Japanese School in Japan,Fukuoka - NILS

School News

Today’s Japanese word :’ぜひ’

07/21/2021

Hello. Today’s Japanese word is zehi”.

We have all made requests or expressed our wishes to others. You can use “zehi” for emphasis.

Example:

1.ぜひ、今度うちへあそびに来てください!

  By all means, please come to my house!

2.A:  コンサートのチケットが2枚あります。一緒に行きませんか。

            I have two concert tickets. Shall we go together?          

     B:  はい、ぜひ一緒に行きたいです。  

    Yes, I would really love to go together!

 

“zehi” means “by all means” or “really”.

Please use “zehi” with “〜してください” and “〜たいです”.

 

In very casual situations, you can use “zehi” by itself.

Example:

    A: 昼ごはんでも食べに行かない?                        

     Would you like to go for lunch now?

      B: ぜひ!                                   

     I’d like to!

 


七夕会

07/15/2021

Do you know the “Legend of the Star”?

 

This is a story about two deities who are allowed to meet only once a year.

It’s well known in some Asian countries, and people hold various events celebrating the story.

(If you want to know more about the story, please search the topic on internet or in books.)

 

In Japan, the celebration is called 七夕(たなばた)Tanabata) and held on July 7th (in accordance with the solar calendar).

 

At a Tanabata Festival, we usually write special wishes on colorful strips of paper (短冊(たんざく), Tanzaku), and decorate a bamboo tree with these paper strips and other beautiful ornaments.

 

Every year, NILS organizes the Tanabata Festival on July 7th.

 

A large, beautiful bamboo tree arrived at our entrance hall this year, and the students decorated the tree with Tanzaku and other handmade ornaments.

 

 

 

 

Would you like to read some of the wishes written by the students?

 

 

Wishing my family good health and happiness.

Wishing my future will be full of luck and success in my job.

 

 

What wonderful wishes these are!

I hope their wishes come true!☆


Today’s Japanese Phrase: ‘かっこいい’

07/09/2021

Hello, today’s Japanese word is “かっこいい(kakkoī)”. 

 You can use this word whenever you want to say “cool!”

 

Let’s check the first sample conversation.

       A: わあ、あなたの(あたら)しい髪型(かみがた)、かっこいいね!

    Wow, your new hairstyle is really cool!

       B: ありがとう。

    Thanks.

 

In another situation, you can use “かっこいい” to describe handsome, good-looking people.

In fact, “ハンサム” is a translation of “handsome” which means pretty much the same as “かっこいい”, but most Japanese people. particularly younger generations, do not use “ハンサム” in daily conversation.

 

Instead, we prefer to use “かっこいい” to describe a hot, handsome, fine, good-looking person.

For example:

                     A. (あたら)しいボスに、もう()った?

                            Did you meet our new boss yet?

                     B.   うん、昨日(きのう)()ったよ。すごくかっこいいよ!

                            Yes, I met him yesterday. He is very handsome.

 

                     A. デスクトップのかっこいい男性(だんせい)(だれ)ですか?あなたのフィアンセ?

          Who is this handsome guy on your desktop screen? Is he your fiancé?

                     B. ああ、はい・・・ある意味(いみ)ね。お()()りの韓国(かんこく)アイドルなんです。

          Oh, yes… in a way. He is my favorite Korean idol.

 

**Bonus Point**

Have you ever heard the Japanese word “イケメン(ikemen)”?

This is a kind of colloquial expression (not found in a dictionary) to describe a good-looking guy.

This word basically stands for “cool guy”, but you can use it for either a male or female individual.

 

Is there any “イケメン” around you?

 

 


梅雨-Tsu yu-

06/10/2021

Hello, how are you doing these days?

Japan is in the middle of the rainy season. 

Have you ever heard of ‘梅雨(つゆ) which means rainy season?

 

In Japan, 梅雨(つゆ) usually begins early June and continues to July.

This year, the Meteorological Agency announced that this 梅雨(つゆ) season had begun on May 16th. This is much earlier than average.

 

Rainy weather is not so bad, but when it continues on for so long, we get tired and our mood sinks.

So, what do we do to wish for sunny weather?

We make てるてる坊主(ぼうず) (teru-teru bozu).

 

てるてる坊主(ぼうず) is a paper doll. Japanese people make these paper dolls and hang them on a window or a door.

People say this custom comes from China, but there are various theories.

We can make it from any paper including tissue paper.

It’s super easy to make one.

 

***How to make teru-teru bozu***

You need two pieces of tissue paper, rubber bands, and colored pens of your choice.

(1) Crumple a piece of tissue paper into a ball.

(2) Cover the paper ball with another tissue paper.

(3) Tie a rubber band around the doll’s neck.

(4) Draw a face.

 

On our NILS campus, we see some teru-teru bozu in this tsuyu season. We posted a picture of one of them here. He is quite cute, isn’t he?

 

Hope this melancholy rainy season is over soon.

We just can’t wait till a hot, bright summer!

 

 


Today’s Japanese Phrase : ’お疲れ様です’

06/02/2021

Hello, today’s Japanese phrase is ‘(つか)(さま)です‘.

If you are planning on working in Japan, you should know this phrase because you will definitely use it in a Japanese workplace.

 

‘お(つか)(さま)です’ is a greeting word frequently used in a workplace like “Hello” or “Hi” . Literally, it means “Thanks for your hardworking.”

 

We can use ‘お(つか)(さま)です’ any time during the day. When we finish working and are ready to leave the office, we tend to say ‘つかさまでした‘. This means “Goodbye” or “See you”.

 

[Example 1] Passing your co-worker on the corridor at work.

SATO:    お(つか)(さま)です。

       Otsukaresamadesu. (with a little bow)

SUZUKI: お(つか)(さま)です。

       Otsukaresamadesu. (with a little bow)

 

[Example 2 ] Leaving your work at the end of the day

A:   すみません。お(さき)失礼(しつれい)します。[Sorry, I’m leaving first.]

    Sumimasen. Osakini shitsurei shimasu. (with a little bow)

B:      お(つか)(さま)でした。

    Otsukaresama deshita. (with a little bow)

 

You may have heard similar phrases such as ‘(つか)(さま)‘ or ‘(つか)れ’ on Japanese TV drama series or real situations. These are just shortened versions of ‘お(つか)(さま)です’ and sound more friendly or informal.

 

Please note that some people think this phrase is used by a person of higher professional/social rank to address another of lower rank, such as a boss to an employee, you should avoid using this phrase.

 

Does that make sense?

Ok, this is the end of today’s lesson. ‘お(つか)(さま)でした’

 

 


Shodo Workshop

04/30/2021

Today, we had a calligraphy workshop for all our students.

 

Japanese calligraphy is called “Shodo (書道(しょどう))” in Japanese.

We enjoy Shodo as a hobby in our daily life, and sometimes, we organize a special event for Shodo called Kakizome (書初(かきぞ)め).

 

What is Kakizome?

We write down our hopes or goals at the beginning of the year. Do you have a custom of making a New Year’s resolutions in your country? Kakizome is just like that.

 

Since the current NILS students were not able to start school at the time of New Year this year they had not had a chance to experience Kakizome. 

So, we decided to hold a Kakizome class to commemorate the beginning of the new semester in April.

 

 

Students struggled writing Kanji with a brush. Since you cannot apply too much or too or too little pressure, it was no easy feat to master. Still, I think they had a great time trying.

 

Please take a look at their masterpieces!

 

 

 


Today’s Japanese phrase: じゃない

04/12/2021

Hello, today’s Japanese topic is ‘じゃない.’

Before we explain how to use this expression, please take a look at the conversation below.

 

Son: おかあさん、テストで 50(てん) とったよ!(Mom, I got 50 points (out of 50) on the test!)

Mom: 数学(すうがく)(Math)のテスト ですか?(Is that a math test?)

Son: 数学のテスト じゃないよ英語(えいご)(English)のテスト。

Mom: ええ、すごいじゃない

 

 

Here are a couple of questions.

 1. Which test did the son take?

 2. Does mom think that he did well or not?

 

 

In Japanese, 「じゃない」 basically means ‘not’ or ‘no’ to deny something. It is used in combination with an adjective or noun.

For example, 「きれいじゃない」(きれい[Adj.] + じゃない) means ‘not beautiful.’ 「(おんな)(female)じゃない」(女[Noun] + じゃない) means ‘not female.’

 

So, 「数学のテストじゃない」 can be broken down as (数学のテスト[Noun] + じゃない) which means ‘not a math test.’

 

But, how about 「すごいじゃない」?

 

This phrase can also be broken down as (すごい[Adj.] + じゃない), and that would mean ‘not great’ if you follow the grammatical rule above.

However, that’s not the case.

 

Here, 「じゃない」 is used to express something positive. Mom is actually saying “That’s great, isn’t it?” She is not saying “That’s not great.”

 

Here are some more examples of using 「じゃない」 to express opinions.

     1. 週末(しゅうまつ)(かみ)()ろうと(おも)うんだよね。 ―― いいじゃない!

  I am planning on getting a hair cut this weekend. ―― That’s good!

     2. (あたら)しいTシャツを()ったんだ。 ―― すてきじゃない!

  I bought a new T-shirt. ―― It’s nice!

 

In addition, we can use 「じゃん」 instead of 「じゃない」 in order to make it informal.

Young people use this very casual expression. You can use it, but only among your very close friends and family.

 

If you use 「じゃん」, your friends will probably tell you, 「あなたの日本語(にほんご)、いいじゃん!」

 


Today’s Japanese Phrase: Onomatopoeia

03/30/2021

Hello, today’s topic is Japanese onomatopoeia.

 

The Japanese language has a variety of onomatopoeias.

An onomatopoeia is a word that mimics the sound of a condition or emotion. For example, “meow-meow” is an onomatopoeia to express a cat crying.

 

Unfortunately, it is impossible to list all Japanese onomatopoeias here. So, let me introduce some of the “repeat twice” type of onomatopoeia for illustration. 

Please try to use them in your daily conversation!

 

Emotions

わくわく(waku-waku): Excited about something and looking forward to it.

どきどき(doki-doki): Heart is beating baster due to excitement, anxiety, falling in love, etc.)

いらいら(ira-ira): Irritated.

Examples

  ・もうすぐクリスマスだ!わくわくするなあ。

   Mōsugu kurisumasu da! Wakuwaku surunā

            (Christmas is coming soon! I am so excited!)

  ・彼女の美しい目は私をどきどきさせる。

            Kanojo no utsukushī me wa watashi wo dokidoki saseru.

             (Her beautiful eyes make my heart beat faster.)

  ・パソコンの動きが遅くてイライラする。

             Pasokon no ugoki ga osokute iraira suru.

              (This laptop works slowly, and that irritates me.)

 

Conditions

きらきら(kira-kira): Something is shining.

ぐるぐる(gru-guru): Something is turning round and round.

        Examples

    ・あなたの指輪はきらきら光ってきれいですね。

             Anata no yubiwa wa kirakira hikatte kireidesune.

             (Your ring is shining bright and beautiful.)

     ・メリーゴーランドがぐるぐる回っている。

              Merīgōrando ga guruguru mawatteiru.

              (A merry-go-round is turning round and round)

 

 

★Quick Quiz★

What kind of emotions/conditions do these two onomatopoeias represent? Can you guess?

(The answers are at the bottom of this article.)

 

ねばねば(neba-neba)       ふわふわ(fuwa-fuwa)

 

 

If you want to learn more about Japanese onomatopoeia, you should check Japanese manga (comics). They are a treasure chest of onomatopoeias!

 

 

**Answer for Quiz here    (さらに…)


Commencement

03/19/2021

On March 10th, we had our commencement ceremony.

 

Out teachers, junior students and other guests attended the ceremony to bear witness this important milestone.

 

 

The graduates received a lot of congratulatory messages from junior students, our company executive, the Mayor of Ogori, and many vocational schools.

We truly appreciate those who gave such nice and warm messages. 

If it were not for their kindness and encouragement, the students would have had difficulty completing their program.

 

 

 

 

We were all in formal attire to observe this important event with due solemnity.

At NILS commencement ceremonies, we can see various traditional formal wear depending on the student’s nationality. The graduates were really beautiful and excused confidence.

 

 

Graduation isn’t the end of a tough journey.

Your wonderful journey has just begun now.

 

Congratulations and GOOK LUCK!

 

 


A trip to Dazaifu

03/16/2021

 Dazaifu Tenmangu is one of the most famous shrines in Fukuoka. 

It enshrines Sugawara no Michizane who is regarded as a god of academics.

 

Today, we took a school trip to Dazaifu. We could feel spring in the air. Plum flowers (梅の花 Ume no Hana) were blooming, and we delighted in their beauty.

 

Do you know how to pray at a shrine? OK, let me explain a bit here.

 

When you first pass through the shrine gate, you have to wash your hands and mouth to purify yourselves. Every shrine has a special area called Chouzuya (手水舎) for this purification.

 

Now, it’s time to pray to God.

 

There is a certain protocol in praying at a shrine called “Ni rei, Ni hakushu, Ichi rei” (2 bows, 2 claps, and 1 bow). We have to follow these motions literally.

 

We prayed for a bright future for our students after graduation.

What did our students pray for? Successful academic career, health, family, or significant others?

 

In any case, we prayed in the proper, traditional manner today.

The Dazaifu God may indeed bless you!

 

 


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