Topic 2 Unit 2 Expand!

Manga cafe

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.


Topic 1 Unit 2 Expand!

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.

Topic 1 Unit 2 Introducing Yourself & Your Family



By the end of this unit, you will:

  • enhance your understanding of how Japanese people introduce themselves officially,
  • be able to introduce yourself and your family, and
  • be able to refer to family members in Japanese appropriately.


  1. Expand!
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Kanji
  4. Introducing yourself
  5. Asking and Answering Questions
  6. Numbers and Age
  7. Family Chart
  8. Introducing your family

Japanese Fashion Subcultures

In this lesson we will:

  • discuss “Why do we wear uniforms?”,
  • discuss Japanese Fashion Subcultures,
  • revise vocabulary (clothing items),
  • describe what someone is wearing and
  • research a fashion subgroup of your choice.


Why do we wear uniforms and what does it say about it?

Japanese Fashion Subcultures

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For more watch the following video:



Answer the questions from about decora fashion subgroup with as much detail as possible from the video.


Clothing Items

Click here to revise vocabulary.

The verb ‘to wear’

Click to downloadnew-piktochart_23097184_9e40e9d39a9196db97c6dcd0115908f8e1e25457





  1. Listen to the description of Jun and choose the corresponding letter.
  2. Read the description of Mayu and choose the corresponding letter.
  3. Choose a person who has not already been described. In pairs, describe what they are wearing using the correct vocabulary and verbs.

Research Activity

Attempt Activity 6 from Layer C.


See examples below.

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Example 1


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Example 1
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Example 2




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Example 3




Topic 1 Unit 6 Expand

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.

Japanese Marriage Tradition


Some Japanese still have arranged marriages. A meeting arranged with a view to marriage is called omiai. Most young people these days seem to prefer to find a partner by themselves, but many still feel secure when their parents or a go-between or a match-making company presents a suitable person

The go-between could be a professional matchmaker, a friend, relatives or the parents themselves. They find out everything about the prospective marriage partners to make sure that they are basically compatible. They bring photos to show to both families. If both families and the young people agree, the go-between arranges a meeting, perhaps at a restaurant or a coffee shop.

If the first meeting is successful, and both sides agree to meet again, a second meeting may be arranged. After that, the young people may make further arrangements as they please. If by any chance one side does not want a second meeting, the go-between is told and he will inform the other side. This avoids undue embarrassment. They can also break up after several meetings take place. Arranged marriages seem to work well. It is probable that they are successful because they have parental support and that the social, economic and educational background of the couples is well matched. In olden times, matchmakers arranged marriages, and that was it. The young people getting married had no say in the matter.



If the couple decides to get married after many meetings, they exchange gifts and decide on a suitable date. The fourth of the month is definitely out. 四 ‘shi’ means ‘four’ but 死 ‘shi’ means ‘death’. Thus four is an unlucky number. Hospitals do not have a fourth floor or a room number four.

Many people get married Spring and Autumn because the weather is good at these times. The wedding may be held in a hotel function room or a special function centre with a shine, and a Shinto priest to carry out the ceremony. Some young couples like to get married at a church, in full western style dress.

The bride wears an elaborate tradition kimono with designs of cranes. She has a large wig (few girls would have sufficient hair of their own) arranged in the traditional style. Her face is painted white and she is made up to look ver much like a doll. She wears a ceremonial white veil and in her hair, she wears smaller pine tree boughs carved from a tortoise shell. The pine tree, tortoise and crane live for a long time. The symbolism is obvious. These days the bride may simply wear a large tsunokakushi (the bride’s hood) that covers the entire head except for the face. There is no wig or elaborate make-up. The groom may wear a traditional kimono and hakama (long pleated pants), but some wear a formal western suit.

After the formal ceremony, the bride changes out of the ceremonial dress and into a lighter kimono for the reception. This may be held at home (in a large country house), at a reception centre, or a hotel. There is eating, drinking, speeches and formal toasts. After that, the bride again changes, this time into a white western dress, and mingles with the guests in a less formal way.

The guests bring presents for the bride and groom. These presents are usually money. As the guests leave, they are each given a present by the host. After that, the bride again changes and it is time for the newlyweds to go off on their honeymoon.