Takashi Murakami: Superflat

Welcome to Ikiji

Ikiji is a contraction of Iki (粋) and kiji (記事), the Japanese word for news article.
This page will function as our blog, where we discuss all things Japan. We write about things that catch our attention and are open to your suggestions. Feel free to contact us through our email address, or leave a comment below.

Nintendo’s Turnaround

Japanese video game giant Nintendo announced last week that it sold through 7 million units of its Nintendo Switch hardware, following its release in March of this year. Before the fiscal year is over, the Switch is expected to sell 14 million units. This would put it ahead of the lifetime sales of the Wii U – its predecessor and Nintendo’s biggest flop since the illustrious Virtual Boy. How did Nintendo turn its fate around?

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Omoide-zukuri: Making Memories and Real-Time Nostalgia

From time to time, we all think back to days of yore. So far, the time I spent as a cog in the machine has yet to warp my memory to a point where I reflect upon my university years as an alcohol-fueled stroll through the Garden of Eden. Still, I cannot help but drift away on a cloud of nostalgia from time to time. For this Ikiji, I want to talk about omoide-zukuri (思い出づくり, literally: ‘making memories’) and the role it plays in the life of many Japanese university students.

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Language for a Living

There is something intangible about the work of a translator. Some may wonder whether translating even qualifies as working. During my studies, I was sometimes approached by Japanese friends who asked me to translate a wall of text into English, “because you speak the language, don’t you?” A closer look at the job of a translator is in order.

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Keigo: Japanese Polite Speech

Let’s talk about keigo – polite speech in the Japanese language. What some people may now know, is how intrinsically polite expressions are woven into the fabric of the Japanese language. Simply put, speaking keigo means to use polite language. However, keigo goes far beyond using simply more flowery language.

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The Japanese Are Human Too

“Japan… the people over there are completely different, right?” When I talk about my work, this is often the first thing people ask me. I do not mind the question, as it often comes from a place of genuine interest. However, because the phrase often carries with it several assumptions, it makes for an interesting topic to kick start our first Ikiji.

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