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5 Handy Japanese Phrases to Usher in 2015 in Style!


While it may be a little early, Akemashite Omedetou (あけまして おめでとう), everyone! Or, Happy New Year! With 2014 winding down, we decided the perfect way to close out the year would be to go back to Japan and learn a few fun phrases from newlyweds Kotoko (played by Honoka Miki) and Naoki (played by Yuki Furukawa) of the much-loved “Mischievous Kiss” series.

In Japan, January 1st isn’t just a day to start New Year’s resolutions; instead, many people go to a shrine and offer prayers, a custom known as hatsumōde (初詣), as seen in Episode 4 of “Mischievous Kiss: Love in TOKYO.” Some women, like Kotoko and her friends, wear a beautiful kimono (着物), the traditional Japanese dress, when at the shrines. So cool!

In Episode 1 of “Mischievous Kiss 2: Love in TOKYO,” we find that Kotoko’s prayers for romance made that New Year’s day were definitely not made in vain: not only are she and Naoki married, but they’re now on a dream getaway on the beautiful island of Okinawa. Although we might not be as lucky as they are to jet-set to Japan this December 31st, impress those around you by using these five useful expressions straight from their one-of-a-kind Okinawan adventure that are sure to come in handy wherever you ring in the New Year!

Ask Someone to Take Your Picture

During their stay in Okinawa, Kotoko hopes to document virtually every moment with Naoki through pictures. At a local tourist spot, Kotoko’s kind nature is seen when she asks the help of a (sort of) stranger to take the perfect shot of her and Naoki.  During your New Year’s celebration, when a selfie just isn’t cutting it for that profile-picture-worthy photo, channel your inner Kotoko, build up a little bit of confidence, and ask the closest person to take your photo by using this phrase!

Take Someone Else’s Photo

The newlyweds go on an adventurous excursion during their honeymoon, coming face-to-face with a boa constrictor! To get them to show off their pearly whites for this once-in-a-lifetime photo, the cameraman asks them (and a few uninvited photobombers) to “Say cheese!” While most of our New Year’s photos don’t always involve reptilian guests, if you find yourself playing group photographer this NYE, change it up a bit and say “Hai cheezu!” to get your “models” to smile!

Ask for Something When You’re Shopping

On the third day of their Okinawan holiday, Kotoko and Naoki finally find some alone time and do some browsing at the local market. To quickly get the attention of a local vendor, Naoki points to the crab that Kotoko is looking at and says, “Excuse me. Please give me this.” Naoki’s brand of kind assertiveness is sure to help you in any sort of shopping situation, especially during the often-chaotic, end-of-the-year holiday sales!

Say That You’re Full

After watching a show together, Kotoko and Naoki chat about their next itinerary item over lunch at a local restaurant, filling their plates and their stomachs with delicious food. If you find yourself in a similar situation (it is the holidays, after all) and have reached your food-consumption limit, there’s no problem in telling people that your stomach is packed. No one is judging, promise! 

Greet Someone Who Has Arrived Home 

Naoki and Kotoko head back home after their honeymoon and are driven to a mysterious house, or more accurately, mansion. After opening the door, they are given a warm surprise welcome by Kotoko’s family, who enthusiastically (and a bit ironically) shout, “Welcome home!” If you have any family or friends coming over to your house to celebrate the New Year with you, give them a welcome to remember and show off your Japanese skills with this greeting!

Which Japanese phrase is your favorite? What have been your favorite phrases and languages to learn this past year? Let us know in the comments!

Also, be sure to keep the conversation going in the Discussions! Read about interesting topics such as Local food and drinks, Basic words in your language, and even tips on how to stay motivated on your language-learning journey!

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