japanese language

poetry and humor

Today I take a little dive into the beautiful and (unintentionally?) sweet and funny English translations that can be found everywhere in Japan (please catch up on the story poetry on a mountain if you are curious). There is a spacious park area next to the river close to where we live. In these Corona …

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happy new year

I love my life in Japan. I feel more at home than I have ever done. Yet in these holiday times, there is a longing to go back to Sweden and celebrate Christmas and New Year with my big family over there, especially so this year since my European family has not yet had the …

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a trip to sweden

In times of Corona, when traveling is off the table but still the urge to visit Sweden is great, what do you do? Visit the shining magical Christmas splendor of the Swedish Embassy of course. Though that sounds a bit more romantic than it was. And the reason we went there was not because of …

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batsu

One of the cultural challenges I experienced when moving to Japan was when visiting the post office. I could not speak much Japanese, and they could speak no or very very little English. Add to that the need to fill out form after form when sending parcels or express documents to Sweden, and we have …

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an elevator story

At the same time as the second wave of Corona infections is unsettling Tokyo, a heat wave is sweeping through Japan. Even the nights are too hot for a walk outside with our baby, but being in a one room apartment day and night is also not ideal, so we have been taking walks underground …

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senaka switch

Living with a baby is learning to live in a new world, and beside all novelties such as sleep deprivation, diaper changing and experiencing new levels of previously unexplored worries and wonderous joy, there is also a whole new set of words that move in with the baby. Some of of them I think my …

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healthcare

Whether it is my age or the humid summer in Japan I do not know, probably a bit of both, but since moving to Tokyo I have come in contact with skin problems I never had before. Those and the accompanying visits to the doctor, together with all the hospital visits that having a baby …

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mama & baby

Having been engulfed by the baby bubble, my awareness is now on things I did not think about before (and vice versa I am sure, like having to think really hard to know what day it is). Being a first time father, I have no experience of being in the Swedish baby bubble, so instead …

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goddag yxskaft

When moving to Japan, I was used to almost never using cash. Many stores and other establishments in Sweden do not even accept cash – you need to pay with a credit card or more recently with your mobile phone. In that way, living in Japan feels like living in the days of my adolescence, …

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teddy bear

vocabulary for new parents

One week with a baby at home has taught me some new Japanese words. First comes lack of sleep, or 寝不足 [nebusoku], where the Chinese characters, kanji, mean something like “sleep non-sufficient”. (I really like the Japanese way of expressing this, although I do not so much like the experience in general.) The last kanji …

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hospital entrance

becoming a father

This has been the happiest week of my life, but in some ways also the most difficult. Let me back up to last Friday, May 29.  When I start writing this, I am sitting in a car park outside a children’s hospital in Tokyo. The time is 2.25 and the rain has finally stopped. We came …

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pregnancy insomnia

I love the ceiling in our apartment; in a way it feels like we live in an old factory when I look at the ceiling and see the uneven surfaces, the rough unpolished cement, the imprints that the wood used for making the ceiling has left behind. I fantasised about living in an old factory …

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