How to ReTweet & Harvey's Kansai-ben iPhone App

Harvey of Japan Newbie fame emailed me this morning that his iPhone app (which we helped with a little bit) was on sale at iTunes!  (more on this with the next post) He mentioned several of his Twitter followers had “Retweeted” the news.

Well, I had heard of “retweeting,” but had no clue how to do that.  I kept looking for a “retweet” button, but found none.

So as a help to someone stumbling on this page and as a reminder to me, here is how you do it:

1) First declare that you are “retweeting” with a “Retweet:” or “Retweeting:”
2) Second write “@” and the person’s Twitter name


Retweet: @JapanNewbie Released Japanese 101: Kansai Dialect iPhone / iTouch app はよやりや!

That’s that!

Check out Harvey’s blog and of course, the new iPhone app!  I’ll write more on that soon.  It is really great–er… えらい! (Not sure if that is the best usage, but…)



So Jack is dying, his daughter returns for a stem cell miracle, and Season Seven comes to a close.  I have a feeling Season Eight will spend half of the day cleaning up Season Seven’s mess.

This was the first season I actually watched on TV.  Every other year, I waited until it was finished, bought the DVD, and crammed 24 hours in a day or two–naturally with lots of popcorn and coke.  

Overall, it was quite good.  Although–and I’m sure I’m not the only one–I REALLY wanted to get up off my chair and slap Chloe #2 across the face quite a few times.  I call her “Chloe #2” because… I can’t remember her name.  But she is the computer geek doing Chloe’s job at the FBI.  She could care less if a gazillon people were about to die as long as all the t’s were crossed… 

It would have been a much better season if she ended up being the mole at FBI–if she was connected with a radical anti-human trees-first organization, for example.

Other than that, I thought the cast was pretty good. Bill Buchanan came back and died;  Tony came back from the dead only to end up living; Chloe came back from the living, stayed on living, but didn’t get to slap Chloe #2…  

Why not!!?

Well, one can only hope for a little slap action in Season Eight. Go Chloe!  Defeat your nemesis!

Beat my What?! Google does a Number on Washington

“When you beat my pitch, young gentlemen, I’ll try again.”

Yesterday, while reading up on Washington I came across the story of George Washington out-throwing all others in a throwing contest.  Well, wanting a little more context than the book was giving, I decided to Google, “When you beat my pitch, young gentlemen, I’ll try again.”

Go ahead, you try it and see what Google suggests.  Hmmmm…

Anyway, for those interested, here is the full account of the throwing contest:

Peale delighted to relate incidents that occurred during his intercourse at various times with Washington, particularly the display of the vast physical prowess of the chief in 1772.  He said:  “One afternoon several young gentlemen, visiters at Mount Vernon, and myself were engaged in pitching the bar, one of the athletic sports common in those days, when suddenly the colonel appeared among us.  He requested to be shown the pegs that marked the bounds of our efforts;  then, smiling, and without putting off his coat, held out his hand for the missile.  No sooner,” observed the narrator, with emphasis, “did the heavy iron bar feel the grasp of his mighty hand than it lost the power of gravitation, and whizzed through the air, striking the ground far, very far, beyond our utmost limits.  We were indeed amazed, as we stood around, all stripped to the buff, with shirt sleeves rolled up, and having thought ourselves very clever fellows, while the colonel, on retiring, pleasantly observed, ‘When you beat my pitch, young gentlemen, I’ll try again.'”

Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington By George Washington Parke Custis, Mary Randolph Custis Lee, Benson John Lossing

George Washington Parke Custis was Washington’s wife’s grandson (from her first marriage) whom they both ended up raising and adopting as their own son.

FREE Shogi Software with Board Purchase

New Promo at!  Buy the wooden Shogi Board and Piece set for $30 and get the Shogi for You & Me software for free.

Shogi is often called “Japanese chess” and the similarities are there, but there are twists.  You play with kanji pieces that can resurrect!

For more information go a-clickin’ this a way.

New Video: Languages and Nationalities

This is based on our Podcast #10 and only covers two countries (US and England!).

For more on this, please see our Flash Countries, Languages, and People page with sound.

By the way–I just figured out how to switch my Youtube channel page to display the video Widescreen. It had been squeezing the video to fit standard size. Check it out! (and subscribe if you like it!)

May your Giri and Fundoshi Never Lack


giri to fundoshi kakasarenu
Never fail to do your duty or wear your fundoshi

The 大辞泉 (daijisen) Japanese-Japanese dictionary has this definition:

Just as a man must always fasten his fundoshi, so should you never fail in your social obligations.

And the Kodansha J-E translates it as: “Social obligation and underpants–two things you can’t do without”

‘Twonce in a while, you come across an expression that captivates the imagination.  This morning when discussing what to get for my mother for Mother’s Day, Yumi said this to me.  Upon seeing the glee in my eye and my hand reach for the dictionary, she immediately regretted opening her mouth.

Let’s break this gem down!

義理 giri – duty; obligation

Giri is most often used when describing social obligations–things one ought to do to stay in good standing with society.  Usually it carries a somewhat negative connotation for the one with the giri.

“I have to buy my boss a souvenir (but I don’t want to).”   This is giri.

“I have to go to his party, because he went to mine.”  This is giri.

“I have to buy a big screen TV and eat pizza all day Sunday for the big game.”  This isn’t technically giri.

義理チョコ giri choko is a great word for Valentine’s Day.  Bosses get a lot of girichoko, I imagine.

to – and

fundoshi – a fundoshi; a loincloth; a piece of cloth wrapped around a guy’s waist

Fundoshi is, well, go here and see for yourself.

欠かされぬ kakasarenu – not to be lacked

This is the negative of 欠かす kakasu – to fail; to miss (doing something).

ぬ is a negative ender often used in proverbs or moral statements.  I’m not sure why it takes a passive form here.  Grammar isn’t my strong point, but my guess is it is for poetic purposes–to give it more of an authoritative feel.

On the Proper Order of Peanut Butter and Jelly

One question has plagued the college student more than any other.  This of course is–which to dip first: the Peanut Butter or the Jelly?

Peanut Butter and Jelly

He… (and I say “he” not to be sexist or as an attempted rebellion against political correctness, but because a woman would simply wipe the knife off before sticking it in the Peanut Butter–or the Jelly as the case may be)  …He has to make the decision before starting the P&B sandwich.

Invariably, once the decision has been made, there are regrets.

Starting with Jelly:
The splash of grape color in the Peanut Butter makes the “he” wonder should the Peanut Butter jar now go into the refrigerator?! Pure Peanut Butter can survive in the cupboard, but after a while the unrefrigerated and opened purple grape Jelly turns nasty white.  Clearly, starting with Jelly complicates things.

Starting with Peanut Butter:
Arguably, this is the cleaner choice since the Peanut Butter should stick more to the knife than the soft Jelly.  But something about dipping a soiled knife into pristine purple grape Jelly* disturbs us men.  In addition, usually a touch of Peanut Butter does end up in the Jelly jar.  Regrettable, but unavoidable.

Other Issues:
And then there is the issue of using the ends of the bread (called みみ mimi in Japanese, by the way) or not.  Men differ on this matter.  I am firmly in crustacean camp; I like the crust.  However, I do see the other side’s point and wish them no ill will.

Lastly, our young college student has to decide which side gets flipped to be the top.  Do you put the jellied side on top of the Peanut Butter or the other way around? Are you adventurous and turn the more drippy Jelly side–or are you the clean type whose safe Peanut Butter bet assures no messy Jelly drips on the table?

Some would make this into a gender issue with Peanut Butter being seemingly more masculine and Jelly feminine.  This worldview becomes stickier when one thinks the process through:  If you turn the Jelly, you are putting the feminine representative on top–BUT you are also causing her to do all the work while the male sits back and does nothing.  As you know, perceived sexism is the #1 cause of college-aged male angst.

Obviously, stating my preference could get me in a great deal of trouble.  Not liking trouble too much, I leave this one for the reader to decide behind closed doors.

As you can see, the process of creating a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich is far for simple.  It involves tough moral choices and a few logistical considerations.  Doing the right thing isn’t always easy.  But it can be tasty with milk.

* Just as men don’t eat strawberry ice cream–preferring chocolate instead–, they also prefer grape Jelly.