Japanese Rice Cookers are Noisy


9 years ago (the last time I bought I rice cooker) I got a middle of the road Panasonic rice cooker. It was silent. The one I bought before that was silent. Every rice cooker I've never owned since the 80s was silent. All the ones my friends had when I visited their homes were silent.

So, this time I also just picked a middle of the road Panasonic rice cooker only to find out they are no longer silent.

Apparently nearly all the rice cookers are now IH (Induction Heating) and so they need a fan to circulate the air. Panasonic doesn't even make any non IH rice cookers in 2016.


All of Shinjuku is being rented on AirBnB


So a friend is trying to rent her apartment out while she's on vacation for the last 2 weeks in June. Her place is behind Kabukicho, nearest station is Shin Okubo.

I don't usually look over there because I'd rather stay in other places but I checked just for the hell of it ...

I put in $70−$80 a night, June 15−30, entire place. Airbnb claimed 300+ places still available and that those were among the 17% left. That means just in that $10 span of price range there are over 1800 apartments available. And, that was limited to the area between Shinjuku station, the Yamanote line, Okubo Dori, and Meiji Dori. That makes it seem like practically all of Shinjuku is being rented on Airbnb



Enable Japanese to English Dictionary in iOS


Right after figuring out how to enable the built in Japanese to English dictionary in OSX a friend was like "Awesome! Now they just need it for iOS" to which I thought, hmm, I wonder.

A few clicks later and BAM! Same feature is in iOS


Turn on the built in Japanese/English Dictionary in OSX


I recently read this article about just how awesome the Webster's dictionary is compared to other dictionaries.. I highly recommend it.

After reading that I installed that dictionary in OSX. Then a few days later I needed to look up a Japanese word. I usually go to WWWJDIC to look things up but it's annoying to have to be online.

Then I got to thinking, Hmmm, if I was able to install a dictionary into OSX I'll bet there's a Japanese or Japanese to English dictionary. A few clicks later and BAM!, turns out there's one built in. All you have to do is turn it on.


Cultural Differences


One of the things you learn from living abroad is just how many things you assume are natural that actually aren't.


Why Japanese is Hard to Learn


This is mostly in response to the English is Hard to Learn meme

One of the first words you learn when studying Japanese is “iku” (行く)The word “to go”. So, given that it’s spelled

行 i
く ku

How do you think you pronounce these words?

行 ___
実行 ji___
行う ___u
膝行 i____
売れ行き ure___ki

Or about about this one. “iku” (生く). It means “to live” or “to be alive” So given that it’s spelled

生 i
く ku

How do you think you pronounce these words?

先生 sen___
一生 i___
芝生 shiba___
往生 ou___
千生り sen___ri
埴生 ha____
平生 hei___
弥生 ya ___
蓬生 yomo____
生り ___ri
相生 ai___
下生え shita___e
生える __eru


実行 jikou
行う okonau
膝行 izari
売れ行き ureyuki

先生  sensei
一生  isshou
芝生  shibafu
往生 oujou
千生り sennari
埴生 hanyuu
平生  heizei
弥生  yayoi
蓬生  yomogiu
生り  namari
相生 aioi
下生え shitabae
生える haeru

All languages have their quirks. ☺


emoji (絵文字) Picture Characters


Emoji (pronounced eh−moh−jee) are iconic characters first introduced in Japanese cell phones in the early 2000s. At first different carriers each made up their own set of icons. NTT started off with a few. Then if I remember correctly J−Phone added many more than NTT to try to entice users to their system. Japanese, especially young Japanese women love using emoji and love to send messages to their friends full of them.


Void Metabolism


I don't quite even get what that title means but it was all over an exhibit I saw at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery.

I'm not 100% sure what the exhibit's point was but there were several parts. The first was a very large screen with video projected showing some part of Tokyo as seen from above very similar to Google Maps satellite view. The difference where was it as supposed to be a time lapsed video showing the city changing over time, buildings demolished and new ones built etc. I can't imagine it was real but I suppose it could have been.


Robot Restaurant


When I visited Japan in November 2012 the first things one of my friends asked me was "Hey Gman, are you going to visit the Robot Restaurant?" I was like "Wat? What's that?" They just said go check it out so ... I did


What's up with the small backpacks?


Remember in the mid to late 90s when small backpacks were all the rage for women? Well, now they are all the rage for men in Japan apparently.

Honestly I don't know how popular they are but shopping around Tokyo in 2012 every men's store seemed to have tons of them. The crazy thing to me is they seemed too small to be all that useful. I suppose you could put a Nexus 7, Kindle or iPad Mini inside but you can't carry much else. What do they put in them? Point and Shoot camera? A single novel? I'm sure some Japanese men's magazine would spell this all out for me but I didn't have time to check.