People from all over the world come to Japan and find new lives here, and they often even play a role in supporting Japanese culture and traditions.
Here we introduce their stories and their voices. We learn why they came to Japan, what captured their heart, and the words and phrases they love the most.
The words they share with us are persuasive and truly rich in meaning.
Listen to their favorite Japanese words and learn about the treasures valued in this country.

Wouassi Vincent Jr.

Name: Wouassi Vincent Jr.

Nationality: Cameroon

Activity: Musician

Residency in Japan: 24 years

Now living in Saitama

Favorite phrase: “Koime”

Koime

Koime is a word that Wouassi uses frequently when visiting local pubs. It means to add extra alcohol into a cocktail to make it stronger. Similar to how whiskey is served, Wouassi often said “double” to refer to the amount of alcohol; sometimes even “triple.” “Koime” is the perfect word for Wouassi who’s a big drinker. On the other hand, if you want a weaker cocktail for a modest night of drinking, you can say “usume.” Take note that both of these words end in “me.”

Favorite place: “Izakaya”

Izakaya

The izakaya is a very important place for Wouassi. Much like “karaoke,” it’s a Japanese word that’s starting to make its way into the English language. Casual pub-like places with various foods and alcoholic drinks are called “izakaya.” Coming to an izakaya for drinks and chatting is how the Japanese worker has fun and relieves stress. It is through heart-to-heart talks at izakayas that Wouassi improved his Japanese.