Category Archives: culture

Japanese Resource List

Dictionary Goo: My favorite Japanese dictionary. http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/ Japanese Stack Exchange: A great place to have difficult Japanese questions answered, especially grammar related. http://japanese.stackexchange.com Reddit Learn Japanese: A good place to ask questions about Japanese and learn about resources. https://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/ Oshiete Goo: Knowledge sharing site (Japanese only). Great place to see polite, intellectual Japanese. http://oshiete.goo.ne.jp Reajer: bilingual readers… Read More »

How does Godzilla unpeel a banana in Japan?

Language and Culture are inextricably connected, and to master a language of any country surely requires a strong grasp of its traditions, manners, beliefs, and other aspects of culture. Getting a proper fill of culture is one of the most difficult things about studying a foreign language self-taught when not in a country where that… Read More »

Event Review: Mochitsuki 2017: 21st Annual Japanese American New Year Celebration (もちつき)

Around May last year, my family and I moved to Portland, Oregon from South Florida. One of the reasons was it’s active Japanese culture, and I recently attended an event which truly personified this culture:  Mochitsuki 2017, held in Downtown Portland today (Jan 29). Mochitsuki (餅つき or もちつき) is a tradition in Japan which involves pounding glutinous rice to… Read More »

Japanese children’s book review: 「にほんのマナー えほん” (Japanese Manners Illustrated Book)

Studying Japanese using Japanese books written for children is always something I suggest to leaners who are in the beginner or intermediate levels. As long as you pick a book that isn’t too difficult (you can start with baby books to be safe) you will some good reading practice, and also the satisfaction of actually reading a… Read More »

Japanese book translation excerpt: “Turn your kids into billionaires by teaching them to code” by Kohji Matsubayashi

So far, the translations that I have posted on this blog have mostly focused on portions of books, short stories, or online novels. But when I came across the book “Turn your kids into billionaires by teaching them to code” (子供を億万長者にしたければ、プログラミングの基礎を教えなさい) by Kohji Matsubayashi(松林弘治), I decided I wanted to translate at least a small portion of this… Read More »

Japanese historical short story review: 野望の狭間 (Opposing Ambitions) by 天野純稀 (Sumiki Amano)

Recently at a Kinonuniya bookstore I picked up the 2nd edition (2号)of the book 小説幻冬 (Shousetsu Gentou) which is a compendium of Japanese short stories. I chose this because I was looking for something to read on a holiday trip, and didn’t want to get involved a long story, so though short stories would be perfect. When I… Read More »

Interview with pro literature translator Tyran Grillo (Japanese to English)

Recently when I was browsing through articles on WordPress.com with the keyword “Japan”, I came upon a post by Tyran Grillo about the book “Mr. Turtle”, an award-winning science fiction novel by Yusaku Kitano which Tyran himself translated from Japanese to English. Having been interested in translation personally for some time now, especially that of… Read More »

Dr. “Birigirl” Tsubota’s personality test

The film “Flying Colors” (ビリギャル), released last year (2015), is about a girl who originally has no friends and horrible grades, but works hard and drastically improves her grades. The film is based on a true story, which is captured in the novel “学年ビリのギャルが1年で偏差値を40上げて慶應大学に現役合格した話” (rough translation: “The story of a last-place girl who raises her grades by… Read More »

Japanese Magazine Review: Lighthouse Seattle & Portland

Several months ago in a post I talked about how one of the main reasons I moved to Oregon was because of the prominent Japanese culture and people there (at least more so than South Florida). It’s been about half a year and I’m planning on writing on article about Portland and Japanese culture again to… Read More »

Japanese literature translation: 風の又三郎 (Matasaburo of the Wind) by 宮沢賢治 (Kenji Miyazawa) [part 1/5]

It is the first day of elementary school after summer break, and the children are surprised to find a strange redheaded boy has joined their class. Soon after, some of the children begin to suspect there is something special about the newcomer. Could he be the legendary “Matasaburo of the wind”, or just another boy?  Recently… Read More »