Tag: japanese


New Book Promises It Can Teach Anybody How to Do a Split, Including You

Eiko is a yoga instructor at a place in Osaka, Japan, but that’s not all she’s doing these days! She recently published a new book entitled Even the Stiffest People Can Do the Splits in which she details a 4-week stretching regiment, by the end of which even you or I can accomplish our childhood dream of doing a full split!


Eiko has been a YouTube sensation where she uploads videos demonstrating yoga routines to the masses—views on her channel are recorded at having almost 7 million views! In fact, she is so popular in Osaka that children point at her on the streets, calling her “the Queen” because she is the Queen of the Splits. Eiko now hopes to motivate people around the world to become lithe and nimble regardless of their age. Her routines are simple and fun, and, as studies show, such exercises can help someone live their life to the fullest.



Image Via Amazon


The book, Even the Stiffest People Can Do the Splitshas three components to it: The statistical evidence showcasing what a service this can be to your body and mind; Eiko’s own regimented routine for pursuing this lifestyle; and a short story.


The story tells of two employees who want to live better lives, but are incapable of doing so. When a new boss takes over their department, the two must show up to work at 7:30 AM from then on. When they show up to work the next morning, they find that the room they have been directed to is covered with blankets, and it is there that they are taught to stretch and bounce toward far happier lives.


Eiko says she chose these two characters who are dealing with shame in the workplace because they showcase the inferiority complexes many adults have in their lives. If adults can be taught to be flexible, it may trigger a childlike hope that they can accomplish anything.



Image Via NY Times


I myself am considering investing in the book because, at 27-years-old, I can totally relate to the desire to do a split and impress all of my friends. As a child, it always seemed like an unattainable goal, but perhaps with Eiko’s help even the most unattainable goal will result in success!




Feature Image Via NY Times


Japanese Artisan Beautifully Restores 100-Year-Old Japanese-English Dictionary

Japan is a country roughly the size of California, and is home to a staggering 127 million inhabitants. It is a country that prides itself on its workable juxtaposition of the traditional and the modern, and simply refuses to lose its cultural identity among the din of smartphones and bullet trains.


The literacy rate in Japan is one of the highest in the world, at almost 100%. It has its rigorous education system to thank for that. There are actually four different writing systems found in this country—Romanji (a Romanized spelling used to translate Japanese), Katakana (foreign words and names, loanwords, and scientific names), Hitagana (used with Kanji for native Japanese words and grammar), and Kanji, which are adopted Chinese characters.



Image Via Shutterstock


The following images show how Japanese artist Nobuo Okano masterfully restores a tattered 1,000 page dictionary to near-mint condition. Okano is an artisan who specializes in old books and featured on an episode of Shuri, Bakaseru, which translates in English to The Fascinating Craftsman. Okano mends an English-Japanese dictionary and brings it back to life page-by-page with great expertise and care. With a history of its own, this dictionary served its owner since his junior high days through his adult life. Now that his daughter is about to go to college, it’s time for the book to be passed down to the next generation.






Book mending


Book mending


book mending

All Images Via Pinterest


Here’s how the restoration works:


Old glue is cleaned from the book’s spine and images of maps are repaired inside. The most tedious step is when Okano unfolds hundreds of bent page corners with a tweezer and individually irons each page until flat.


The tips of the pages that were stained with purple ink are trimmed with a guillotine paper cutter.


The final step involves constructing a new cover by salvaging the original title and embellishing it on new leather. 


The artisan book mender himself

Image Via Pinterest


This is some fascinating craftsmanship for sure, and the end of the episode saw the father and daughter happy in their exchange. Hope she dosn’t lose this one!


The finished product

The final product. | Image Via Pinterest


Feature Image Via My Modern Met


You Have to Stay in This Japanese Hostel…I Mean Bookcase

I am basically a walking millennial cliche. You know the one–they studied abroad and now they’re all about that wanderlust and fulfilling their heart’s desire through experience. Yup, that’s me! And this new hostel in Japan proves to put all other hostels to shame. 


When studying abroad, you learn quickly that the only way to do it in college without selling a kidney is to use hostels. And they’re amazing. I stayed in hostels all throughout Europe, sometimes for as low as $8 a night, and I must say, I love them. I came across an article about a bookstore-themed hostel in Japan and I might make this my next trip location, just so I can experience this. 





Images Via Bored Panda 


First off, hostels are small and are not very private and you usually share bathrooms and common areas–you’ll get used to it. So, if you’re looking for a place with tons of room and great views and stellar customer service and you have about four suitcases, you will be very disappointed. BUT, if you are backpacking and travelling around the world looking for incredible experiences over comfort, you will love this. Especially if you’re a book lover like me (which you probably are, considering you’re spending your time on Bookstr). 





Images Via Bored Panda


The general mantra of this place is loving the experience of reading and all that it comes with. They have over 1,700 books and offer three different types of rooms: compact, standard, or double. It’s not so much a room, but a bed in the bookshelves as you see above. What they believe is that the calm of reading a good book will ease you to sleep as you lay among some of your favorites. And trust me, staying like this for two nights is completely doable and you will definitely be surprised about how grateful you’ll be for the experience. And you’re sure to connect with tons of other book-lover-travellers who are just like you! 


If you want to see more photos, check out their Instagram. 


Feature Image Via BoredPanda

Bookshelf slanted

Welcome to the Home That Was Designed Around a Bookshelf

These Japanese homeowners are so committed to their books that they designed their entire house around keeping them safe. Their enormous wall-to-wall bookshelf is specifically engineered to withstand earthquakes.


Slanted wall

Image Via Shinsuke Fujii


The bookshelf leans inward, so if an earthquake shakes things up, it won’t shake the books off. It’s a simple idea, but it’s a quirky request for your architect. The homeowners asked for an earthquake-proof bookshelf specifically. The architects at Shinsuke Fujii then had to design the Yokohama City house around this request. The firm stated, “By setting the walls [at a slant], it also expands the space [of the] living room.”


This is kind of funny too. The bookshelf is so enormous that you would ordinarily need a ladder to reach the top. However, it’s slanted just enough that you can simply climb up the lower shelves. Not only does that tidy things up, it also surely makes readers feel a bit like adventurers.


Slanted booksehlf

Image Via Shinsuke Fujii Architects


Because the bookshelf had to be built on a slant, the entire outside of the house looks like it’s lurching over. The homeowners probably have a pretty good sense of humor, or at least some seriously quirky sensibilities. From the outside it looks like the house was designed by some architects with a truly unique vision. But, really, it just looks that way because there’s an earthquake-proof bookshelf inside. Can you even comprehend the degree to which these people love their books?


Slanted house

Image Via Shinsuke Fujii Architects


Feature Image Via Spoon & Tamago

Creators of Poop Kanji Drills

If You’re Looking to Learn Japanese, This Book’s for You…Also If You Like Poop

It might be easier to learn a language as a child, but Japanese is a little different. It’s notoriously one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn, even for kids growing up in Japan. One of the biggest difficulties is learning all of the different Japanese characters, known as kanji. Students are meant to learn about 1,000 kanji in school, but it’s not an easy task. Poop Kanji Drills (うんこ漢字ドリル) has found the secret to teaching kids kanji: poop.


Poop Kanji Drills

Image Via Amazon


Poop Kanji Drills has turned out to be one of the best-selling books of the year, and it’s probably because Japanese seem to be a bit less shy about discussing and joking about feces than many Western countries. After all, it’s the country from which the children’s classic Everyone Poops hails.


Poop Kanji Drills walks students through 1,006 kanji characters, each example having to do with poop. A yellow, mustachioed poop named Professor Poop guides students through their educational journey, which is not at all disgusting since yellow feces could be indicative of a gallbladder disorder. Also, he looks like a lemon flavored cupcake. That’s equally gross.


Poop Kanji Drills

Image Via Amazon


Still, the examples are funny and seem to go over well with the Japanese youth. These examples include clever inclusions of poop, such as, “I was sleepy but then I pooped and my head started to work.” Honestly, that’s not unrelatable.


There are over 50,000 kanji characters, but Japanese adults need to learn about 2,000 to be literate. If learning kanji by way of poop jokes is the best way to learn, who am I to argue? My best wishes to the Japanese youth, and I am looking forward to getting drinks with the next generation of Japanese people. Pick your copy up here, it might make a good gag gift…or a completely serious one.


Feature Image Via the Guardian