Considering that I sometimes use Japanese terminology in my blog posts and that there are often references to people and places that my life involves, I have compiled this list to inform readers and to offer more insight into the content of my blog posts.
A note on pronunciation:
A+I is pronounced "eye", as in "fine".
E+I is pronounced "eh", as in "day".
O+U is a long "oh" sound, as in "holy".
A is always long, as in "barn".
E is always short, as in "bet"; even at the end of a word.
I is pronounced "ee", as in "mean".
O is usually short, like in "hot".
U is always "oo", as in "moon".
The romanised form of a word can have different spellings, depending on how people have chosen to represent that word. Even if in Japanese a word has a long "o" sound (because the "o" is followed by either another "o" or an "u"), in English it may only be written with a single "o". Eg. Osaka (大阪) should be transcribed as Oosaka; but to avoid confusion of the English "oo" sound, it is not.
I have sometimes chosen to write an extended vowel sound without adding the extra vowel; but in most cases, such as "chuugakkou", I have romanised the word exactly as it should be.
There are a few other rules, such as an "n" sound changing depending on what follows (eg. "enkai" is said "engkai" and "senpai" is said "sempai"). But this blog is not about learning how to pronounce Japanese, and so I have kept kept this linguistic input as minimal as possible.
～nensei (～年生) - grade / year.
Aisatsu (あいさつ) - greeting.
Anime (アニメ) - Japanese animation.
Chuugakkou (中学校) - junior high school: the three mid-level years.
Doubutsu (どうぶつ) - animals.
Enkai (えんかい) - a work party.
Gaijin (外人) - short for gaikokujin (外国人): a foreigner.
Gomen-nasai (ごめんなさい) - an apology.
Hanko (はんこ) - a personal seal / stamp.
Heisei (平成) - the current imperial period. See: Renshu.
Hentai (へんたい) - literally: pervert. Refers to pornographic cartoons.
Ichiba (いちば) - market.
Jikoshoukai (じこしょうかい) - introduction.
Kaimono (かいもの) - shopping.
Kaitenzushi (かいてんずし) - sushi on a conveyor.
Kanji (かんじ) - Chinese characters.
Komin-kan (こみんかん) - Board of Education.
Manga (まんが) - Japanese comics.
Matta (まった) - again.
Nenkyu (ねんきゆ) - annual leave.
Nomikai (のみかい) - a drinking party.
Omakase (おまかせ) - to entrust; to leave up to someone.
Shashin (しゃしん) - photos.
Shitsumon (しつもん) - question.
Shougakkou (小学校) - primary school: the first six years.
Yuki (雪) - Snow.
Yuki-daruma (ゆきだるま) - Snowman.
Candice - a first-year JET in Kubokawa; Californian.
Hayashi-san - my supervisor at Taisho's Board of Education.
Igei-sensei (Miki) - the Japanese English teacher at Tokawa chuugakkou.
Laurel - a CIR in Kubokawa; Kiwi.
Michael - a third-year JET in Taisho; Californian.
Mizobuchi-sensei (Kousei) - the Japanese English teacher at Shouwa chuugakkou.
Nakawaki-san - an English speaking Japanese woman at Taisho's Board of Education.
Nare/Narae - a Korean language teacher who lives in Kubokawa.
Akaoka - a town near Kochi city.
Akihabara - the "electronics capital" of Tokyo.
Chiba - a city located in the greater Tokyo area. The Tokyo Game Show is held there every year.
Ginza - one of Tokyo's nicer suburbs.
Haneda - Tokyo's domestic airport.
Hirome (Ichiba) - a foodcourt in downtown Kochi city.
Iejigawa - a small settlement along the Shimanto river.
Kitanokawa - a town along the Shimanto river.
Kochi-ken - the lowest prefecture on Shikoku island, Japan.
Kochi-shi - Kochi prefecture's largest city.
Kubokawa (K-town) - the nearest large town to where I live, in south-west Kochi.
Kyoto - a major city south of Tokyo.
Nakamura - a city on the coast, in south-west Kochi.
Narita - Tokyo's international airport.
Obiyamachi - a shopping arcade in central Kochi city.
Roppongi - the "gaijin capital" of Tokyo.
Shibuya - a suburb of Tokyo with lots of shops.
Shikoku - the smallest of Japan's four main islands.
Shimanto-cho - Shimanto town incorporates multiple towns and settlements in south-west Kochi prefecture and is known for its famous Shimantogawa -- the Shimanto river.
Shouwa - a small village where I teach.
Taisho - my town: Taisho-cho, Shimanto-cho, Takaoka-gun, Kochi-ken, Japan!
Tanono - the main part of Taisho town, where I live.
Tokawa - a small village where I teach.
Towa - Shouwa + Tokawa.
Tokyo - the capital of Japan and its largest city.
Wakaigawa - a small settlement along the Shimanto river.
Yamada Denki - the main electronics chain around these parts.
Yokohama - a town south of Tokyo that sports a US Naval base.
Please inform me if anything is missing or unclear. Also, for the People section, I eventually intend to have thumbnail photos of everyone.