Category Archives: Japanese Study: Advanced

Japanese Book Release: “The Spirit Drum” by Kyusaku Yumeno

The more I study Japanese the more I am attracted by Japan’s literature that boasts a certain mystique hard to find in western fiction. In addition to the many differences between the English and Japanese languages themselves, Japan has a culture that goes back several thousands of years, giving an extra depth to its literary… Read More »

Tips for asking other for help with a foreign language

When studying a foreign language, it’s natural for all sorts of questions to come up––how to pronounce words, how to use grammar correctly, and (perhaps the hardest) how to speak or write natural sounding language. For those taking a formal language class, generally there will be some time either after or during class to ask… Read More »

Japanese novel review: 「百の夜は跳ねて」(Across 100 Nights) by 古市憲寿 (Noritoshi Furuichi)

After struggling to find a good job after graduating college, Ryota hits upon the idea to become a high-rise window cleaner, a dangerous job with poor pay. One of the job’s perks is being able to spy into other people’s lives and see moments that would otherwise be unknown to the rest of the world,… Read More »

Japanese grammar: Introductory phrases with ~n da kedo (〜んだけど)

In the post I’d like to go over a common way of expressing an introductory idea in Japanese. We will begin with a basic form of this, んだけど (n da kedo) and then go over some variations. First, let’s look at a simple example: 僕、ずっと日本語を勉強してるんだけど、まだペラペラじゃない (boku, zutto nihongo wo benkyou shiteru n da kedo, mada… Read More »

Japanese Novel review: “Nimrod” (ニムロッド) by Takahiro Ueda (上田 岳弘)

My reasons for purchasing Takahiro Ueda’s novel “Nimrod” are pretty typical: I liked the cover, liked the title, plus I liked the vague but significant-sounding marketing description on the obi (paper band used for marketing). Also, the book was relatively short, and (last but not least) the book was a winner of the Akutagawa prize,… Read More »

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 »