Category Archives: Japanese Study: Advanced

Hitori Saito (斎藤一人): entrepreneur, best-selling author, motivational speaker

In this post I’d like to discuss Hitori Saito(斎藤一人), a man who is somewhat famous in Japan these days. Hitori Saito is the entrepreneur behind Ginza Marukan (銀座まるかん), a successful cosmetics and health food business. He also has a large number of books (many available on Amazon Japan, what you could call 啓蒙書 or “enlightenment… Read More »

Pronunciation: one of the hardest parts about learning Japanese (and a review of a great resource to help with that –– OJAD)

The other day I came across a recently-started blog about learning Japanese that talked about how easy Japanese pronunciation was. This really frustrated me, but my search for a way to leave a friendly comment to the author ended in failure, so someday you may come across that post (and others like it). After over… Read More »

Japanese novel review: “火星に住むつもりかい?” by 伊坂幸太郎 (Koutaru Isaka)

On my last trip to Japan, I couldn’t help but pick up a copy of Koutaru Isaka’s novel ”火星に住むつもりかい?”, published by Kobunsha as hardcover in 2015, and then as a paperback in 2018. There were several factors that contributed to me choosing this novel. First, I really loved the cover image––an (apparently) CG-generated closeup of… Read More »

Japanese polite expression: 頼まれてくれる? (tanomarete kureru?)

Recently I was watching anime when I came across the interesting phrase “頼まれてくれる?”(tanomarete kureru?), so I wanted to dedicate a post to it. To begin with, the verb 頼む (tanomu) means to request something or ask a favor or someone, and is similar to the verb お願いする (onegai suru). However, in the expression here the… Read More »

A great Japanese word: 脱サラ (dassara) –– getting away from The Grind

I’m sure many people are working full time for a company that they don’t own any part of, getting paid on a periodic rate based on a set contract. And I’m also willing to bet that a good portion of those people wish they could go independent and become their own boss, choosing what and… Read More »

Japanese educational site review: ReadNihon (“Learn Japanese By Reading It”)

Recently the creator of the new website ReadNihon, designed to help you learn grammar and vocabulary by reading Japanese text, contacted me and requested I check out his site and write a review, and I agreed. Having created my own set of web tools to assist with learning Japanese (Language on Track, still in beta),… Read More »

Japanese Writing Lab #6: Where you live

This is the 6th assignment of a program I am running to help myself and others practice writing in Japanese. For details, see this post. Also see this post for a list of all assignments. [Update: I have fixed the link here, apologizes for the trouble.] This time the topic will be “僕の住む場所” (boku no sumu basho), which means “Where I… Read More »

Shinichi Tohei (藤平信一), current head of Ai Aikido (心身統一合氣道), appears on a Japanese educational program

Last year I posted about my training in the Japanese martial art of Aikido (合気道, or sometimes written as 合氣道). There are many styles of Aikido which have many things in common and yet diverge in areas that can be both critical and subtle; for this same reason it can be counterproductive to try and learn… Read More »