Category Archives: General

shibaraku (しばらく): a good Japanese word to know

The Japanese word ‘shibaraku’ (written “しばらく” in hiragana or sometimes written ”暫く” in kanji), is a word that I learned very early on in my Japanese studies and I still come across quite often. It has a simple meaning and usage that easy to learn and add to your own repertoire. This word means a… Read More »

Japanese fiction translation: “Final Days of Summer” by “Masaki Hashiba” [Story 2 / Part 2]

This is my translation of the second chapter of the second story “Starfollower” (星を辿る人) of the fantasy work “Final Days of Summer” (残夏)  by Masaki Hashiba (ハシバ柾). I’ve gotten permission from the author to translate it and put it on my blog. The original work was published online not in chapters, but as one long entry with some breaks.… Read More »

Japanese Slang Word: 「鬼〜」 (Oni~)

When studying Japanese, especially if you don’t live in Japan, there are always blind spots which can develop in your learning depending on what materials and methods you use to study. One area that I’ve found difficult is slang, because many of the materials I use (especially books and TV dramas) tend to not use… Read More »

82 year old Japanese woman’s “hinadan” mobile app: sometimes it takes new technology to uncover ancient traditions

Yesterday in WWDC, Apple’s yearly developer conference, there was a brief mention of their oldest attendant, Masako Wamakiya (若宮正子), who actually has her own iPhone application in the Apple mobile app store. Masako, at 82, decided she wanted to create apps that senior citizens after she retired from her job at a bank. The app… Read More »

Japanese novel translation: “The Rainlands” by Haruka Asahi [Chapter 6]

This is the 6th chapter of the fantasy novel “The Rainlands” (雨の国) by Haruka Asahi (朝陽遥) which I am translating from Japanese with the author’s permission. It is about a man’s journey to a mysterious land and his encounter with its indigenous people and culture. If you enjoy this story and want to read more, please consider liking this… Read More »

Japanese Book Review: “Poverty Lessons” (ビンボー魂) by Toru Kazama (風間トオル)

When I read for pleasure in either Japanese or English, I tend to go with fiction, and the book reviews I post on this blog reflect that pretty well. But over time, I’ve still read my share of non-fiction books, including those about stock investing, technology, and science. There is one genre, however, which I’ve never… Read More »

A comical error: Google Translate fails miserably to translate a Japanese verb

Generally speaking, I don’t like to point out the linguistic errors of others (or if I do, I at least try to be polite about it). But if it’s a mistake of a computer program I don’t feel compelled to hold back. I’ve been checking up now and then on Japanese to English translation technologies, especially… Read More »

Japanese novel translation: “The Rainlands” by Haruka Asahi [Chapter 4]

This is the 4rd chapter of the fantasy novel “The Rainlands” (雨の国) by Haruka Asahi (朝陽遥) which I am translating from Japanese with the author’s permission. It is about a man’s journey to a mysterious land and his encounter with the indigenous people there. If you enjoy this story and want to read more, please consider liking… Read More »

Ramen Ryoma: One of the top Ramen restaurants in Portland, Oregon

Last year, I had posted a review of Kukai (also called Kizuki) Ramen, mentioning it was one of the best places I had Ramen in the United States. While tastewise, I still hold to that judgement, putting all things into consideration, there is another serious contender for the Ramen throne. The restaurant is called “Ramen… Read More »

Some announcements about “Final Days of Summer” by Masaki Hashiba

One the translation projects I’ve been working on the last few months is the story “Final Days of Summer”  (残夏) by Masaki Hashiba (ハシバ柾), which is a set of short, interrelated fiction stories . So far, I’ve completely translated the first story “Stargazer” which you can see in full here. The other day I was doing some… Read More »