Category Archives: Reviews

Novel review: “Invitation to a Beheading” by Vladimir Nabokov

The novel Lolita, written in 1955 by Russian American novelist Vladimir Nabokov, is a classic piece of literature that I think many people are at least vaguely familiar with (heck, even Sting has apparently read it back in the 80s). While I admit I haven’t read it, recently at the library I stumbled upon another… Read More »

More thoughts about the story “Five Minutes Won’t Cut It” by Kisaragi Shinichi

In a previous blog post I talked about the story “Five Minutes Won’t Cut It” written by Kisaragi Shin’ichi (如月新一), which is being translated by Yeti of Shousetsu Ninja, a blog where he reviews Japanese novels and sometimes does translations of excerpts. He recently posted the last chapter (Ch 6), and you can find all the… Read More »

en Taiko: Japanese drumming at its finest

I’ve been exposed to Japanese taiko (太鼓) drumming from a young age, having seen several performances at the Morakami Japanese Museum & Gardens in South Florida. While I do enjoy watching taiko performances, to be honest I started getting a bit bored of them; not only because they seemed to change little from year-to-year, but… Read More »

A great Japanese video for science and technology lovers: 「この世界が仮想現実であることを示す証明式」

YouTube is a great source of Japanese-language content for those studying the language, however with billions of videos, even with a good search mechanism it can be hard to find videos appropriate for language learners. Recently I was searching around on YouTube using some science terms in Japanese (like 分子) and came across a great… Read More »

Review: 日経おとなのOFF: 美しい日本語と正しい敬語が身に付く本 (“Guidebook to beautiful Japanese and proper polite language”)

日経大人OFF (Nikkei otona OFF) is a magazine series by the same company that publishes the Nikkei daily business paper. In this post I am reviewing a special edition of that series from 3/15/2012 titled: 「美しい日本語と正しい敬語が身につく本」, roughly translated as “Guidebook to beautiful Japanese and proper polite language”. As you can guess from its title, this magazine… Read More »

Japanese novel review: “Little Bird”(ことり) by Yoko Ogawa (小川洋子)

Generally when I pick a Japanese novel to read, either the story itself caught my attention or there was something else about the book (for example, it won one or more awards) that made it seem a worthy read. In the case of the novel “Little Bird” (ことり) by Yoko Ogawa (小川洋子), it was clearly… Read More »

A review of Skoo (スクー): Japanese online classes, streaming or live

Thanks to the nearly infinite resources available on the internet, studying a foreign language like Japanese on your own has become much easier than ten or twenty years ago. You can learn about many of the finer points of the language, including grammar, and even enjoy online media in that language using things like novels… Read More »

Babelcube review: taking books global (Japanese to English)

I’ve spent some time doing translation work at Gengo as a side job, and while lately I’ve reduced my time there, I still think they provide an excellent service with a well-optimized workflow and great customer support. One of the reasons I’ve gravitated away from Gengo is because they don’t focus on content that requires… Read More »

Japanese children’s book review: おしりたんてい (Bum Detective) by トロル (Troll)

Many children seem to go through a phase where they are delighted by gross or disgusting things like boogers and farts. I guess you could some of us adults still haven’t grown out of it. (: There are books for young readers that take advantage of this by including these types of gross topics to… Read More »