Episode 9: Time and Dates

In the previous episode we covered how to count in general as well as how to count specific objects. Building upon those counting skills, we will now go over dates and time. It may be said that dates and time use counters as well but dates and time do not use nearly as many counters as were featured in the previous episode. That is why I think that once you learn how to count up to 59, learning how to say dates and time in Japanese is fairly easy, however there are a few sticky points. For saying the year, one must be able to count up to the number that the current year is but we’ll get to that in moment. Once we go over these counters, you should have the basics down to use simple sentences related to dates and time, such as asking what time it is and stating your age or birthday.

Episode Topics:
Time: ji (hour), fun (minutes), byou (seconds)
Dates: gatsu (month), nichi (day), days of the week, Western years, Japanese Imperial eras
Counting dates and times: kagetsu (months), shuu (weeks), nichi (day)
bonus: previous/current/next (yesterday/today/tomorrow), seasons

Kaa-chan Corner:
The return of Kaa-chan Corner! Since my mom just returned from Japan for a funeral, today’s topic on Kaa-chan Corner is: Japanese funerals. I just wanted to remind everyone that my mom is from Okinawa so the culture is a bit different from mainland Japan.

Vocabulary List:
butsudan – Buddhist altar. 仏壇 [ぶつだん]
chikai shinseki – close relatives. 近い親戚 [ちかいしんせき]
junjyo – order. 順序 [じゅんじょ]
kotsu tsubo – urn. 骨壺 [こつつぼ]
mago – grandchildren. 孫 [まご]
moshu – the family member in charge of organizing the funeral. 喪主 [もしゅ]
nachizu – Nazis. ナチズ
obousan – monk. お坊さん [おぼうさん]
ohaka – tomb. お墓 [おはか]
okama – chamber for cremations. お罐 [おかま]
okan – coffin, casket. お管 [おかん]
senkou – incense sticks. 線香 [せんこう]
shibaraku – for a little while. 暫く [しばらく]
shonanuka – the first seven days after someone’s death. 初七日 [しょなぬか]
soushiki – funeral. 葬式 [そうしき]
toi shinseki – distant relatives. 問い親戚 [といしんせき]
umeru – bury. 埋める [うめる]
yoisho, yoisho – what Japanese say when they are exerting physical
effort, kind of like “heave-ho”. よいしょ よいしょ

Further Reading:
Japanese calendar entry at Wikipedia
The Japanese Calendar
Japanese era name entry at Wikipedia
Japanese Year Converter
NengoCalc (Japanese year converter application)
Basic Japanese words and numbers
Japanese funeral entry at Wikipedia
Japanese Buddhist Funeral Customs
Sushilog blog entry on the Chronicles of a Japanese Funeral
Wikipedia Japan entry on 火葬場 (crematory, has a few pictures)

Episode transcript PDF (Japanese portion includes furigana) (interview not transcribed)

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Episode 9 – Time and Dates

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