Category Archives: General

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 »

Japanese novel translation: “Welcome to the Raindance Cafe” Chapter 4: Lonesome Pop Star (Part 2)

This is Chapter 4 of the novel “Welcome to the Raindance Cafe” by Yama Yamasaki (山崎山). I’ve talked to the author and gotten his permission to translate and put it on my blog. The story’s original table of contents and summary can be seen in Japanese here. You can see the original Chapter 4 in Japanese here. As… 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 »

Japanese novel translation: “Welcome to the Raindance Cafe” Chapter 3: Lonesome Pop Star (Part 1)

This is Chapter 3 of the novel “Welcome to the Raindance Cafe” by Yama Yamasaki (山崎山). I’ve talked to the author and gotten his permission to translate and put it on my blog. The story’s original table of contents and summary can be seen in Japanese here. You can see the original Chapter 3 in Japanese here. As… 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 expression “〜するも” (~suru mo) and vagueness of the が (ga) particle

Recently I read the very enjoyable short story “麦本三歩は今日が好き” by 住野よる in the literary magazine 小説幻冬 (Dec 2016 edition). I even translated a short excerpt of it into English here. There was one line of the story whose grammar I just couldn’t figure out, and I thought that it was either some strange pattern I had never… Read More »

Japanese novel translation: “Welcome to the Raindance Cafe” Chapter 1: Waging War (Part 1)

This is Chapter 1 of the novel “Welcome to the Raindance Cafe” by Yama Yamasaki (山崎山). I’ve talked to the author and gotten his permission to translate and put it on my blog. The story’s original table of contents and summary can be seen in Japanese here. You can see the original Chapter 1 in Japanese here. As usual,… Read More »