Once Bitten

From a student’s homework: My son practice the kendo, that is traditional Japanese sport using a wood sord [sic]. He always come home after practice with crying because he was bitten by his teacher for learning the Japanese samurai’s spirit.  “For,” is a tricky beast, with about as many grammatical uses as an octopus has […]

Your 168-Word Mini Japanese Culture Lesson

“The Karate Kid” helped make it cool in America to use the Japanese honorific “san,” but Mr. Miyagi was only telling part of the story. The Japanese will often use honorifics at the end of someone’s name to designate their relation to themselves; “san” is just one such term. “San” is used for someone you […]


My father was born in Antigua, Guatemala, and grew up in the country’s capital. He and his friends made balls by wrapping pantyhose around a wadded-up newspaper core and played futbol for hours in their courtyards. They watched the garbage man collect the city’s refuse in a mule-drawn cart. They swiped candies from the corner […]