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Discover Japan through conversations with fascinating people. Every episode host Tony Vega is joined by a guest to talk about all aspects of Japan, including the Japanese language, history, Japanese pop culture, food, anime, manga, movies, music, comedy, the impact of Japanese culture around the world, underground social movements, social issues in Japan, and much more. Episodes are released on the first of every month. Bonus episodes are regularly released on the fifteenth of the month. For ...
 
Helping you better understand Japan and the Japanese language one question at a time. Every episode Tony and Ryan--two guys with master's degrees in Japanese Language & Linguistics--draw on their experiences in Japan and extensive research in both Japanese and English to shed light on all aspects of Japan. From the many interesting quirks of the Japanese language to obscure Japanese history, as well as busting misconceptions about Japan held by both Japanese peole and Westerners, Tony and Ry ...
 
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show series
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Kaitly Ugoretz of the YouTube channel Eat Pray Anime discusses the allure and eclectic spirituality of Marie Kondo, as well as online Shinto communities. About Kaitlyn Ugoretz Kaitlyn Ugoretz is a Phd candidate at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her primary area of research is online religi…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Why do hands come out of the toilet in Japan? Topics Discussed Japanese stories/legends/folklore/urban legends (toshi densetsu) involving hands, toilets and hands coming out of toilets The hand in the bathroom/toilet from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask The story of Akai Kami Aoi Kami (Red Paper, Blue Pap…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, we talk about the probably extinct (but maybe not?) Japanese wolf with journalist Alex K.T. Martin. About Alex K.T. Martin Alex K.T. Martin is a feature writer for the Japan Times. He is also the author of a recent five-part feature about the Japanese wolf (nihon ōkami) titled In Search of Japan's Lost …
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Is Yamaguchi cursed to have "ugly" girls? We also discuss other places in Japan known for having many beautiful/ugly women. Topics Discussed The three most scenic views in Japan What the Sandaibijin (三大美人) is What places in Japan are most known for having beautiful women Fukuoka (Hakata), Akita, and Kyoto's …
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, translator Allison Markin Powell talks about translating Japanese fiction. About Allison Markin Powell Allison Markin Powell is a literary translator, editor, and publishing consultant. The most recently published book she translated is Black Box: The Memoir That Sparked Japan’s #MeToo Movement (The Fem…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, translator Allison Markin Powell discusses the story of Shiori Ito and the newly published English version of the book Black Box: The Memoir That Sparked Japan’s #MeToo Movement. About Allison Markin Powell Allison Markin Powell is a literary translator, editor, and publishing consultant. The most recen…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Does "Your Name" live up to the hype? Topics Discussed Whether the movie Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) is as good as many people say it is The reception of Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) within Japan and abroad The basic plot of Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) Some potential problems with the plot of Your Name (Kimi no Na …
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, we're learning about homelessness in Japan and the life of Japanese day laborers. About Dr. Tom Gill Dr. Tom Gill is a professor of social anthropology at the Faculty of International Studies at Meiji Gakuin University in Yokohama. He is the author of the 2015 book Yokohama Street Life: The Precarious C…
 
For more information on B & B Bad Sisters, check out the official website. https://bbbadsisters.com/ Here's the link for the B & B Bad Sisters NFT shop. https://opensea.io/kazuomaekawa Follow B & B Bad Sisters on social media. Twitter https://twitter.com/bbbadsisters Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bbbadsisters Instagram https://www.instagram.com…
 
For more information on B & B Bad Sisters, check out the official website. https://bbbadsisters.com/ Here's the link for the B & B Bad Sisters NFT shop. https://opensea.io/kazuomaekawa Follow B & B Bad Sisters on social media. Twitter https://twitter.com/bbbadsisters Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bbbadsisters Instagram https://www.instagram.com…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What are Japan's most famous dogs? Topics Discussed Who Japan's most famous dogs are About Yukimaru, Prince Shotoku Taishi's beloved dog About Prince Shotoku Taishi Yukimaru's supposed ability to talk to Shotoku Taishi and chant Buddhist sutras The drone Nara made based on Yukimaru Sakhalin huskies/Karafuto-…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, shamisen performer and composer Mike Penny stops by to talk about Japan's famous three-stringed lute, the Mike Penny Orchestra (MPO), and more. About Mike Penny Mike Penny is a shamesen performer and composrer based in Los Angeles. He has performed throughout the U.S. and Japan. Aside from performing tr…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What was good and bad about your JET experience? Topics Discussed What the JET Programme is The various positions available to JET applicants Some troubles experienced while on the JET Programme Rural placements Japan's shrinking population On getting placed in Yamagata Prefecture On the lack of privacy that…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Dr. Salvador Jimenez Murguia talks about the religious group Pana-Wave Laboratory and shares some of what he experienced while in Japan researching it. About Dr. Salvador Jimenez Murguia Dr. Salvador Jimenez Murguia is a professor of sociology at Taft College and the author of numerous books. He has con…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Did Tama-chan the seal save the world and cause immigration reform? Topics Discussed The story of the famous seal that appeared in Tokyo's Tama River in the summer of 2002 About Tama-chan the seal How Tama-chan being granted a jūminhyō (residency certificate) by Yokohama's Nishi Ward led to foreigners protes…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, journalist Justic McCurry talks about his new book The War on Wheels: Inside the Keirin and Japan's Cycling Subculture. About Justin McCurry Justin McCurry is the Japan anc Korea correspondent for The Guardian. He is also the author of the new book The War on Wheels: Inside the Keirin and Japan's Cyclin…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What is a yankī or furyō? Topics Discussed What a furyō is The literal meaning of furyō All about juvenile delinquent culture in Japan The possible origin of the term furyō What a yankī is The possible origins of the Japanese term yankī and its links to Osaka's Amemura area What a tsuppari is Classic furyo f…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, we're talking about Kyoto, kimono and more with Dr. Rebecca Copeland. About Dr. Rebecca Copeland Dr. Rebecca Copeland is a professor of Japanese language and literature at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research specialties include modern and contemporary women's writing in Japan, modern litera…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Is the story of Kaguya Hime proof that aliens have visited Japan? Topics Discussed An overview of the story of Kaguya Hime (Taketori Monogatari, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter) The history of Taketori Monogatari How the tale of Kaguya Hime is sometimes called Japan's first science fiction story Peculiarities …
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, we're joined by Hannah Kentridge of the popular YouTube channel MissHanake. About Hannah Kentridge Hannah Kentridge is a content creator with over 100,000 subscribers on YouTube. Known as MissHanake on YouTube, Hannah has spent over 10 years producing videos in Japanese about her life and the Japanese l…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: How do you count that in Japanese? Topics Discussed The counter system used in Japanese Japanese counter suffixes The sometimes confusing nature of Japanese counters The correct suffix for counting chopsticks in Japanese Various counters used with different kinds of chopsticks How to properly count squid in …
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Dr. Jan Bardsley talks about the fascinating world of Japan's maiko and geisha. About Dr. Jan Bardsley Dr. Jan Bardsley is Professor Emerita of Asian Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is the author of Women and Democracy in Cold War Japan and the award-winning The Bluestockin…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What is Kansai-ben? Topics Discussed What the Kansai dilaect is The different that are found within the Kansai region of Japan Osaka-ben vs other dialects within the Kansai-ben umbrella The stereotype of the Ōsaka no obachan (older lady from Osaka) Leopard print clothing Who uses ōkini and where it is typica…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Yuji Haraguchi--owner of multiple Japanese restaurants and the Osakana fish market in Brooklyn, New York--talks about his interest in food, his career, fish, ramen, and more. About Yuji Haraguchi Yuji Haraguchi has started and owned multiple Japanese restaurants in the United States and Japan. He is bas…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Are rabbits counted as birds because eating meat was taboo in Japan? Topics Discussed The practice of counting rabbits as if they were birds in Japanese Whether Japanese people eat meat What exactly qualifies as meat The history of meats "bans" in Japan The hypocritical and dubious nature of meat "bans" in J…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Do students in Saga Prefecture still have to wear white underwear? Topics Discussed The decision by Saga Prefecture's Board of Education to get rid of an existing rule in some of its schools that made it mandatory for students to wear white underwear under their school uniforms The possibility that some scho…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Dr. Katarzyna Cwiertka stops by to discuss what exactly washoku (Japanese cuisine) is and how the term was redefined in an effort to get it registered as Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). About Dr. Katarzyna Cwiertka Dr. Katarzy…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What should I know about Japan's Bubble Era? Topics Discussed What was Japan's "Bubble Era" The Japanese bubble economy of the late '80s and early '90s Examples of some of the over the top ways people are said to have spent money during Japan's bubble economy era Golden Bomber's "Dance My Generation" Bubble …
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, journalist Dreux Richard stops by to discuss his new book Every Human Intention: Japan in the New Century. About Dreux Richard Dreux Richard is a writer and journalist. He has written extensively about Japan for publications such as The Japan Times, Metropolis Japan, and The New York Times. Dreux is als…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Tony answers the question: How did you become so familiar with Japan? About Tony Vega Tony Vega is a writer, editor, and podcaster. He has lived in Japan as both a student and participant of the JET Programme. He possesses an M.A. in Japanese language and linguistics from the University of Hawaii at Man…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What first person pronoun should I use when speaking Japanese? Topics Discussed The most common first person pronouns used in Japanese The tendency for Japanese speakers to avoid using pronouns The lack of true pronouns in Japanese How choosing which first person Japanese pronoun to use can be confusing even…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, we learn about one of Japan's most famous and popular group of samurai: the Shinsengumi. About Romulus Hillsborough Romulus Hillsborough is a researcher, writer and author of multiple books focusing on late Edo-early Meiji Period history. His books include Samurai Revolution: The Dawn of Modern Japan Se…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Do you have any funny or embarrassing Japanese mistake stories? Topics Discussed How "sayonara" is not used in most situations when saying "goodbye" in Japanese A mix up at a convenience store Getting used to referring to people in the Japanese language What exactly a rōtari is Being asian Dealing with peopl…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Tony talks to Dr. Patrick W. Galbraith about Japanese erotic comics (eromanga) and related issues such as censorship and Japanese obscenity laws. About Patrick W. Galbraith Dr. Patrick W. Galbraith is a lecturer at Senshu University in Tokyo. He is one of the world's leading experts on the topic of Akih…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Why did samurai have such weird haircuts? Topics Discussed What a chonmage is The Japanese people's pursuit of excellence of the hairstyle The historical origins of the topknots in Japan Hats and their connection to the topknot The supposed reason why samurai started using topknots and shaving the front of t…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Tony Vega talks to Kevin O'Shea, host of the Just Japan Podcast, about the unique experience he had in 2020 when he got stuck in Japan due to the coronavirus pandemic. About Kevin O'Shea Kevin O'Shea is a content creator, educator, and longtime resident of Japan. Aside from producing over 200 episodes o…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we once again ask: What is the best Japanese name for a bear that isn't actually a bear? Topics Discussed Japanese names of animals that have "kuma" in them but are not actually bears What an anaguma is How you say badger in Japanese What a mujina is What honey badger is in Japanese What fukuroguma are What the word…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Tony Vega talks to one of the world's leading scholars on Edo Period Japanese literature: Dr. Robert Campbell. About Dr. Robert Campbell Dr. Robert Campbell is a literary scholar specializing in the literature of Edo era Japan. Since 2017 Dr. Campbell has served as the Director-General of the National I…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we once again ask: What annoys you about living in Japan? Topics Discussed The frustratingly useless nature of many English-language versions of Japanese websites Booking hotels in Japan The frustrating but hilarious nature of bad English translations of Japanese (a.k.a. Engrish) Engrish t-shirts The practice of usi…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Tony has a chat with the owner of a voice that anyone who has ever ridden the Shinkansen (bullet train) will have heard numerous times: voice actor and singer Donna Burke. About Donna Burke Donna Burke is an Australian singer and voice actor based in Japan. Her voice can be heard in numerous high profil…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What annoys you about living in Japan? Topics Discussed Some annoying things you might encounter while living in Japan The annoying practice of book stores in Japan sorting books by publisher rather than author Justifications for why bookstores in Japan arrange books by publishers instead of by the last name…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Who got it more wrong: MatPat or Tony? (This episode is a follow up to episode 11 of Ichimon Japan which focused on the so-called Curse of the Colonel. The episode was recorded in order to address inaccuracies found in that episode.) Topics Discussed A brief summary of the Curse of the Colonel The fact that …
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, standup comedian Kilara Sen stops by to talk about comedy and the various projects About Kilara Sen Kilara Sen (a.k.a. Pink Unicorn) is a bilingual Japanese standup comedian, MC, and content creator. Apart from performing standup comedy in Japan, she has also performed in the United States and Europe, i…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What is yakitori? Topics Discussed What yakitori is The difference between yakitori when it is written using kanji and when it is written using only hiragana What qualifies as yakitori An overview of the history of yakitori The supposed origin story of the skewered sparrows that the area around Fushimi Inari…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, documentary filmmaker Ema Ryan Yamazaki discusses being inspired by Ichiro Suzuki and her latest documentary Koshien: Japan's Field of Dreams. About Ema Ryan Yamazaki Ema Ryan Yamazaki is a documentary filmmaker who has worked on several Japan-related projects. Her most recent feature-length documentary…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Do you have any funny or embarrassing Japanese language mistake stories? Topics Discussed What Ikigai Connections is How you say "fart" in Japanese The tricky nature of the Japanese passive form Getting similar sounding Japanese words confused The confusion that can occur when you speak more than two languag…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, manga creator and boxer Kofi Bazzell-Smith (a.k.a. Kofi Manga) stops by to discuss manga, the Japanese language, and the importance of perseverance. About Kofi Manga Kofi Bazzell-Smith is an American manga creator and boxer. He is active on YouTube and Instagram under the name Kofi Manga. Topics Discuss…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What is a kirakira name? Topics Discussed What a so-called kirakira nēmu is What kirakira means Five of the most difficult to read "kirakira names" The fact that many Japanese people seem to be unaware that Winnie the Pooh's name is Winnie and not Pooh The famous 1993 case of a baby who almost got named Akum…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, we're talking about the history and layout of Edo with one of the world's foremost experts on the subject: Dr. Timon Screech. About Dr. Timon Screech Dr. Timon Screech is a professor of the history of art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is a specialist in t…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast two members of the Kyoto-based metal band Cosmic Earth stop by to talk about their new album inspired by the Tokyo Olympics, the Kyoto heavy metal scene, and more. About Cosmic Earth Cosmic Earth is a Kyoto-based doom metal/stoner rock/heavy blues rock band founded by guitarist Takuya Yada in 2017. Cosmi…
 
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