Category Archives: Japanese Study: Intermediate

Japanese novel translation: “The Rainlands” by Haruka Asahi [Chapter 7]

This is the 7th 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 where he has a moral conflict with their indigenous customs.  While I had taken a break from this series for a… Read More »

Twitter review: “Novel opening bot” (小説冒頭bot): Experience Japanese literature in bite-sized chunks

It’s only recently that I’ve been spending more time using Twitter, both posting links for some of my articles as well as reading those made by others. I’m sure many people will agree that Twitter is a great way to eat up your time, but from what I’ve seen it is, more often than not,… Read More »

Japanese Literature Translation Sample: The Introduction of「蜜蜂と遠雷」(Honey Bees and Distant Thunder) by 「恩田 陸」 (Riku Onda)

Recently I reviewed the Japanese novel “Honey Bees and Distant Thunder” (蜜蜂と遠雷) by Riku Onda (恩田 陸). In this post I decided to translate the short intro of the book as an exercise to improve my translation skills. This excerpt has some really good imagery and translating it was both a joy and a challenge.… Read More »

Roudoku (朗読): The fun and benefits of reading books out loud in Japanese

As part of raising my son bilingual Japanese, over the last few years I’ve spent a great deal of time reading him Japanese children’s books. I always recommend children’s books to people learning Japanese because typically no kanji knowledge is required, there is a so much culture to absorb, and they are just plain fun.… Read More »

Japanese Literature Review: 「蜜蜂と遠雷」(Honey Bees and Distant Thunder) by 「恩田 陸」 (Riku Onda)

Because of how long it takes me to read Japanese novels, I’m generally very picky about what I commit to. But once I start reading a book I almost never give up, regardless of how tough things get. When I heard that music was a central theme of “Honey Bees and Distant Thunder” (蜜蜂と遠雷) and… Read More »

Japanese non-past (present/future) tense, “will”, and intention

One of the nice things about the Japanese language is that it has relatively few grammatical tenses, at least compared to languages like English which can get quite messy. Knowing a handful of tenses can get you pretty far, although you do have to memorize the conjugation for each category of verbs. In this post… Read More »

Oregon Monogatari: One year living in Portland, Oregon (with notes on Japanese culture there)

It’s been a little over a year since I’ve moved with my family to Portland, Oregon. It’s no exaggeration to say that one of the main reasons we chose this area because of the relatively large proportion of Japanese people, at least compared to South Florida where we came from. I’ve already written a few articles… Read More »

Expressing bad intentions in Japanese and 「悪気」 (warugi)

When using Japanese in everday life there are some useful expressions you can pick up that are not commonly used in media like books and manga. One such word is 「悪気」 (warugi), which should not be confused with the similar sounding “Waluigi” character from the Mario world. In Dictionary Goo, we see this word described… Read More »

Variations on a phrase for asking directions when you are lost

Once in awhile I’ll look through the posts on WordPress tagged ‘Japanese’ and when I find those trying to teach Japanese grammar or vocabulary, I have a habit of searching for mistakes and will generally message the post authors when I find them. Often people who are studying Japanese themselves are posting what they have… Read More »

Mobile App Review: Manabi Reader: a nice assistant to help improve your Japanese reading skills

Recently I got a tweet from Alek Ehlke asking me to try out his new iOS app “Manabi Reader”. In case you didn’t know, “Manabi” (学び) comes from the verb “Manabu” (学ぶ) which means “to learn”. While it’s not a very creative name, it’s easy enough to remember. The purpose of this app is quite simple:… Read More »