The Tofugu Podcast: Japan and Japanese Language

By Tofugu

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.

Category: Education

Open in iTunes

Open RSS feed

Open Website

Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 273
Reviews: 1

 Jul 19, 2018
friendly informative podcasts with fun guests and extra exciting tangents (they're the best part!)


For people who want to visit Japan, live in Japan, and learn Japanese. Please excuse the tangents.

Episode Date
Senpai: The Japanese Word You Look up To
In this episode, the Tofugu crew, Kanae, Cameron, and Rachel discuss the word "senpai," its use in Japanese schools and society, and Kanae's lasting trauma surrounding white socks from her senpai experience. After listening to the episode, check more details in our article:
May 01, 2020
The Meaning of Sensei: More Than Just "Teacher"
Did you know there are people who are 先生 (sensei) besides teachers or your judo instructor Sensei Jeff? In this episode, the Tofugu crew, Kanae, Jenny, and Rachel discuss the word "sensei" from their personal experience and introduce many different kinds of sensei beyond teachers. After listening to the episode, check more details in our article:
Apr 24, 2020
だ and です: Part II
In this episode, Tofugu's research team answers questions about だ and です from our listeners, such as: "What would be the best translation of です?" "When and how does it make sense to switch between です to だ when meeting somebody new?" After listening to this episode, go check out our article on for more info: "だ and です : Venturing beyond Textbook Rules into Real-Life Use" (
Jan 24, 2020
だ and です: Part I
In this episode, the Tofugu research team answers questions about だ and です from our listeners, such as: "Is it true that だ isn't just a less polite form of です?" "What are the real differences between だ and です?" After listening to this episode, check out our article on for more info: "だ and です : Venturing beyond Textbook Rules into Real-Life Use" (
Jan 17, 2020
First-Person Pronouns: When Female Speakers Use 僕 or 俺
This is the finale of our "First-Person Pronouns" series. In this episode, Kanae welcomes new co-hosts Cameron and Javi to discuss the use of traditionally male first-person pronouns such as 僕 or 俺 by female speakers. The discussion spans use in Japanese pop culture, media, celebrities, and the LGBTQ community. After you’ve listened to this episode, check out our article on Japanese first-person pronouns:
Jan 06, 2020
First-Person Pronouns: Using Your Own Name
This is the fifth episode in our "First-Person Pronouns" series. In this episode, we talks about using your own name as a first-person pronoun (and the anatomy of Anpanman). After you’ve listened to this episode, check out our article on Japanese first-person pronouns:…-person-pronouns/
Dec 17, 2019
First-Person Pronouns: 俺 (おれ)
This is the fourth episode in our "First-Person Pronouns" series. In this episode, we talk about 俺 (おれ) and why it is so tricky for Japanese learners to master. After you’ve listened to this episode, check out our article on Japanese first-person pronouns:
Sep 09, 2019
First-Person Pronouns: 僕 (ぼく)
This is the third episode in our "First-Person Pronouns" series. In this episode, Koichi, Michael, and Kanae discuss their own personal experiences with 僕 (ぼく), as well as how to sound more hip when using it. After you’ve listened to this episode, check out our article on Japanese first-person pronouns:
Sep 02, 2019
First-Person Pronouns: うち
This is the second episode in our "First-Person Pronouns" series. In this episode, we talk about うち. Though rarely taught in textbooks, うち is used fairly commonly in real life, especially in Kansai and between young females. After you’ve listened to this episode, check out our article on Japanese first-person pronouns:
Aug 26, 2019
First-Person Pronouns: 私 (わたし/わたくし/あたし)
In this, the first episode in our "First-Person Pronouns" series, we talk about わたし, わたくし and あたし. Despite all coming from the kanji 私, each of these three pronouns carries a different level of formality and gives a different impression. We’ve included some exercises to practice things like which specific situations call for わたし and which call for わたくし. After you’ve listened to this episode, check out our article on Japanese first-person pronouns:
Aug 19, 2019
How to Count Living Things (and Monsters, and Robots) in Japanese
We talk about the counters that count living things (頭, 匹, 人, and 羽) and how they overlap with each other. We also answer the hard Japanese counter questions like: can you count a robot with 人? What about a cyborg? How big can a 匹 animal be? What counter is worthy of the King of the Monsters? After you're done listening to this, learn way, way more about counters in our list of 350+ Japanese counters worth knowing:
Jan 08, 2019
How to Counter Anything
We talk about the counters 〜個 and 〜つ, the two counters that can count just about... anything! But, there are always going to be better counters out there for more specific things so we talk about those too. Consider this an overview on how to counter.
Dec 20, 2018
Becoming Famous in Japan - An Interview with Big in Japan
Find and watch the Big in Japan documentary here: We interviewed David Elliot-Jones, the writer/producer of the Big in Japan documentary. He tells us why he went to Japan with two of his friends (Lachlan Mcleod: Director, Louis Dai: Editor) to "do anything he could to become famous." Everybody thinks they can become famous in Japan. Find out the truth of it all in this interview.
Oct 02, 2018
Ganbaru: Do Your Best to Listen to This Podcast
For more, check out our article on ganbaru: "Do your best!" "Hang in there!" "FIGHT!" The Japanese verb 頑張る has a wide variety of English translations, and that's because it's such a nuanced word. Depending on how you say it and who you say it to, it could be an encouragement or a real downer. The Tofugu team sat down to discuss the definitions, translations, and our personal feeling about this complex word. And we really got into the weeds (societally speaking) when Michael, Mami, and Kanae navigate the sometimes-oppressive feeling ganbaru can carry.
Sep 19, 2018
How to Use ~san, ~kun, ~sama, and All the Other Japanese Honorific Name Enders
You may already know that, in Japanese, you add a polite little something at the end of someone’s name: ~san, ~sama, ~chan, ~kun… actually, there are lot more honorific name enders than that. And there are a lot of rules for using them correctly, too. The Tofugu team discusses seven common names enders and how to use them, not to mention nine historical/obscure name enders that are good to know. For more honorific goodness, check out the article we wrote, Listenerさん:
Aug 21, 2018
Rendaku: Why it's HITOBITO and not HITOHITO
Have you ever wondered why 人々 is ひとびと and not ひとひと, or even ひとぴと? Or why it’s てがみ instead of てかみ, or くさばな and not くさはな? It’s all because of a little thing called rendaku, or “sequential voicing,” which we talk about in this episode. While most Japanese teachers will just say, “it’s a mystery,” we’ll teach you the rules that make things rendaku or not, and the exceptions in between. Of course, we couldn’t explain EVERYTHING. For that, you’ll have to jump over to our very in-depth rendaku article on Tofugu:
Aug 14, 2018
Counting in Japanese with Your Karate Teacher Sensei Jeff
Hi, it's me, Sensei Jeff. I'm here to teach all you white belts how to count in Japanese. Punch! Punch! Punch! (Actually, we teach you how to count from zero to uh... a mysterious number. And, we teach you how to count in the Japanese style, rather than the Chinese style that's more common. It's a pretty neat episode, despite sounding so basic. Read more about it in our article!) Featuring: Koichi, Michael, and Mami (for the first time!)
Jul 30, 2018
Japanese Whisky (ft. Brian Ashcraft)
Get Brian's Book, Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit → Michael and Koichi interview Brian Ashcraft–author of several Japan-related books–about his latest book, Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit. He tells us what makes Japanese whisky "Japanese" as well as what a whisky rookie should try first (and where to get it).
Jul 24, 2018
O Genki Desu Ka?
Read more about Genki: Everyone learns "o genki desu ka" when they begin their Japanese language education. But the truth is real people don't say it that much. So, how do you ACTUALLY use genki? We cover genki's use cases, its history, etymology, and more.
Jul 10, 2018
ちょっと, a Little Word That Means a Lot
Read more about ちょっと in our article: We talk about ちょっと. At first it seems like a simple, little word. But, it actually has many meanings and ways to use it. We cover most of them, I think.
Jun 13, 2018
Ways to Improve Your Japanese Pronunciation
In this episode we get into Japanese pronunciation. Whether you are a beginner, advanced, or fluent, you'll find something in this episode that will help you to improve your pronunciation. To read more, check out our (really in-depth) guide:
May 23, 2018
Getting Into 込む Compound Verbs
Prefer reading instead? We wrote a whole article about this (even more example sentences included!) Have you ever seen the Japanese verb 込む? On its own, it means "to be packed" or "to be crowded." But, this verb is also used in compound verbs... 255+ of them, in fact! You may have seen examples of this in your studies: 入り込む, 切り込む, 駆け込む, the list goes on and on. The problem is, the way that 込む affects the first verb (we'll call that V1) differs from word to word. In this podcast, we explore those inconsistencies, coming up with four "rules" you can follow to figure out the meaning of a 込む compound verb. It's both easier, and more difficult, than you think. Listen to the podcast to learn more, or check out our article for additional explanation and way more example sentences.
May 15, 2018
Podcast Updates! New Season and Secret Guests!
The Tofugu Podcast is taking a break for a couple of weeks while we prepare Season 2 of our prolific podcast and interview a special guest that is near and dear to our hearts!
Apr 02, 2018
How to Lead a Group of Friends Around Japan
Traveling around Japan in a large group (10 or more) may seem impossible. But let me tell you, friends, it is very possible. In fact, the Tofugu team recently went on a trip to Japan organized and led by our very own Koichi. In this episode, he tells you how he planned an weeklong international trip for 15 people. He got everything together, led everyone around, made sure everyone was taken care of—all with zero mishaps. If you dream of showing your friends Japan, listen to this episode so you can have a successful, enjoyable friend-cation.
Mar 20, 2018
White Day, Japan's Sequel to Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day 2: PAYBACK! That should be the name of "White Day," Japan's sequel to Valentine's Day, which is exactly one month later, on March 14. But what does one do on White Day, exactly? All the gifts has been given. All the love received. What's left? Boy howdy, to understand what's going on, Koichi, Kanae, and Michael discuss how Japan's Valentine's and White Days work in tandem to create one-two marketing punch that'll embiggen your waistline and ensmallen your wallet.
Mar 12, 2018
Stories from Translating Final Fantasy X feat. Alex O. Smith
Friend of the podcast, Alex O Smith returns! After two decades translating video games (including many Final Fantasies), Alex has accumulated quite a few stories from inside the Japanese video game industry. Some of his excellent tales include: - The incredibly insane task of voicing every line of dialogue in Final Fantasy X. - How he basically didn't sleep for two months. - Hanging out with smokers to gain allies at Squaresoft. - How he learned to compromise with big budget directors. - And more! (Including his thoughts on Persona 5). --- Read Alex’s wisdom from the first episode:
Mar 05, 2018
How to Make Friends in Japan
It's tough making friends in a new place. Different people have different ways of going about it. Throw in a culture and language barrier and it can be downright frustrating. For these reasons and more, visitors and new residents to Japan often worry about making friends. That's why the Tofugu Team got together with returning co-host Kanae (she's back!) to discuss the best ways to meet people and start friendships in Japan.
Feb 27, 2018
The Absolute BEST Japanese Learning Resources from 2017
Read the series: --- After a year of collecting the best Japanese learning resources every month and delivering them straight to your eyeballs, Tofugu sits down to discuss which study tools are the best of the best. We divided all the resources into six categories. Then each host (Koichi, Michael, and Kristen) picked their favs before battling it out on the podcast field! Actually, they discussed it pretty civilly, but the result is the same: you now have a definitive list of THE BEST Japanese learning resources from 2017. If you’re having trouble sticking to your New Year’s resolution to study more Japanese, let this list be your shot in the arm.
Jan 29, 2018
How to Get a Job at a Japanese Video Game Company feat. Ben Judd
If you want to find your way into the Japanese video game industry, there's no better example we can point to than Ben Judd, a Capcom veteran responsible for giving Phoenix Wright his English voice. But we'll do you one better than just "pointing to him." We TALKED with him for over an hour about his experience breaking into Japanese work culture, establishing himself in the video game industry, and becoming a driving force in game production. In this interview, Ben reveals some secrets to dealing with finicky Nintendo, the advantages of working in Osaka rather than Tokyo, and how to turn your failures into ultimate dream-making successes. Listen to the whole thing, unless you have some sort of OBJECTION! to great career advice. --- Get more from Ben at: - - -
Jan 22, 2018
Tips on Passing the JET Program Interview
Learn how to ace the JET Program interview with our complete guide: --- If you want to live and work in Japan, the JET Program is one of the best ways to do it. But it's a competitive program that requires you pass a high-stress, high stakes interview with three people grilling you for thirty minutes. That's why we talked with someone who has passed an interview AND run JET interviews for four years. It's actually Tofugu's own Michael! In this episode, he and Koichi discuss strategies to prepare you for the JET Program interview and how to handle some of the more difficult questions the panel will throw at you.
Jan 15, 2018
Answering Your Own Questions About Japanese
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll stop emailing you about free fish." - Koichi (probably) Learning Japanese on your own can be challenging. Especially when you need clarification about abstract concepts, how to pronounce kanji, and how native speakers use certain words. We're here to show you that you can answer your specific questions about Japanese. Kristen and Michael discuss different methods to answering questions that will arise while studying Japanese. We also dive into why a certain resource works well and how you can best improve your experience to get the most accurate information. Listen in if you're having trouble filling in those gaps of knowledge. You can read Michael's full article for more:
Dec 26, 2017
The Challenge of Bringing Japanese Rock to America feat. Robby Takac from the Goo Goo Dolls
Running a record label that brings Japanese rock music to the US is not easy. But if anyone can do it, it’s Robby Takac, the bassist for the Goo Goo Dolls. He knows the ins-and-outs of the music industry pretty well; his band has double and triple platinum records and a globetrotting tour schedule. We talked to Robby about his record label, Good Charamel, which produces albums for Japanese bands like Pinky Doodle Poodle, the MOLICE, and Osaka-based punk rock institution Shonen Knife. He reveals why it’s super difficult to get Japanese music acts to perform in the US (and why you should ABSOLUTELY go see a Japanese band if it’s playing in your area). We had a lot of fun talking with Robby, so listen to the full episode for more. --- For more sweet sounds from Good Charamel and other things Robby’s involved with, check out: - - - - And listen to some music from the bands on Good Charamel Records, while you're at it: - Shonen Knife: - Pinky Doodle Poodle: - The MOLICE: - DJ Sashimi:
Dec 19, 2017
Learning Japanese and Secret Ways to Visit Japan: Advice from Loretta "Kemushichan"
YouTuber Loretta "Kemushichan" has been making videos about Japan and the Japanese language for over 10 years now. And because of her expertise, we asked her to write an article for us (which you can read here: and invited her on the Tofugu Podcast to drop some knowledge bombs. Knowledge bombs liiiiiiike... - The secrets she used to discover hidden exchange programs and other free ways to live in or visit Japan. - The study methods she used to get her spoken Japanese sounding fluent. - The problems Japanese small businesses are having with their tourism initiatives. - And many more... Listen and learn, friends. Then hop on over to Loretta's YouTube channel for more expertise. YouTube: Twitter:
Dec 11, 2017
How to Learn Japanese with Anime (And Why Maybe You Shouldn't)
Resources for learning Japanese we talk about in this episode: - Using SRS to Learn Japanese: - How to Study Japanese with Sentences: - Language Shadowing: === "You can learn Japanese from anime!" You’ve probably seen promises like these floating around the Internet. Maybe you’ve secretly hoped they’re true. We’re here to tell you THEY ARE TRUE! But just because you CAN learn Japanese from anime, it doesn’t mean you SHOULD. Koichi and Michael discuss the one way you can use anime to learn Japanese. It may not necessarily be the best way to learn Japanese, but it’s a way. Like if you REALLY just have to use anime to learn Japanese, we’ll tell you how. Even if you’re not interested in anime in the slightest, you can use the principles introduced in this episode to learn Japanese faster and better than everyone else. Weeaboos and Normal-boos listen up: there’s language learning gold in these here hills (the "hills" in this case being our podcast).
Dec 04, 2017
The Lifestyle Behind Japanese Clothing Brand Kiriko
There’s a clothing brand here in Portland that Koichi is a big fan of. It’s called Kiriko. What makes Kiriko special? The company makes clothing out of reclaimed Japanese fabric, some of it over 100 years old. But more important, they promote taking time to appreciate simplicity and quality. That’s why they sell more than just clothing; ceramics, coffee makers, backpacks. You could make an entire Kirko life. And that’s what we talked about with Kiriko’s founder, Katsu. We wanted to know what pieces of Japanese culture inspired him to create the Kiriko lifestyle. Listen in and you might gain a new perspective on clothing and how it affects your life.
Nov 27, 2017
Foreigner Forgiveness: What Happens When You Screw Up in Japan
When visiting or living in Japan, you may be worried about making mistakes: speaking informally to a superior, using chopsticks awkwardly, or bowing at the wrong degree. Things like this cause a lot of anxiety for foreigners in Japan. But we’re here to tell you about foreigner forgiveness. Basically, don’t worry so much. But on the other hand, don’t not worry enough. Some foreigners stretch this goodwill thin by taking advantage of peoples’ kindness for their own benefit. That’s not so good. So how do you know when to quit worrying about the little things while also ensuring you don’t fall into an amoral abyss of cultural and situational ambiguity? That’s a tough question that no one person can answer. That’s why there are three people on this podcast. Join us as we attempt to unpack the moral gray area of foreigner forgiveness so you can enjoy your time in Japan more. P.S. We’re definitely not talking about using your foreign-ness to get away with crime. DON’T DO CRIMES, KIDS! Or McScruff the Crime Cat will come for you.
Nov 20, 2017
Tofugu Answers 50 of YOUR Questions: The Tofugu Podcast 50th Episode Special
We’ve been doing this Tofugu Podcast thing for 50 episodes now (hooray!) so we decided to celebrate by answering listener questions. We asked you for your most burning questions and you sent us a ton! We picked the 50 best and sat down to answer them all in one fantastic podcast episode. I’m sure after this, all your questions about Japan, Japanese language, and Tofugu will be answered forever. Sure, this means the end of the Tofugu Podcast, but that’s a small price to pay for unlimited knowledge, right? Just kidding. We’re never gonna stop this podcast train.
Nov 13, 2017
Visiting Tokyo’s Festival and Drum Museum
Read more about Japanese festivals here: There’s nothing better than a Japanese festival. Drums, mikoshi, dancing, food. It’s a magical experience. But Japanese festivals don’t just "happen." They take a lot of hard work and equipment. And some of the best festival equipment comes from a 150 year old shop in Tokyo called Miyamoto Unosuke. This shop is one of the top suppliers of festival gear in Japan. And if you love intricately carved portable shrines inlaid with gold as much as we do, this place is for you. And for only ¥500, you can also visit the world’s only drum museum, located on the fourth floor of Miyamoto’s building (Japanese festivals have a lot of drumming, after all). To learn more about all the awesome things you can see at Miyamoto Unosuke and how to get there, take a listen to this episode of the Tofugu podcast. Next time you’re in Japan, you’ll know just how to get your festival and/or drum fix.
Nov 06, 2017
Tofugu’s Favorite Japanese Ghosts and Monsters
Read more: Yokai is Japan’s category for monsters, ghosts, demons, and pretty much any spooky or fantastic creature you can think of. And there are hundreds upon hundreds of fun yokai to learn about. With Halloween on the way, Michael and Kristen discuss their eight favorite Japanese ghouls; some terrifying, some creepy, and some just plain weird. Turn down the lights, light some candles, and settle in for some unsettling Japanese ghosts and monsters.
Oct 30, 2017
Our Favorite Japanese Learning Resources from Tofugu’s "What I Use to Study Japanese" Article Series
Since March, we’ve been publishing articles in a series called "What I Use to Study Japanese" (you can read them all here: In each article, a Japanese language learner tells us what they use to study and the methods they followed to get the language ability they have today. Over the past seven articles, we’ve seen patterns, techniques, and resources that helped us look at learning Japanese in new ways. In this episode, the Tofugu team shares their thoughts on the series and what tools and methods you should you use in your own Japanese studies.
Oct 23, 2017
Improving Relationships in Japan Through Omiyage
Read the article: When living in or visiting Japan, there’s one simple thing you can do to make good relationships with Japanese people: omiyage. This art of gift-giving is steeped in tradition and has lots of rules to follow. Get it right and you’ll get off on the right foot with your host family and smooth over relations with co-workers. Get it wrong and… well, just don’t get it wrong. In this episode, Koichi and Michael talk about omiyage etiquette, where to buy, and 6 steps to achieving Japanese gift-giving greatness.
Oct 16, 2017
How to Memorize Japanese Words Faster with Keyword Mnemonics
Read the article: Memorizing Japanese vocabulary takes a lot of time and energy, and there's so much to memorize! This alone makes people give up before they even get started. But what if there was a way to alleviate this burden by making memories of Japanese words stick in your head almost instantly? You might not have to quit learning Japanese. In fact, you might just become fluent. In this episode, Koichi, Kristen, and Michael teach you how to use the keyword mnemonics method to memorize Japanese faster and keep it in your head longer. After they walk you through the steps, you'll be able to create mnemonics and memorize Japanese vocabulary like a pro. Best of all, you'll learn Japanese faster than everyone else. Listen to the podcast and thank us later.
Oct 07, 2017
Why Are Japanese Classes Disappearing from Your School?
Get more from us at: Why are Japanese classes disappearing from your school? Demand for Japanese classes at universities isn't decreasing. In fact, more people want to learn Japanese than ever before! Then why are Japanese teachers losing their jobs? Recently, Koichi met with a group of professional Japanese teachers to discuss problems facing them. In this podcast, he talks with Kristen and Michael about what he learned. The group brainstorms solutions for Japanese education and discusses the future of Japanese programs at schools around the world.
Sep 29, 2017
What's the Difference Between On'yomi and Kun'yomi Kanji?
Read the article: This is maybe the most frustrating aspect of studying kanji. You start learning 山 as やま. Cool, one kanji memorized. Wait... it can also be read as さん. Wait. All your other kanji have 2 or 4 extra readings too! Some are on'yomi. Some are kun'yomi. Why does this have to be so complicated?! It may seem confusing at first, but if you learn the difference between on'yomi/kun'yomi readings, where they came from, and how they work, we promise it will make learning kanji a lot easier. Listen to this kanji-tastic episode where Kristen explains all this and more. When you're breezing through kanji like a pro, you'll be glad you did. iTunes: Google Play:
Sep 22, 2017
What to Do with One Day in Tokyo
Get your ideal day itinerary here: Oh no! The Tofugu Team has been kidnapped by Elon Musk and flown in his spaceship to Japan. He doesn't know how to have fun as a human, so he's forcing Koichi, Kanae, and Michael to show him what they would do with one day in Tokyo. If you're in Tokyo for a short visit, you can get some sweet travel tips from the team as they move from place to place, Elon Musk trailing slowly behind. Exciting destinations like: - A restaurant that serves shaved ice made with water from a World Heritage site - An indigo clothing store - A ramen restaurant that makes its own noodles right in front of your very own peepers - A multi-level toy store - A bath house with fancy wall murals - A bar where you can taste your favorite movies - And many more (like a lot more) And if you want to read about Kanae's ideal day in particular, check out the article she wrote: iTunes: Google Play:
Sep 15, 2017
We Rented a Japanese Homeless Man
In Japan last year, we rented a homeless person. Now, before you get angry at us for doing something terrible, listen to the podcast. It's not as ominous as it sounds. We wrote about this experience, too. If you want to read Homeless Kotani's story, you can do it here: Be sure to subscribe to the Tofugu Podcast on iTunes or wherever podcasts go to die. iTunes: Google Play:
Sep 08, 2017
The Japanese Craft Beer Movement feat. Beer Tengoku
Get more from us at: If you've ever had beer in Japan, you probably know that there are only four of them: Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo, and Yebisu. But, there is a beer movement going on. Japanese craft beers are making a comeback in a big way. We talked to Beer Tengoku, a duo of professional Japanese craft beer drinkers (hey guys, the first step is admitting you have a problem), about the best and worst craft beers in Japan, and where to get them. Also, there was a blue beer. That was weird. Be sure to check out Beer Tengoku, wherever websites are sold: Website: Support BeerTengoku: Twitter: Instagram: Facebook: Tumblr: Also be sure to keep an eye out for the BeerTengoku mobile app! And, you can subscribe to the Tofugu Podcast on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Here's that iTunes link, though:
Sep 01, 2017
Do You Need to Go to Japan to Study "Real" Martial Arts? Feat. Guillaume Erard
Get more from us at: A lot of world famous martial arts started in Japan: Karate, Judo, Kendo, Jujutsu, and especially Aikido. But if you really want to study one of these fighting arts properly, like for real, you have to move to Japan and practice it there. Right? Maybe not. This week, we talked to Guillame Erard who has been practicing Aikido for 30 years. He moved to Japan just to study Aikido and has taught students all over the world. He breaks down the pros and cons of studying martial arts in Japan, as well as explaining the history and philosophy behind Aikido in particular. So if you practice martial arts, or want to know how to get started, listen to Guillaume's wisdom. Find out once and for all what it means to study in Japan (and if it's okay to study anywhere else). Get more from Guillaume: iTunes: Google Play:
Aug 25, 2017
How to Become a TV Star in Japan feat. Matthew Chozick
Get more from us at: It’s totally possible for you, a foreigner, to move to Japan and become a TV star. That’s exactly what happened to our guest this week, Matt Chozick, who has appeared weekly on one of Japan’s biggest variety shows for the past five years. But he gets to be where he is because of all the Japanese practice he put in (and a generous portion of luck). Learn how you can follow Matthew’s method to learn Japanese IN JAPAN! FOR FREE! And when we say "learn Japanese" we mean "learn Japanese to the level where you can present on national television every week." This is some serious stuff. On top of this, you’ll also hear what it’s like to work with some of Japan’s biggest stars and how the creative process plays out in the Japanese TV and film industry (hint: it’s a bit more inclusive than the West). If you want to learn Japanese like a pro and/or become a celebrity in Japan, listen to the whole episode. Then you can be like Matt. iTunes: Google Play:
Aug 18, 2017
Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Freelance Japanese Translator? feat. Nora Stevens Heath
Get more from us at: If you want to translate video games and anime, you’ll probably have to work freelance. That means no 9–5, no benefits. You’ll be working weekends and rushing work to your clients. That’s been the experience of our guest this week, Nora Stevens Heath, and she's loving every minute of it. Nora has translated A+ titles like Kingdom Hearts 2, Your Name, Assassination Classroom, and Mario Kart DS. Listen to our conversation with Nora and find out if you have what it takes to translate games and manga professionally. You’ll learn what it’s like working with a big clients like FUNimation, how to get started as a freelance translator, and the step-by-step process freelancers use when translating games. P.S. We also settle an age old debate: Final Fantasy vs. Dragon Quest iTunes: Google Play:
Aug 11, 2017
When you go to Japan, Don't Make Any Plans
Get more from us at: If you're having a hard time planning your trip to Japan, then don't! You can avoid all that stress of fitting everything into your schedule and trying to see the best spots by simply avoiding the planning. Taking the road less traveled can yield a more authentic experience and is a sure cure for the itch of adventure. This week Koichi, fresh off a trip from Japan, and Michael sit down to discuss the joys in exploring Japan with limited or no itinerary. They give you insight on why traveling free from guide books and blogs can improve both your language skills and overall experience. Initially, this may sound crazy but after listening to the episode, you'll realize taking an adventure can be even more fulfilling than planning a ton of activities. By the way, we also write about learning Japanese: iTunes: Google Play:
Aug 04, 2017
The 5 Best Japanese Learning Resources of 2017 (So Far)
In January 2017, Tofugu started collecting the best, newest Japanese learning resources each month and reviewing them in a series (which you can read here: It's been six months since we started, and we've collected 32 new resources. Now it's time to reveal the best of the best! In this episode, Kristen tells you her 5 absolute favorite resources. As Tofugu's translator, she knows what it takes to study faster, better, and stronger. So if your progress is stuttering, listen to this podcast to discover new Japanese study tools that will get you back on your feet and running toward the finish line. --- For the full list of all 32 resources, check out our series "JAPANESE LEARNING RESOURCES" iTunes: Google Play:
Jul 28, 2017
Is the JET Program Right for You?
Get more from us at: The JET Program recruits hundreds of new English teachers every year to live and work in Japan. You could be one of them. But before you apply, there are some things to consider. What is the salary like? What are the benefits? Do you get any support? And most importantly, what is living in Japan REALLY like? Jamal asks Michael, a former JET ALT and current President of JET Alumni Association in Portland, all these questions and more (a lot more). The JET Program isn’t for everyone, but it could be for YOU! The only way to know for sure is to get your questions answered, and this podcast will answer almost all of them (probably about 90%). The rest you can ask us on Twitter ( --- For a complete guide on the JET Program, outlining the experience from start to finish, check out Tofugu’s JET Program Guide: iTunes: Google Play:
Jul 21, 2017
How to Protect Yourself from Japan's "Black Companies"
To learn more about Japanese black companies, check out our article on Tofugu: --- Do you want to work in Japan? Sure, we all do. But before you take that sweet new job with the Tokyo semiconductor conglomerate, maybe you should do some research to find out if it's a... BLACK COMPANY! (dun dun dun) "Black company" is the name Japanese people give to companies that are not so great to work for. Sexual harassment, unpaid overtime, required alcohol consumption, bullying; you name and a black company does it (to you). Kanae, our current Tofugu intern, used to work at a black company in Tokyo, and she shares her experience so YOU can avoid these problems. Learn all the warning signs of Japanese black companies, which may be hard for foreigners to see (because they're entering into unfamiliar territory anyway). After listening to this podcast, you'll be able to steer clear of unhealthy work environments and straight into that sweet, sweet dream job in Japan. iTunes: Google Play:
Jul 14, 2017
What Can You Do With a B.A. in Japanese Studies? Feat. ShinpaiDeshou
Get more from us at: This week, Michael and Koichi discuss career opportunities in Japanese Studies with Shinpai Deshou blog founder, Paula Curtis. Paula is well acquainted with the academic and professional aspects of Japanese Studies and dedicates her time in assisting others to further their careers along with contributors to the blog. Discussed in the episode: - What Japanese Studies entails - Options after getting your B.A. - Resources on finding and landing a career - Integrating secondary skills into your career hunt You can hear more from Paula at: Shinapi Deshou: Paula's digital portfolio: Paula's bilingual digital archive: Paula's Twitter: @paularcurtis iTunes: Google Play:
Jul 07, 2017
Can You Live off Japanese Vending Machines for One Year?
Get more from us at: What if you were forced to live using ONLY Japanese vending products for one whole year? Impossible, right? Maybe not. Koichi, Kanae, and Michael answer this question as they live through the scenario, step-by-step. Follow their journey from naked in Narita airport to living like royalty on the bounty of Japan’s vending services. After listening to this podcast, you’ll know every kind of Japanese vending machine there is, as well as WHY there are so many vending machines in Japan. And on your next trip, you’ll be able to enjoy the rich blessings of vending machines without the curse of butthole money (all will be explained in the podcast). iTunes: Google Play:
Jun 30, 2017
Tofugu Answers Your Weird Japan Questions: Volume One
Get more from us at: For the first time ever, members of the Tofugu staff sit around and answer your Japanese language, living, and visiting questions. We answer questions like: - Are the Yakuza dangerous? - How old do you have to be to be an ALT through JET? - Should you go to a nomikai even if you don't drink alcohol? - Have we ever eaten Crayons? - Should someone live in Japan for six months or twelve? - And more? Probably? We didn't check carefully, so there are probably more questions that I didn't add to the description. iTunes: Google Play:
Jun 23, 2017
Where to Stay in Japan When You Don't Stay in a Hotel
Get more from us at: Hotels are easy, comfortable, and consistent. But did you know that there are other--sometimes odd--places that you can spend the night? Michael and Koichi talk about their experiences staying in love hotels, capsule hotels, manga cafes, business hotels, ryokans, hostels, and more. Be sure to stay in one of the places if you can. They're experiences worth trying (and much cheaper than hotels usually, too)! iTunes: Google Play:
Jun 16, 2017
The Efficiency Myth (and How Japanese Resources Fake Efficiency)
Get more from us at: There's a good chance that you're using a Japanese resource that's merely tricking you into thinking you're being efficient. These companies make more money, and you get a false sense of "feeling good" and "feeling like you're making progress." In actuality, you aren't learning nearly as effectively as you could be, not to mention efficiently! In this episode, Michael and Koichi argue that actual efficiency has more to do with "creating the right kind of suffering" in your Japanese studies. They also talk about which popular Japanese learning tools actually help you to be efficient, versus the ones that trick you into thinking you're being efficient. And, of course, because this episode is about efficiency, they also show why (and how) you should spend less time so you can learn more Japanese. Sounds like it doesn't make sense, but if you listen, you'll understand why this is important. By the way, we also write about learning Japanese: iTunes: Google Play:
Jun 09, 2017
A Food Itinerary for Your Japanese Vacation
Get more from us at: Visiting Japan and don't know what to eat? Sushi and ramen are great, but you don't want to spend your vacation eating the same things every day. That's why Michael and Kanae discuss their favorite Japanese foods (and where to find them), so you can step off the plane ready to eat. Whether you're a picky eater to the steel-stomached vacuum, this podcast has something for everyone. Oh, and if you think you've tried everything Japan has to offer, Kanae has a special list of "adventurous" foods you've definitely (probably) not tried. You'll learn: - Where to eat Japan's batter-fried goodness - What Japanese fishermen eat on the regular - Places to eat chicken buttholes - The main types of Japanese restaurants iTunes: Google Play:
Jun 02, 2017
Where Does All This Free Manga Come From? Feat. Kewl0210
Get more from us at: This week, Koichi and Michael chat with Kewl0210, a manga scanlator. For those who don't know, a scanlator is a person who scans, translates, and uploads manga online for free. This practice is highly controversial in the translation community and technically illegal. Michael and Koichi discuss the many facets of this practice, including: - How to learn Japanese through scanlation - Where scanlators source their manga - How they choose which manga to scanlate - Why they're faster than the pros - Bitter scanlation group rivalries For more from Kewl0210: We do not condone, endorse, or support this practice or project and do not encourage others to attempt it. iTunes: Google Play:
May 26, 2017
Is Japanese Class the Best Way to Learn Japanese?
Get more from us at: The whole gang gets together this week to discuss learning Japanese in a classroom. Everyone on the show has had different experiences learning Japanese, so it's an especially interesting look into the process. If you're currently in or considering taking a Japanese class, this is an essential listen. You'll hear a range of perspectives from: - Kristen's traditional route - Koichi's mixed educational experiences - Michael's self-taught journey - Kanae's native Japanese classes
May 19, 2017
Interpreting for Osamu Tezuka feat. Frederik Schodt
Get more from us at: This week, Michael and Koichi get the opportunity to chat with writer, translator, and interpreter, Frederik Schodt. Fred is known for working closely with the “God of Manga” himself, Osamu Tezuka, as a translator and interpreter. He is also one of the first writers to help bring manga to the western world with his landmark book, "Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics." Fans of Osamu Tezuka (and manga in general) will enjoy this interview with the man who helped shape Tezuka’s voice and influence in the West. They discuss: - Fred’s roots in manga translation - What working with Osamu Tezuka is like - His thoughts on the manga translation industry - The path he took to become an interpreter - What was under Osamu Tezuka’s famous beret - The process in translating "The Osamu Tezuka Story" biography To hear more from Frederik Schodt, check out the links below: Frederik Schodt’s website: Twitter: *New Book!* The Osamu Tezuka Story:
May 12, 2017
Do Japanese People Stereotype Foreigners?
Get more from us at: This week the whole gang comes together to discuss their personal experiences with discrimination in Japan. Join us as we try to navigate this complex issue without painting Japanese people with a “broad brush.” In this episode, we discuss: - What it means to be “accepted” by Japan - Passive & active curiosity - Why Michael stared down a foreigner - Why old Japanese ladies hate Koichi
May 05, 2017
The Tofugu Team's Top Onsen Experiences
Get more from us at: In this episode, Michael, Koichi, and Kristen talk about their top onsen experiences. We discuss our initial impressions with onsen, how their first time getting naked in front of a bunch of people went, break down some myths and fears surrounding onsen, and even talk about monkey poop. Learn why Koichi thinks public onsen are better, nobody cares if you're naked, and how Michael almost became an internet celebrity for his "buns".
Apr 28, 2017
Translating Historical Texts (That Have Never Been Translated Before) feat. Matt Alt
Visit our guest: This week Michael sits down with the co-founder of AltJapan, Matt Alt, to discuss the content and process of localizing ancient Japanese texts by the original yokai scholar, Toriyama Sekien, to create his new book, "Japandemonium Illustrated." They discuss the arduous process Matt and his team went through to find, translate, and annotate these Edo period texts. This is a must-listen for aspiring translators and students of Japanese. It provides a fascinating look into the process of localization and the history of Japanese publishing. To hear more from Matt and AltJapan, check out the links below: AltJapan: Twitter: *New Book!* Japandemonium Illustrated:
Apr 21, 2017
4 Tokyo Walking Tours That Showcase Japanese Design feat. Spoon & Tamago
Visit our guest at: This week, Michael has a conversation with the creator and curator of Spoon & Tamago, Johnny Strategy. As an architecture expert, Johnny gives Michael (and you) four excellent Tokyo walking tours that show off some of Japan's most stellar buildings. Johnny also touches on the Japanese design scene and what his experience was like growing up in Japan. Plus, there are a some neat anecdotes like the time Johnny ruined Studio Ghibli for everybody and the time Johnny changed the course of One Punch Man. To hear more from Johnny, check out the links below: Spoon & Tamago: S&P eShop: Curated Tokyo Guides: Twitter:
Apr 14, 2017
Why You Should Go To Japan Instead of Taking a Japanese Class
Find us at: This week Koichi and Michael discuss the advantages of going to Japan to learn Japanese rather than spend time and money in a classroom. They offer practical advice for making your trip to Japan an impactful learning experience and a fun, long-lasting memory. Topics include: - One (basically) free trick to get a ton of random Japanese people to talk to you, in Japanese, so you can have non-stop conversation practice while in Japan. - When to get the really cheap airplane tickets to Japan. - Getting over your fear of talking to strangers (that speak Japanese). - How being in Japan is like a "natural SRS," and how it guides you to what you need to learn next (something very difficult for teachers to do). - How to make convenience stores, police officers, and people trying to get you into their restaurant into language practice partners. - How flying to Japan, renting a hotel room, and eating three meals a day can be cheaper than taking a class. - What to do to prepare yourself for your learning vacation, so you can get the most out of your time there. Show Notes: Learning kanji and vocabulary resource (preparing for your trip to get the most out of it):
Apr 07, 2017
What's a Yokai and Should I Be Scared? feat. Zack Davisson
Get more from us at: This week Koichi and Michael talk to Zack Davisson, an award winning translator, writer, and Japanese folklore expert to discuss yokai. From the well known kappa to the obscure nebutori, Zack covers it all in this week's podcast! What you can take away from today's episode: - What is a yokai? - Different types of yokai - History of Japanese folklore - Different types of folklore - Japan's views on ghosts - Koichi's views on ghosts If you'd like to hear more from Zack, visit his blog: Zack's Twitter: Zack's Facebook: Zack's books:
Mar 31, 2017
How to Taste Sake feat. SakéOne
Get more from us at: Strap in, folks. This is a long one. We invited Jack and David from SakéOne, a local sake brewery in Oregon, to come to the Tofugu office so we could learn how to taste sake. And boy, did we taste some sake. They brought six bottles, three domestic and three imported, and drank our way to knowledge about the sake brewing process, different types of sake, and how Michael is actually a grain of rice. Here's some things you'll learn in today's episode: - How sake is made - Why sake tasting is more fun than wine tasting - Why American sake, historically, hasn't been that great (and why that's changing) - Prefectures that make the best sake - Why sake doesn't give you hangovers - The different types of sake - What foods pair well with sake - If sake is better chilled or warmed - The future of the sake business Big thanks to Jack and David from SakéOne for trekking all the way to our office and bringing so much delicious booze. We had a great time. Everybody, go check out what SakéOne has to offer: website: Twitter: Instagram: Pinterest:
Mar 24, 2017
The 5 "Hidden Gem" Prefectures You Should Visit in Japan feat. Kay from JNTO
Get more from us at: Koichi and Michael talk with Kay from the Japan National Tourism Organization (that's the Japanese government's official travel promotion arm, btw) about 5 prefectures worth visiting. Of course, this doesn't include Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka. No, these are hidden gems, prefectures that you may not have known about. If you're looking for a unique and memorable Japan travel experience, you're gonna wanna listen to this one all the way through. The prefectures Kay talks about have a lot to offer, and you could spend weeks in any one of them. So before you plan your Tokyo vacation, listen to this podcast and see if you don't change your plans. Get in touch with JNTO: Facebook: Twitter: Website:
Mar 17, 2017
The Evolution of Anime Research feat. Helen McCarthy
Get more from us at: In this episode, Michael talks with Helen McCarthy, one of the top anime researchers ever. She wrote the Anime Encyclopedia and the first book on Miyazaki in English. She founded the UK’s first anime magazine, and was instrumental in growing anime fandom throughout the 90s and 2000s. Helen talks about: - Her meeting with Miyazaki. - What anime fandom was like before there was anime fandom. - How she founded and ran the first anime magazine in the UK. - The time she saw a beautiful man. - Why Makoto Shinkai is not the next Miyazaki (yet). - Where anime fandom is headed. If you’d like to hear Helen’s speak on cosplay, she’ll be at FANS Conference on March 18th at Yamanashi Gakuin University. Admission is free. Info can be found, Here in Japanese: Here in English: For more from Helen, check out her many books on Amazon: Helen’s website: Helen’s Twitter:
Mar 10, 2017
Getting your Gambling on in Japan
Get more from us at: In this episode, Michael and Koichi talk to Kanae the intern about the incredible gambling expertise she amassed from the one game of Hanafuda she played against her grandpa. They discuss the history of gambling in Japan, all the various Japanese chance games, and the future of gambling under PM Abe's new gambling law. Take a chance on us. You won't regret it. Unless you lose. Which you won't. Because you're listening to us. iTunes: Google Play:
Mar 03, 2017
The Underground Japanese Music Scene feat. Ian F. Martin
Get more from us at: Michael and Jamal sit down to talk with music journalist and label owner, Ian F. Martin, about the Japanese underground rock scene as detailed in his new book “Quit Your Band!”. As a journalist, Ian has written for presitgious publications such as The Guardian and The Japan Times, is an avid blogger and has been in the Japanese underground music scene for 10+ years. As a label owner, he is able to offer a unique insight into both sides of the music scene in Japan as a member of the media and a passionate patron of the art. Learn about the intricacies of navigating the underground scene as an outsider, the present state of said scene, and the sometimes harsh reality of the Japanese music industry itself. This a must listen for casual fans and aspiring rockstars alike. Ian's Most recent label releases: * Nakigao Twintail - They're the band whose song lyrics gave me the idea for the book title and they're great. Wacked-out, oddball punk. * Lo-shi - The most recent release on the label. They're both French guys, but very much "made in Tokyo". Instrumental post-rock/electronica. * Looprider - Probably the most eclectic and prolific band I've worked with recently. Everything from J-Pop to hardcore to shoegaze to metal to noise to progressive rock. * Hyacca - They're participating in a short Canadian tour in May. Smart, imaginative, really intense postpunk. * Bumbums - "Tokyo-based pocket-Fugazi". Album coming soon-ish. * P-IPLE - Noise-punk party band. Album on its way. Ian's recent favorites: * Panicsmile - Experimental punk/alternative. * Falsettos - Off-kilter indie rock/new wave. * Soloist Apartment/Second Apartment - Minimal wave/industrial. * Jailbird Y - Heavy, loud noise-rock. * Rebel One Excalibur - Really tight, drilled post-hardcore. * Sonotanotanpenz - Fragile-sounding, playful experimental acoustic music with intricate vocal interplay. Ian's favorite venues in Tokyo: * Koiwa Bushbash * Akihabara Club Goodman * Shinjuku Motion * Shimokitazawa Three * Higashi-Koenji Ni-man/Den-atsu (20000V) * Higashi-Koenji UFO Club More Ian Martin * Get Ian's Book, "Quit Your Band:" * Twitter: * His Label: * Soundcloud: iTunes: Google Play:
Feb 24, 2017
What Makes a Good Japanese Translator? feat. Alexander O. Smith
Michael and Kristen talk with veteran video game translator Alexander O. Smith about the essential elements of good translation, especially when it comes to video games. Alex has worked on such hit games as Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XII, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. From these experiences, he's gained a lot of insight into what makes a good translation (and what makes a bad translation). If you're thinking of pursuing a career in video game localization, pay attention to what Alex has to say. You'll need more than just amazing Japanese ability. There are many more elements that go into an excellent translation. iTunes: Google Play:
Feb 17, 2017
How to Get the Most Out of Your ALT Life in Japan feat. James from ALT Insider
Get more from us at: Koichi and Michael talk with James, founder of to find out what it takes to get the most out of your life in Japan. James was an ALT in Japan for 8 years. During his time teaching English, he hit a wall and started to feel burned out. Classes were repetitive and he needed a change. So he MADE a change. On this episode, James shares the strategies he developed to turn his team-teaching life around. After he started using these tips in his daily life, work became fun and his level enjoyment of life in general went up. If you're in a similar situation (or are thinking of teaching in Japan someday listen to this episode. James' advice is solid (Michael's note: I can attest to this) and will do a lot to help you enjoy your life in Japan more. For more from James, check out his website: podcast: twitter: facebook: instagram: youtube: iTunes: Google Play:
Feb 10, 2017
Joining STU48, Japan's New Seafaring Idol Group
Get more from us at: Japan's most popular idol group, AKB48, has just launched a new sister-group called STU48. What makes this new sister-group different from the many, many, many, many, many others? This one is performs only on the sea. That's right, we finally get a maritime idol group. Michael and Koichi are joined by Kanae the intern to discuss the impact this has on the nation. Shiver ye timbers and batten down the glowsticks. It's time to kind of rock out to a new kind of sea shanty. iTunes: Google Play:
Feb 03, 2017
Traveling as a Vegetarian in Japan
Get more from us at: Tofugu's own Kristen traveled to Japan recently, but there was one problem: she's a vegetarian. You'd think Japan would be a veggie-friendly country, but no. Learn all about the trials and triumphs of travel in Japan as a vegetarian. It can be done, just take Kristen's advice and prep for yourself for the vegetarian wasteland. Happy Cow: Printable Cards: Notes: The movie Kristen talks about in the podcast where Ken Watanabe is a truck drive is called "Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald",_Mr._McDonald iTunes: Google Play:
Feb 02, 2017
How To Get a Job in Japan feat. Peter Lackner
Get more from us at: We talk to Peter Lackner--who runs how to find a job in Japan. Turns out, Peter knows how to make it happen, no matter who you are (and how much education you have). Get a job in Japan: DISCLAIMER: About a year after this podcast posted, Peter wrote back to us to let us know JESP, J-Wave, and WaveUSA aren't great programs and actually have been up to some shady business he didn't know about at the time of this recording. So he rescinds his endorsement of these programs and recommends you avoid them. iTunes: Google Play:
Jan 27, 2017
Special Ep: I Like OJ Fancast
Get more from us at: If you don't know what Pikotaro's I Like OJ is all about, hold onto your butts (and watch this): You back? Good. Because so are Pikotaro superfans Koichi and Michael, and they're here to help you understand why the new song by the PPAP singer/songwriter is his best yet. It may even change the way you live your life (not to mention your vocabulary). iTunes: Google Play:
Jan 26, 2017
Transitive and Intransitive Verbs in Japanese feat. Kristen
We talk to Tofugu translator Kristen about the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs. This concept trips up a lot of Japanese learners. Even people who think they know how transitivity pairs work in Japanese, they don't really. Kristen helps you understand transitive/intransitive verbs once and for all. iTunes: Google Play:
Jan 20, 2017
Special Ep: PPAP Fancast
Get more from us at: The Tofugu Podcast becomes the PPAP Fancast. Sorry guys, we had a good run as Tofugu, but we're switching to strictly PPAP-related content from here on out. Get up-to-date news, information, and analysis on the forever-classic internet song, Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen. iTunes: Google Play:
Dec 22, 2016
The Legend of Japanese Jesus
Find us at: There's a secret history of Jesus that even Dan Brown doesn't know about. It's the legend of Japanese Jesus. You see, he didn't die on the cross. Oh no, sir. He went on an amazing journey and wound up in Japan. Find out all about Jesus' amazing adventure and secret Japanese life on the Tofugu podcast. And when you're done, read the article here: iTunes: Google Play:
Dec 22, 2016
Robot Restaurant, the Second Greatest Show on Earth
Get more from us at: Beep boop. We are transmitting from the future, where all restaurants have become Robot Restaurant. Sure, Japan's Robot Restaurant is a fantastic show filled with music, lights, dancing, and robots, but the food is terrible. And since it's become every restaurant on earth, we are living a food nightmare (albeit an incredibly entertaining food nightmare). Come with us on a journey, as young Koichi and Michael recount their first experiences with the famous Robot Restaurant. iTunes: Google Play:
Dec 22, 2016
Christmas in Japan and How to Celebrate It Right
Get more from us at: Merry Christmas! Tofugu brings you a special holiday-themed podcast episode, where you can learn everything there is to know about Japanese Christmas. If you want to celebrate the holiday in Japan, you best learn a thing or two about KFC, cake, boots, and more. Plus we learn some surprising revelations about Santa's political views. Read all about Japanese Christmas in our article: iTunes: Google Play:
Dec 22, 2016
Tsujigiri, the Japanese Word for "Cutting Someone Down to Test a New Sword"
Learn more about Tsujigiri: Tsujigiri is a Japanese word that describes some grisly samurai tomfoolery. Find out what this word means, where it came from, and what happened to people who did tsujigiri as a pastime (sick monsters!). We also made a video about Tsujigiri: iTunes: Google Play:
Dec 20, 2016