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10 Best Responses to “How Are You” in Japanese

Hi Japanese Learner, how are you? This is one of the most common question used in everyday life. There are many possible responses to this question and various tons to use.

You must learn those different ways to respond because one answer may fit better, and having a greater range of expression is a sign of fluency. With this Japanese lesson, Risa will teach you the 10 best responses to “How Are You” in Japanese. Here we go!

Click Here to Learn How to Pronounce Those 10 Phrases

1.私は元気です。
わたしはげんき。
Watashi wa genki desu.
I’m fine.

2.大丈夫です。
だいじょうぶで。
Daijōbu desu.
I’m okay.

3.眠いんです。
ねむいんです。
Nemui n desu.
I’m sleepy.

4.絶好調です。
ぜっこうちょう。
Zekkōchō desu.
I’m great.

5.調子が悪いです。
ちょうしがわるいです。
Chōshi ga I’m feeling bad.
Warui desu.

6.いい感じです。
いいかんじです。
Ii kanji desu.
I feel good.

7.悪くないです。
わるくないです。
Warukunai desu.
I’m not bad.

8.おかげさまで。
Okagesama de.
Thank you for asking.

9.まあまあです。
Māmā desu.
I’m feeling so-so.

10.ぼちぼちです。
Bochibochi desu.
So-so.

Click Here to Access to the Video and Audio version of this Lesson

Don’t forget to sign up for a free account on JapanesePod101 and access entertaining lesson to help you from absolute beginner to reach fluency.

4 Reasons Why Japanese Slang Words Will Make You Fluent

Learn 4 honest reasons you need Japanese slang words and why they are so vital to truly learning and mastering the language.

Teachers may normally cringe at the thought of their students learning Japanese slang words. After all, slang words and phrases are typically defined as being grammatically incorrect. So why would your teacher want you to spend time learning the “wrong way” to speak Japanese? Here are 4 of the top reasons why you should study slang words and expressions when learning Japanese or any new language.

reasons to learn japanese slang words

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1. Native Speakers Use Slang Expressions in Everyday Conversation

If you are going to study a foreign language and plan to use it to speak with native speakers, then you have to learn slang words and expressions. Otherwise, just using formal expressions and grammar may alienate you from native speakers and make it more difficult to establish a real connection. So it is best to at least learn some common slang words and expressions if you’re planning to meet or speak socially with someone.

2. Slang Words Are Used All Throughout Japanese Culture

If you turn on any popular Japanese TV show, listen to any song, or watch any movie, you are quickly going to see the value of learning Japanese slang phrases. Just like everyday conversations between native speakers, Japanese culture is filled with slang phrases and expressions. Without at least some knowledge of the more common slang phrases, popular culture and most conversations will be very confusing and potentially alienating.

Want to Amaze Native Speaker? Be a Good Lover? Our Vocabulary Lists are Made for You!

3. Slang Expressions Help You Better Express Your True Thoughts and Feelings

Only relying on formal grammar and vocabulary is very limiting, especially in social situations. Just like in your native language, using the appropriate Japanese slang words can help you express a broader range of emotions, thoughts, and feelings.

4. Proper Use of Slang Makes You Sound More Natural

We’ve all met foreigners who technically used formal language perfectly but still sounded odd and well….foreign. But when you use the right slang words and expressions, you will sound more natural and like a true native speaker. If you notice, even most politicians include a sprinkling of slang expressions and words throughout their speeches to help them sound more natural and to better connect with the audience.

The Dark Side of Slang Expressions

Learning Japanese slang words can indeed help you sound more natural, better understand the people and culture, and make integration much easier. However, there is a dark side: using the wrong slang expressions can also make you look foolish, uneducated, and potentially disrespectful.

But how do you know which slang words or phrases to use and when?

The truth is that you can’t learn the most modern and appropriate slang words in textbooks or formal classroom settings. By the time the information gets incorporated into a formal curriculum, it’s already outdated and no longer in use by actual Japanese people. And while you can learn current slang expressions from Japanese TV shows, movies, songs, and games, you may not understand the context. If that happens, you may use the right Japanese slang words but in the wrong situation and still look like a fool or possibly even offend someone.

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So where can you learn current slang expressions and the right context in which to use them?

At JapanesePod101, native speaking instructors create audio and video lessons that can include slang expressions and words. Our instructors provide context and examples for all the Japanese slang words used in any lesson to make sure students understand the right time and place to use them.

Japanese slang words and expressions may be grammatically incorrect but they are vital to truly understanding and immersing yourself in the culture. In fact, it will be very difficult to fully understand any movie, TV show, song, game, or even 1-on-1 conversation without knowing a few of the more common slang expressions.

However, it is important to learn the proper context and use of even popular slang expressions or you may come across as confusing, disrespectful, or uneducated.
At JapanesePod101, you’ll learn how to use slang phrases and words to draw the right attention and avoid these problems.

Don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account on JapanesePod101.com to access tons of FREE lessons and features to become fluent in Japanese!

Japan exclusive rarest Pokemon! Pokemon Go finally released!

After having been delayed many times for different reasons, the mobile-gaming sensation, Pokemon Go, is finally released in its home country: Japan! Are you already on your way to be the very best like no ever was? After reading this post you’ll discover the rarest Pokemon in Japan and you’ll learn how to be the ポケモンマスター (“Pokemon Master”) in Japanese!

pokemon go japan exclusive rarest pokemon

From rumoured release to multiple delay, the mythical creature franchise, Nintendo has been keeping us waiting without official launch date for weeks. “When will it finally come out in Japan? Isn’t it Nintendo home country!?”. But after painfully watching Pokemon Go being released all over the world, Japanese residents finally get the chance to be back on track!

Pokemon Go users have taken the streets with their smartphones in order to catch’em all and train their creatures for battles! The mobile game is the perfect excuse to communicate with players you cross paths with. You definitely need to know how to introduce Yourself in Japanese.

Whether you want to challenge them or just share the location of the wild Pikachu you saw behind the station, learning the Most Used Japanese Phrases will help you to face all situations!

No more chat! People in Japan are already crazy about Pokemon Go and play it while having lunch with friends!

一番になりたい ? You want to be the very best? To be a good Pokemon trainer is all about charisma! You should start working on a cool trainer posture! But watch out, you may have a look before on Japanese gestures and their meaning to avoid any embarrassing pose!

Commuting, lunch break, night walk… all perfect opportunities for you to capture Pokemon! But it was while walking to the office, listening to a podcast about Japanese superstitions, that I encountered the rarest Pokemon ever, to be seen in Japan only!

If the legend is true Risamon can be seen time to time on JapanesePod101 YouTube channel for funny lessons. Our advice if you want to optimize your chance to capture it, is to follow the dedicated Risamon Learning Path available here. And at the end of the road you may realize you will able to hold a conversation in Japanese!

For you Japanese learners, here are 3 phrases you’ll need to know today:

  • Gotta Catch ‘Em All!
    全部捕まえてやるぜ!
    Zenbu tsukamaete yaru ze!

  • I wanna be the very best!
    一番になりたい!
    Ichiban ni naritai!

  • My dream is to become the pokemon master.
    私の夢はポケモンマスターになること。
    Watashi no yume wa Pokemon masutā ni naru koto.

    Next week we’ll publish here the Top 20 phrases you must know to be the best Poke Master!

  • How will learning Japanese make you rich?

    The chance to speak with other people in their native tongue and the love for a culture can be all the motivation you need to learn a new language. The money on top is an added bonus, but we will tell you how this hobby can turn into a source of revenue!

    how does learning japanese make you rich learn language

    For Japanese beginners: Click here to learn the most common phrases!

    1) If you have language skills beyond your colleagues who just speak English, and if your company needs those skills to open new markets or reach new customers, you are much more valuable than other employees. A lot of people are getting big raises for this reason.

    2) You can make some extra money with your language skills as a teacher. You can work for yourself, give private lessons at night after school, or work on weekends. Language companies are often looking for freelancers to help with clients who are relocating. You will make more money than being a waiter/waitress or doing some baby-sitting. Alternatively, you can enjoy the comfort of teaching languages from home via Skype, even if the rates are a bit lower.

    3) Take advantage of your language skills by translating documents or websites for companies or people. Interpreters and translators are among the top five fastest growing occupations!

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    FREE Japanese lesson for you: 25 Phrases you Must Know!

    4) “Time is money.” If you’ve been learning the Japanese language, when traveling to Japan you will be able to optimize your stay. Having the ability to communicate will open cost effective doors: you’ll quickly find what you seek, travel faster, find the best prices…

    Low costs, High return on Investment
    Learning a language is not expensive, you can borrow books from the library or you can learn online for free with JapanesePod101.com. You can access from your computer or your mobile device more than 2000 lessons, features like flashcards and more. All it will cost you is 2 min to create your free account.

    In 2014, The Economist showed that for somebody making $30,000 annually, learning a language would increase their income by about $600 per year. Once you factor in compounding, it could mean nearly an extra $70,000 in the bank by retirement.

    Click here to become both rich and fluent in Japanese!

    JapanesePod101 Free Lifetime Account: Is it really free?

    You want to learn Japanese but you don’t want to spend a cent. You don’t want to lose time creating an account if they ask you for your credit card just after. For you Japanese learner, we tell you how you will access great resources for free for life and without card or having to pay. This is your unique path to fluency for free.

    free lifetime account japanesepod101 benefit

    JapanesePod101 is not really free, is it?
    Although there are paid plans, yes, it is FREE. Every single lesson that we have ever created has been free for a certain period of time. And every new audio and video lesson (we publish 3-5 lessons a week) is completely free to access for 3 weeks before going into our lesson library.

    What’s a Free Lifetime Account?
    A Free Lifetime Account is – simply put – a free membership at JapanesePod101.

    What do I get with this Free Account? How can I learn for free for life?
    Here’s how you learn every day without paying a cent at JapanesePod101. You have access to all of these features for life:

  • New audio and video lessons every week – 3-5 new, free lessons a week
  • The first 3 lessons of every single series – 100+ lessons in total
  • New Daily Dose of Japanese lessons – a new free lesson every day
  • Japanese Word of the Day lessons – a new free lesson every day
  • Throwback Thursday lessons – a free random lesson every Thursday
  • The Innovative Language 101 App for the Android, iPhone and iPad
  • The 100 Most Common Words List to get a head-start on learning vocabulary
  • Vocabulary and phrase lists for topics, themes and holidays
  • Bonus resources and mobile apps in the Japanese resources section

    Do I need a credit card to sign up?
    No. All you need is a valid email address to join. The only times you’d require a credit card (or another payment method such as PayPal) is if you want to upgrade to a Basic, Premium or Premium PLUS subscription.

    To sum-up, you create a free account only with your email address, you’ll get a 7-day trial to experience Premium access to JapanesePod101, and after this period you will stay on as a “Free” member accessing all our tool and resources mentioned before. So what are you waiting for?

    It will take you only 30 seconds and a valid email, no credit card, no money asked, to create your free lifetime account and get on the way to reach Japanese fluency!

    How to activate your free lifetime account?

    1- Choose your level (Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced) and enter your email address.

    2- Activate your account.

    3- Click on “No Thanks” at the bottom of the page to validate your free lifetime account, or benefit from the 1$ package.

    4- Enjoy your free account for life, and master Japanese language!

    Start speaking Japanese now!

  • Learn to Read and Write Japanese Kanji Characters

    You all have experienced that feeling, right?

    …Or this one.

    But what if I told you…

    THIS IS POSSIBLE NOW!

    With this new series, you will discover the Radical Approach to Mastering Kanji. It’s perfect for Japanese Beginners! You’ll learn how to read, write and understand Kanji through an easy, step-by-step method – radicals – the building blocks of Kanji.

    And here is the first Kanji achievement you can successfully unlock: one of the most useful characters, the radical for “person,” 亻.

    Next episodes of this series to Master Kanji are already available on the wesbite!

    You are just a click away from becoming a Kanji Master!

    For Japanese Learners: 10 Japanese Adjectives to Describe Yourself

    10 japanese adjectives to describe your personality

    In this lesson you will learn what adjective describes your personality best. In this video, Risa a native Japanese speaker, will explain the simple adjectives you need. They’re written in both Japanese characters and the alphabet, giving all the tools you need to get started in your Japanese study. Here is our list!

    Click here to listen how to pronounce those adjectives!

    1. つまらない。
    Tsumaranai
    Boring.

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    2. 丁寧。
    ていねい。Teinei
    Polite.

    3. 落ち着いた。
    おちついた。Ochistuita
    Calm.

    4. 面白い。
    おもしろい。Omoshiroi
    Humorous.

    5. まじめ。
    Majime
    Serious.

    Watch the full video on our website!

    6. 恥ずかしい。
    はずかしい。Hazukashii
    Shy.

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    7. 親切。
    しんせつ。Shinsetsu
    Kind.

    8. 賢い。
    かしこい。Kashikoi
    Kind.

    9. 熱心。
    ねっしん。Nesshin
    Enthusiastic.

    10. 感情的。
    かんじょうてき。Kanjouteki.
    Emotional.

    Make friends? Want to impress native speakers? Learn Japanese with our other vocabulary lists!

    How To Learn Japanese with Anime?

    We always see this kind of advice on the Internet: “You should watch Japanese drama, it helped me to quickly progress” or “There is nothing better than anime without subtitles for learning Japanese”.

    How to learn Japanese with Anime?

    Can you really learn a language without much effort by watching anime?

    Following this advice can bring many advantages:

  • Attuning your ears to Japanese by listening to native speakers
  • Boosting your vocabulary
  • Boosting your dialogue-related listening comprehension
  • Letting you hear a language used in context
  • Learning passively while having fun

    At the end of the day, it seems like a great idea, but in reality it’s not totally true… Actually, it varies! We definitely recommend that you expose yourself to a lot of resources in their original language such as movies, drama, anime, music…for the reasons above. But you will never learn Japanese like that.

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    Click here to download our free App and listen to native speakers for free!

    Anime as a complement to your learning tools
    It’s best to see these videos as a Japanese learning complement. You need to acquire a certain amount of vocabulary and grammar in order to better comprehend a Japanese video or conversation.

    This is our approach: JapanesePod101.com brings you tons of audio and video lessons, from songs to dialogues and cultural insights, and each of these lessons has a grammar focus, a vocabulary list, a lesson transcript and notes so that you don’t miss any points. We give you the foundation you need to be able to understand anime and benefit from watching it.

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    Here are the 10 animes that can help you learn Japanese!

    The myth of learning by only watching anime

    The “watch anime and learn Japanese” concept is just a myth. A lot of high school students improve their English level by reading books and comics, or watching dramas and movies in English with subtitles in their own language. You, meanwhile, might watch all 700 episodes of One Piece or Dragon Ball in Japanese but still not make any progress!

    The difference? Those foreign students are not starting from scratch when they use this method to learn Japanese. Even though they might still be at a low level, they were working on some solid foundations.

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    Basically, what you will hear after 6 months of watching anime in Japanese, while hiding the subtitles, would probably be something like:

    bla bla bla bla bla Hello bla bla bla bla Thank you for this meal bla bla bla bla die A**hole bla bla bla Kawaiiii bla bla bla bla bla It hurts! bla bla bla bla I love you bla bla bla bla bla bla really!?

    Still quite far from fluency, right?

    https://media.giphy.com/media/TlqRQ1nowmHIs/giphy.gif

    Start learning Japanese for free right now!

    The key to learning through anime

    The key is the amount of passive vocabulary you already have. It’s all the vocabulary you understand when listening to or reading Japanese, without having the need to search in the dictionary. Our brain has limited capacity and if it doesn’t recognize 70-80% of the words in a sentence, it will be incapable of filling in the blanks to give a sense to the unknown words based on the context.

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    Let’s look at these two cases:
    1. You are at a beginner level of Japanese
    2. You are at an intermediate level of Japanese

    In both cases, you must expose yourself to a lot of Japanese media: podcasts, videos and so on…

    In the first case, your brain won’t be able to analyze what you hear when you’re watching anime because you miss too many words. Of course we don’t forbid you from watching anime, but be aware that you are only training your ears to become accustomed to the sounds of Japanese. This is a good start, though. But you will also need to start learning grammar basics and vocabulary. Our Japanese for Absolute Beginners series will offer you the resources you need to quickly understand the foundations of the Japanese language, through entertaining topics.

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    If you are at an intermediate level, you will need to acquire a lot of vocabulary covering a large range of topics. Challenge yourself with our Listening Comprehension series on YouTube, listen to our podcasts and verify through the lesson notes and transcripts that you understood everything, from the grammar point to the explanation of the kanji used in the lesson.

    Access all the reading, audio and video resources you need to become fluent in Japanese!

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    Anime can be a great learning tool because it’s fun and there is a lot of it around. Just make sure to do a little extra work to optimize its use! Don’t forget to sign up for your Free Lifetime Account to access all our resources and be able to watch anime without subtitles!

  • How to Learn Japanese in Your Car?

    Stuck in traffic? Losing time in your car? Have you ever felt that in all this wasted time, you could have watched the 750 episodes of One Piece, finished the last Super Mario ten times, or even better…you could have learned Japanese? Between family, friends and work, in addition to this time-consuming commute, it can become difficult to find time to properly learn Japanese.

    How to Learn Japanese in Your Car? Learn language in car

    Fortunately, every problem has a solution, and what could be a better solution than turning that commute time into learning time? Stop passing the time mindlessly listening to the radio and try some of our best tips for mastering Japanese in your car!

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    Here are the 5 reasons why you should start learning Japanese!

    You can learn Japanese in your car, hands free
    While driving, it’s important that you keep your focus on the road, so this is why our top tips won’t require you to use your hands!

    Listening to Japanese audio content in the car is a good way to learn
    This is because it is a fun and efficient way to learn. With JapanesePod101.com podcasts, you will be able to discover Japanese culture through topics about everyday life. Instead of the radio, listen to a Japanese podcast adapted to your level, from Absolute Beginner to Advanced, and you will make progress sooner that you would expect!

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    You can listen to Japanese music in the car
    Did you know that you can learn Japanese by singing while driving? Listen to songs from anime or Japanese idols and try to identify some words you learned.

    You can also go to our YouTube Channel and play our Kids’ Songs playlist! Challenge yourself! Use the Japanese you’ve studied up to this point and see how much you understand! Making the jump to real-life Japanese is a scary one, but friendly children’s songs are a great place to start!

    https://media.giphy.com/media/gPPA7RUH34HSg/giphy.gif

    Click here to listen to our Top 10 Songs for Children To Learn Japanese!

    You can learn alone in your car
    When you’re driving alone, you can be as loud as you want – there is nothing better for remembering your Japanese lessons than repeating loudly, again and again. Next time you see a driver who seems to be talking alone, you will know he or she is just learning Japanese!

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    You can learn through repetition with your passengers
    If there are passengers in the car, it can be more stimulating to learn together. You can set a role play with Japanese dialogues. With JapanesePod101.com, you can download all the lessons transcript including the dialogues, as a PDF. Print it out and have some fun speaking in Japanese!

    One of the passengers can answer the quiz available on each of our lessons, while another can correct that person. Listening to someone at a more advanced level of Japanese or a better accent is positive and helps you improve.

    You can learn Japanese offline
    Do you have a poor connection or are unable to use the Internet? It’s not a problem for learning Japanese! Before you start your commute, use our App to download the lessons you want to study and the podcast you want to listen to in your car, and you will be able to enjoy your lessons offline. Entering a tunnel won’t be a problem anymore. What a pleasure to listen to audio content without having the host freezing every 5 seconds!

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    Click here to download the App and learn offline!

    You can learn every day at your own pace
    One of the best approaches for learning a language is little by little and often. It’s not efficient to take in a huge amount of information at one time. What you need is to study on a regular basis – a little bit of Japanese every day. You commute several days a week, and that is all time you can take advantage of!

    You have the freedom to choose the lessons and podcasts you want to focus on, at your own rhythm. You may want to do a little revision or discover how to talk about a new topic. And if you’re wondering what to learn next, you can use the new Learning Paths, which is our customized pathway feature that gives you a step-by-step way to learn Japanese without getting lost!

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    Click here to access Learning Paths at JapanesePod101!

    If you don’t have a car and commute by another method, these tips are still valid! Learning Japanese is no longer limited to the classroom or your house; there are so many benefits to learning in your car or elsewhere. Reaching a conversational level will take you less time than you could ever have imagined! Don’t forget to sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and enjoy our content!

    Top 10 Superstitions in Japan

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    In Japan many things are considered to bring good or bad luck. Superstitions are strongly entrenched in Japanese society, and some of them are meant to teach lessons or serve as practical advice. Here is a list of the top 10 superstitions in Japan you must know!

    Click Here To Start Learning Japanese Right Now!

    1) Numbers 4 and 9 are considered to be unlucky numbers because 4 in Japanese is sometimes pronounced し which means “death,” while 9 is also sometimes pronounced く and means “suffering.” In the US, some old buildings don’t have a 13th floor, while in Japan hospitals and some hotels don’t have a 4th floor. Often the room number 4 and rooms 40 through 49 are not there. When you give a gift of a set of plates or cups to somebody, it is usually 3 or 5 rather than 4. So if you are giving presents in Japan, be careful not to give 4.

    2) Hearses are probably one of the most important bad luck symbols in Japan. If you see a funeral car passing, you should hide your thumb, making a fist with the thumb inside. The reason is that the thumb is like a parent finger, so by doing this you are protecting them from the spirit of the deceased that lingers around the car. Some people even hide their thumbs when passing a graveyard or a funeral.

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    3) When you attend a funeral and come back before you enter your house, you have to throw salt on yourself. Salt kind of cleanses things. When a friend is with you, you throw salt on each other, or on yourself if you are alone.

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    4) Another one that is related to night, is that you shouldn’t cut your nails at night. Because if you do that, you won’t be able to be with your parents when they die. One of the main reasons would be that cutting your nails at night may result in your death, so you won’t be able to see your parents die. In the past, they had to use knives or other sharp cutting tools to cut their nails. Which can be quite dangerous at night…

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    5) Speaking of night, another superstition that’s related to night is whistling in the night. If you whistle at night, a snake could come out. There are some poisonous snakes in Japan, so you really don’t want them to come out. Whistling is also known to have been used as a sign by burglars and criminals to communicate to each other. It’s better to avoid them too.

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    No money, no credit card required, just you and the ton of lessons!

    6) There are other animal-related superstitions as well. A black cat is considered to be bad luck nowadays, but this superstition has been imported from the west. So if people see a black cat, they will stop and wait to see which way it goes so they don’t cross its path. Having a spider inside your house at night is bad luck, but if you see it in the morning, it’s good luck.

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    7) Japanese people don’t sleep facing north. Someone sleeping face north might receive bad luck, or it could be even worse, as death is known to welcome whoever sleeps facing north.

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    8 ) Don’t write a person’s name in red ink, because it is considered as inauspicious. This is due to names on grave markers being red.

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    9) There is a lucky cat symbol called maneki neko. It’s a cat with one paw held up. They often have these in shops or places where business is done because it’s supposed to bring good fortune.

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    Click here for Japanese Phrases and words that will help you in almost every situation!

    10) There is one more lucky thing that Japanese people might carry called omamori, in their bag or purse. It is a kind of amulet that protects. They have different types of omamori – some are for success in business or study, some are for curing illness, preventing traffic accidents and so on. You can buy them at shrines.

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    On the subject of shrines, did you know that in Japan if you are making a big wish, you might consider doing it at a shrine? Traditionally when people need a prayer to be answered, they would just visit a shrine and give money in return.

    Now you will be able to understand Japanese people’s behavior in certain situations! Don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account to get more cultural insights, lessons and much more