One Japanese Book You Must Read

One Japanese Book You Must Read

You should think twice about taking any advice Ken Seeroi’s got to give. I mean, we’re talking a guy who ditched a sensible life in a first-world country for a freezing, tiny apartment, sleeping on the floor, and eating rice with sticks. So, really? Well, it’s not so bad once I move the shochu boxes…

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How to Learn Kanji, in 10 Steps

How to Learn Kanji, in 10 Steps

I don’t go to a lot of cocktail parties. But somehow when I do, I always meet people studying Japanese. Maybe it’s just me. Or more precisely, people who’ll eventually stop studying, only they don’t know it yet. Here’s how the conversation goes: “Ken! I’m studying Japanese! I’m stoked! And I’m completely serious about improving….

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The Easiest Japanese Food

The Easiest Japanese Food

Every once in a while, I discover something in Japan so amazing that I’m compelled to share it with the world. Fortunately, that feeling passes after a few beers, so I don’t actually have to do any work, which I’m allergic to. I’m pretty sure that if I was ever given a job involving something…

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Fantasy Japan

Fantasy Japan

2004, now that was a great year. It was the Golden Age of Japan. I was on my seventh trip here, crisscrossing the nation by high-speed shinkansen in search of small, traditional restaurants, ancient temples, and women with long black hair and short skirts. By then, I figured I knew the country pretty well, spoke…

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Japan Versus America – Who Wins?

Japan Versus America – Who Wins?

Every year, I like to play a little game called “Could I Ever Live in America Again?” That’s where I board a plane in Tokyo, have about ten tiny in-flight wines, watch every movie ever made, then get off in sunny California and ask myself, “Well, how ’bout it, Seeroi?” It’s a pretty self-explanatory game,…

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Sleeping in Japan

Sleeping in Japan

Going out Friday night is great, because it’s like your weekend is three days long instead of two. That’s an extra 80%. I use math to make all important decisions in my life. So late one Friday night, I found myself going to a club with Dave and Eri. Dave’s super power is speaking English,…

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The Cost of Living in Japan

The Cost of Living in Japan

The problem with life is that it’s not a thousand years long. I mean, they say Japanese men live to be 80. That’s not actually that lengthy, at least compared to eternity. So I plan on staying here until the morning of my 80th birthday, then moving to Korea. Pure genius. It’s kind of like…

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New Nihonjin? App Identifies Japanese Faces

New Nihonjin? App Identifies Japanese Faces

If you’re a Japanese person (that is, real Japanese, not just like some Korean guy born in Japan), then you know how frustrating it is. Every day, you’re surrounded by crowds of people, in stores, elevators, and that small ramen shack behind the station. And everywhere you go, with every person you see, you have…

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How to Stop Learning Japanese

How to Stop Learning Japanese

“Ken Seeroi, you should write a book.” People always say that. Well, like six people, but that’s still a lot. After my fabulous career as English-teacher-in-Japan, I’m counting on book sales to provide for retirement. I assume each person will buy at least ten thousand copies. Of course, I could write lots of books if…

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Hiking Japan : A Survival Guide

Hiking Japan : A Survival Guide

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved the outdoors—-exploring peaceful forest trails, sleeping under the stars, making fire from sticks. Plus the fact that you can pee basically anywhere. I conquer you, Nature. Take that. So when I moved to Japan, the first thing I did was to look for some good hiking trails….

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