Uki Uki NihonGO + Culture! – Lesson 23 – Animals

March 30, 2015
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Language Lesson past event

Welcome to Uki Uki NihonGO! + Culture



In today’s Uki Uki episode, we are focusing on the animal-related words through the fantastic new exhibit "Life of Cats" at Japan Society in New York City.

There are so many delightful animals appearing throughout the beautiful ukiyoe paintings in this exhibit:

Cats are called ネコ in Japanese.
白ネコ (shiro neko) white cat
黒ネコ (kuro neko) black cat
白黒 (shiro kuro) black & white
赤ネコ (aka neko) red/brown cat
三毛ネコ (mike neko) calico cat
虎ネコ (tora neko) tiger-patterned cat

Cats can be an auscipicious character that invites good luck. The beckoning cat or 招き猫 (maneki neko) usually has either the right paw or the left paw being raised. The right paw is believed to bring in more people or customers, and the left paw is supposed to bring in more money to the business.

Some cats are お茶目 (ochame) playful, some are おとなしい (otonashii) quiet, and some are いたずら好き (itazurazuki) mischievous. Some are even こわい (kowai) scary! You can really see their individual characteristics come to life in these paintings.

Some other animals found in this exhibit are:

ネズミ (nezumi) mice or rats
イヌ (inu) dogs
トラ (tora) tigers
ライオン (raion) lions

12-year Chinese zodiac animals are:
ネズミ(nezumi: rat)、ウシ(ushi: ox)、トラ(tora: tiger)、ウサギ(usagi: rabbit)、タツ(tatsu: dragon)、ヘビ(hebi: snake)、ウマ(uma: horse)、ヒツジ(hitsuji: sheep)、サル(saru: monkey)、トリ(tori: rooster)、イヌ(inu: dog)、and イノシシ(inoshishi: boar)
These are called 十二支 (juunishi) or 干支 (eto).

What do all cats love to eat? Fish サカナ, of course!
You can also find カツオぶし (katsuo bushi: dried bonito), ナマズ (namazu: catfish) and タコ (tako: octopus) among others in the exhibit.

If you live in or visit the NY metropolitan area, please come check out the artwork and also enjoy discovering the various animals!!

  • March 30, 2015 – March 30, 2015