The crying politician, Ryutaro Nonomura

Posted on September 03, 2014 | genkijacs

If you've found yourself going online with any kind frequency during the last few months, you've probably seen the video of the "crying Japanese politician", Ryutaro Nonomura.


Nonomura broke down emotionally at a press conference held in early July. The 47-year-old politician was accused of "misusing" an alleged ¥3m in public funds for personal gains, and forced to apologize for his conduct in a national press conference.

If you haven't seen the video, this is it:

Things start to unravel at around 1:30, and it's all downhill from there.

The video was uploaded to the internet shortly after the conference, and, in the way of these things, immediately went viral. It became so popular that Nonomura even has his own line of mechandise, including:


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LINE stickers


Various fan art

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and even his own series of Dubstep remixes:

His passionate cry of "この日本…世の中を変えたい!" (このにほん・・・よのなかをかえたい!) (at around 3:37-ish in the original video) is set to become one of the 流行語 of 2014.

Nonomura has since resigned from his position in the Hyogo Prefectural Assembly.

**Guest blog** Miyazaki surf trip

Posted on August 27, 2014 | genkijacs

Our Fukuoka Japanese language students went on a weekend surfing trip to beautiful Miyazaki on the 16th. Our student lifestyle coordinator, Yuuki-san, organized the whole trip, and was kind enough to write us a blog entry about the experience.



We went to Miyazaki for a Surf Trip on 16-17th Aug. My family and I, Kayo-san, and 11 students went to Miyazaki together!! Miyazaki is one of the best surf hotspots in Japan. When we arrived, there were already many other surfers from all over Japan. All the students who participated were beginners, so my husband (Shintarou-san), Gordon-san, and Shigenaga-san (a family friend) entered the sea and pushed everyone’s surf boards. Thanks to them, some students were able to stand on their boards! We stayed at a private home providing meals and lodging along the beach. Dinner was delicious chicken Nanban, a famous Miyazaki meal, and sashimi. Breakfast was Japanese style “Washoku”. It was very delicious! It was only a short trip of 2 days and 1 night, but everybody seemed to enjoy the hot summer in Japan. On the way back to Fukuoka, the traffic was very congested because of the national Obon holidays, so it took seven hours to get back to Fukuoka…! Otsukaresama!! I hope we can make it again next year :-)
Special thanks to Shintarou-san, Gordon-san, Shigena-san, and Kayo-san!!


Check out our Facebook for some photos of the trip!

Gourmet comes to Fukuoka school!

Posted on August 25, 2014 | genkijacs

One of our Japanese language students, who trained as a professional chef, recently cooked a delicious meal for teachers and staff at our Fukuoka school.
The meal was a mouth-watering fusion of European cuisine. Many teachers reported having tears spring to their eyes upon tasting the delicious taste explosion.

Jacob-san, thank you so much for the awesome meal! (And you know, if you feel like coming over again...we don't mind...really...any time...please...we might starve without you.........)







Japanese Tweet-slang

Posted on August 13, 2014 | genkijacs

Our Japanese language students following Japanese friends or celebrities on Twitter may have come across some of these before. Because of the character limit, it sometimes becomes necessary to abbreviate (in some cases, quite a bit!) to fit all your thoughts into one Tweet. Of course, sometimes these abbreviations just become habit, so you use them all the time anyway (no one says "retweet" anymore... it's just "RT"). Here are a few examples of the more frequently seen ones on Twitter:

AZS (or あざーす):
ありがとうございます ("thank you").

(This one requires some explanation!)
In spoken Japanese, sometimes words that end on "い" (e.g. "ない"), sometimes get pronounced "えー" (as in, "じゃねー" instead of "じゃない").
Now, if you wanted to express that you think someone is cool in Japanese, you would say ○○さん、かっこいい (or, if you were to change the い-sound, カッケー).
The Japanese word for "triangle" is 三角形 ("さんかくけい" pronounced "さんかっけい" in this case).
You can see where this is going, right? さんかっけい... ○○さん、カッケー...
"I think Johhny Depp is really cool!" would be "ジョニー・デップさん、カッケー!" in Japanese, or in Twitter language, would be ジョニー・デップ△!

なう / わず / うぃる :
These are all transliterations of English words - "now", "was" and "will" - and perform more or less the same functions. Tacked on to the end of words, they function as a simple to way to say when the word is taking place (and so, when you are going to do/have done something), for example:
なう → 夕食なう (ゆうしょくなう): Having dinner now / 新宿なう (しんじゅくなう): I'm in Shinjuku right now
わず → カラオケわず: I went to karaoke earlier
うぃる → ラーメンうぃる: I'm going to have ramen later
Interestingly, these are always written in hiragana (and not katakana, which is traditionally used to display foreign/loan words)...

Represents applause, when someone congratulates you on something.
Japanese onomatopoeia for "applause" is "パチパチ" (which translates to 88 - "はちはち"), so 888888 is the sound of many hands clapping.

You're sure to surprise your Japanese Twitter followers by using some of these in your Tweets!

New attractions at USJ

Posted on August 06, 2014 | genkijacs

Anime fans among our Japanese language students will be excited to hear that Universal Studios Japan (located in Osaka), is planning on running several anime- and game-themed attractions for a limited time in 2015. Arguably the most exciting of these will be the Attack on Titan and Evangelion attractions, but there will also be many other interesting new themed areas based around popular games, anime and manga! Not many details have been released regarding the actual attractions themselves - currently, there is speculation that the Attack on Titan attraction will feature a ride, and some sort of escape game.

(Imagine the possibilities... terrifyingly fun, or just terrifying?!)

USJ made the announcement of the new attractions in early August, following the massive success of its "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" themepark (still ongoing - if you are a fan of Harry Potter, it's not be missed!)

The attractions will only run for a limited time from January 2015 (with the Attack on Titan themed area specifically ending in May), so make sure you don't miss out!

Study Travel Magazine - Star Awards 2014

Posted on July 24, 2014 | genkijacs

GenkiJACS is extremely proud to have not only been nominated, but shortlisted for the very prestigious Study Travel Magazine Star Awards yet again this year!
This marks the 6th year in a row we've been nominated for this award, and as one of only five schools in the world nominated for the World Language School award it's a great honour for us to make the shortlist yet again.

We'd like to thank everyone who voted for us again this year. We appreciate your continued support and look forward to providing you our best service for many years to come!


Waddling to success - Sunshine City's penguin parade

Posted on July 17, 2014 | genkijacs

If you happen to be a penguin-loving Japanese language student who tends to get easily lost in Tokyo, you're in luck!

The Sunshine City Aquarium in Ikebukuro has come up with an ingenious way to attract new customers. The relatively old aquarium, located almost 1Km from the nearest station, had been facing a drastic drop in patronage over the last few years, due to the relative difficulty of finding their location. They had to find a way to renew interest in their business.
Enter Penguin Navi, an augmented reality app utilizing Junaio as a base, which uses your mobile or tablet device to superimpose a number of cute, waddling penguins on your surroundings, leading you from your current location straight to the aquarium.

The app can be downloaded from Penguin Navi's website, although you do need to have Junaio installed first.

Since introducing the cute penguins to escort visitors to Sunshine City, attendance at the aquarium reportedly increased by over 150% - which we can perfectly understand, of course. Who doesn't like penguins??

Check out this video for more information:

Typhoon season!

Posted on July 07, 2014 | genkijacs

We've had quite a few inquiries from students about the typhoon headed for Kyuushu - typhoon Neoguri, scheduled to hit Fukuoka on Wednesday or Thursday. At the moment, though we had some rain yesterday, skies are blue and the sun is out in Fukuoka.


Of course, this could change quickly in the nature of typhoons, but the general feeling among Fukuoka residents is that it won't be particularly serious inside the city. Outlying regions of Kyuushu may feel the effects of Neoguri a bit more severely, and of course it may affect flights to and from Fukuoka, but for the moment we aren't planning on cancelling any classes. If this typhoon should turn out to be pretty bad, or if there are any other major typhoons headed for Fukuoka or Tokyo, we will let our Japanese language students know ahead of time - make sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page for the latest updates!

The Start of Summer

Posted on July 06, 2014 | evankirby

Summer has officially started, and with it the biggest influx of students to GenkiJACS ever! More than 65 new students start today, so the school is a hive of activity. It's a great fun time for everyone, and we're looking forward to all the special activities that we can do because we have so many people ready to learn and enjoy themselves! In particular, we can't wait for the beach barbecue, coming up in just a few weeks.
We've been restricting summer enrollments carefully this year, so unlike some previous years, the school should still feel comfortable even during the peak season. For all the people who wanted to come but couldn't, we're so sorry we didn't have space for you this time, but we hope we can see you in future years, or even outside summer when there is more space at both schools.

Japanese soccer terms

Posted on June 23, 2014 | genkijacs

The FIFA World Cup is upon us, and it's the topic everyone is talking about. Whether you're watching the match in a bar, catching the results on the news or betting on winning teams with your friends, we thought our Japanese language students might be interested in knowing some soccer lingo in Japanese. (Most of these are transliterations in katakana, so they should be very easy to remember!)

Midfielder... ミッドフィルダー
Goalie... ゴールキーパー
The Goal... ゴール
Referee... レフェリー/審判役 (しんぱんやく、"shinpanyaku")
Yellow/Red Card... イエローカード/レッドカード
Throw In... スローイン
Offside... オフサイド
Stepover... オコチャダンス/ステップオーバー
Group tournament ranking system... 勝ち点 (かちてん、"kachiten")
Wall pass... 壁パス (かべパス、"kabepasu")
Goal difference... 得失点差 (とくしつてんさ、"tokushitsu tensa")
Attacking midfielder... トップ下 (トップした、"toppu shita")
Free Kick... 直接フリーキック (ちょくせつフリーキック、"chokusetsu furi- kikku")
Indirect Free Kick... 間接フリーキック (かんせつフリーキック、"kansetsu furi- kikku")
Penalty Kick... ペナルティキック/PK
Pass... パス
Juggle... リフティング
Bicycle Kick... オーバーヘッドキック
Shin guards... すねあて ("suneate")


We're of course crossing our fingers for Japan to make it to the finals of the World Cup. Which teams do you support? Who are you hoping will win the finals? Let us know!