November 5th, Monday:
- Miso Soup (Daikon Radish, Wakame Seaweed, Green Onion)
- Meat and Potatoes (Potato, Pork, Onion, Shimeji Mushroom, Edamame)
- Bonito Simmered Saury
- Kcal: 898
What is “okaka” in today’s sanma okaka-ni (simmered saury)? Can you guess if I say there is a type of rice ball called okaka? The answer is katsuo-bushi (dried bonito). Maybe it started as a woman’s word?
We handed back the test to the students today, which made me consider tests in Japan. Standardized testing is of course a fixture of most mandatory educational systems, and Japan is no different. But outside of standardized testing, which was probably introduced by the West, Japan has a lot of voluntary tests you can take. Two popular tests with my students are the Eiken, an English test, and the Kanken, a Japanese kanji test. These tests aren’t needed by the students, but a lot of students like to take them to challenge themselves. Testing in Japan is nice because they don’t try to test some ambiguous and ill-defined “real life ability”, but instead test an established set of knowledge which not only proves your familiarity with the subject but also the motivation of the student to study hard and put in effort.
The other day, I took some practice tests for two other tests they have: the Chado Kentei (about Japanese tea ceremony) and the Jinja Kentei (about Shinto). It was pretty fun and I didn’t do that bad either. I would like to take those tests for real maybe next year. Why don’t you consider taking a test in subject you are interested in?