Category Archives: Reviews

Japanese book review: “その日本語、大人はカチンときます!” [That Japanese is offensive!]

The other day when browsing Kinokuniya’s Beaverton store (near Portland, Oregon), a book titled “その日本語、大人はカチンときます!” (“That Japanese is offensive!”)  caught my interest so I decided to try it out.  It was published in 2016 by 青春出版社 (Seishun Publishing Company), edited by  ビジネス文章力研究所 (Business Bunshoryoku Kenkujo), and is a little under 200 pages. (Note: the title technically literally says… Read More »

Japanese Book Review: “Poverty Lessons” (ビンボー魂) by Toru Kazama (風間トオル)

When I read for pleasure in either Japanese or English, I tend to go with fiction, and the book reviews I post on this blog reflect that pretty well. But over time, I’ve still read my share of non-fiction books, including those about stock investing, technology, and science. There is one genre, however, which I’ve never… Read More »

Ramen Ryoma: One of the top Ramen restaurants in Portland, Oregon

Last year, I had posted a review of Kukai (also called Kizuki) Ramen, mentioning it was one of the best places I had Ramen in the United States. While tastewise, I still hold to that judgement, putting all things into consideration, there is another serious contender for the Ramen throne. The restaurant is called “Ramen… Read More »

Japanese literature review: “コンビニ人間” (Convenience Store Woman [Konbini Ningen]) by 村田沙耶香 (Sayaka Murata)

When I discovered the book “Convenience Store Woman” (Japanese title “コンビニ人間”) by Sayaka Murata had won the 155th Akutagawa prize (arguably the biggest prize for Japanese literature), I decided to check it out myself. I purposefully stayed away from reviews or information about the book, and all I really knew was the book was about a woman who… Read More »

Japanese literature magazine review: 小説幻冬 (Shousetsu Gento) 

These days rather than reading Japanese novels, each which can still take me quite a long time to finish, I’ve been reading a literary magazine called 小説幻冬 (“Shousetsu Gento”, where “shousetsu” means ‘novel’ or ‘short story’) published by 幻冬社 (Gentosha). [Gotta love the name “幻冬”, which is made up for the characters for “mysterious” and… Read More »

Japanese learning mobile app review: Sokuji (即時): Japanese Dictionary Browser

The other day I got an email from Megzari Raphael, the author of the app “Sokuji: Japanese Dictionary Browser” who asked me to check out this app which targets Japanese learners. “Sokuji: Japanese Dictionary Browser” is an iPhone app which tries to serve a single, important purpose: easy, fast lookup of Japanese words while browsing the web. The… Read More »

Japanese Site Review: カクヨム (kakuyomu) – a great place for free novels and short stories

Sometime last year I wrote a review of the site “syosetu.com” (小説家になろう) which is a nice place to get your fill of free (and legal) Japanese novels and short stories. Since then, I have been a pretty heavy user of the site, reading portions of a great many stories, and writing emails to handful of authors to get… Read More »

Japanese Study Resource List

Dictionary Goo: My favorite Japanese dictionary. http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/ Japanese Stack Exchange: A great place to have difficult Japanese questions answered, especially grammar related. http://japanese.stackexchange.com Reddit Learn Japanese: A good place to ask questions about Japanese and learn about resources. https://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/ Oshiete Goo: Knowledge sharing site (Japanese only). Great place to see polite, intellectual Japanese. http://oshiete.goo.ne.jp Reajer: bilingual readers… Read More »

Event Review: Mochitsuki 2017: 21st Annual Japanese American New Year Celebration (もちつき)

Around May last year, my family and I moved to Portland, Oregon from South Florida. One of the reasons was it’s active Japanese culture, and I recently attended an event which truly personified this culture:  Mochitsuki 2017, held in Downtown Portland today (Jan 29). Mochitsuki (餅つき or もちつき) is a tradition in Japan which involves pounding glutinous rice to… Read More »

Japanese children’s book review: 「にほんのマナー えほん” (Japanese Manners Illustrated Book)

Studying Japanese using Japanese books written for children is always something I suggest to leaners who are in the beginner or intermediate levels. As long as you pick a book that isn’t too difficult (you can start with baby books to be safe) you will some good reading practice, and also the satisfaction of actually reading a… Read More »