Monthly Archives: March 2014

Japan Word of the Day #55 – Mac or Macdo?

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Today’s Word is: Mac/Macdo (マック/マクド)

 McDonald’s is one of the most popular fast food chains in Japan. It continually generates the highest revenue among all fast food chains, taking up 60% of the market share in hamburger restaurant industry.

However, there’s always been a controversy in Japan over whether one should call McDonald’s “Mac (マック)” or “Macdo(マクド)” for short. In general, Kanto area (east side of Japan, including Tokyo) tends to call it “Mac,” and Kansai area (west side of Japan) tends to call it “Macdo.”

Recent online research showed the area colored with green in the diagram below has tendency to call it Mac. The orange area, “Macdo,” and the yellow area is both.

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Whatever you call it, McDonald’s in Japan has great food with lots of limited edition/seasonal menu. You should try some when you visit Japan!

Image source: Wifri

Sailor Moon ISETAN apparels available for sale for limited time! Including Princess Serenity Dress, Sailor Scout Cardigans, and more!

Japanese Department Store ISETAN is selling a line of new Sailor Moon apparels for limited time! New items include Sailor Scout cardigans, Princess Serenity Dress, Summer Dresses, and more. You can only order these items from April 1st to April 16th at 10AM (Japan time)!! Request an order through Rinkya Store at least 24 hours before the deadline so we have enough time to process!

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Japan Word of the Day #54 – Madogiwa

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Today’s Word is: Madogiwa (窓際)

Madogiwa is a term that describes middle-aged to elderly Japanese salarymen who is virtually given a sinecure position. The literal translation of the word means “by the window.”
In late 1970’s, a local newspaper in Hokkaido posted an article titled “Madogiwa ojisan (old men by the window),” showing several photos of middle-aged salarymen who basically are just killing time by reading newspaper and daydreaming next to their office windows. Since then, the term madogiwa started being used as a word to describe such demographic.

At the time, Japan was enjoying its continuing economic boom, and labor union had been pressuring corporates to give their employees lifetime employment. They had to keep employees till their retirement age even if there aren’t any jobs in the companies that are suitable for these old men to handle.

However, number of Madogiwa employees decreased dramatically after Japan’s economic bubble collapsed in 1990. Corporates started prioritizing performance and results over number of years of one’s contribution. Groups of salarymen that fell into madogiwa category were forced to quit their companies unless they were useful.

Image source: Color of Thoughts 

Japan Word of the Day #53 – Consent (Electrical Outlet)

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Today’s Word is: Consent (コンセント)

Consent” means to agree on permission for something to happen in English. In Japanese language, consent, or “konsento (コンセント),” refers to an electrical outlet.
There’s a false assumption among many Japanese people that this word came from English term “consent,” but it is actually an abbreviated form of “concentric plug.” In late Taisho period (1920’s), concentric plug meant a set of both the electric plug and the outlet, but because Japanese engineers called them separately (plug was called “plug,” and the outlet was called a “concent”), the term stuck with the electrical outlet.

Image source: Uematsu Blog

New Cellphone Straps Have Street Fighter II Characters Do “Dogeza” to Apologize

Zarigani Works is a toy company making several odd products including “Dogeza” series, which is a line of small figurines kneeling in kowtow style to show one’s deep apology.

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It was revealed through a tweet by Bruce Hsiang, that the company is planning to release a new “dogeza” line featuring Street Fighter II characters.

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I have no idea why, or what familiar faces like Ryu, Ken, Chun Li have done to the point need to do dogeza, but Dhalsim and Blanca seem to be happy and all psyched up for a fight it seems!

Zarigani Works confirmed that the tweet was true.
Street Fighter II “Dogeza” cellphone straps will be released in July.
Each figurine will be priced at 300 yen.

Japan Word of the Day #52 – Hyakkin (100 yen shop)

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Today’s Word is: Hyakkin (100均)

Hyakkin is an abbreviated form of Hyaku-en Kinitsu Shop (100円均一ショップ). Its literal translation is “100 yen flat rate shop.”

In Japan, 100 yen shop is extremely popular because these stores (usually chain) offer a variety of items and do actually carry pretty high quality miscellaneous products. The first 100 yen shop of today’s business model started with Daiso in 1991. Hiroyake Yano, the founder of Daiso, really pushed for improvement in product quality, thus winning trust and reputation from super markets and got Daiso brand known to the industry.

Although hyakkin stores advertise themselves as “100 yen flat rate,” many of them add on sales tax on top of tagged prices. So most items are 105 yen instead of 100. And from April this year (less than in a week!), Japan’s sales tax will go up to 8%, which makes everything sold at 108 yen in these shops.

Image source: Yoshizuya

Niconico Douga’s annual event will serve Nausicaä’s “Ohmu” Rice and Alpaca Curry

Niconico Choukaigi 3, a big annual fan event hosted by Niconico Douga, will be held on April 26-27th this year. Each year the event’s food court offers dishes representing popular contents from Niconico Douga. This year, its food menu has greatly improved from previous years in both quality and appearance, including Nausicaä’s “Ohmu” Rice and Alpaca curry.

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Japan Word of the Day #51 – Sakana

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Today’s Word is: Sakana (肴)

In today’s Japanese language, sakana could mean two different things.
Sakana (魚)means fish, which is what most Japanese learners hear first.
Sakana (肴) on the other hand means food served to be enjoyed with alcoholic beverages.

The origin of the word actually comes from the latter. Long time ago, all side dishes including any vegetable, seafood, and meat were called “na.” Among different types of side dishes, seafood was the ingredient most used to accompany sake. Eventually, the combination of sake (alcohol) + na (side dish) started having secondary meaning, which is fish!

Image source: Suntory

Ultra Rare! Jumbo Machinder Getter 3 Listed for Auction! Ending Today!

Last minutes notice for Jumbo Machinder collectors!
There is an auction listing for Popy Jumbo Machinder Getter Robot Getter 3 currently available for bidding.

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Although its right arm is missing, and there are some scratches and minor damages the item is functional and sold by a reliable seller with good feedback. Comes with an original box.

This auction ends today! See more photos on the actual Auction page.
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