Category Archives: Things Japanese


Forever One– Sakura and Me, a Never Ending Love Story

-by CJ Singh

     Tencolors invited me to write for them. Hmm… First thought I had in my mind was what to write about. I have been here in Japan for almost ten years. My long withstanding, love and hate relationship with Japan, the land of the rising sun, many questions come to my mind. Would it be about APU, our university?

     Would it be Beppu, where I started my life here ten years ago? Ah! Maybe Hanabi, since the season for Hanabi has almost begun. Colors, being the only thought in my head.

     Most of my time with Tyler was spent drinking Shochu and exploring the ancestry of Koreans. I call it, the Golden Days. We did both, (I guess!) finally agree, that Koreans, came from India, or was it? 

    Over the time spent here, I sometimes do think, if I hate Japan or love it. Then again, I'm longing every year to go back to India, my hometown, Delhi. Reaching there, I would just forget this island nation ever existed. Friends even ask me why I choose Japan. To be honest, till date, even I don’t know the answer to that question. Maybe I have figured out deep inside, it wasn’t a choice, but destiny. Meeting friends, relations. Finish all the pending paper work for everything I own there. First few days are just too busy even to think if I want to spend the rest of my life there.


The Importance of Linguistics to Students of Japanese

-by Tyler McPeek

Below is a blog post that I wrote for “Polyglossia” (the group blog for, originally titled, "The Mainstreaming of the Linguistic Sciences."  The content is something important to consider for all students of Japanese, literature, and other foreign languages.  Please give it a read and give me your thoughts. -T

For awhile now, I’ve been working on a site that deals with issues related to Japan, Japanology, and the Japanese language.  What originally started as a kind of “Japan Fan” site, assisting and entertaining people who study Japanese, enjoy “things Japanese,” have lived in Japan, or hope to live in Japan, took on new meaning for me when I started studying linguistics.  I realized that I was doing a disservice to my visitors, especially those who are studying the Japanese language, if I don’t provide a scientific view of the Japanese language that is geared to the mainstream and literary student of Japanese.  In fact, the mainstreaming of the linguistics discipline for literature and foreign language discipline-based students of language generally has become a very important issue and goal for me.

When talking to a friend from Taiwan, I was somewhat surprised to hear that Taiwan has not a single undergraduate linguistics department, although they do have graduate programs.  What was even more surprising was the fact that all students of English, and presumably other foreign languages, in Taiwan are required to take at least an intro course in linguistics.  So, while Taiwan does not have any universities who have reached the level of offering an undergraduate program in linguistics, they appear to understand the importance of linguistics and the scientific study of language to the average language learner even better than Americans, though we have many undergraduate programs in the US.  We are missing something here in The Sates.


Christmas in Japan

-by Tyler McPeek

Do the Japanese celebrate Christmas?  The simplest and most accurate answer to this question is “yes.”  The question is really, “How do the Japanese celebrate Christmas?”  Well, essentially the Japanese have reversed the holidays of Christmas and New Years, in terms of cultural significance.  In the West, New Years is a party holiday, for friends and lovers, and Christmas is a “quiet” (in theory at least) family holiday at home.  In Japan, by contrast, New Years is a holiday for family.  It includes a special menu of home cooked food, a trip to the local Shinto Shrine to pray for a good new year, and some of the best television programming of the year, enjoyed at home with one’s family.

Christmas, on the other hand, is a dating holiday.  If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, Christmas is probably the most important date holiday of the year.  It is, therefore, possibly the loneliest holiday for the “lover-less.”  Those without a significant other may be confined to sitting at home and watching some romantic television drama, featuring a couple going on a Christmas date–to add insult to injury.  This all assumes, of course, that we are not talking about Christian Japanese, which are very few in number.  They undoubtedly observe some semblance of a religious Christmas, but likely still go on a date to observe the holiday on a native cultural level.  Neighboring South Korea, on the other hand, has oodles of Christians and celebrates Christmas in a more traditional, western manner.


First American Loss Confirmed in Tsunami Disaster

-by Tyler McPeek

Was just contemplating the apparent confirmation of the first American death in Japan as a result of the tsunami disaster, a lovely young girl from Virginia, a 24 year old college graduate.  Her name was Taylor Anderson, and she was an English teacher, likely doing the same job I did when I first went to Japan.  So many people were killed that it is not really surprising per say to have someone from your own country killed.  I guess I thought it might be worth noting that there aren’t any areas of any significant size or cities of even a low-moderate population in Japan that I know of, where at least one American wouldn’t be more likely than not to be among the fatalities when a major disaster strikes.  This realization can’t be entirely different than it must be for Japanese to be thinking of when they see reports of a tragedy in the USA, like 911, for example–where many Japanese were among the dead.  It makes it seem deeply personal and local.  Of course, this is not even to mention the economic and cultural shockwaves that might reverberate to one from the other in a case of chaos, disorder, and tragedy.  There’s a lot of tragedy in life, personal and distant, to varying degrees, but hope springs eternal…

TA on FB at 2011-03-22 at 4.08.00 AM EST
    I looked up Taylor on Facebook (above), wondering if she would be there, with a normal recent college grad page, with the little “add as friend” button alongside her profile.  It was there, seemingly normal, while people somewhere not to far away cry for her loss.
    Below is a link to the story on Fox:



Tragedy in Japan

-by Tyler McPeek

Not much to say that can offer solace or great insight… but I feel compelled to say something about the recent tsunami and earthquake disaster.  I would encourage all of us who enjoy “things, ideas, and people Japanese” to think of something nice you might do for someone affected or even just maybe do something as simple as getting back in touch with an old friend in JP to talk about life in the wake of the human tragedy unfolding in Honshu.  Those interested in donating can donate to the Japanese Red Cross at the following address:

Our thoughts and prayers with the victims and their families,



Japanese Actress on ABC’s Fast Forward

-by Tyler McPeek

So there is a famous Japanese actress playing a character on ABC’s new series “Flash Forward,” based loosely on the science fiction novel of the same name by Robert J. Sawyer.  In the show, the entire world blacks out for 137 seconds, and each person sees a short glimpse of their life several months in the future.  One American man sees himself speaking Japanese (a language he doesn’t know) with a beautiful Japanese girl (played by Takeuchi) that he is in love with.. (I know that this is a vision of the future that many of you out there probably share!!)  His character spends much of the show learning Japanese and looking for the girl in his vision, and she does the same.  See, there’s hope for all you guys out there too! LoL


The Ten Colors Mission

-by Tyler McPeek

Hi, my name is Tyler.  You can read about me in the “PROFILE” section in the main menu, or on my personal homepage at  I became interested in Japan through its literature, while I was a university student.  It wasn’t until after I graduated and joined the JET Program that I had a chance to travel to Japan for the first time.  Since then, I have had lots of adventures in Japan, and I’ve come to love it.  Now, I’m studying Japanese Linguistics and Forensic Phonetics at the University of Florida, as a PhD candidate in the Linguistics Department.

This site represents a vision of mine to provide a forum for the sharing of resources related to Japanology (the study of 'things Japanese'), the Japanese language, the people, and, especially, for those people like me–people who love Japan and studying about Japan.  I post a wide variety of content here, including some material that is not directly Japan related.  I'd love to have your feedback or to hear from like-minded researchers and the generally curious.  Please get in touch and share your own insights and experiences with me and the TenColors Community.
You can read more about the title of this site and its general concept in the "ABOUT" section of the site, linked from the main menu. Among other things, the name "Ten Colors" is used in the title of my upcoming novel. In addition to this blog and my academic work, I am a publishing author of poetry and fiction, both Japan and non-Japan related. Some samples of my work can be found on this site, as well as links on where to find my full works.
Enjoy the site and thanks for visiting,

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