Japanese Kanji Culture: The Secret of the Title “Haikyu!!”

I am a "Haikyu!!" fan! It's a Japanese animation about a high school volleyball team. Let's talk about some kanji stuff that I noticed. What is the Japanese Kanji Word "Haikyu"? The title of this show is after the word "排球(haikyuu)" and it's Japanese name of volleyball.  But basically NOBODY calls volleyball "haikyuu". We call volleyball "バレーボール(bare-bo-ru)". Did you notice the word "バレーボール" is not kanji? It is Japanese Katakana. In Japan we use the katakana script like this to adopt the word from foreign language and pronounce it as close as possible. However, some schools have a culture where they write everything in kanji. In that case, kanji version…

Sushi Restaurant Sign in “Assassination Classroom”

I love sushi! It's very hard to find decent quality sushi in USA...but you can enjoy nice and fresh sushi everywhere in Japan. Japanese Kanji Sign of the Sushi Restaurant In a popular animation "Assassination Classroom", I noticed a Japanese kanji sign on a sushi restaurant where Nagisa met his divorced father. The red kanji word is 元祖(ganso: originator), the black one is 江戸前(Edo-mae: front-of-Edo). Edo is old name of Tokyo. The image of sushi that we Japanese eat at restaurants came from this Edo-mae style. It's mainly Nigiri. (I've never seen Japanese people who make nigiri sushi at home! It's restaurant food!) And also the red square on the…

500 Matches in “Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma”

Do you watch "Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma (食戟のソーマ)"? Whenever people try yummy food, their reactions go WAYtoo far. But I understand that's a very important feature for boys, fan service. Calligraphy in "Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma" I like the the Japanese kanji brush arts in this show. They look very nice. Sometimes kanjis look very different depending on each calligrapher and his or her calligraphic style but the kanjis, in this show, are very neat and readable. I saw "勝負(shoubu)" when Soma and his dad compete each other. The kanji "勝" means "win" and this one "負" means "lose". Both together, "Match". However, we Japanese use this kanji "敗"…

Students’ Calligraphy in “Assassination Classroom”

Koro Sensei is cute! I finally started watching "Assassination Classroom(暗殺教室:ansatsu-kyoushitsu)" Season 2. They used to focus on the yellow creature's cuteness in last season more and I kind of miss that, but I still enjoy the story learning about the class and Mr. Karasuma's muscles. Students' Calligraphy in the Assassination Classroom Did you notice students' Calligraphy on the wall in the back of the classroom? All Japanese students learn and experience Japanese calligraphy in class and write theme words like seasonal words, slogans or motto. That's why, a classroom has calligraphy work on the wall, it's a very common view in Japan. However, in this show, what they write is NOT common at…