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春节在日本

又是一年旧岁辞,又是一年新年来。
在国内,当千家万户张灯结彩,合家欢庆农历新年;又或是近年来越发流行的举家同行,借着这难得的全民长假去外地旅行的时候。对于因为各种原因而无法回国回家的在日本的海外华人又是如何看待和度过这个节日的呢?
说农历新年(春节)是一个特殊的节日,是因为这或许是全世界仅有的几个,不基于西历日期,而是随着旧时的中国农历而每年变化的节日。时而在一月底时而在二月初。
因为“闰月”的出现,2018年、农历戊戌年的新年更是比以往更加来得晚,2月16日才终于进入了狗年新春。
春节的另一个特殊性,在于它时至今日依然在很大程度上左右着华人对于“新年”的概念。似乎只有过了农历大年三十,才代表着一年收官。也只有到了正月初一,才终于意识着新的一年终于开始。
春节更为重要的另一层含义,是在于与家人的团聚。在这一天,无论是奔波在天涯海角的哪一方,我们都会回到自己家里,和父母亲人团聚、共叙家常。

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Living

In search for a new domicile: being a good neighbour in Japan

Any area around the world, once residing at a new location, it is imperative to understand that each location would have a certain custom or tradition of which you would have to learn, even if it may seem strange. 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do.'

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have recently moved into a house in a suburban area of Saitama (a prefecture beside Tokyo). The area is a quiet neighbourhood, mostly composed of retired folks. Just to paint a picture, every single day, at around 7:30 pm, the streets are dead silent, with hardly any cars or people passing by. Somehow, with a ‘local’ feel that comes with the territory, I felt that I would need to be extra conscious of the local ‘ways of doing things’.

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Working

Valentine’s Day memories


In Japan, there is an established tradition of women giving men chocolates on Valentine’s Day. There are two ways that chocolate is given: Honmei-choco is chocolate given to a romantic partner, while Giri-choco (‘obligation chocolate’) is given to friends and coworkers and has no romantic meaning.
On the flipside, unique to Japan is March 14, White Day, in which men who have received chocolates on Valentine’s Day give gifts in return.

This week’s guest post is written by ‘Y.I.’on her past experiences of Valentine’s Day while working at a different, more traditional Japanese company.

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Living

In search for a new domicile: getting a house


Renting for a place can be tedious and nerve-wrecking, as I mentioned in my previous post. However, once you are equipped with the simple ‘how-to’s, gathered the requirements, and found a reliable real-estate agent, the process runs smoother. In regard to purchasing your own place, it’s more or less the same.

The apartments I’ve stayed at were not too shabby, some were even outstandingly nice. However, I’ve always wanted to have my own house; extra rooms for some mini house-projects, a wide living room, garden and barbecue place, a garage, and such.

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Living

年賀状 (New Year’s cards)

日本では「年賀状」を新しい年の初めに、親しい人、お世話になっている人へ送る文化があります。
西洋文化における「クリスマスカード」と同じ様なものです。

Much like the Western concept of Christmas cards, Japan has a tradition of sending New Year’s cards to close friends/family and others who have taken care of you during the past year.

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etc

成人の日(Coming-of-age Day)

今週1月8日は、日本の祝日「成人の日」でした。
日本では大人になる年齢(成人年齢)と20歳と定義しています。
「成人の日」は、その年(※)に20歳になる人をお祝いする日です。
(※日本の学校の年度期間に合わせ、原則、「成人の日」の前年の4月から翌年3月までの間に生まれた人が対象となります。)
This past Monday, 8 January was Japan’s Coming-of-age Day.
In Japan, adults come of age at 20 years old.
‘Coming-of-age Day’ celebrates everyone who comes of age during the year*.
(*The year is in line with Japan’s school year, which begins April of the year before the Coming-of-age Day and ends the following March.)

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Living

正月飾り (New Years decorations)

新年、明けましておめでとうございます。
Happy New Year!

今回のWorking Japan blogでは日本の正月文化の一つ「正月飾り(しょうがつかざり)」についてご紹介します。
This Working Japan blog will cover one aspect of Japan’s New Year traditions: ‘New Years decorations’.

正月飾りは、正月を迎えるに際しての飾り物です。
色々な種類がありますが、家の玄関を飾る代表的な正月飾りを2つご紹介します。
New Years decorations are set up to welcome in the new year.
There are many different kinds, but this time I’ll be introducing two kinds.

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Living

Christmas in Japan

Christmas is obviously a major seasonal, cultural, and retail event for many Christian-majority countries. Japan does not designate Christmas as a public holiday, as some countries do, but Christmas has transcended its theological roots and become a purely social holiday. And while people do not get the day off from work, many people celebrate Christmas or get into the spirit through decorations and activities.

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Leisure

牛久大仏 (Ushiku Daibutsu)

This week’s post is by a guest writer, a Japanese employee ‘Y.T.’, and translated into English by ‘N.M.’. The post is an introduction to the Ushiku Daibutsu, a famous Buddha statue in ‘Y.T.’’s home prefecture.

Enjoy!

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Living

In search for a new domicile: getting an apartment

Moving to a new area is a thrilling adventure and at the same time an intimidating change, especially here in Japan. Thinking about the location, transportation, budget, etc. is stressful on so many levels, but beyond the stress of logistics, the start of something new brings with it conflicting feelings of eagerness and anxiety. Whirlwind of decision-making can be an emotional rollercoaster, but extremely exciting.

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Working

日本人駐在員が語る:日本とアジア圏の大きなビジネスカルチャーの違い

シンガポールなど、東南アジアの日系企業に赴任する日本人駐在員が第一に驚くのが「ローカルスタッフが定時で退社する」ことでしょう。

※ローカルスタッフ:本国から派遣された駐在員ではなくその国で現地採用されたスタッフ
文字通りLocally Hiredされているというだけで、差別的な意味はありません

午後5時30分が定時であれば、5時35分にはほぼ全員のローカルスタッフはオフィスからいなくなります。
日本人だけが遅くまで残っているというのはよくある話であり、日本人にとっては違和感がありますがそこには文化的背景があります。
いくつか理由を挙げてみましょう。

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Living

Tori-no-Ichi festival

In November, e-Jan employees visited Hanazono Shrine for the Tori-no-Ichi festival. Over the years, this has become an e-Jan tradition to give thanks to wish for prosperity in the coming year.

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etc

e-Jan Networks entrance board

When visitors enter the e-Jan Networks headquarters in Japan, visitors are greeted by an entrance board with a chalk art illustration. The chalk art is drawn by artists within the company, and is changed monthly.

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Living

Essential steps for moving in

So you have put down that deposit, paid your upfront rents and are all excited about moving into your new place. Yay! Phew! One of life’s greatest challenges accomplished; you’ve moved to a new country, found a job and settled down.
You thought all the hurdles were now behind you, since you finally have your own place. However, there are some “small things” that Japanese do when moving to a new place that might stumble or annoy new foreigners here.
This short write up attempts to save you the embarrassing moments and awkward situations, and to help foster a good neighbourhood relationship with your neighbours.

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Working

Are liberal arts useless in the IT industry?

I hope no one is offended by the click-baiting title, but isn’t it what people usually ask from the bottom of their heart? Many programmers are from Taiwan at e-Jan, and one of them told me that one must have a science degree in order to become a developer in Taiwan. During the job interview for a position of developer, the interviewer expressed concern because I studied economics (which is a liberal art) in university.

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etc

English Night Out

Previously, this blog featured a post on e-Jan’s Chinese Night.
This time, our guest writer J.O., an English teacher at e-Jan, has contributed the following post for this week!
(Edits have been made for clarity.)
- N.M.
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One of the many positive things about working here is that there are often some popular events after work which are scheduled to promote multi-cultural interaction as well as give employees a chance to practice social communication.

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Working

Self-expression at e-Jan Networks

In my opinion, having opportunities to express yourself at your company is really important especially when it comes to international companies. At e-Jan Networks, we have some interesting ways to express ourselves. So, I would like to introduce some of those self-expressing opportunities at e-Jan Networks.

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Working

全力以赴

转眼之间到e-Jan快半年了。已经渐渐习惯了刚刚来到这里时的那些“惊喜”(有在上一篇讲到过哦)。“惊喜“过后随之而来的是不断的学习。对于一名,被分配到一群充满个性的清一色的男性”码农“中间当PM(项目经理)的MBA毕业生,这个工作真的是一次不小的挑战。你可以想象,当我们在外面聚餐,服务员弄错了我们预定的菜单时,大家脱口而出的是”啊,404了。“”不对,这应该是403。“……

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Working

Summer holidays at e-Jan Networks

September usually marks the beginning of fall, but here in Tokyo warm, summery days linger into the latter half of the month. This year’s summer seems particularly long, not only reflective in the temperature but also in e-Jan’s summer holiday system.

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Living

舌尖上的西日本之福冈

2016年,入社的第二年,被派到公司的大阪营业所工作。从此,我的在日生活起了翻天覆地的变化。

2007年来日留学,语言学校,大学,研究生,直至入职公司,一直住在日本关东地区的首都圈。随着日语能力的提高,和对一个陌生而又新鲜感十足的环境的探索欲的不断膨胀,我的活动范围也以点连成线,线扩成面的方式迅速扩大。大学时还考下了驾照,由此便更加地一发不可收拾。进入公司前,日本的中部地区,信州地区,首都圈,东北地区,以及北海道几乎都留下了我的足迹。由于公司偶然的一次调动,开启了我对西日本,确切地说是对西日本饮食的探索之旅。

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