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Eve Kushner's Blog

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Jun.01.2012
If you're immersed in the world of kanji, you're almost certainly aware of Jim Breen, who created the impressive and groundbreaking online dictionary WWWJDIC. I use it constantly. Nearly all the sample sentences in my essays come from that dictionary. And its text-glossing tool...
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May.31.2012
The May newsletter for Joy o' Kanji went out. It features a new contest, provides answers to the last contest (and a list of winners), provides a glimpse of the new JOK T shirt and flyer, and offers a round-up of all essays and JOK Notebook posts published in the last month, as well...
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May.25.2012
  My husband and I frequent an Indian restaurant in San Francisco, not just because the korma is heaven-sent, and not just because the naans are fluffy and scrumptious. We also enjoy the quirkiness of the server. One time he emerged from the back to take our order and held up both hands as...
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May.18.2012
Last week someone wrote to me and mentioned chai, by which she meant "living" in Hebrew. I grew up in a Jewish environment, and chai may have meant that to me long ago, but now it makes me think of just one thing: milky black tea with a hint of cardamom! Mmm! That's the...
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May.11.2012
Traveling through Norway in 2008, I absorbed just a few Norwegian terms from menus. When I encountered this ad on the side of a building in Oslo, I felt excited to be able to recognize the words for "milk" and "chocolate." Photo Credit: Eve Kushner But did melkesjokolade mean "milk...
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May.04.2012
A quiz of sorts: do you have any idea what the following word might mean? 孵化  Look carefully at the components of 孵! I'll reveal the answer at the end. There are a zillion ways to lose yourself in the details of one kanji. My life is all about that, and I love it! But there's also something...
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Apr.30.2012
The April Joy o' Kanji newsletter is now out! It features a new contest, provides answers to the last contest (and a list of winners), describes new features (e.g., the avatar selection), and offers a round-up of all essays and JOK Notebook posts published in the last month. Check out what you've...
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Apr.27.2012
Someone wrote to me last week and mentioned the non-Joyo 鼠 (ねずみ: mouse). I'll enlarge it so that you have a prayer of seeing it: 鼠 A mortar jumped out at me! That is, although I had seen 鼠 several times before, I had never noticed that the top part is exactly like 臼 (mortar). Because I've...
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Apr.20.2012
The following word looks quite simple, but that's not the case! 一分 It has three yomi and three meanings. Do you know what they are? I'll block the answers with a photo I took on a road trip to the Monterey/Carmel area last weekend. Photo Credit: Eve Kushner Iceplant above Monterey Bay. [...
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Apr.13.2012
In the past, when Japanese men proposed marriage, they used an abalone as a betrothal gift! How would you like to receive such a fishy offering?! Here's the word for that present:             長熨斗 (ながのし: dried abalone stretched long and thin (used as a betrothal...
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Apr.06.2012
It seems like lots of us have experienced crazy weather lately, including tornadoes and quasi-typhoons. Where I live, we keep oscillating between turtleneck weather and shorts weather, with the occasional torrential downpour. Nevertheless, there are undeniable signs of spring. All my favorite...
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Mar.30.2012
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  The March newsletter just came out, and as I have announced there, four people won the contest I offered in the February newsletter. Huge congratulations to Kelly Godsoe, Tilak Bhattacharjee, Junko Soda, and Patrick Sneyd, who received three essays apiece! (I like that...
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Mar.30.2012
The March newsletter just came out, and as I have announced there, four people won the contest I offered in the February newsletter. Huge congratulations to Kelly Godsoe, Tilak Bhattacharjee, Junko Soda, and Patrick Sneyd, who received three essays apiece! (I like that the four...
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Mar.23.2012
Because kanji appeals to people around the world, there's a good chance you're not from the United States. If that's the case, you may not know how crazy things have become here politically. In some circles, politicians are trying to score points by coming out against birth control and by calling...
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Mar.16.2012
I told you last week that I had an uplifting talk with Len Brackett. A hero of mine, he lived in Japan for seven years, learning the fine art of temple carpentry. He now builds Japanese-style houses in California, infusing them with all that he learned as an apprentice in Kyoto. "Yes,...
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