Unofficial translation: Japanese Novel “Witch of the Library” (図書館の魔女) [1st chapter]

Recently, I finished reading the first volume of “Witch of the Library” (図書館の魔女) by Daisuke Takada (高田大介) which I reviewed in detail here. Put simply, it is a pretty interesting hard fantasy (think Tolkien) book which requires a pretty high level of Japanese vocabulary and grammar to get through. Typically, I wait until I finish… Read More »

Japanese Novel Review: “Witch of the Library” (図書館の魔女) by Daisuke Takada (高田 大介) [1st book]

When searching for a new Japanese novel to read, I decided to peruse through the Fantasy section of Booklive (one of my favorite E-book sites) to see what was available. A few of the books looked pretty cheesy, but one of the book’s title and cover art intrigued me: “Witch of the Library” (図書館の魔女) by Daisuke… Read More »

Recommend reading list for Japanese learners

Recently a few people asked me if I could provide a list of suggested novels for Japanese learners who don’t have enough experience yet to tackle popular adult novels, like those from authors like Haruki Murakami. In this post I’ll try to address that question and provide some related thoughts. Knowing what type of reading material is appropriate… Read More »

What it’s like reading Haruki Murakami novels in their original Japanese

If you follow this blog you probably know that one of the main motivators for me to get serious about learning Japanese was because I am a big fan of the author Haruki Murakami and had a strong desire to read his novels in their original, untranslated, Japanese. When I meet people for the first time, the topic of… Read More »

Ways to describe style in Japanese

When studying a foreign language, just because you can understand something doesn’t mean you have the requisite vocabulary and grammar knowledge in order to summarize it and talk about it’s content critically. In my Japanese studies, I’ve found that it can be frustrating to describe in any amount of detail something I’ve just read (novel,… Read More »

Japanese site review for free online novels: 「小説家になろう」

Being very much into books since I was young, especially fiction novels, one of my long-term goals in studying Japanese has been to read as many Japanese novels as possible, gradually increasing my speed and reading comprehension of Japanese works to that of English. Over many years, I’ve made much progress on this, to the point… Read More »

Japanese Writing Lab #5: Favorite movie

This is the 5th assignment of a program I am running to help myself and others improve Japanese writing skill. For details, see this post. Also see this post for a list of all assignments. This time the topic will be “好きな映画” (suki na eiga). Write about your favorite movie, or just any movie you enjoyed. If you aren’t into movies… Read More »

The trouble with insufficient samples: The Japanese word 偉い (erai) and it proper usage

When learning words in a foreign language, the only way to get a full understanding is to gather data from as many sources as possible: dictionaries, media (fiction/nonfiction) and of course as many real-world situations as possible. I see this is as chiseling away the various subtleties of this word little by little until you have the… Read More »

Report: Meetup at Kale for The Portland Japanese Language Exchange (ポートランド日本語交換会)

A few days ago I wrote about an upcoming meetup at the Kale (カレー) restaurant in Portland for the “Portland Japanese Language Exchange” group. It was 6pm-8pm today and I just got back, so I thought I would write a summary of how it was. All in all, I had a really fun time, having… Read More »