Tag Archives: Japanese culture



I always loved languages and history, so I knew that the Portuguese had been in Japan but I didn’t know that they had been the first Europeans to ever reach Japan (in the 16th century) and how the Portuguese language influenced the Japanese language.

So when I first started learning Japanese this was an aspect of much interest to me,  not only the language part but also the history in common between the two countries.

It’s interesting because this was the first time that, in their travels, the Portuguese encountered such a civilization and they were mesmerized by it . Francisco Xavier wrote in his letters that he never had encountered people like the Japanese before.

I made a post about the language influences for the NihongoUp Blog here with the cooperation of the NihongoUp team and I’ve been wanting to talk about this here too ^_^;;

There are still many words of Portuguese origin in  today’s Japanese, even though the majority disappeared (especially religious related terms) when the Portuguese left.

Here are some examples:


Pt: Confeito


Pt: Pão, En: Bread


Pt: Botão, En: Button


Pt: Copo, En: Drinking glass


Pt: Carta, En: Playing cards

天麩羅 Tempura

Pt: Tempero, En: Spice/Seasoning

カステラ Kasutera

Pt: (bolo de) Castela, En: Sponge cake

タバコ / 煙草 Tabako

Pt: Tabaco, En: Tabaco/Cigarretes

合羽 Kappa

Pt: Capa, En: Cape/Raincoat

Some Japanese words were also assimilated by the Portuguese language like byoubu 屏風 and katana 刀 which are loan words for biombo (folding screen) and catana (sword, long knife) .

I guess I’ll leave the historical aspects and curiosities for a separate post ^_^


Web Japan


Today I would like to introduce a new website called Web Japan. I found out about it trough the Japanese Embassy Newsletter, I’ve been exploring it and it’s an amazing source of information about Japan in various fields.

I specially like the “Trends in Japan” section and the archive where you can read past issues of the magazine Nippoinia.

Here is the presentation leaflet where you can learn more about the features on this website:


And don’t forget to visit Web – Japan !!





Just found out this site Just Bento with great information in how to make Bento (Japanese meal in a box), as I love to cook I would love to give it a try ^_^ I also kind of wish that I could go back to school and take a bento ^^;

They’re so cute! Here are some examples:

I want to eat these things! ^_^

Sailor Moon – it’s been so long!


I can safely say that watching the Sailor Moon anime when I was a kid was my first contact with anything Japanese related and it left a mark on me. I was browsing Youtube and I found some Sailor Moon clips, so many memories, it really brings me back to my childhood… Now I guess I need to re-watch it xD Not dubbed in Portuguese like when I watched on TV but in Japanese, the voicing is so much better…

A short clip:


Oh, and I need to re listen to the soundtrack too, forgot how much I like the songs   >.<

Study Material


Tim’s Takamatsu Home is one of my favorite websites concerning Japanese study resources. His “Japanese Verbs”  are an amazing study aid for Japanese grammar, especially if you’re like me and have been scared many times by annoying and hard to understand textbooks.

All the information is vell organized and explained, I’ve been really making progresses thanks to these materials.

Besides the Japanese language, his site also features photos albums and other subjects, like the Japanese year and holidays.

I strongly advise every Japanese language student to check out his work!