Category Archives: culture

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 »

Japanese literature review: Kenji Miyazawa’s “Matasaburo of the Wind”

I’ll have to just come out and admit it: of all of the books I have read there is a small group I never made it to the end of, including both Japanese and English works. One of these is Kenji Miyazawa’s (宮沢賢治) “Night on the Galactic Railroad” (銀河鉄道の夜) which was a deeply moving story when… 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 »

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 »

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 »