WaiWai: Foreigners’ Home Sweet ‘Homi’ greeted by local cold shoulder

This article is reproduced from the discontinued, but much loved Mainichi Waiwai column by Ryann Connell. Read more about this at the bottom of this article.

Tucked in a corner of the Aichi Prefecture city of Toyota, the Homi Danchi housing estate most famous for its racial problems, may offer a vision of the Japan of the future, according to Spa! (12/4).

The estate opened in 1975 and, like many public housing complexes at the time, was then a highly desirable residence for many families.

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J-WOTD: お土産外交

おみやげがいこう (omiyage gaiko)
Omiyage - Maid in Japan

* “J-WOTD” = “Japanese Word of the Day”

The beauty of the term Omiyage Gaiko is in its simplicity. Rather than being a complicated “4 character word” (四字熟語) it’s a neat little phrase that I saw for the first time being used on the television earlier this week. Yukio Hatoyama (鳩山 由紀夫) of the Democrats (not to be confused with his younger brother Kunio “a friend in my butterfly collecting club is from Al-Qaeda” Hatoyama (鳩山 邦夫) who is in the LDP coined this phrase a couple of weeks ago.

The two words that make up this phrase お土産 (omiyage, souvenir) and 外交 (gaiko, foreign policy) make an unusual combination. Hatoyama was using them to refer to Prime Minister Fukuda’s recent decision to force the refueling bill through the lower house without debate before his scheduled trip to America later this week. Continue reading