Category Archives: Japanese Study: Intermediate

Japanese literature reading mobile app review: “Sukima Dokusho” (すきま読書)

Those interested in Japanese novels and short stories have a variety of free options available: sites like Aozora Bunko (青空文庫) which contain older titles and “Shousetsu wo yomou” (小説を読もう) which cater to newer ones. While it’s relatively simply to just pull up stories from such sites on your desktop machine, I think many readers out… Read More »

A simple explanation of the particles wa (は) vs ga (が)and the surprising equation “1+1=2”

I’ve dedicated a great deal of my time to having a good understanding of Japanese grammar, and proper usage of the particles “wa” and “ga” is one of the tricker areas. I’ve written some posts on this topic, and you can find many others if you google around. I am not going to go into a… Read More »

Self Taught Japanese’s first voice interview (with John Sensei of Manga Sensei)

The other day, John Sensei of Manga Sensei contacted me and invited me to do an interview for his podcast. At first I hesitated, feeling a little nervous since this was the first time I would be giving a voice interview, not to mention that part of it would be in Japanese. But in the… Read More »

The mysterious case of the double wo (を) particle

Japanese particles can be tricky because of their many usages and combinations. For example 「で」 can be seen with other particles in the two-particle pair 「では」or 「での」 or even in the 4-particle combination 「ならではの」. On the other hand, the 「を」 particle (written as ‘wo’ or just ‘o’), is one of the most straightforward to learn.… Read More »

Japanese Novel Review: “Boy of Civilization” (文明の子) by Hikari Ota (太田 光)

I’ll be the first to admit that the novel “Boy of Civilization” was a hyoushigai (表紙買い) for me, which basically means I bought it after being attracted by the cover. Not only was it beautiful on its own, but it also reminded me of the cover of “Lagos on a Journey” (旅のラゴス) by Yasutaka Tsutsui.… Read More »

Japanese particle combination: ”no ni” (のに)

Japanese particles are small words packed full with meaning and often don’t have direct parallels to English. In a few past articles I’ve talked about a few particle combinations (での, への, では、and ならではの). In this post I’d like to go over the combination のに (“no ni” or “noni”) which is pretty commonly used. There are… Read More »