Category Archives: Reviews

Japanese educational site review: ReadNihon (“Learn Japanese By Reading It”)

Recently the creator of the new website ReadNihon, designed to help you learn grammar and vocabulary by reading Japanese text, contacted me and requested I check out his site and write a review, and I agreed. Having created my own set of web tools to assist with learning Japanese (Language on Track, still in beta),… Read More »

Five of the best books I read in 2018

Recently I was asked by Akylina of popular Literary Sisters blog if I had read anything interesting in 2018. I started drafting a response to her comment, but partway through realized I might as well make a short article about it while I was at it. This year since I was busy translating I didn’t… Read More »

Novel review: “Summerland” by Hannu Rajaniemi

After having just released an E-book, I decided to allow myself the pleasure of reading an English novel (generally, I am either doing translations or reading Japanese works). I choose “Summerland”, a book released in 2018 by Hannu Rajaniemi, who happens to be the author of “The Quantum Thief”, a SF novel that was released… Read More »

Anime review: Inuyashiki (Last Hero)

While I know many of us struggle with tsundoku (積ん読)––buying mounds of books you never read––perhaps tondoku (止ん読)––starting a book or series and never finishing it––is an even graver crime. (Note: please see the last paragraph of this post regarding the word ‘tondoku‘) Sometime back I had read the first few issues of manga Inuyashiki (いぬやしき) by… Read More »

Japanese piano shopping in Portland (Yamaha baby grand G2 vs. upright U1)

In recent years I have been spending a good portion of my hobby time on Japanese-related stuff (studying, reading, translating), but before I got into Japanese I spent a lot of time playing a few musical instruments, particularly piano. While this post will be a little off-topic compared to my usual focus, I thought my… Read More »

Konbucha: a popular tea with health benefits…or not?

Konbucha tea seems to be increasingly popular these days. For example, at one Whole Foods Market grocery store in Portland there is a konbucha bar with a lineup of teas on tap, and there are many types of konbucha drinks for sale in the refrigerated drink section. Coincidentally, when recently reading a magazine I came across an article which… Read More »