Category Archives: Japanese Study: Intermediate

Gotta catch ’em all (in Japanese): Learning Pokemon cards in a foreign language

In my college days, I was really into the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering, although in the last decade or two I don’t think I’ve played a single game. One of the fun things about having children is the possibility of exposing your hobbies and interests to them, and if you are lucky they… Read More »

Japan Trip 2018 (Tokyo/Hokkaido): Part 7 – Japanese Elementary School Experience

This article is part of the series on my July 2018 trip to Japan. Please see the table of contents page for other articles in this series as they are posted. I was very lucky to be able to have the opportunity to observe first grade elementary class for an entire day in a school… Read More »

Japanese literature review: “Utopia” (ユートピア) by Kanae Minato (湊かなえ)

On a recent trip to Japan (which I am in the process of reporting on here), I browsed through many bookstores. Because my reading speed in Japanese still hasn’t quite caught up to my English reading speed, rather than actually read a few pages of a book I generally focus on searching for covers and… Read More »

Japan Trip 2018 (Tokyo/Hokkaido): Part 6 – The Maid Cafe Experience

This article is part of the series on my July 2018 trip to Japan. Please see the table of contents page for other articles in this series as they are posted. I think many people have heard about Japan’s “maid cafes” (メイドカフェ or メイド喫茶)that allow viewing and interacting with cute girls in maid uniforms; but… Read More »

Science Fiction novella released: “Two of Six” (A Captain’s Dilemma) by Tomohito Moriyama (森山智仁)

In mid-June I released an English translation of the first part of an intriguing Japanese SF novella that I had discovered titled “Two of Six: A Captain’s Dilemma” (Japanese title: “6分の2”), written by Tomohito Moriyama (森山智仁). The story involves a system malfunction on a spaceship requiring evacuation of the humans aboard, but the escape pod… Read More »

Japan Trip 2018 (Tokyo/Hokkaido): Part 5 – Practicing Japanese Skills in Japan

This article is part of the series on my July 2018 trip to Japan. Please see the table of contents page for other articles in this series as they are posted. While I have been interested in Japan’s culture as far back as I can remember, as you can probably tell from this blog it… Read More »

Alternative responses to “arigatou” (thank you) in Japanese besides “dou itashimashite” (you’re welcome)

Emphasis on manners and politeness is one of the key characteristics of both Japanese culture as well as an integral part of the language itself Beginners generally start with basic phrases like “ありがとう” (arigatou), “ごめん” (gomen), and “どういたしまして” (dou itashimashite), but eventually learn better ways to express themselves in a variety of situations. In this… Read More »

Japanese Word Highlight: 超訳 (chouyaku), the “extreme translation”

Recently when I was reading a book with explanations of old Japanese (for example a Matsuo Bashō poem from over 300 years ago), I came across the word 超訳 (pronounced ‘chouyaku’). I had never seen this word before, despite having prepared this vocabulary list which included a few terms about translation. While the word was not… Read More »