MET Column

A Stopover in Georgia

日本語 Daniel Penso Columnist/Proofreader/Translator Photo by Daniel Penso As one entranced by the cultures of Japan and other parts of East and Southeast Asia, going to somewhere in the former Soviet bloc would appear to be something out of the usual routine. Central Asia and Western Asia, albeit Asia, are not the same in all sorts of ways, be it food, language or ways people lead their lives. So going to Georgia was something I would not have imagined doing previously. I had been interested in the Georgian language (ქართული ენა Kartuli Ena) for the last few months and had

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Japan Trip Cancelled

  Daniel Penso Columnist/Proofreader/Translator The first two words in the title of this article might be fun but the last one is certainly not. Cancelling any trip is not appealing. You just want to blow up the whole world. Obviously, you can’t do that for moral and legal reasons. I planned a trip this March to Tokyo to meet friends and take care of some private business. There is some business I would prefer doing in Japan over America, my birth country. I have lived in Japan for 10 years and have been involved in personal and business relationships with

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The modern woman in Tokyo – perfectly balancing between family and dream career!

Alexandra Ruseva CEO of DIGIASIA I will never forget the day I learned that I was expecting twins. After the great joy, I immediately started thinking how to tell my employer. I came in town recently and I had worked for one of the biggest banks for the last year and a half. My job was mainly with clients, often leaving the office late at night. The moment I realized that twins were coming, I realized that I would not be able to return to the office soon, at least not in the next few years. I was only 23

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Shimanami Kaido

Photo by Daniel Penso   Daniel Penso Columnist/Proofreader/Translator Hiroshima. The name conjures up different images for different people given the sad events of WWII. For residents, the Hiroshima Carp are an exciting baseball team which have been pennant winners three years in a row recently, from 2016-2018. For visitors, there is Itsukushima Shrine, famous for being plopped right in the ocean, Hiroshima Castle and okonomiyaki among other things. Yet, the purpose of my journey there was to go cycling. In Hiroshima prefecture, there is a world-renowned cycling course, Setouchi Shimanami Kaido, which starts from nearby Onomichi Station and ends in

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Muki Tenkan Rule: The commencement of “conversion to unrestricted rules” – Chance to change your unsecured part-time contract to a non-fixed period contract! –

Noricco Toyoda Part-time university lecturer & Senior researcher at S&N Information Limited   Are you a part-timer who will have worked more than five years with an unrenewable contract for a company/school/organisation next year or already have done? You might be, likely are, eligible to change the contract to a non-fixed period with a simple statement note. The law claims even your verbal statement should be affective, but I would recommend, of course, email your application properly to your admin or HR. Employers have no right to refuse it. They have no right to stop employment preventing you from five-years’


Kadentei LoveMehta: Funny in Any Language

Shawn De Haven Researcher/Performer of Japanese comedy, Organizer of “It’s Funny in Japanese”   Today’s interview is with an extremely talented amateur rakugoka whom I first met while performing together at the Chiba International Rakugo Tournament. I thought his perspective as a foreigner interacting at a level with Japanese comedy, specifically rakugo, would be interesting and enlightening. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.  日本語   A Chance Encounter with Japanese Leads to a Change in Direction… Shawn: Please tell me about yourself. LoveMehta: My name is Nirav Mehta and I’m also known as Kadentei LoveMehta.

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Yoko Kawakami My Eyes Tokyo E/J Translator   This year’s crazy hot summer seems to be ending in Japan. The calls and sounds made by insects at night tell us that the season is gradually but certainly changing. Now Japanese people are waiting for autumn, looking up at the sky at night, thinking of “o-tsukimi”. Well… What is o-tsukimi? “O-tsukimi (おつきみ/お月見)”, or just “tsukimi (つきみ/月見)”, means “moon viewing” in Japanese. People enjoy watching the full moon in September that is thought to be the most beautiful moon in a year. They prepare special rice dumplings, place them to the moon

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  Yoko Kawakami My Eyes Tokyo E/J Translator   Summer vacation time for Japanese people is approaching. In mid-August, you will see that many people try to go everywhere at the same time, so the Shinkansen platforms are full of people and highways are jammed for miles and miles. Some of them are enjoying traveling, and some of them are heading to their hometowns for obon. Well…     WHAT is obon? “Obon (おぼん、お盆)”, or just “bon (ぼん、盆)”, means the annual event held from August (July in some area) 13th to the 16th to welcome back the ancestors’ spirits to

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MET Getaway: Company facilities/museums tours in & around Tokyo

Yoko Kawakami My Eyes Tokyo E/J Translator   Do you know that there are many Japanese companies which open their facilities to the public and have museums about their products? If you don’t, you might be missing a very interesting side of Japan. Unfortunately, however, many companies have facilities/museums tours only in Japanese and not so many Japanese companies prepare facilities/museums tours in English or in other languages for foreign guests. Even if there are tours in these languages, the tour information is somehow not so easy to find on their web pages or other media. We, at MET, are

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Taken by Hiroko Sakamoto     Daniel Penso Columnist/Proofreader/Translator   Today, I’m going to reflect on natsu (pronounced kind of like “nuts”) in Japan. People literally go nuts during natsu, or summer, all over Japan. There are a myriad of festivals, fireworks shows, outdoor booths which sell food and a variety of trinkets. As in other cultures, people love the summer in Japan. There are so many positive connotations, even a popular name for girls, Natsuko. You can also hear the word “forever summer (常夏 tokonatsu)”. People of all ages and genders put on yukata (浴衣) to view the fireworks