My Sweetie Is Japanese
Explores everyday Japanese culture as seen through the eyes of a foreigner married to a Japanese woman. (This series is an homage to the wonderful manga ダーリンは外国人, My Darling is a Foreigner.)
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The narrator introduces his wife, a modern and cosmopolitan woman who is also very particular about certain traditional foods.
Notes: This article is written in an upbeat and polite style that feels like Japanese you might hear in a public speaking situation (for example, a TED talk). It features polite verbs and straightforward, well-formed sentences. Direct quotations of story characters reflect more casual speech.
Japanese families can be quite self-deprecating, which can sometimes lead to awkward moments.
Notes: Featuring well-formed sentences and straightforward grammar, this article contains useful vocabulary relating family life and marriage.
The narrator is caught off-balance by his mother-in-law's comment, leading to an uneasy moment.
Notes: This article contains excellent vocabulary and expressions, such as "lines (that an actor might deliver)" and "making a (funny, angry, happy, etc) face."
Getting to know your spouse's parents can always be a little nerve-wracking. But are you ready for some one-on-one naked time with your new father-in-law?
Notes: This article contains straightforward grammar plus a few useful cultural tidbits.
The narrator heads to the onsen with his wife's father.
Notes: This article contains lots of useful vocabulary, such as the words for imitating someone, soaking in a tub, and heading somewhere.
The narrator enjoys a quiet moment and reflects on his journey into Japanese culture.
Notes: This article should be mostly straightforward, but the last paragraph, with its reflection on lessons learned, might be slightly more challenging.
Our narrator discovers that while Japan is in some respects very modern, in other ways it can still be quite traditional.
Notes: This episode contains lots of useful vocabulary and grammar notes, such as ones about the word hazu, the pattern for "assisting" someone with a task, and a common way of saying you are confident in your abilities.
The narrator experiences the eye-popping volume of food that is a traditional Japanese breakfast.
Notes: This article contains lots of good vocabulary, including a breakdown of two similarly-named dish types, as well as a discussion of the gurai that means "just about only."