CONTRIBUTED BY KAHO
Kaho’s Japanese Corner: Sayonara/Mata or Ja, mata/Mata-ne
This is not going to be my last time to post since I would like to post about this hair salon that I went recently. This, however, is going to be my last official post, I think. I’m writing to say “sayonara” (sa-yo-nah-la) to you all. Sayonara means “Good bye” or “farewell”. It can be used to say good-bye to someone you see the next day or good-bye to someone that you might not see again. Japanese people also say “bai bai” (bye-bye), and it’s the same as sayonara. Sayonara is formal. I prefer saying “Ja mata” or “mata-ne” even when I move away from one place. Mata (mah-ta)or Ja, mata (jar without “r”-mah-ta) is like “see you” or “so long”. It’s gender neutral, so both women and men use it. Mata-ne means the same as mata/ja, mata, but it sounds soft and I am not sure if Japanese men use it often.
I like ja, mata because you never know when our paths will cross again. I would like to believe that I will see all these wonderful friends that I made during our time in Okinawa. I loved my time in Okinawa largely thanks to my friends. Arigato—!!
My husband and I arrived in Okinawa in March 2006, a little over 2 years ago, with our daughter, who was only a year and 4 months old. Now she’s 3 and a half years old. Next month we will leave Okinawa with two daughters. The younger one was made and born in Okinawa. This island became special for our family.
I will leave you with “mata-ne”. I hope to come back to this beautiful coral island.
Arigato gozaimashita (past tense for arigato) for reading!