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About the Fairly Useless Japanese series

Fairly Useless Japanese is a series where I explore some esoteric topics related to the Japanese language. Most of the topics will be well, quite impractical for daily use - after all, there are a zillion and one sites out there for learning practical Japanese. I'll cover topics such as slang terms, the origins of words, the history of the language, writing systems and so on.

Japanese Convenience Stores (Konbini) May Be At a Crossroads

For decades, convenience stores (konbini) in Japan have been a fixture in the urban landscape, a much loved and much praised part of Japanese society. But there are signs that the konbini business may be showing some cracks, that reflect the problems of the society as a whole. (Originally posted on August 8, 2019.)