan Taylor

For parking, a great place to find parking at Gatwick Airport is the discount Gatwick Airport parking

Monday, October 1, 2007

Pacific Ocean, Japan and Hawaii

The Pacific Ocean is a huge mass of water bordered by the Arctic in north, Antarctic in the south, Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east. Japan and Hawaii are both islands in this huge Pacific Ocean.

Japan and Hawaii is not connected just by the great Pacific Ocean, but also by the presence of a sizable Japanese population on the islands and the infamous surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, two successive air strikes on the United States Pacific Fleet by the Imperial Japanese Navy on the morning of Sunday, 7 December 1941. 1,177 sailors were killed on the USS Arizona and the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, is located on top of the sunken USS Arizona that allows people to walk over the ship and look at it under the water. I wonder if any Japanese is inclined to visit this memorial. But there are plenty of places to visit and things to experience on the paradise Hawaii Islands, so if any Japanese are haunted by memories of that surprise attack, that should not be the thing that should prevent you from visiting Hawaii.

Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is located on Oahu Island, only the third largest island of Hawaii, but one with the most population. There are more information about Oahu Island at vacation rental information. There is more than just Pearl Harbor or Honolulu on Oahu Island. There are many beaches there like Waimea Beach - North Shore. Waimea Bay off Waimea beach is world famous for having one of the biggest surfing waves in the world, with waves of up to 25 feet high in winter. If provide conditions for very exciting but also very dangerous surfing. It is only recommended for expert high wave surfers. Others would be wise to stay away during the winter months. Summer is more conducive for the less adventurous for the sea will be calm during those months.

Hawaii is not only Oahu Island, but there are Maui, Hawaii Big Island, and specific sites like Waikiki, Kihei, Wailea, Kanaapali and Kohala coast. You can find links to them at vacation rentals.

Not only that, property owners, real estate agents and property managers can list their properties for free at rentals. If you are purchasing properties, you can get mortgage quotes, compare mortgage rates on that site. If you are relocating, you can also get moving quotes. Sounds pretty complete, but that is not all. Bargain hunters can check out bank foreclosures, and not only that, get home inspection companies to inspect the properties to check if the properties are worth buying or not. So what are you waiting for. Hop over there and check what suits you.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Japan's Disneyland and Florida's Disneyland

Yes, Japan has a Disneyland. It was built on a landfill in Urayasu City. Some says it was a dump site.

You first enter "World Bazaar", a totally covered area thus protected from the weather. It try to recreate the atmosphere of a small American town in 1900s. From there, you can go on to the other themed areas - Fantasyland, Westernland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Toontown and Critter Country. Adventureland has a mixture of attractions which include the highly popular "Pirates of the Caribbean", a twenty-minute trip simulating a pirate raid on a Caribbean seaport with singing, rowdy pirates and the firing of cannon to port and the splashing of water off the starboard bow. Westernland is a "wild west" themed area giving visitors a atmosphere of the pioneer days of America. There is even a "Mark Twain Riverboat" giving visitors a ride on a paddlewheel steamer on the Rivers of America. In Fantasyland, visitors ride through various Disney films like "Snow White's Adventure" in the Seven Dwarfs' mining car and fly through the air with Peter Pan to Never Never Land, "It's a Small World", a cruise through a hundred nations with some five hundred dolls singing in their native language, etc. Tomorrowland try to give visitors a glimpse into the future. "Critter Country" is populated by small animals inspired by the Disney film "Song of the South". If you want to meet Disney characters, you will see them at Toontown.

Not enough of Disneyland? Go to Orlando, Florida. You will find lots more there. You will find Walt Disney World comprising of various themed parks. Among them are the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios and Animal Kingdom.

In the Magic Kingdom, there will be many themed area including Frontierland, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Liberty Square, Mickey's Toontown Fair, Adventureland
Main Street U.S.A. and Magic Kingdom Dining.

At Epcot, there will be the Future World, Test Track, Ellen's Energy Adventure, Mission Space, Living Seas and World Showcase. In addition to that, you will find Around the World Showcase Lagoon where you can eat, drink, dance and sing your way around the world in the space of a couple of hours! The evening will be capped by IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, a beautiful combination of lasers, fireworks, fountains and special effects.

And don't forget Disney-MGM Studios comprising Echo Lake, Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard. Mickey Avenue, Animation Courtyard and Streets of America.

Plus there is Animal Kingdom comprising Camp Minnie-Mickey, Discovery Island, Dinoland U.S.A., Africa and Asia.

In Lake Buena Vista, there is Downtown Disney, an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment area comprising the Marketplace featuring many shops and quick service restaurants, Pleasure Island which is a nighttime entertainment complex with seven nightclubs, and West Side which is home to many full service restaurants, large stores, and entertainment venues.

And Disney has many waterparks including Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Humunga Kowabunga,
Mayday Falls, Castaway Creek, Surf Pool and Ketchakiddee Creek. Blizzard Beach comprises Downhill Double Dipper, Slush Gusher, Teamboat Springs, Cross Country Creek and Tike's Peak.

And don't forget Disney Seaworld Adventure Park.

However, there are lots more to Florida than just Disneyland. And you want to enjoy them, seek accommodation at Florida vacation rentals. Walt Disney World is in Orlando, so if your intention is to visit Walt Disney World, get accommodation from Orlando vacation rentals. And if you have been watching TV, you would know about Miami Beach made famous by that TV show featuring the Miami Beach Rescue Team comprising bosomy life savers in skimpy swimwear rescuing hapless swimmers in trouble. If you want to stay in Miami Beach, visit Miami Beach vacation rentals.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Mazda Launches First Hydrogen Filling Stations In Japan

Mazda Launches First Hydrogen Filling Stations In Japan
by: Jenny McLane

Mazda has always been a leader in innovation. It has pioneered some of the revolutionary technologies such as the rotary engine. Now that environmental conservation has become a more important issue than ever before, Mazda faces up to the challenge by fully supporting the development of eco-friendly automobiles. Hydrogen-fuel is one of the cleanest and most environmentally friendly sources of energy. Mazda takes a big step forward in realizing a hydrogen-fueled society by launching the first hydrogen filling stations, located in Japan.

The new hydrogen filling station began operating last February 2005 and will store and supply fuel to the company's ongoing hydrogen vehicle research and development. The hydrogen filling station is located near Mazda's global headquarters in Hiroshima. This is the first filling station of its kind in the Chugoku region of western Japan.

High-pressure hydrogen gas is stored at about 2,900 psi in compressed hydrogen gas tanks. These are further pressurized to over 5,000 psi for delivery to the vehicles. The facility mainly supplies fuel to the company's hydrogen testing facility. Hydrogen rotary-engined vehicles that are currently on the road for development and testing purposes are also served by the filling station. The stored hydrogen in the fueling station can currently fuel up to 10 vehicles per day.

Mazda is leading the pack in the development of hydrogen rotary engines. Last year, Japan's Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) gave permission for the first public road tests of Mazda's RX-8 Hydrogen Rotary (H2RE). This is a rotary-engined, dual-fuel vehicle that runs on either hydrogen or traditional gasoline. With this hydrogen fueling station, Mazda will continue to develop hydrogen rotary engines with the goal of introducing such vehicles into the market in two years time.

Mazda is at the forefront of automotive technology. It is fully dedicated to the design and development of automobiles that are a whole new level above the rest. Meanwhile, maintenance and repair is very important to keep a Mazda vehicle in top condition. Replacement parts are a great choice if a Mazda owner wants to keep his car in excellent form. Replacing worn out or damaged parts is a good way to maintain a vehicle.

Incidentally, purchasing replacement parts has never been easier. Anyone can now have access to the best Mazda parts even in the comfort of their own homes. A quick visit to any of the dozens of online auto parts stores is all you need. One of the leading online auto parts stores is Auto Parts Train, based in California, USA. It has one of the largest inventories of Mazda auto parts in the country today. You can access their Online Mazda Parts Store at Mazda.

About The Author

Jenny McLane is a 36 year old native of Iowa and has a knack for research on cars and anything and everything about it. She works full time as a Market Analyst for one of the leading car parts suppliers in the country today.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Japan and Hawaii

Coconut trees on Hawaiian beachThe population of tropical Hawaii is diverse, with a large proportion of people of Asian ancestry, including Japanese. Many of them are descendants from those waves of early foreign immigrants came to the islands in the nineteenth century, beginning in the 1850's, to work on the sugar plantations. On June 19, 1868, the first 153 Japanese immigrants arrived in Hawaii. They were brought in by a broker and the Tokugawa shogunatenot. Kalakaua, the last reigning King of the Kingdom of Hawaii, visited Japan in 1881 and petitioned Emperor Meiji, resulting in the first government-approved immigrants who arrived in Hawaii on February 9, 1885.

Japanese is the third-most spoken language in Hawaii. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 4.96% of Hawaii residents age 5 and older speak Japanese at home. Hawaii has an active sister state program, which includes ties to Ehime, Japan (2003), Fukuoka (1981) and Hiroshima, (1997). Japanese can also be proud of Eric Shinseki, the first Japanese American and Asian American member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Japan can be cold in autumn and winter, and Japanese wishing for warmer weather should visit tropical Hawaii for a nice holiday. Ecotourism is responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being and provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people. Well, when you visit Hawaii, you are doing exactly that. The only thing is, travel from Japan to Hawaii involves air travel and that means CO2 emission. Fortunately there are ways to offset that and sites like Carbon Emissions Offset Directory have a list of sites that helps you with that.

If you plan to visit Hawaii, it would be advisable to book accommodation in advance, and this can be done online via Hawaiian Beach Rentals.

Hawaii comprises six main islands - Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and Hawaii's Big Island. Kauai is the oldest of Hawaii's main islands and has a wide variety of plant, marine and animal life, including some rare endangered species like the Nene Goose (the official state bird). It also has Hawaii's only freshwater fish, the oopu. Japanese are fond of golf and Kauai have some of Hawaii's best golf courses.

For accommodation, you have a choice of Kauai Vacation Rentals (currently 226 to chose from), Kauai Condominiums (267 of them) and Kauai Hotels (105 to chose from).

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Acupuncture: The Japanese Way

Acupuncture: The Japanese Way
by: Tom Takihi

Japan has been world-renowned for its breakthroughs in electronics. Need proof? Just take a look at all the cellular phones and other technological gadgets around you with Japanese brands. In terms of medical breakthroughs though, Japan is definitely not lagging behind. For centuries now, traditional Japanese healing arts have been used to address root causes of many diseases, restore balance and maintain overall health. Examples of these ancient arts are moxibustion, shiatsu and acupuncture. For this article, we will focus on the Japanese style of acupuncture.

First, let us talk about what acupuncture is. Starting more than two thousand years ago, acupuncture is a branch of medicine practiced worldwide both as a primary and adjunctive treatment for a wide range of health conditions. With thousands of years of research and practice backing it up, the basic method of acupuncture is to insert needles in various parts of the body to relieve pain and treat diseases. Different types of the practice exist in all parts of the world, each with various styles and applications.

While acupuncture has its roots in China, Japan gave this medical practice its own twist, which was accepted immediately in the world of medicine. The general concept of Japanese acupuncture is using the least amount of stimulation to create the greatest effect in the patient. As opposed to traditional Chinese medicine, Japanese acupuncture uses thinner needles that are barely thicker than human hair. These needles are inserted in the body not deeper than 1 or 2 millimeters, if they are inserted at all. Less points and stimulation is basically the trick. Hence, the Japanese technique demands much greater care and precision than the Chinese technique, making it a challenge to the practitioner but an advantage to the patient because of the reduced pain. The Japanese style of acupuncture also requires more training than the traditional Chinese medicine.

While there are the general rules, different styles in the Japanese practice exist as well. Examples are the two methods developed by two acupuncture legends of the twentieth century: Yoshio Manaka and Kodo Fukushima. Manaka is a surgeon who has developed an effective and versatile form of Japanese acupuncture therapy. Fukushima, an active pacifist, refined the non-inserted needling techniques which have become known as “toyohari”.

Toyohari is a refined system of Japanese meridian therapy. It is different from other types of acupuncture in the sense than it uses more delicate and specialized needling treatment methods. Focusing on the use of pulse diagnosis and palpation skills, the theoretical foundation of Toyohari is based on the classic medical theories of Nei Jing, Su Wen, Ling Shu and Nan Jing.

Here’s a bit of history: Considered one of the main pillars in Japanese acupuncture is Waichi Sugiyama, or the “blind acupuncturist”. Upon his death in 1964, Sugiyama has developed 100 acupuncture techniques and has established 45 acupuncture schools for the blind in Japan. Through books read to him, he has studied and simplified volumes of ancient medical texts in his goal to make medical knowledge more accessible to the blind.

About The Author
Tom Takihi is the proud owner of Japan Discovery, the largest portal of information of Japan on the web. To learn more about acupuncture and other forms of Japanese traditional medicine, please visit-: Medical.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Visiting the Japanese Home

Visiting the Japanese Home
by: Tom Takihi

So, you plan to visit a Japanese home? Well, before you do such you must first learn the etiquette in Japanese homes. The Japanese home culture revolves around three values: courtesy, cleanliness, and graciousness. Learning to apply these values whether in the Japanese context or not benefits you not only as you deal with the Japanese - it will allow you better dealings and communications with other people as well.

Courtesy. The first thing you have to do is greet the family. Bowing slightly as you greet them would be the best move, for shaking hands is still an awkward formality in Japan. The lower you bow the more respect you give.

If you could bring a small present, do so, especially a food souvenir called “omiyage” in Japan to delight your hosts and immediately create a warm atmosphere. It is preferable to bring local culinary specialties from your home town or country.

During conversations, remember to be more subtle than usual with your thoughts and emotions. Compared to people in the Western culture, the Japanese are more reserved during talks. In Japanese discussions there is what they call the honne (real opinion) and the tatemae (public opinion). In most situations it is the tatemae that is expressed to not disturb group harmony or cause any offense. This is why the Japanese are considered bad at public debates. Do avoid interrupting people when they are speaking or are in the middle of thinking. The Japanese don’t mind short periods of silence during discussions.

Cleanliness. Leave your shoes outside the door, on the spot where others have left theirs. Wearing shoes inside a Japanese home is considered unclean. If you are not immediately provided slippers, you can wear your socks inside the house. So make sure you are wearing nice and socks without holes! If you are wearing slippers, remember to remove them as you enter a room with tatami mats on the floor, for slippers could damage these mats. There are special slippers especially designated for the toilet area, so remember to take off your slippers when entering such.

As in most Asian countries, it is rude to blow your nose in front of other people. It is especially rude to blow your nose in a handkerchief and then stuff the handkerchief in your pocket afterwards. The Japanese use paper tissue when doing such. Excuse yourself if you feel the urge to do this deed to avoid offending anyone.

Graciousness. During mealtimes, the Japanese will offer you to try everything served on the table. Make sure to amiably try even just a bite of each of the food. Place your chopsticks on a special holder and do not stick them up in your rice. As opposed to Western manners, Japanese slurp noodles. It is actually preferred that bowls or plates be brought up the mouth when slurping rather than bending your head towards it.

Of course the Japanese will know and understand that you are from another culture, but knowing their traditions before you set foot on their door helps your visit to go more smoothly. Most Japanese families that host visitors of other races are “spoilers”, meaning they want to give you everything you need in all efforts to please. Hence, always remember to be gracious and please them in return.

About The Author
Tom Takihi is the proud owner of Japan Discovery, the largest portal of information of Japan on the web. To learn more about the Japanese home etiquette, please visit-: Etiquette

Saturday, March 24, 2007

MLMs And MLMers In Japan

MLMs And MLMers In Japan
by: Michael Brymer

With more MLMers per population than any other country, Japan has become a main target of MLMs and MLMers looking for huge success abroad.

If timing and contacts are right then effortless success is very obtainable.

Perhaps you can divide Japanese MLMers into two categories. One being the normal long stayer type. These are people that are similar to any MLMer in America, Australia etc., they stay with the one MLM and mostly service their customers and or distributors with products. They are the house wife type who are happy to plod along.

The second type, and the subject of this MLM article, are the big MLMers who can bring in huge numbers of members and who often run multiple MLMs at the same time. They are in the business of MLM to make money and to make it fast and in large quantities.

The big MLMers here in Japan often work like a company. The top man decides to take on a new MLM and gives it to one of his top players. That person is then responsible for the success of that MLM and to report back. He is paid a good salary to work the MLM. They then go out and do it! They all have top positions as agreed.

These guys in their suits and expensive vans start touring their contacts. They work so hard that I'm not even sure if they sleep. They are going to and from every big MLMer in the country! A typical tour for them can be anywhere between one, two or three months. Then they go back and run trainings for all the new members and their new teams. Most of the people recruited are seasoned MLMers not people new to MLM or MLMs.

When I brought a new MLM to Japan one of them visited me at 3 a.m. after driving three hours on a road that takes most people four hours. I gave him the run down on the products and pay plan, you've never answered more questions! in such a short time! I think they left at about 9 a.m.. It felt like they'd been there for a week. If my brain had of contained oil they would have gotten it.

If you ever get to meet one of these persons you had better know the pay plan better than the company itself !

Once they decide to take on a new MLM they often set up an office in Tokyo with computers, fax machines, staff etc. They then go into translating, re-designing and printing all materials. Their explanation of the pay plan would probably teach the MLM owners a lesson or two !

Sales of the materials they produce is also part of their profits by selling same to all the new members. I've never seen MLM materials as beautiful as they produce.

If the MLM they take on is say in America, then that company better be ready for mass production and prepared to set up an office and storage in Japan as soon as is possible. The worst thing an MLM company can do is say "We'll be in Japan next January" and not be! Truth and Trust is very very important.

I've seen American MLMs come into Japan without these guys, they don't do well. Most of them have turned down the requests of these big guys and have gone with the little guys. That is a clear way to receive the wrath of the big players and condemn the MLM to a short lived struggle.

The subject of my next article will be an in depth looks at the methods of Japanese super recruiters.

About The Author
Read More Of Michael Brymer's Heavy Hitter Secrets at

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Japanese Tea Ceremony

Japanese Tea Ceremony
by: James Williams

All over the world, people enjoy teatime. In Japan, however, taking tea with guests can mean considerably more than a relaxing break to the day. The traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony is a very grand and elaborate affair.

The Japanese tea ceremony is more like a sacred ritual than a friendly gathering. Each aspect of the ceremony is symbolic and adds great charm and meaning to this unique event.

The ceremony is conducted in a room called chashitsu, located in the teahouse. Fresh water symbolizing purity is held in a stone jar called the mizusashi, and may only be touched by the host. Matcha (tea) is kept in chaire--a small ceramic container covered in shifuku (fine silk pouch) and set in front of the mizusashi. Special stands called tana are used to display the tea bowls, and differ depending on the occasion.

The host enters with the chawan (tea bowl) containing a chasen (tea whisk), a chakin (a bleached white linen tea cloth) and the chashaku (tea scoop). Next to these items is a water jar, symbolic of the sun (yang) and a bowl, symbolizing the moon (yin). The host brings the kensui (waste water bowl), the hishaku (bamboo water ladle) and futaoki (a green bamboo rest for the kettle lid), and purifies the tea container and scoop using a fukusa (fine silk cloth).

Hot water is ladled into the tea bowl. The whisk is rinsed and the tea bowl is emptied and wiped with the chakin. For each guest, three scoops of tea are placed into the tea bowl. The whisk is used to create a thin paste using a sufficient quantity of hot water. Additional water is then added, while the paste is whisked into a thick liquid.

The tea bowl is passed to the main guest. He or she drinks some of the tea, wipes the rim of the bowl, and passes the bowl to the next guest. Each guest follows this same procedure until all have tasted the tea. The bowl is then returned to the host, who rinses it and cleans the tea scoop and the container.

A fire is then built for usa cha (thin tea), which rinses the palate, symbolizing the departure of the guests from the spiritual world of tea and back into the physical world. Smoking articles are offered as a gesture of relaxation, but smoking does not typically take place in a tearoom.

Finally, zabuton (cushions) and teaburi (hand warmers) are offered for the comfort of the guests, and higashi (dry sweets) are served. Before leaving the teahouse, guests will express their appreciation for the tea and their admiration for host's attention to the fine art of serving tea.

If you are ever given the chance to attend a tradition Japanese tea ceremony, be sure to attend. There is no other experience quite like it.

About The Author
James Williams contributes to several web sites, including and

Friday, March 23, 2007

Japanese Cooking

Japanese Cooking
by: Jonathon Hardcastle

Do you love Japanese food? The funny thing about Japanese food is that you either love it or you hate it. There is no in-between. And chances are, if you hate it, you probably haven’t really tasted Japanese food yet or haven’t given yourself a chance to sample it enough. Japanese food is hard to appreciate after only one bite. And sometimes, the idea that you are tasting raw food just won’t escape your mind that you are already predisposed to hating Japanese food even before you actually taste it.

Personally, I love Japanese food. There really is no other cuisine like it in the world in terms of its unique taste and presentation. Who would believe that something so raw could be so delicious? For those of you who have not yet discovered the pleasures of Japanese food, allow me to present the following primer.

The standard Japanese meal always involves a bowl of white rice as well as soup and side dishes such as pickles, vegetables, meat and fish. Japanese food is classified by the number of viands or “okazu” that are served with the rice, soup and side dishes. A meal with one okazu is called ichiju-issai and a prime example of this is the traditional Japanese breakfast which consists of miso soup, rice, grilled fish and one pickled vegetable.

The regular Japanese meal usually involves three okazu to go along with the soup, rice and pickles. Traditionally, each of these three okazu are cooked in a different way from the others. They can either be served raw or grilled, simmered, steamed or deep fried.

Another hallmark of Japanese food is seafood, which is the most popular and most widely consumed food in Japan. The most popular dishes include all types of fish as well as shellfish, squid and octopus. Crab is another favorite delicacy and so are whale and seaweed. Despite the fact that Japanese are not heavy meat eaters, you will hardly find any vegetarians among them either probably owing to their deep fashion for seafood. Beef and chicken are also popular among the Japanese.

About The Author
Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles for Cooking for fun - In addition, Jonathon also writes articles for Outdoors Talk and Recreation and More.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Speaking Japanese: Learning the Language and the Cultural Etiquette

Speaking Japanese: Learning the Language and the Cultural Etiquette
by: Cory Pangelinan

The Japanese language is considered by many to be easy to learn. Whether you wish to speak Japanese for personal reasons like travel or for professional reasons, it is important for you to consider that learning Japanese etiquette is as important as learning commonly used words and phrases.

Why is it that learning to speak Japanese is relatively easy? To begin with, there are only 5 vowel sounds:

· A is voiced as “ah,” or the way English speakers pronounce the a in “la;”
· I is pronounced as the English e in words like “need” and “tea;”
· U is vocalized in much the same way as “oo” in words like “cool” and “soon;”
· E is spoken with the same sound of the first e in the word “letter” and the e in “set;”
· O is expressed as it is in the word “told.”

Knowing how each of the vowels sounds phonetically makes speaking the Japanese words less difficult.

In addition, the Japanese language is less complicated than many others because nouns are not tied to gender or number - the same word is used for one tree or many trees - and verb remains the same regardless of the subject. Unlike English, Spanish and French (and other Latin-based languages) in which you must learn different ways to conjugate the verb based on the subject, when learning Japanese, the verb will be either past tense or the present tense (ongoing actions or the suggestion of what may happen in the future are expressed with the present tense verb).

While pronunciations can be simple once you know how the vowels are spoken, and nouns and verbs are relatively easy as well, one way in which you may stumble with the language is word order. While in English sentences are typically in a subject - verb - object format, in Japanese they are presented in the order of subject - object - verb. Of course, just as we have prepositions in English, there are a number of articles in Japanese. One article used often is “ka,” which is used at the end of the sentence to ask a question (which is important because the question mark does not exist in Japanese).

Though challenges like punctuation exist in the written language, learning to speak and understand Japanese can be accomplished. There are many resources available online, books and flashcards, as well as computer software. By finding the one that will be most beneficial to you and practicing often, you will surely be able to learn the language.

Once you have learned the language, and even while you are learning, it is important to keep etiquette in mind because how you act has as much of an impact on how you are received as the words you use to express yourself.

Make sure that you keep the following in mind:

· Unless you are very familiar with the person you are talking with, you should avoid using casual phrasings;

· Avoid being loud to get someone's attention. It is better to wave or to approach them with a bow and then speak;

· Use a quiet tone when speaking;

· Be cautious with your body language as much of the communication that takes place is unspoken;

· Always show respect for the person with whom you are speaking.

By maintaining respect for the people and cultural etiquette - you will find that beginning to communicate in Japanese is simple and, in time, you will become quite good at it.

About The Author
Cory Pangelinan - Author of a Japanese Language Course teaching you How to Speak Japanese the Real way its spoken in Japan. Let's speak Japanese.