The abdication of Emperor Akihito in April and the succession of his son Crown Prince Naruhito marked the start of a new era, with Japan saying its goodbyes to three decades of Heisei on May 1 and welcoming in the first day of Reiwa.
Royal shenanigans aside, many Japanese will also probably remember how the change of an era brought with it an extra long 10-day Golden Week — a true holiday miracle that may never occur again!
In addition to benefiting from the surge in travel over the holidays, Japanese businesses, retailers and product makers have also managed to squeeze every last drop of PR value out of this momentous occasion, branding any product they can think of — from candy and potato chips to toilet paper (yep!) — with the kanji (令和) from the new era name. Because we all know there’s nothing better than a shopping frenzy to kick start a new era — oh, and the fiscal year of course.
Even when it seemed like there was no end to the imagination of companies cashing in on a piece of history (check out this Mount Fuji-shaped cat’s hat), there was one curry shop that took things to a whole ‘nother level.
— oliverSI/エンジニア (@_oliverSI) April 28, 2019
3日前までは普通だったのに… = Three days ago (this place) was normal…
On the original storefront, you can see the catchy slogan: “Curry is a drink.” This is a common Japanese expression to talk about food you never get tired of eating.
Alas, to @_oliverSI’s surprise, three days later, the owner seemed to have been struck with a (not so?) genius idea. Brace yourself, for this ultimate oyaji gyagu (dad joke):
カレーは飲み物です。= Karee wa nomimono desu.
か令和飲み物です。= Ka reiwa nomimono desu.
Ba dum tsh.
Your first lesson of the Reiwa era: Using のに
Recovered from the punchline? It’s time to learn how to use this handy particle combo のに.
The combination of the two particles のに can be translated with “although”, “despite” and “even though.” They combine two sentences: the second one contradicting the first one, implying unexpectedness or dissatisfaction.
のに can be used with verbs, adjectives and nouns, all in their casual form:
- Verb のに
- い-adj のに
- な-adj なのに
- Noun なのに
Different ways to use のに:
- Use のに to express disappointment:
勉強したのに、大学受験に落ちた・・・ = Although I studied, I failed the university entrance exam…
- Use のに to complain:
約束したのに、どうして来なかったの。= Why didn’t you come even though you promised?
You’ll often find the expression combined with the word せっかく, which isn’t easy to translate by itself but marks the considerable effort someone made, or the excitement someone had waiting for something.
彼はせっかく勉強したのに落第したのは気の毒だ。= It’s a pity that despite all his effort studying, he failed.
- Use のに to express this universally satisfying (or annoying, depending on which side you’re on) phrase:
だから言ったのに！= I told you so!
|3日前||mikka mae||three days ago|
|のに||noni||although, despite, even|
|受験||juken||(taking an) examination|
|気の毒||ki no doku||pitiful, unfortunate|
|落第する||rakudai||fail, drop a class|
||dakara itta no ni||I told you so|
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