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  • Reply to: Poor misunderstood kaizen   4 years 3 months ago

    Interesting question, but apparently that's not it. I can see that the right hand side isn't quite woman (女) – though I wouldn't be shocked to discover that is indeed that, in modified form. But, according to the explanation below (see second kanji explanation on page), it's nothing of the sort – in fact, it appears to originally depict a guy whacking a snake with a stick!攵・攴-ぼくづくり-2-攻改数敬警/

    Huh. And somehow, that ended up meaning "change / renew."

  • Reply to: Poor misunderstood kaizen   4 years 3 months ago

    I'm a total nut for etymology and morphology, so I just have to ask: The character for Kai, "改" Is that a Bow with a Woman next to it? What's the idea where, do you happen to know? Thanks in advance!

  • Reply to: "Did I mention what kind of sword it is?"   4 years 3 months ago

    Actually I think they were just keywording their sales title for SEO, but it still looks ridiculous, particularly from the vantage of a language enthusiast such as myself. 'Hey, is that a cutlass? Or is it a cutlass sword?' '...No, it's a Carribean Pirate Cutlass Sword, of course!'.Well, as specific as the title looks with all its silly trappings, upon closer review it's anything but. I know the site author knows this (and in fact has an article on this), but for folks in general: Both katana and sword are general terms, and even though single-edged curved slashing weapons were ubiquitous to the Samurai for a large period of Japanese history, it would be a mistake to assume the nihonto with the single-edged, curved blade, round tsuba, or crossguard and cloth-wrapped hilt was the only form of sword ever used by Japan's warrior caste.But that aside... marketing like this just makes me think of QVC and cheap reproduction display 'weapons'.

  • Reply to: "OMG! They have a word for that!"   4 years 4 months ago

    Gotta have vinegar. Everything's better with vinegar. 

    I could be imagining it, but it seems to me that extra time, plus freeezing => reheating, made the beef more tender in the borscht. It's a soup that freezes well.

    I'm all up for making more and more Eastern European cooking, but it's a little difficult in Japan! Finding a beet is an effort – it's just not a popular root here. (And I don't know what you pay for a beet in your part of Russia, but I think I paid ¥380 for a rather smallish beet.) I tried to make a nice Polish bigos, and it was pretty good, but I had to substitute some generic sausage for Polish sausage (couldn't find that anywhere), and Japanese mushooms for more European types...

  • Reply to: "OMG! They have a word for that!"   4 years 4 months ago

    Well, Russian is my mother tongue, after all :) "Zupa" sounds a bit funny :D I think your salsa reference is correct! And the recipe you've used is quite classic. I don't add any vinegar to my food so I can't be sure how good it tasted, but indeed it's a very fulfilling dish. It also might change its taste after staying in a pot for a while (the level of change depends on how much you boiled it while cooking, because if you don't overcook it, it first gives a significant beef flavour but after a while this flavour fades away).

  • Reply to: "OMG! They have a word for that!"   4 years 4 months ago

    Thanks for the note! The funny thing is that when I wrote that, I did a little searching to make that sure this "borscht just means soup" factoid I'd heard was true. And I found some sources saying so. But re-checking now, I see other sources backing what you say, and I can't find whatever (presumably mistaken) sources I'd found earlier.

    I know little of Russian, but I have it on good authority that in Polish, barszcz is indeed (usually) a beet-based soup, and I know that generic soup is zupa. I would not be surprised if things were very similar in Russian, as you suggest.

    So, on the strong suspicion that I borked my borscht, I'm removing the text and replacing it with an example involving salsa. Which I hope I have correct. : )

    Incidentally, perhaps subconsciously inspired by your message, I recently cooked up a huge pot of borscht (basing it on this recipe) and enjoyed it over several meals. Damn, that stuff is good...

    Thanks again for the kind correction!

  • Reply to: "OMG! They have a word for that!"   4 years 5 months ago

    "yet the Russian word is a generic one simply meaning "soup", not a specific type." - That's wrong! The Russian word for soup is "soop". Borshtsh is not always deep red, but it's not like any soup is called "borshtsh". There are specifical names for some of the traditional soups (like "shtshi"), but whenever you cook a no-named liquid main dish from whatever you've had in the storage, it's just "soop". BTW, it's also more characteristic dish for Ukraine, but world associates it with Russia only... It's also known in Poland and Lithuania. It's given similar name in their language. The name of "borshtsh" comes from the Slavic name of hogweed, which was originally (ages ago) the main ingredient.

  • Reply to: Five Japanese words that don't mean what you think they mean   4 years 7 months ago

    Hi! I can't offer any insights into how the word banzai is viewed in Malaysia. I raise the point that banzai is not technically a military-specific word - however, the reason why I have to point that out is specifically because many people do view the word as having military connotations. I wouldn't be surprised if that view were common in Malaysia, where, seven or so decades ago, banzai would indeed have been heard in most unfortunate contexts.

    As for banzai being "made up by Westerners": No, I think we can shoot down that idea quite confidently. As I note, it's a Chinese word used in Japanese and Korean as well, and it certainly can be heard in Japan today, as a celebratory "hip hip hooray" sort of thing. I've mostly heard it in the context of a little victory shout by political party teams when an election goes well, but I'm sure there are other common contexts for its use as well.  

  • Reply to: Five Japanese words that don't mean what you think they mean   4 years 7 months ago

    My 50 years old friend told me that he spoke to many Japanese people here in Malaysia (colleague, tourist, etc) and asked them what Banzai mean and he said not one of them know what it mean.Is this true? Just some info that Malaysia was once conquered by Japan in the old time. The Japanese soldiers treated locals here at that time was not pretty either.So my assumption are that they avoid the question by saying they doesn't know the meaning to avoid sensitive topics or my friend pronounciation was bad that they don't understand what he is saying or he just gave me a total bs.He also claimed that Banzai is not a real Japanese word and was made up by the Westener. I've seen so many anime, j-drama, variety show and j-movie these past ten year and what he said is just hard to believe.Can anybody give an explaination about this?*sorry for the bad English.

  • Reply to: Debunked: The uniquely Japanese "shou ga nai"   4 years 9 months ago

       I agree and disagree. If the Japanese people want change they will get change, it just may take a bit longer. I know it is hard for most westerners to understand that the Japanese people are happy with this, or they simply do not care. There is no political apathy, it is due to their culture which is different than our own. That part of our culture is the same in many European countries The UK for example, The United States, yes I am aware they are not part of Europe, but the majority are of European blood. The US is just all the countries in the world shoved into one country. Still Japan is very different than our western cultures. Though they do protest   In western culture people are very opinionated and loud. We are encouraged to protest if we want change, though most of the time protest are either hate rallies masked as protests, or the recent 99% movement. The Japanese however are quiet, they can tell more about a person by facial expresions and body language. They are also brought up to not make a scene, or a lot of noise. They can have their opinion and they can even voice it, and they do protest it.   The phrase Shouganai is kind of misunderstood, specially among people obsessed with Japan, but know little of it,. You know the ones who think it is a safe haven for nerds into Anime. . .Otaku are looked down upon, Japan hasn't had it's Geek/Nerd(otaku) Revolution yet, unlike in western culture a lot of countries are now ruled by Geeks/Nerds lol (I am a Computer Network Security Admin, so yea I am a Geek.) Here is an example. A Dorm RA has to put the other students needs above theirs so they have a rougher time studying. They would say Shouganai, I chose this I must live with my choices. Yea they may have to deal with the negative parts, but they do not stress over them, which is a good thing. The less stress the better.   On gender equality, you are right, but women in Japan like not working, though that his changing now. Being openly gay can have an effect on your job moreso if you are a man in Japan. Because some people think gay men are more feminine, and they want a masculine employee specially when it comes to sales positions. I have heard from friends who I game with online say they have female co workers come out of the closet and nothing changed, everyone was fine. I have also read a few stories that ended that way for men as well, but those are few and far between, at least when I had to do a paper on the LGBT community in Japan, which was fraking hard. I forget the name of the district and the city. . .it may be Tokyo I am not sure. There the LGBT community thrives. Still you are right they have a bit to go, but they will get there and meet less resitance as compared to what people have to go through to get equality in places like America. . . America where all men are created equal , unless you have boobs and a vagina, black, or LGBT. America is so ass backwards.



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