Category Archives: Reviews

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 »

Japanese Children’s Book Review: 「言葉図鑑」(Visual Word Encyclopedia) by Taro Gomi (五味 太郎)

Sometime back, I mentioned that I recommend reading children’s books in a foreign language as a good way to experience native-level content that isn’t too difficult. For Japanese, this is especially useful since you will have very little, if any, kanji to worry about, which is one stumbling block when reading Japanese books. I’ve read a great… Read More »

Japanese Mobile App Review: Sanseido’s Gendai Shin Kokugo Jiten (三省堂現代新国語辞典)

Recently I went on a long plane trip where I knew I wouldn’t have network for a few hours, and since I was planning on reading and/or translating during the flight, I needed a good Japanese dictionary mobile app that I knew would work offline. I ended up downloading a few, but the one I… Read More »

Japanese historical short story review: 野望の狭間 (Opposing Ambitions) by 天野純稀 (Sumiki Amano)

Recently at a Kinonuniya bookstore I picked up the 2nd edition (2号)of the book 小説幻冬 (Shousetsu Gentou) which is a compendium of Japanese short stories. I chose this because I was looking for something to read on a holiday trip, and didn’t want to get involved a long story, so though short stories would be perfect. When I… Read More »

Mobile app review: “Kitty Collector” (neko atsume / ねこあつめ)

Setting your computer, smartphone, and tablet to Japanese is a great way to expand your vocabulary in a natural way, using words in context instead of a dry vocabulary list. This means both the OS itself, as well as the applications or games you are using (sometimes the setting of these things is linked, sometimes… Read More »

Japanese Magazine Review: Lighthouse Seattle & Portland

Several months ago in a post I talked about how one of the main reasons I moved to Oregon was because of the prominent Japanese culture and people there (at least more so than South Florida). It’s been about half a year and I’m planning on writing on article about Portland and Japanese culture again to… Read More »

Japanese literature review: Kenji Miyazawa’s “Matasaburo of the Wind”

I’ll have to just come out and admit it: of all of the books I have read there is a small group I never made it to the end of, including both Japanese and English works. One of these is Kenji Miyazawa’s (宮沢賢治) “Night on the Galactic Railroad” (銀河鉄道の夜) which was a deeply moving story when… Read More »

Japanese drama review: Mr. Nietzsche in the Convenience Store (ニーチェ先生~コンビニに)

Having become a member of the streaming service Crunchyroll a few months ago, I’ve sampled a few anime series, but for over half of them I ended up bored and never made it to the end. One exception was “Time of Eve” which I reviewed the other day. Besides anime, Crunchyroll also has a few live-action… Read More »

Japanese Anime Review: “Time of Eve” (イブの時間)

Recently I’ve been checking out a few new anime on the online streaming service Crunchyroll while I take part in my free trial there. I think I’ve written about this in a past post or two, but after watching anime for 5 or 10 years (or even longer) I started to get tired of the same… Read More »