Your Friend in Japan

Thanksgiving in Japan, and Ecchi Words You Learned from Anime

Written by HotAnime

If you watch anime in Japanese, you probably can’t help picking up some words, since they are used so often. Like 大丈夫 daijoubu (“[it is/I am] alright” or as a question, “are you okay?”) or やめろ yamero (“stop that now!”) or すごい sugoi (“amazing”). Emotional reactions are easy for us to pick up on, like まさか masaka (“it can’t be!”), or one my wife often makes when she’s fed up with something I do, まったく mattaku (“I can’t believe you sometimes”). In all Gundam series, they use the word 閣下 kakka (“your excellency”) so often you could make a drinking game out of it, and I have. Of course everyone loves picking up ecchi terminology, like 気持ち kimochi (short for kimochi ga ii meaning “that feels good”), 嫌らしい iyarashii (“lewd”), or good old おっぱい大好き oppai daisuki, which means “Excuse me, could you tell me the way to Kyoto station?” (Just kidding on that last one!)

Thursday is Thanksgiving, the second most important American holiday, a day for spending time with family and friends and giving thanks for all that we have. While I love the holiday as an American, the reality is that it can be difficult to get into the proper Thanksgiving spirit while living in a foreign country. Not only do the Japanese have zero awareness of turkey as a food category, but Japanese kitchens almost never have ovens suitable for doing proper baking in, so many of us just settle for KFC.

To the Japanese, the yearly event that fulfills the role of a long-ish holiday in which most people travel home to visit with family is Obon, a series of Buddhist holidays in August during which the spirits of one’s dead ancestors return home for a few days, symbolically riding cows and horses made of eggplants and cucumbers, which children make. Having to endure Thanksgiving dinner with family can be a stressful thing (especially that one crazy uncle we all have), and J-List always sees a ton of orders on this day, presumably from people trying to escape from their families. This kind of friction never happens during Obon, the J-List staff tells me, because “the dead have come to visit us, and we would never argue in front of our ancestors!”

Anyway, a warm and wonderful Happy Thanksgiving to all readers in the U.S. this year! (Art credit.)

Another Thanksgiving is here, and J-List is giving thanks for the 500,000 wonderful customers we’ve served in our 20 years in business by starting our weekend sale early. Through the end of the weekend, you can score up to $40 off a big order with J-List, with $10 automatically deducted for each $50 you spend! Load up on snacks, games, figures, “H” products! (Sorry, not available for preorder items, J-List Box boxes or Fukubukuro.)

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