Ichigo-ichie (一期一会) Fun! Japan Words vol.142

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20170417-09-01-Ojamashimasu

Ichigo-ichie(一期一会)is a Japanese idiom that translates literally as “one time, one meeting.” It has its roots in Japanese tea ceremony and Zen culture. It is the notion that meetings or gatherings in life will never be repeated in the exact same manner, and that one should treasure each of these moments.

Connections and relationships with people are extremely important to Japanese people. This can be seen in other Japanese concepts such as En (縁), which is the concept that your meetings and relationships are a form luck. The fact that you live next to your neighbor is a special chance and should be cherished. The fact that you are the child of your parents, or related to your siblings is also by luck, and should be cherished.

Hopefully, this sheds some light on the intricacies of Japanese culture. If you are also fascinated by Japanese culture, be sure to experience Japanese tea ceremonies when you visit! It is truly a unique experience.

Let’s remember the following useful sentences before going to Japan!

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Ichigo-ichie to iwareru you ni hito to no deai wo taisetsu ni shimashou.
(一期一会と言われるように人との出会いを大切にしましょう。)
> As the Japanese proverb says “only once a lifetime”, we should treasure the encounters in our lives.

Ichigo-ichie to wa subarashii kotoba desu ne.
(一期一会とはすばらしい言葉ですね。)
> Ichigo-ichie is an amazing word.

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Now all that’s left is to go out there and try using them in Japan!

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Ojamashimasu (お邪魔します) Fun! Japan Words vol.141

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