From Brian’s Brain

100 Reasons Why I Love Living in Japan #3 – 相撲

ilovejapan私が日本の暮らしを愛する100の理由 - その3 相撲

Watching sumo on TV is one reason I love living in Japan. Sumo wrestling in Japan has a very deep and rich tradition. Sumo dates back over 1,500 years. In 1909, sumo was established as the national sport of Japan.

Last October, I had an incredible sumo experience. I was asked to be the English Master of Ceremonies for an event hosted in Tokyo by a good friend of mine. She had arranged for a sumo exhibition which was free to the public. As you can see in the video below, I was caught by surprise when one of the sumo wrestlers decided to challenge me to a match!

I never thought I would meet a sumo wrestler, let alone wrestle with one. It was a wonderful highlight for me living in Japan. The two wrestlers in video were really great guys. It was a pleasure to meet them.
対戦はもとより、力士と会うことになるとは思ってもみませんでした。日本での生活の素晴らしいハイライトとなりました。ビデオの二人の力士はとてもいい人たちでした。会うことができて嬉しかったです。Brian with Sumo wrestlers

Most American are aware of sumo but they don’t really understand much about it. To Americans, sumo is a very short wrestling match between two huge men wearing what looks like diapers. The loser falls to the ground or out of the ring.

Brian held by Sumo wrestlerI think there are many points about sumo that are attractive to Americans. Sumo is a very easy sport to understand, unlike most other sports. Sumo has a lot of physical action with bursts of fury and energy. I think the most attractive point about sumo for Americans is the instant gratification of a sumo battle.

Please feel free to post any comments or questions!

100 Reasons Why I Love Living in Japan #2 – Onsen

ilovejapan私が日本の暮らしを愛する100の理由 その2 温泉

For me, onsens are one of the most enjoyable points of living in Japan. I love to go to an onsen with my wife. We travel to onsens several times a year. We usually stay one night and return back home within 24 hours. I have always said that one night at an onsen feels like a 3 or 4-day vacation. 私にとって温泉は日本の暮らしの最大の楽しみの一つです。妻と一緒に温泉に行くのが大好きです。私たちは年に数回温泉旅行をします。たいてい一泊旅行なので、24時間以内には帰宅します。いつも言うのですが、温泉での一泊は3~4日の休暇のように感じます。 2008Hakone_onsen I especially love a rotenburo. There’s something magical about the natural setting and atmosphere that a rotenburo offers. The cool, clean evening air combined with the hot, soothing, medicinal water is a relaxing and refreshing experience that is uniquely Japanese. 私は特に露天風呂が大好きです。露天風呂が与えてくれる自然な状態と雰囲気には不思議な何かがあります。冷たく澄んだ夕方の空気と、熱く心休まる鉱水との組み合わせはリラックスしてさわやかな日本特有の経験です。 Although we have geothermal springs in America, they are mostly unusable because of their extreme temperatures. The most famous example would be Yellowstone Park. Here is a link to some interesting information about  Geothermal Areas of Yellowstone Park. アメリカにも地熱泉はありますが、ほとんどは熱すぎて使えません。最も有名なにはイエローストーン公園です。これはイエローストーン公園の地熱領域に関する面白い情報のリンクです。 There is one location in America which has long been known for hot springs. Hot Springs National Park in Garland County, Arkansas is the oldest National Park in America. There is a grand history of “pay bathhouses” in its past, today there are only a few bathhouses still in operation. It is largely a tourist attraction these days. アメリカに温泉でよく知られている場所が一箇所あります。アーカンソー州のガーランド群にある国立温泉公園はアメリカの最も古い国立公園です。そこには「有料浴場」の長い歴史がありますが、現在ではほんのわずかの浴場が運営されているだけで、主に観光名所として残っています。 JacuzziIn general, when Americans think of hot springs, we think of a hot tub. These are man-made baths that many people have at their house. A good example of this is a Jacuzzi. Most Japanese people think that the katakana term “jagujii” is the English word for hot tub. Jacuzzi is actually the brand name of a particular type of hot tub. 一般的に、アメリカ人が温泉を考えるとき、私たちは温水浴槽を思い浮かべます。多くの家庭にあるような人口のお風呂です。ジャグジーはそのよい例です。ほとんどの日本人はカタカナ語の「ジャグジー」は英語の温水浴槽の意味だと思っていると思いますが、実はジャグジーは特定の温水浴槽のブランド名です。 I had a spa at my house in California which was very nice. However, the water is nothing like the natural and medicinal type hot springs you find in Japan. In fact, a hot tub must be chemically treated to ensure the water is safe and healthy. 私もカリフォルニアの家にとてもいい温水浴槽を持っていました。でもそのお湯は日本の温泉のように自然な鉱水ではありません。実際、温水浴槽は水質を安全で健康的に保つため薬品処理する必要がありました。 There are so many things I love about Japan, and onsens are definitely at the top of my list! 日本について大好きなことがたくさんありますが、温泉は間違いなくそのリストの上位に位置します!

100 Reasons Why I Love Living in Japan #1 – My Grandchildren

ilovejapan私が日本の暮らしを愛する100の理由 - その1 孫

I have been living in Japan for over 10 years now. I am often asked why I love living in Japan so much by my students and my Japanese friends, as well as my friends and family back in the United States.

There are so many reasons why I love living in Japan, but it’s difficult to simply list or explain. This is why I decided to start this series of blog posts which I call “100 reasons Why I Love Living in Japan.”

No significance should be placed in the order of my posts. My plan is to simply reflect at any given moment as to why I love living in Japan, then to write about it. I’m not sure where this endeavor will take me, but I hope that it’s enjoyable and insightful to everyone who reads it.

Please feel free to post any comments or questions!

The number one reason I love living in Japan was quite an easy decision, if not a selfish one: my grandchildren. You could take away the other 99 reasons and I would still love living in Japan because of them!


Today’s Translation – ”いっぽすすんで、にほもどる”

Translation for Today

Translation Helps to Improve your English

I keep a journal in which I write my posts in English, and then I translate them to Japanese.

I do this as a study method to improve my Japanese.

Since using this technique, my Japanese has steadily improved.

My wife had a great idea.

She suggested I write a Japanese saying or idiom and you can try translating it to English in the comments.

You can get to the comments section by simply clicking above on the title of this post.

It’s meant to be a fun and interesting exercise to help you improve your English.

Everyone is welcome to try it. Don’t be shy, give it a try in the comments section!

We’ll let you know how you did.


Here’s today’s translation phrase:


“From Brian’s Brain” – Happy New Year!

happy new year_300Happy New Year! – “From Brian’s Brain”

Happy New Year to you and your family!
I hope it’s a great year for you.

Very soon, we plan to release our new American Eikaiwa Lounge website. The new site will feature my new blog called “From Brian’s Brain.”

The purpose of our new site and blog is to assist our English students at AEL, as well as anyone else interested in improving their English skills.

The title of the blog is a play on words. Here is a definition of a play on words:

“A word or turn of phrase with a double meaning, a pun or other humorous use of language.”

When living in American, people would often misspell my name “Brian” and write “Brain.”

Perhaps this play on words will help the English speaking world to remember the correct spelling of both!