Japanese language - Nihongo
When you are in the streets or restaurants, you will see Japanese words all over.
There are three different writing scripts:
1) Kanji (borrowed from Chinese characters, a few have been modified). So a Chinese can guess most of the meaning of Japanese newspaper article.
2) Hiragana - simplified strokes for Japanese words, grammatical tenses. All Kanji can be written in Hiragana form based on the pronounciation of the word.
3) Katakana - a further more simplified strokes, primarily for recent foreign borrowed words like "terebi" (television), "naifu" (knife)
Fun to learn some Kanji of names of cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagasaki and signs like entry or exit. Possible to learn hiragana and katakana as they are like alphabets.
A Different Take On History
"What Really Happened..."
It was a mildly warm clear day. We bought all day tickets for the trolley system and rode to the Atomic Bomb Museum and Ground Zero Memorial. It was interesting to learn that the USA surprised Japan by declaring war in Dec, 1941, apparently without any provocation as no reason was stated in the museum's narration of events leading up to the A-bombings. In another room of the museum a chronological pictorial narration of events leading up to the A-bomb begins in 1943, without any mention what-so-ever of, well you know..or do you?? Hmmm...a bit confusing.
People were surprisingly friendly, perhaps the friendliest of our entire trip and approached us at different times that day asking where we were from. When we mentioned California, on more than one occassion we received a big grin and the word Awnald or Terminator or Governator. Apparently the man is a BIG hit in Nagasaki.
We had a great lite lunch and espresso in the downtown area, the very first good coffee since leaving the states and the last for a while. The Japanese are apparently big on coffee, at least in Nagasaki, as there seemed to be a espresso cafe on every corner. Nagasaki was amazingly clean, it was hard to find even a car with dirt on it. Nagasaki was the only Asian city we visited with an abundance of small cars, apparently the only country in the area interested in them. We had a great time walking around the downtown area, especially the huge grocery store with an enormous deli full of unrecognizable delicacies. Prices seemed about on par with California, high but not as high as we expected. We also enjoyed seeing our first Japanese high tech toilet seat at an internet cafe we visited.