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JOI Support staff and manager.

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Cleanliness in Japan

Japan as a country is quite well-known for its cleanliness. Many visitors to its cities are impressed by the lack of garbage in the streets.
In schools, children have to clean their own classrooms starting from the first grade. And the most efficient methods are learned at an early age by many students. So the roots of this practice may be in the education system.
There are also some religious practices that center on purification and cleanliness, so there are some deep cultural aspects to the phenomenon.
There has been a recent trend in literature towards the Japanese style of 'How to clean up your personal space' too.

So it is from this varied background that Kumiko Yatabe introduces this fun weekly blog for Japanese learners.
Yatabe sensei also reads the video dialogue by herself, so you can hear the author's voice while you learn the pronunciation of new vocabulary and pick up her nuances.



By YATABE Kumiko




物を持ちすぎないように気をつけていますが、何も持たないということはできません。最近は、物を買うときはなるべく色は白を選ぶようにしています。同じ機能、同じ大きさでも、色が白だと存在感が薄いので、物が多く見えません。 しかし白では不便な物もあります。スマートフォンの手帳型ケースを白にしてみたら、存在感が薄いせいで、家の中で度々行方不明になります。白い紙の上に置いているときなどは、カメレオンのように完全に背景同化してしまいます。


To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.




物(もの)を持(も)ちすぎないように気(き)をつけていますが、何(なに)も持(も)たないということはできません。最近(さいきん)は、物(もの)を買(か)うときはなるべく色(いろ)は白(しろ)を選(えら)ぶようにしています。同(おな)じ機能(きのう)、同(おな)じ大きさでも、色(いろ)が白(しろ)だと存在感(そんざいかん)が薄(うす)いので、物(もの)が多(おお)く見(み)えません。 しかし白(しろ)では不便(ふべん)な物(もの)もあります。スマートフォンの手帳型(てちょうがた)ケースを白( しろ )にしてみたら、存在感(そんざいかん)が薄(うす)いせいで、家(いえ)の中(なか)で度々(たびたび)行方不明(ゆくえふめい)になります。白(しろ)い紙(かみ)の上(うえ)に置(お)いているときなどは、カメレオンのように完全(かんぜん)に背景(はいけい)同化(どうか)してしまいます。



The phrase 'Seiriseiton' in Japanese means throwing away things that you do not need and putting things away into places where they can be used easily. Originally I really like organizing things but recently and more and more I have been seized by a craving that, “ I want to clean up around the house even more!”

I wouldn't say that everyone feels like this, but at least in my case, my mental state is affected by the scenery in front of my eyes. If the room is messy, just that somehow makes me feel disordered, and I cannot calm down. When the room is tidy, my heart and mind is peaceful and I can concentrate and think. Do you feel the same way?

I try not to hold on to too many possessions, but it is not possible to own nothing at all. Recently, when I buy something new, I try to choose the color white. Even if something has the same functions and even its the same size, the presence of the color white is lighter and it doesn't look as if there are many things around.

But there are some things which are inconvenient to have in white. I tried to have my smartphone book-type case in white for example but its presence was so light, it often went missing around the house. When I lay it on top of a white sheet of paper, it would blend into its background like a chameleon.

But putting that aside, I would like to push on with my goal of having a thoroughly organized house.


欲求(よっきゅう)appetite, cravings

駆(か)られる be seized

少(すく)なくとも at least

精神状態(せいしんじょうたい)mental state


左右(さゆう)する affect, influence

乱(みだ)れる be disordered

落(お)ち着(つ)く feel calm

穏(おだ)やか peaceful, quiet

集中(しゅうちゅう)する concentrate



手帳型(てちょうがた)book type







Konnichiwa. My name is Kumiko Yatabe. I live in Saitama, just North of Tokyo.

The best way to learn to speak a foreign language is to talk with a person from that country.

Books and CD learning materials as well as movies and music from that country are good learning tools. But unfortunately they do not talk back to you or correct your mistakes.

Please pop into the classroom. If you are aiming to talk fluent Japanese just like a native, or are interested in enjoying to study in a leisurely manner, I am really looking forward to meeting you and many types of students and help you in your quest to master the language. If you don't understand something, please feel free to ask. I will try to make the lessons as easy to understand for everyone.

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