My Favorite Japan
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.
Name: Rikard Brandberg
Residency in Japan: 10 years
Now living in Fukuoka
Favorite phrase: “Itadakimasu”
“Itadakimasu” is a word that means “to take” or “to receive,” but if you say it before eating, it expresses gratitude for life and for the gifts of nature.
Rikard is dedicated to making natural yeast sandwiches, and he very much cherishes food and eating. Saying the word “itadakimasu” before eating is now an indispensable habit for him.
Favorite item: “Riyakā”
A “riyakā” is a cart for carrying luggage. This word comes from combining two English words, “rear” and “car.” The rear car, or “riyakā,” was invented in Japan in the 1920s. When making a sidecar for bicycles to carry things, they realized that a bigger cart could be attached and more baggage carried by putting the cart behind, or to the rear of, the bicycle, and that’s how the “riyakā” got its start.