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2021.02.22[Mon] 09:00


【Talking about “Usui” or “Rain Water”】

So, of the Niju shi sekki or the 24 solar divisions of the old calendar that we've mentioned on this show before, this time we have Usui which literally means rain water but is the time when the temperature starts to rise and the snows changes to rain. This year, the Usui division started on the 18th of this month. The melting snow flows into fields and plains and you can finally start to hear the sounds of spring pitter-pattering in and from long ago to even now, the season is used as a guideline for when to start farming.

It's when this season begins that river otters go to catch fish in the rivers where the ice has melted. They catch the fish in their mouths and deposit them on the shores so they can continue fishing. The way they line up their catch on the shore looks like the way food offerings are lined up during a festival to remember ancestors and as such, this habit of the otters has come to be called Dassai which basically translates as Otter Festival. The word is also used to describe a person who lines up a bunch of books side by side as they look things up. That couldn't be used to describe me at all, I guess. I'm the kind of person with books all around me scattered when I'm doing research....maybe I'm mecha kucha?


【A Japanese Study Website】

If you don't know what mecha kucha means, by the way, well, then this might be a great chance to brush up your Japanese and check out the Japanese study website set up by the Agency for Cultural Affairs “Tsunagaru, Hirogaru, Nihongo de no Kurashi” translated to  Connect and Enhance your life in Japanese.

This website is for foreign nationals living in Japan to learn the Japanese language in order to communicate in Japanese and be able to use it in daily life.

Currently, there are translations for 6 languages available on the site: Japanese, English, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish and Vietnamese. However, plans are to have translations for 14 different languages available by March 2022. There are levels from one to three and you can study at the level that suits you.

The lessons use videos to introduce the Japanese you can use in daily life situations. A few examples of the lessons on the site include “Going shopping”, “Going to the hospital”, “Using a delivery service” and “Going to a restaurant”.

While watching the videos, translations in the supported languages and romaji subtitles appear underneath the videos so you'll be able to understand the meaning as well as practice the pronunciation of the words. The full script of the video is also available.

You'll be able to learn the key words and phrases that appear in the videos. You'll see words that were related to each scene as well as useful information related to the situation. The basics of the Japanese language are also explained, including the characteristics of the language.

It's a great and convenient site that lets you easily study Japanese even if there are no Japanese classrooms nearby. Just search for “Tsunagaru, Hirogaru, Nihongo de no Kurashi” in hiragana or  Connect and Enhance your life in Japanese in English. Start with the situation that interests you the most to jump start your Japanese learning. You can also find the link to this page on the Fukuoka City Official website under Support for Foreign Residents page.


【Preventing the Spread of Covid19】

And once again we are asking everyone to continue to practice basic infection prevention measures to fight against the spread of Covid-19. Wear a mask, wash your hands, gargle and avoid the 3 Cs. That means you should avoid closed rooms with poor ventilation, try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations.

2021.02.15[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健)

【Valentine's Day】

So, as you know, Valentine's day falls on the 14th of February every year. But do you know some of the stories behind it? Apparently, in 3rd Century Rome, soldiers were banned from getting married. However, a priest, named Valentine, was secretly holding marriage ceremonies for them. Unfortunately, he was caught, charged and executed. And from this, it's said that Valentine's Day became a day to confess your love to the object of your affection. In Japan, on this day, it's become a bit of a custom to give out chocolates as in other countries around the world. However in Japan, the custom has it's unique points like the concept of Giri-Choko or “obligation chocolates” which are typically given to non-romantic relations like bosses or coworkers. Then there are Tomo-Choko or “friend chocolates” which might be exchanged among friends and the recently popular concept of Gohobi-Choko or “reward chocolates”, meaning you buy yourself some top-notch luxury chocolate to treat yourself! Cookies and macarons have become popular gifts as well in recent years. I hope you had a chance to treat yourself yesterday! If not, hit the shops today, you might get lucky and find a gorgeous box on discount. I won't lie, discounts after various holidays is my favorite time to stock up on things. I remember when I was in the US, picking up Valentine's cards for half price so that I'd be ready for the next year. It was pretty common to exchange little cards and candies at school, in fact, in elementary school, we often decorated paper lunch bags for Valentine's and taped them to our desks like little postboxes. Then during lunch, students would go around putting those cards and candies into the bags. It was always exciting to read everyone's messages and count how many candies I got.


【Fukuoka City Medical Interpreting Call Center】

Alright, well now I've got some information from Fukuoka City about help you can get if you need to see a doctor. In order to make it easier for international residents to visit the doctor, Fukuoka City has set up the Fukuoka City Medical Interpreting Call Center. The Call Center provides real time interpretation for when you are speaking to a doctor at the hospital or when you are picking up a prescription at a pharmacy. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The phone number for the Call Center is 092-733-5429. Again, that number is 092-733-5429. 18 different languages are available and while the service is free, telephone call charges may apply.


【Preventing the spread of Covid-19】

And once again we are asking everyone to continue to practice basic infection prevention measures to fight against the spread of Covid-19. Wear a mask, wash your hands, gargle and avoid the 3 Cs. That means you should avoid closed rooms with poor ventilation, try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations.

2021.02.08[Mon] 09:00

Employment & Starting a Business(就業・起業)


Have you seen the plum blossoms in Fukuoka? Originally from China, it's at this time of year when there are still few flowers and little green in gardens, that you can enjoy the sweet fragrance and adorable blossoms of the plum tree. You'll know that spring is on it's way when the scent of plum blossoms gently floats by on the wind, tickling the tip of your nose.
There are around 500 kinds of plum trees, both edible and ornamental and all firmly a part of Japanese life. From the fruit of the trees, a couple of well known things you can make are umeboshi, or pickled plums as well as umeshu, or plum wine in English. Among fruits, plums have a high nutritional value and are rich in proteins, vitamins, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and other minerals.
And I don't know if you know this, but the plum blossom is the flower of Fukuoka Prefecture. There are quite a few places you can visit to see plum blossoms including Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine, Hirao Sanso and Abura Yama. If you catch them at the right time, the view is just stunning. I've got a couple of plum trees in my garden that I put sliced oranges on to get the mejiro birds to come and visit. And the view of the bright green mejiro against the plum blossoms is a beautiful site and one of my favorites this season.

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2021.02.01[Mon] 09:00


【Today's Guest】

Jonathan from U.K.

(an English conversation teacher)


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  • Colleen
  • Colleen
  • 誕生日:11月11日
    出身地:USA Detroit, MI
    興味のある事:I'm studying patisserie and languages