How to say “Hello” in the Japanese language.

I have heard that native English speakers do not like to repeat what they have just said. Is this right? For example, when you say “Hello”, you would say some other greetings instead of repeating it. When you are said “Nice to meet you”, you would use “You, too” or some other expression instead of repeating “Nice to meet you” without any change.

What I hear is that if you don’t show your vocabulary extensive, you would be regarded to be childish in your countries. However, in Japan, you don’t need to change phrases you have just heard. “Hello” is “Konnichiwa”, and when you are said, “Konnichiwa”, you should reply with “Konnichiwa”. If it is after sunset, people will say “Konbanwa”, so you should respond with “Konbanwa.” No Japanese people would think your vocabulary is poor or that you are not greeting from your heart when you repeat a greeting.

To be honest, I do not see why you would need to demonstrate various expressions all the time when you speak in English. Why? If I may add, many native English speakers always seem to try to present their power, strength and ability as well as their vocabulary. I believe that it must be only natural in some countries, but things are opposite in Japan. People try to avoid showing things off.

This is one example for real about one ex-Yokozuna who was in the highest rank in Sumo. Have you seen Sumo? It’s the traditional Japanese-style wrestling. When a sumo-wrestler from a foreign country held up his fists when he became a champion, Japanese people criticized him saying “He showed off his victory.” We prefer coolness. He showed off what he had done too much and people hated it.

Now, there is another example in Tokyo. I was in a train which was in a station with the doors open. When a woman was about to get on, the doors started closing. One American man held the door with his hands and let the woman through. The sensor of the doors may have detected an error, the doors opened again, and we heard an announcement saying that they had troubles with the doors. The American man held up his fists smiling, yelling and looking around, and then looked at people nearby. No one responded him or said anything there. I was just surprised to see how an American man showed off his strength.

Anyway, you do not need to represent your strength or rich vocabulary in Japan. You may say why showing your strength is connected with your wide vocabulary, but proving your large vocabulary all the time seems to be demonstrating your ability for me. If you do the worst that could happen is Japanese people may dislike you. However, showing your ability and vocabulary must be only too natural for you, and you might not understand what I mean here. Just keep in mind, if you are planning to visit Japan, "THE NAIL THAT STICKS OUT GETS BANGED DOWN." Demonstrating your abilities too much is sometimes regarded as destroying the harmony in my country.

I ask for your kind understanding that I just want to say there are many differences among countries, and don’t mean to offend any foreign cultures. I just hope this will help you if you have a chance to work with Japanese people in the future. Lastly, I just want you know; if Japanese people do not seem to be with a confident, they just prefer to be humility and are not fool.

Thank you.

Thanks, Koir and Gakuchoh!


One Month after the Massive Earthquakes in Japan.

One Month has passed.
Almost everything seems to be back the way it was in my town.
There are still aftershocks almost every day, but we usually have many of them in this country anyway.
I live next to Tokyo, and far from the affected area.
Watching the disaster areas on TV, frankly speaking, I cannot help wondering why they lived in those dangerous lower areas near the sea, and every time I can believe that you, non-Japanese people, would be curious why Japanese people live in this dangerous country with many earthquakes. Just as I cannot move out of my land, they cannot leave their towns.

A great number of countries have offered assistance to Japan.
They say it is 116 countries and regions. I wanted to write all the names of them here, but it is too many to type.

I can’t thank them enough.

Thank you.

Thank you very much, dogsbody70, RealJames, JamboP26 and Koir!

You have helped me correcting my English, and your countries have offered a helping hand to Japan.
I don’t know what to say.


18 days after the Massive Earthquakes in Japan.

I bought a new mobile phone last week.
My old one didn’t receive earthquake early warnings.

The new phone sounds an alarm every time an emergency earthquake alert is issued.

Even if I am fast asleep, my phone will wake me up a little bit before the earthquake occurs.

In addition, my old phone’s battery had been running out too fast.

I decide to buy a new mobile phone every three years at least.

There were some people who phoned for help while under the rubble after the Earthquakes.

My cell-phone charms are a small flash light and a whistle.

If a massive earthquake occurred and I’m buried under the rubble, I would search for an exit in the dark with my flashlight. You might say you would use your cell phone’s backlight, but the battery life is precious under the circumstances. I would use my flashlight.

If there is not an exit, I would use my whistle to alert the rescue team to my position. Nine days after the Earthquake, a 16 year old boy and his grandmother were found in their ruined kitchen. He said he had heard the rescue workers, but the rescuers didn’t hear his voice for days.

Can you imagine that you cry out for help in the dark and the rescue team doesn’t hear you?

I think there may have been many people who cried out for help, but usually people cannot cry loud enough.

I’ve had this whistle for years. When I saw the movie “Titanic”, the heroine blew a whistle for help, I thought I should have a whistle with me.

I really recommend that you should have one. Really.

Thank you.

JumboP26, Koir, thanks for helping!


Ten days after the Massive Earthquakes in Japan.

Ten days have passed.

The sense of distrust for the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) seems to be increasing among people. There seem to be some reasons for this. One of them is that most operators in the nuclear power plant left the worksite just after the earthquake occurred, and the rest tried to mend the plant, but they were short of staff. Some people say this is why the situation got worse. The second reason is that the Company does not tell when blackouts start, and it disturbed the railway service. There was kind of panic in many stations for a few days. TEPCO is battering Japanese economy.

Now, there is a rumour that says the company housing of TEPCO doesn’t have a blackout. That means that most people have a hard time with the blackouts, but TEPCO employees don’t. I don’t know if this rumour is true.

I met one of my friends today. She said she hasn’t had a blackout yet. And she also said she lives in front of TEPCO’s company housing. She and I live in the same city.

Thank you.

JamboP26, thanks for correcting.


Six days after the Massive Earthquakes in Japan.

Six days have passed.

Many people have registered a strong complaint by phone with Tokyo Electric Power Company for the random information of the blackouts. If this goes on, so many people would go bankrupt because many factories and shops can’t operate.

Last night, I did not expect a blackout, but it happened suddenly. The schedule had said it would start at 12:20PM, but it didn’t. Then, at around 6:40PM, it started.

I was cooking dinner, and about to use a mixer. With a clunk, the light went out.

We had to eat pot noodles. I realized why many people buy a lot of bread and it has been sold out for a week. We can eat bread without electricity. My IH cooking heater needs electricity to cook things.

So, at about 9:20 this morning, I went to a supermarket. There was a very long line of shoppers which ran around the corner of the block.
I succeeded buying bread! And five pot noodles.
Now, it’s only 30 minutes to today’s blackout if the schedule is correct.

Thank you.

Thanks for helping, JamboP26!


Four days after the Massive Earthquakes in Japan.

Four days have passed since the Earthquakes occurred. Japan is at the edge of a radioactive accident now. The leaking radioactivity level is increasing. I believe this is more serious than the earthquakes.
In addition, as most power plants have stopped and the Government is enforcing planned outages, the capital region is in total confusion.

Last night, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) didn’t tell where and when today’s blackouts would be happening.
At about 4 AM this morning, an earthquake occurred which woke me up. I turned on the TV to check the epicenter and the intensity, and saw that the blackout would be from 6:20 AM to 10 AM in this area today.
They should have informed us earlier! Other people must have thought the same. The gross incompetence of TEPCO has disrupted many factories, shops, train services and many other economic activities.

Since 4 AM is too early to slip out of bed, I fell back to sleep. Three hours later, I got up thinking the blackout would be on but it wasn't. Then, it was almost 10 o'clock with the light still on, so I thought there might not be a blackout today. I went to a supermarket.

There was a long line of shoppers waiting to enter the building. Batteries, flashlights, candles, portable gas stoves, small gas canisters, rice, pot noodles, bottled water, milk, eggs, bread and some other things had been sold out already.
My first priority was cat food today, and I was able to buy three bags of it. I also bought some bacon and rice cakes on impulse.
When I got home, it was almost 11 AM, the blackout had not yet started.

But then, a city office vehicle was driving down the road beside my house announcing that the blackout would be from 11 AM to 2 PM. It was only five minutes to 11 AM.
Again, they should have informed us earlier! How could they change their plans so randomly?

The electric company has been saying that there would not be radiation leakage any more, but the situation is getting worse. Is TEPCO knocking Japan down!?

Thank you!

Koir and Gkuchoh, thanks!!


Three days after the Massive Earthquakes in Japan.

Three days have passed. We still have many aftershocks here.

The Prime Minister of Japan announced that they are starting rolling blackouts in the northern half of Japan last night, but not when they start.

This morning, many commuters were surprised to learn many trains weren't running. The people made long lines around stations in the capital region.

I checked the internet and they said these rolling blackouts will continue until the end of April and possibly into summer.

I thought I needed a big bucket to flush the toilet because it doesn’t work when blackouts happen. So I went to a supermarket nearby.

There were so many people around the shop, something I hadn’t seen before. Too many people were in the supermarket, and many were walking.

I think they started buying up food because they had learned many factories had stopped and that food would be scarce.

My first priority was not food but a big bucket. I left there and went to a small local hardware store. Since the shop is small, I believed there would not be too many people and they would not have sold all their buckets.


There were only a few people buying small tanks. I was able to find a big bucket!

One hour from now, the blackout will be here.

Thank you!


Koir, thank you as always!


Two days after the massive earthquakes in Japan.

Two days have passed since the earthquakes here.

There is only news about the accidents in the newspapers. All of the TV channels have been broadcasting solely about this disaster. They are showing videos from the time the biggest earthquake and tsunami occurred, giving explanations of how radioactivity leaked, reporting where and how many people have been isolated, and commenting on the many rescue teams from foreign countries that are arriving to help us. (We really, really appreciate it. Right now, the announcer is saying that teams from the US, China, Germany, Switzerland and some other countries have come. )

I live in Kawasaki city, Kanagawa prefecture which is located next to Tokyo. We have only had the usual sized earthquakes here, however, bottles of water are scarce in stores. I saw some men buy all the boxes of bottled water in a supermarket. I think they have two reasons to do so. The first reason may be that tap water has been smelling of Chlorine since the day before yesterday. We usually drink tap water and don’t store bottled water, so we need to buy bottled ones now. (I believe we will be able to drink tap water after boiling it.) The second might be that they think there will be some larger earthquakes near here and we might lose the lifelines that we have, because the seismic activity seems to be coming nearer.

Some of the shoppers’ eyes seemed to be panicked. There are no more butane gas cartridges in stores around here.

Thank you for reading this gloomy story!

coltostallion, thank you for helping!


Massive earthquakes occurred yesterday in Japan

Around 2:50 p.m. yesterday, an earthquake happened. I changed the TV channel to NHK as usual. I always watch NHK when an earthquake occurs.

The breaking news appeared on the top of the TV screen, and it said a massive earthquake had occurred.

Suddenly, the power went out and the TV turned off.

It was long-period oscillation, so I thought the epicenter was far from here.

I put my emergency belt bag on, took the radio and my cell phone, and left the house.

The ground kept shaking.

I’ve had many earthquakes here in Japan, but I’ve never this big.

I heard a car alarm from a vehicle left in a nearby parking lot.

The neighbors came out of their house.

We thought our house might collapse.

I looked up to the power poles and lines to check if they fell down. At the same time, I saw a passenger aircraft flying to the west. This was not the usual flight path, so I thought HANEDA airport must have been closed and the airplane had been diverted. My house is near the airport.

I learned that the main source was in the Pacific near the Tohoku area located in the east-north part of Japan.

I wanted to know if my family was safe, but the phone was not working.

I tried to email many times with my mobile, but I only succeeded twice before the battery power got too low.

I regretted that I hadn’t bought a small power-generating equipment to charge up my phone.

The blackout finished about 9:30 last night.

Luckily, all of my family members were safe.

My house doesn’t have any problems now.

However, I see the TV footage of the disastrous tsunami.

They say the number of missing is over 1300.

Now I don’t know what I can do.

Thank you.

Koir, thank you for correcting my English as always.