For a couple of years now, my younger brother has had a slight obsession with everything Japanese, from the food to anime. I have picked up this fascination and especially since studying architecture, my admiration with the Japanese culture has grown immensely. If everything goes well, my family and I will visit this intriguing country in the summer of 2017 and I am already looking up all the beautiful places to visit and restaurants to go to. I have studied Mandarin for 6 years and I am as interested in this language and the beautiful words and phrases it has. Here are a few example of the gems in the Japanese language, if you know any more let me now.



BIMYOU (n) not bad, or “meh” [a reaction I give way to much when being asked how I am doing, for a year now I have tried to make it a conscious effort to actually answer the question truthfully; how am I feeling really? And if that actually is not bad, bimyou sounds a lot cooler than “meh”]



HIKIKOMORI (n) when a young person who is obsessed with TV, video games, and the internet, withdraws from society [I, myself, are guilty of this sometimes as well. The internet has brought beautiful opportunities into our world, but they can also stop us from living our life to the fullest. I believe you can use these mediums for a better cause without letting them consume our lives]



IKIGAI (n) a reason for being; the thing that gets you up in the morning [playing a big role in Okinawan culture, this word has a special meaning to me, I have contemplated getting a tattoo of this for a couple of years now]



IRUSU (n) pretending to be out when someone knocks at your door [I think I can speak for everyone and say that we all are guilty of this once in a while]



KOMOREBI  (n) sunlight filtering through trees [walking trough the woods there is nothing more soothing than the small streaks of sunlight falling trough te trees, touching your face with its energy. Combine that with the smells of wood and fresh leaves and your day is a whole lot brighter]



KUIDAORE  (n) to eat yourself into bankruptcy [ uhm yes! If there is one thing I invest my money in, it’s food. Food not only nourishes your body but also your soul, and I am not going to deny myself the simple pleasures in life]



MAJIME (n) an earnest, reliable person who can simply get things done without causing drama [hard to find and even harder to be one, but I am trying everyday]



SHIBUI (n) old school cool [I was definitely not cool in high school, or at least I thought I wasn’t. Now I believe that everyone is their own kind of cool, even old school cool]



SHINRIN- YOKU (n) literally “forest bathing” – a visit to the forest for relaxation and to improve one’s health [every country should have this word in their language]



TSUNDOKU  (n) the act of buying a book and leaving it unread, often piled together with other unread books [guilty, now I have a word to describe this condition]



UKIYO (n) literally “the floating world” – living in the moment, detached from the bothers of life [this is exactly how I feel when doing yoga and try to do when the stress of life, school and everything catches up on me]



WASUREMONO (n) forgotten or lost things; an item left behind on a train or forgotten at home [as before I felt extremely devastated and guilty when I lost something, now I see it as a sign that the particular item has had its time in my life and I had to let it go to move on. Of course leaving your keys or wallet in the train might just be more a case of being in a hurry, in which case you should ask yourself why were you in such a hurry that you forgot these items, what there a good reason?]



YOISHO (n) a word without meaning, said when flopping into a chair after a hard day at work [yoisho is the new “sigh”]



YUGEN (n) a profound awareness of the universe that triggers a deep emotional response [nothing to add]



Images from


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