Category Archives: Reviews

Japanese Book Review: “The Power of Ki” (氣の威力)by Koichi Tohei (藤平光一)

It’s been around a year and a half since I’ve started training in a martial art informally called “Ki Aikido” that was created by Koichi Tohei (藤平光一). It is formally named “Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido”, and written in Japanese as 心身統一合氣道, which literally means “Aikido of Mind and Body Unification”. The casual term “Ki Aikido”… Read More »

Japanese Book Review: “ふしぎがわかるよ!” (A visual encyclopedia for children)

For learners of Japanese I often suggest children’s picture books because they are typically shorter, easier to understand, and have less kanji (if any) when compared to teen- or adult-oriented books. I’ve reviewed a few of them on this blog (this, this, and this). While you can learn much about Japanese language and culture from… Read More »

Hitori Saito (斎藤一人): entrepreneur, best-selling author, motivational speaker

In this post I’d like to discuss Hitori Saito(斎藤一人), a man who is somewhat famous in Japan these days. Hitori Saito is the entrepreneur behind Ginza Marukan (銀座まるかん), a successful cosmetics and health food business. He also has a large number of books (many available on Amazon Japan, what you could call 啓蒙書 or “enlightenment… Read More »

Pronunciation: one of the hardest parts about learning Japanese (and a review of a great resource to help with that –– OJAD)

The other day I came across a recently-started blog about learning Japanese that talked about how easy Japanese pronunciation was. This really frustrated me, but my search for a way to leave a friendly comment to the author ended in failure, so someday you may come across that post (and others like it). After over… Read More »

Japanese novel review: “火星に住むつもりかい?” by 伊坂幸太郎 (Koutaru Isaka)

On my last trip to Japan, I couldn’t help but pick up a copy of Koutaru Isaka’s novel ”火星に住むつもりかい?”, published by Kobunsha as hardcover in 2015, and then as a paperback in 2018. There were several factors that contributed to me choosing this novel. First, I really loved the cover image––an (apparently) CG-generated closeup of… Read More »

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 »