Manga cafes (まんが喫茶, manga kissa, short for manga kissaten) are establishments where visitors can read from an extensive library of manga (Japanese comics). They also provide computers with internet access, making them synonymous with internet cafes. Furthermore, manga kissa have become a popular low budget accommodation option as many of them are open 24 hours and offer amenities such as showers and free drinks for as little as 1500 yen per night. Some manga kissa offer women-only sections.
Manga kissa can be found in most cities across Japan. Many are located in side streets close to train stations. Big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka have a large number of such establishments. However, without Japanese reading skills it can be difficult to identify a manga kissa as many do not have English signs and they are not usually located at street level, but on a higher floor in a multi-storey building.
Introducing yourself (Exchanging Business Cards)
When introducing others or themselves, the Japanese usually use family names or full names. However, children and young people usually make informal introductions among themselves using first names (which in Japanese comes second). It is usual to exchange name cards (めいし) when adults are introducing each other. This avoids the trouble of explaining which kanji are used to write the names, and also give other important social information.
To find out more about the importance of exchanging めいし, check out Michael Gakuran’s blog here.
Watch the following videos for instruction on “HOW TO” exchange めいし.
The Japanese people have specific expectations and instructions on how to give and take business cards when introducing themselves.
Japanese Daily Life
Karaoke is one of Japanese people’s favourite pastimes. They often go to a karaoke box with friends, family or company colleagues (often after a party or gatherings). There are small rooms for several people and large rooms for groups of over ten people. Each room is equipped with tables, sofas, a TV and microphones. You can order food and drinks using the telephone in the room. You can enjoy singing a variety of songs. You choose a song from the catalogue and put the number in the リモコン (remote control). The music starts and pictures appear on the screen and words scroll along the bottom. You hold the microphone and enjoy singing your favourite songs to your satisfaction.
You can also enjoy karaoke at a beer parlour, a (dining) hall or a coffee lounge at Japanese inns or hot spring resorts. All the people in the bar or the hall can join in the song. If you wish, you may put in a request. When your request comes up, you have to go up on stage and sing.
The work karaoke literally means ’empty orchestra’. It is an unusual word in that it is sometimes written half in hiragana and half in katakana. から(empty) and オケ(orchestra), からオケ. However, it is usually written in カタカナ as カラオケ. Karaoke is now also a popular activity in Australia.
Golf is the most expensive sport in Japan. Only wealthy people can afford it. They usually belong to a club by paying an enormous amount of money. They may be because Japan has so little space available for sport and golf requires a large space. They have golf ranges on top of large buildings or department stores, all covered by nets so that balls cannot be lost.
There are two words that express ‘only’.
だけ is used after a noun to express ‘only ~’.
NOUN + だけ + POSITIVE VERB
しか is used before a negative form of a verb to mean ‘only ~’.
NOUN + しか + NEGATIVE VERB