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Voices in Japan

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Discover what everyday life in Japan is REALLY like! Weekly podcast episodes with half-Japanese/half-American Burke (18 years in Japan) and Ben from England (13 years in Japan), based in Hokkaido, and their guests sharing experiences on dating, marriage, working at Japanese companies, teaching at all education levels, traditions, martial arts, the struggles of life here, and the reasons why Japan is truly an amazing place to be living!

Discover what everyday life in Japan is REALLY like! Weekly podcast episodes with half-Japanese/half-American Burke (18 years in Japan) and Ben from England (13 years in Japan), based in Hokkaido, and their guests sharing experiences on dating, marriage, working at Japanese companies, teaching at all education levels, traditions, martial arts, the struggles of life here, and the reasons why Japan is truly an amazing place to be living!

Location:

Japan

Description:

Discover what everyday life in Japan is REALLY like! Weekly podcast episodes with half-Japanese/half-American Burke (18 years in Japan) and Ben from England (13 years in Japan), based in Hokkaido, and their guests sharing experiences on dating, marriage, working at Japanese companies, teaching at all education levels, traditions, martial arts, the struggles of life here, and the reasons why Japan is truly an amazing place to be living!

Language:

English


Episodes

Japanese Dating Culture

4/6/2021
Ben and Burke talk about the unique outlook that the Japanese have on dating. What are some things to expect when dating a Japanese person and how can you avoid conflict? We cover the amount of messaging each other, frequency of dates, preferring couple time over group gatherings, meeting the parents, and much much more. Previous podcast episode mentioned: Jayne Nakata - Surviving and Thriving after the Great East Japan Earthquake Sponsors: Bearfoot Bar A variety of Japanese made craft...

Duration:00:44:18

Breaking the Biking Laws in Japan

3/23/2021
Ben and Burke discuss the myriad laws for bicycling in Japan, which very few people know well, and almost everyone ignores. How many of the laws do you know, and are you aware of the very stiff penalties (including jail time!) that can be applied? Do you agree with the reasons for why Ben and Burke tend to ignore some of the laws? And why the heck do so many foreigners in Sapporo choose to buy expensive mountain bikes when a simple "mamachari" (granny bicycle) will suffice for daily life?...

Duration:00:44:39

The Wonderful World of Japanese Cinema

3/16/2021
Robin joins the show to talk about Japanese cinema. He did a masters in Japanese Culture Studies and wrote his thesis on the style of Japanese cinema and we get into all of that and much much more in this episode. He also writes a blog, Japanese Cinema Archives, reviewing Japanese movies and anime, which is a great place to find new, old and classic Japanese films to add to your watchlist. For a great list of top 10 ranking Japanese movies by year, check out Kinemajunko (Japanese). For a...

Duration:00:45:59

Surviving and Thriving after the Great East Japan Earthquake

3/10/2021
Jayne Nakata from New Zealand joins this episode, which coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disasters. Jayne has lived and worked in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture for nearly 20 years, and she details her experience of being in Iwaki when those disasters occurred in 2011. On top of being seven-months pregnant with her first child at the time, she and her husband had just finished building their new house as...

Duration:00:52:24

Becoming a Japanese Tea Ceremony Master

3/2/2021
Canadian Randy Channell Soei, a Japanese tea master, joins the podcast. He is based in Kyoto and has been a master in tea ceremony for over 20 years. He was also featured in an article for CNN and Youtube about Japanese traditions leading to intercultural exchange. If you want to learn about Japanese tea check out Randy's bilingual book available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle and book stores in Japan. His new book Zen Tea Ceremony, from Tuttle, is available for pre-order now on Amazon...

Duration:00:50:12

Japanese Words and Concepts for Everyone

2/23/2021
On this episode of Voices in Japan, Ben and Burke review Japanese words and concepts that almost anyone can relate to as mentioned in an article by Time Out Tokyo. Some of the words you might hear daily in Japan like "shouganai" (a phrase meaning "it can't be helped") and "otsukare" (a greeting or farewell used in various situations). Others might not be heard as often but are certainly relatable concepts whether you live in Japan or not, so listen now and see if you ever find yourself in...

Duration:00:44:51

Raising Employee Happiness and Productivity in Japan

2/16/2021
Maneesh, the founder of Atha Yoga joins the podcast to talk about all things Yoga and shares his experience of the corporate world in Japan. Maneesh worked for Goldman Sachs in Tokyo and Hong Kong. He then left for India to pursue further studies in yoga. He returned to Japan in 2009 and has since been offering classes, retreats, workshops, corporate lectures and seminars in yoga, meditation, mindfulness and well-being. We had a very interesting conversation and talked about many things,...

Duration:00:52:36

Japan’s Most Popular Snacks

2/9/2021
On this very fun episode of Voices in Japan, Ben and Burke look at Japan’s most popular snacks as voted on by 14,000 Japanese citizens on a special TV program broadcasted in July 2020. The voters were asked to choose their favorite snacks amongst 4,500 products, and the results were tabulated to show the top 30 snacks, which include everything from your everyday salted potato chips, mushroom-shaped chocolates, rice cracker treats, well-known snacks overseas like Kit-Kats, and much more. Ben...

Duration:00:53:35

Signs You've Been in Japan too Long

1/26/2021
Have you been living in Japan for a while? On today’s show we talk about the things you do without thinking or that seem so natural to you, because you have been living in Japan for a while now, that you don’t think twice about them. It's only when you go for a visit back home and your friends and family make fun of you, that you notice them. Today, we discuss 10 behaviours and habits that make you think, “I’ve been in Japan too long”. For example, the thought of taking a bath without...

Duration:00:54:59

Kayoko: Former NHK Producer and Founder of Yoga Gives Back

1/19/2021
Kayoko Mitsumatsu joins Ben and Burke to share her experiences working as a producer and director at NHK (Japan's national broadcaster) and at the Embassy of Japan in London, and to also share the very encouraging and inspirational story behind the mission of Yoga Gives Back. It is a non-profit organization that Kayoko founded in 2007 that has mobilized the global yoga community to empower over 1400 women and children in India by helping them build sustainable livelihoods through micro loans...

Duration:00:49:56

5 Ridiculous Misconceptions About Japan

1/12/2021
Ben and Burke discuss five ridiculous misconceptions that foreigners have about Japan. For example, all Japanese live in wooden houses and there are still samurai warriors and geisha everywhere in Japan. Other things that the hosts talk about include going to Round 1 (a popular sports and entertainment centre in Japan) to tackle the ninja course, rich Japanese people that we know, expensive and cheap things in Japan, and much much more. Previous episodes mentioned in the podcast: Benefits...

Duration:00:43:57

A Deep Understanding of Japanese Culture

1/5/2021
Alexander Bennett from Kyoto joins Ben and Burke to share the wisdom he has gained about Japanese culture, and also himself, after having lived in the country for over 30 years. Alex is a professor at Kansai University, holds two PhDs in bushido-related subjects, has appeared in an NHK documentary on Miyamoto Musashi, and has published multiple books related to Japan, including The Complete Musashi: The Book of Five Rings and Other Works in Hardback or Kindle and Japan The Ultimate Samurai...

Duration:01:01:38

Japan 2020 in Review

12/22/2020
Special guest Matt returns on the podcast to congratulate Ben and Burke on their 100th episode! For this special show, Matt made a quiz to test the hosts' knowledge of the year 2020 in Japan. Some of the questions asked were; When was the first reported COVID case in Japan? How old was the oldest person in the world in 2020? When were the Tokyo Olympics originally scheduled to start? What was the most dangerous profession in Japan? and much much more. Play along and see if you know more...

Duration:00:52:01

Expat Empire: Passport to working in Japan

12/15/2020
David McNeill joins Ben and Burke to introduce Expat Empire - a company he created that is focused on inspiring people to live abroad and showing them how they can do it. Before moving abroad, David developed in his career first to enable more working options once he made it to countries outside of the US, and he has now gained valuable career experience in China, Japan, Germany, and Portugal. He has also traveled to nearly 60 countries, and his many projects include the Passport to Working...

Duration:00:53:01

Ken Atchity: Communicate Better With Your Japanese Family and Friends

12/8/2020
Dr. Ken Atchity is an American movie and TV producer, writer, author, columnist, and has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University. He has had nearly 50 years experience in publishing, and 25 years in entertainment. His passion in life is to find great storytellers and turn them into bestselling authors and screenwriters. One of his companies, The Story Merchant, helps and guides writers to take their career to the next level. Movies he has produced include The MEG starring...

Duration:01:02:14

"Only in Japan" with Guest Host Yumi!

12/1/2020
Back by popular demand, Yumi joins Ben and Burke to discuss things you might only see in Japan. The conversation starts off innocent enough covering overpriced fruit and a hideous crime recently committed against such fruit. But it quickly devolves into a discussion about monster-sized shochu jugs, "kitchen drunks," the appeal of maid cafes and hostess bars, push-up bras, sexy vs. cute Japanese idols, vending machines selling illegal drugs, expectations on women in Japanese society, and much...

Duration:00:50:09

7 Stereotypes of Japanese Women

11/24/2020
Tomoko, a manager at BearFoot Bar in downtown Sapporo, where we also recorded this episode, joins us on the podcast to talk about some stereotypes of Japanese women, such as wearing makeup from an early age, knowing how to cook, wearing short skirts in winter, and more. Tomoko is originally from Ibaraki, lived and worked in Australia for a short time, and has been living in Hokkaido since 2015. Past episodes that we mentioned in the show were about the Go To Travel campaign, and the one...

Duration:00:56:41

Being a Foreigner on Japan's Comedy Circuit

11/17/2020
Albert Weiland (aka @aruchansensei on TikTok) is a comedian with Yoshimoto Kogyo - a major entertainment conglomerate and the employer of most of Japan's popular comedy talent. Albert was able to join Yoshimoto after winning a series of comedy competitions in Sapporo, and in this episode he enlightens Ben and Burke about life as an upstart comedian who is doing it for the love of the art. Topics include the types of events and TV programs Albert has participated in, the approaches he has...

Duration:00:49:18

Cool Words that are Unique to Japan

11/10/2020
There are a lot interesting words and phrases in the Japanese language that don't really exist in the English language. For example, "Koyo", which is a word to mean the autumn leaves changing colour. The Japanese also like to create words that represent sounds and emotions, called Onomatopoeia (Jiyongo / gidaigo) that for non-native Japanese people are difficult to make sense of. Some of the ones we talk about on this episode are words for things that age gracefully, a word for the action of...

Duration:00:48:31

Activities You Should Do While Visiting Japan

11/5/2020
On this episode of Voices in Japan, Ben and Burke review Tsunagu Japan's list of recommended activities people should do while visiting Japan. That includes visiting temples, shrines, castles, doing purikura, riding bullet trains, eating conveyor belt sushi, karaoke, and much more, along with specific activities for Sapporo, such as Shiroi Koibito Park. Thanks to our sponsors: Bearfoot Bar 12 different types of Japanese made craft beers, both bottles and on tap. A range of whiskeys and...

Duration:00:55:42