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.

Karl Bengs

Name: Karl Bengs

Nationality: Germany

Occupation: Architect

Years in Japan: 23

Current place of residence: Takedokoro, Niigata

Favorite thing: “Daikokubashira”


Daikokubashira is the main pillar that supports a house, and the word has also come to refer to a person who support a family.
When talking about a family, the daikokubashira is the most important person.
It could be anyone, like the mother, father, grandfather, grandmother, etc.

Favorite phrase: “Nanakorobi yaoki”

Nanakorobi yaoki

Nanakorobi yaoki literally means that even if you fall seven times, you get up eight times. It is a proverb about never giving up, and is the perfect phrase for Karl, who has overcome many hardships on his endeavor to reform kominka.