Monthly Archives: December 2013

Japan Word of the Day #23 – Ikemen (good-looking dude)


Today’s Word is: Ikemen (イケメン)

Ikemen simply means a good-looking, handsome guy.
“Ike” is short for “iketeru (イケてる),” which means attractive and usually has a connotation for being trendy too. “Men” is or course derived from English word “men.”

“Iketeru” originally started being used in Kansai area, but because of a popular  TV show Mecha mecha Iketeru that started in 90’s, it became a common phrase for everyone in Japan.

Here is Ikemen Ranking 2012 voted by Japanese men (data by Oricon).

3) Takuya Kimura


2)  Osamu Mukai


1) Masaharu Fukuyama



Image sources: Barks, Matome News, Yahoo Blog


Japan Word of the Day #22 – Ahoge (Those anime hairstyles)

Today’s Word is: Ahoge (アホ毛)

Ahoge originally meant cowlicks or frizz in your styled hair. In anime and manga world, some characters have distinctive strand of hair that sticks up, almost like an antenna of some sort. We call such depiction of hair “ahoge.”

Examples of characters with ahoge are Card Captor Sakura, Creamy Mami, and Konata from Lucky Star.

word-of-the-day-ahoge-rinkya-japan word-of-the-day-ahoge-rinkya-japan2word-of-the-day-ahoge-rinkya-japan3


Image sources: Premium Bandai, Matome, Amazon

Japan Word of the Day #21 – Sauce face and Soy sauce face

Today’s Word is: Shōyu-gao and Sōsu-gao (しょうゆ顔&ソース顔)

The words shōyu-gao (literal translation=soy sauce face) and sōsu-gao (sauce face) were first coined in late 1980’s. It was primarily used by women when describing men’s faces.

Soy sauce face is used to describe someone who has a typical Japanese appearance.
Sauce face, on the other hand, is a person who has a western look (it still has to be a Japanese person). Note that “sauce” in Japanese language usually means dressing and sauces of western origins, like worcestershire sauce. Soy sauce is not categorized as a “sauce” in Japanese.

Celebrities who have been described as “sauce face” in past are:

Hiromi Go (singer)



Hiroshi Abe (Actor)



And many more! Which celebrity do you think is a soy sauce face and a sauce face?

Image sources: 1, 2

10 Coolest Anime/Manga Chocolates

Japan’s god anime cakes, anime bentos, anime drinks… how about some chocolates?
Here’s 10 awesome handmade anime/manga-themed chocolates from Japan!

1) Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure



It seems that Jojo fans are particularly fond of making character chocolates more so than others. Their creations are intricate and stylish.  138bc68a
Source: info x clips

2) Tiger & Bunny

Source: Usotsuki kara no Love Letter


I like the light color use that resembles watercolor.

3) Various Fukumoto Manga Characters

Source: Twitter

Source: Channel Z

4)  Touho Project

Source: Twitter

5) Dragon Ball Z Villains The Ginyu Force

Source: Han Cha-han


Snoopy’s got the control of the Ginyu Force for some reason. Be afraid.

6) Yuyu Hakusho

Source: Twitter

7) Code Gears

Source: Garile

8) More Intricate Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

Source: Channel Z


This is too pretty! I cannot make myself eat it.

9) Yaranaika by Abe-san

Source: Cookpad

For someone with certain fetish… 😉

10) Attack on Titan

Source: Twitter


Wow, this piece is amazing.
I must frame it and hang it from the wall…

Maybe you could use some of them for next year’s Valentine’s Day ideas?


Japan Word of the Day #20 – Joshikai (Girls-Only Gahering)


Today’s Word is: Joshikai (女子会)

Joshikai is gatherings or drinking parties exclusively for girls.
“Joshi” means girls, and “kai” means a gathering. Women in Japan are under constant pressure of social expectations and gender roles, which are still very much conservative compared to western culture. A joshikai is where they can be free. It is generally set up in an intimate environment like izakaya and restaurants where girls can have some privacy to discuss things they wouldn’t otherwise do in front of men.

The term joshikai started showing up around 2008. According to Wikipedia, it was first coined by izakaya chain “Warawara” when they started using “Warawara Joshikai” as a name for special package deals they had for female customers. Due to the huge success of this campaign, several other food and beverage services followed and adopted the term.

Because of such background, you can find a lot of izakaya and restaurants that offer female-exclusive discount plans. Even if you don’t have anything to hide from men, you can still take advantage of those deals when going out with your female friends :) For instance, check out Hot Pepper for all restaurants and izakaya that offer joshikai deals.

Image source: Grunabi