Category Archives: Japanese Study: Advanced

Japanese grammar: An overview of the “te” form (and an important use nobody taught you)

The “te” form of verbs, sometimes (confusingly) referred to as the “gerund” form, is a cornerstone of Japanese grammar. Not only are there only a few verb forms in the language, but the “te” form has a variety of uses. In this post I’ll go over the main ones, including one you may not be… Read More »

Short translation excerpt: 天使の卵 (Angel’s Egg) by 村山由佳 (Yuka Murayama)

I recently posed a review of the Japanese novel 天使の卵 (Angel’s Egg) by 村山由佳 (Yuka Murayama). In it, I praised the writing style of the book, although I hadn’t given too much detail in terms of exactly what I liked about it besides saying it was very “literary”. So I’ve decided to give a short… Read More »

Japanese Novel Review: 天使の卵 (Angel’s Egg) by 村山由佳 (Yuka Murayama)

After getting a recommendation for the Japanese fiction novel 天使の卵 (“Angel’s Egg” or “Angel Egg”) by 村山由佳 (Yuka Murayama), I decided to give it a shot. The book turned out to be a very rewarding read, so in this post I’ll review it. This book is about the experiences of the 19-year old male narrator,… Read More »

Japanese Drama Review: “義母と娘のブルース” (Stepmother and Daughter Blues)

In my early years studying Japanese I watched a huge number of Japanese dramas, and while this really helped improved my listening and vocabulary skills, it also made me accustomed––or should I say overly sensitive––to the common tropes of this form of media. That, plus the fact I generally try to spend more time in… Read More »

Japanese book review: 一流の人が学ぶ 氣の力 (“Ki for Business Professionals”) by 藤平信一 (Shinichi Tohei)

Before I begin this book review I should give some background information about myself. I’ve been practicing Ki-Aikido (more formally known as 心身統一合氣道, “Aikido of Mind and Body Coordination”) for around 2 years now. Besides practicing in a local dojo several times a week, I have trained once in a Japanese dojo, and also have begun reading… Read More »

Reader question: “What’s the hardest part of learning Japanese?”

Statistics about the number of people reading this blog are a good confidence booster, but readers who interact directly with me are really the lifeblood of Self Taught Japanese. That’s why I do my best to answer all questions that I receive via comments or email, sometimes in the form of long articles. Earlier this… Read More »

Japanese astronomical terms: “chidousetsu” (地動説) and “tendousetsu” (天動説)

In this post I want to cover two Japanese scientific terms I have come across: “chidousetsu” and “tendousetsu”. These are generally written in kanji as 地動説 and 天動説, respectively. Chidosetsu is used to describe the astronomical model whereby the Sun is at the center of the solar system, with planets (including the Earth) revolving around… Read More »