Presentation about Japanese Culture - Part 5

Peter Van de Veire

Hello. In my last few blogs, I have focused on different sentence stems that people can use when talking about different parts of Japanese culture. These will help you when you want to talk to English speakers about things in Japan.

Today, we will look at one last set of sentence stems. This time, we will look at describing buildings. Again, you do not need to use all of these stems. You would just use the ones that match what you are talking about.

Here are some basic sentence stems:

____ is located in… (place name)
____ was built in… (year)
____ was built by… (person’s name)
____ is famous for… OR ____ is famous because…
I like it because…
____ was / is used for…
People often / sometimes … here.

If you want to talk about a building, you may have to do a little research to learn about it. Let’s try describing Himeji Castle. The sentence stems are underlined.


Himeji Castle is located in Himeji in Hyogo, Japan. It was built around 1601. It was built by Terumasa Ikeda. Himeji Castle is also known as the “White Heron Castle.” It is famous because it was never destroyed; it is one of the 12 original castles still standing in Japan. I like it because it is an original castle and it looks beautiful. I also like the walls and gates around the castle. To get to the castle is like walking in a maze. In the spring, people often have cherry blossom viewing parties in the castle grounds.

Some of the famous buildings in Japan have been destroyed and rebuilt many times. In these situations, you might be able to use the following stems.

____ was originally built in… (year)
____ was destroyed in… (year) + ( details about its destruction )
____ was rebuilt in… (year) OR The current building was built in… (year)

Let’s use the original stems and our new stems and try one more building. Let’s try a famous building in Kyoto. The sentence stems are underlined.

Kinkaku-ji is located in Kyoto. It was originally built in 1397. It was built by Yoshimitsu Ashikaga. Kinkaku-ji’s formal name is Rokuon-ji. Some people call Kinkaku-ji the “Golden Temple.” It was destroyed in 1950. It was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt in 1955. I like it because it looks beautiful, and it has a beautiful garden with a large pond in it. It looks really nice when it is covered in snow. People often come here to take pictures.

Now it is your turn. Choose a couple of your favorite buildings and do a little research about them. Then use the stems we studied to describe your buildings. It is a good idea to show some pictures of the building while you are talking. That would make it more interesting for the listener.

Now we have looked at talking about traditional Japanese games, kanji, Japanese events / holidays / special days and describing buildings. Check out my next blog, and we will look at putting it all together into a nicely structured short presentation.

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