Tag Archives: relationship

Japan Word of the Day #95 – Yakimochi (Food or relationship term)


Toady’s Word is: Yakimochi (焼き餅)

Yakimochi (焼き餅) in Japanese could mean two things: grilled mochi, or jealousy.
The original meaning came from the former of the two.
Yaki is grilled, and mochi means rice cake.
Because the word used for being jealous is “yaku (妬く),” which has the same sound as “yaku (焼く)” for grilling, a person who’s jealous is described as “yakimochi yaki,” the one who grills mochi, as pun on words.

Typically, for the latter meaning, katakana is used instead of kanji to differentiate from the one that means food (but not always).

Does your girlfriend or boyfriend often cook mochi when you flirt with others? Maybe eating delicious mochi together could help a couple reconcile!

Image source: Imakore

Japan Word of the Day #39 – Tsukiau (To date someone)


Today’s Word is: Tsukiau (付き合う)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today we are covering a term dealing with romantic relationship.

In Japanese, “tsukiau(付き合う)” or “tsukiatteiru (付き合っている)” means to date or to be dating someone.
However, this is a versatile enough word that it could also mean to “accompany someone” in a totally non-romantic situation. You can “tsukiau” to a supervisor at your work for a meeting, or with your siblings and friends to events, parties, shopping, etc.
It depends on the context to judge whether the term is used to indicate romantic or non-romantic relationship. However, when you are simply accompanying someone, the verb is generally followed by locations or events, whereas in a sentence indicating romantic relationship, it is not.

For example,

友達と飲み会に付き合っている (tomodachi to nomikai ni tsukiatteiru)
I’m accompanying my friend to a drinking party.

太郎君と花子さんは付き合っている (Taro-kun to Hanako-san wa tsukiatteiru)
Taro and Hanako are dating.

In the first sentence, you are obviously just tagging along with your friend. On the other hand, the second sentence is not followed by an event or a location, so it is likely that the speaker is indicating romantic relationship.

Have a great Valentine’s Day!

Japan Word of the Day #34 – Warikan (Going Dutch)


Today’s Word is: Warikan (割り勘)

This is an useful word to remember when going out to restaurants with your friends.
Warikan is a combination of two words: warimae (=share) and kanjo (=bills).
It’s equivalent of “going Dutch” or “splitting the bill” in English.

In some countries such as China and Korea, it is impolite to ask for split bills.
In Japan, paying by warikan is a fairly common custom between friends. There is no tipping culture, so you can divide a bill down to one yen even.
However, it is also common in Japan for a man to treat a girl on a date (and many girls expect it), so use it accordingly depending on situations!


Image source: Yawaran

Japan Word of the Day #31 – Kareshi/Kanojo (lover)


Today’s Word is: Kareshi/Kanojo (彼氏/彼女)

Kareshi means boyfriend, and kanojo means girlfriend in Japanese.
They are pretty simple words to remember, but it could sometimes confuse non-native speakers because kare and kanojo could also mean simply “he/him” and “she/her”. Not many people know that these are fairly recent words in Japanese history.

Up until Edo-period, there was only one word, “kare,” to describe both “he” and “she.” There was no differentiation between male and female. However, in Meiji-period, western culture started coming in the country, and in order to translate English books, a new word was necessary to differentiate “he” and “she.” Thus the word “kanojo” was created to make a clear difference from “kare.”

Eventually, the term “kanojo” also began to mean “girlfriend.” It is unclear how this transition happened. The term “kareshi” was coined in early Showa-period by Musei Tokugawa, a popular TV/radio personality of the time. Because “kanojo” was being used to mean girlfriend by this time, Tokugawa made up a new word “kareshi” to pair with it (combination of kare + shi where shi basically means “Mr.”).

Image source: Cajun Samurai

Japan Word of the Day #7 – Ria Juu (Opposite of otaku)


Today’s Word is: Ria-Juu (リア充)

Ria-juu is a slang for someone who lives the life to its fullest.
Ria” is short for “real life,” and “juu” is short for juujitsu (充実), where the latter means enriched, complete, and perfect. The term ria-juu is used in contrast against otaku or hikikomori who tends to spend more time on internet, manga, games, and TV, which are considered “non-real life” than real life.

There is no clear definition for who qualifies as a ria-juu, but commonly believed characteristics include: 1) good-looking,  2) has lots of friends, 3) has a girlfriend/boyfriend (or even if not, attracts many girls or boys), 4) travels often, 5) has a good job and high income, 6) actively attends school events and parties… and the list goes on. You know what I mean!

It’s not a very nice thing to say, but a common phrase seen on internet is “Ria-juu bakuhatsu shiro,” which means “ria-juu please explode.” It doesn’t necessarily mean that whoever uses this phrase wants ria-juu to get injured, but it’s an exaggerated way of expressing envy toward those people. Of course, not everyone wants such lifestyle, someone can be perfectly happy without being a stereotypical ria-juu.

Do you consider yourself a ria-juu or non-ria-juu?

Image Source: Oreyo Otokomae Tare