Location: California, United States

There are no random acts. We are all connected. You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind. (the five people you meet in heaven)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

やっぱり、関西だ!・Yup, I’m in Kansai

For those of you wondering why the Osaka airport is called Kansai International Airport (KIX---関西国際空港), the answer is easy. The region in which Osaka (大阪) and Kyoto (京都) are located is called Kansai (関西) while the region where Tokyo (東京) is located is called Kanto (関東). Literally these translate as the Western Plain and the Eastern Plain. When I first lived in Japan, I lived near Tokyo. The accent spoken in Tokyo is considered standard Japanese (標準語). I did live in Gifu (岐阜), near Nagoya (名古屋), for three years, where the accent is a combination of Kansai and Kanto. Even though (for the most part) I understand the speech differences in the speech between the people of Kansai and Kanto, these words and speech patterns/inflections do not roll off my tongue, naturally or unnaturally. As I walk down the street and at the office, I am constantly reminded that “やっぱり、関西だ! (Yup, I’m in Kansai).” It is interesting to hear all the verbs spoken that end in “hen” as opposed to the standard Japanese “nai” or “masen.” The biggest kicker to me though has been all the times I’ve heard 本間 (honma, as opposed to 本当 (hontou) in Kanto.) Whenever I hear “honma,” I think to myself, “Yup, I’m in Kansai.”

Osaka is a gorgeous city, one that I was not familiar with. There are many rivers running through the city, and its skyline is outstanding. (I’ve managed to take quite a few photos so far which you can see by clicking the link to flickr.) I am thankful to have this opportunity to explore and hopefully add a few words from 関西弁 (Kansai-speech) to my vocabulary.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When is your blog gonna become a book?

4:00 AM  

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