It’s rare that I read blogs written in English about Japanese, but there is one blog I do check out pretty often so I thought I would highlight in a focused post: landofnu.com.
This blog, which seems to have started in February 2011, has a variety of topics: Japanese (kotowaza and 4-letter compounds), fiction, non-fiction, poetry, as well as some posts on world-building. As you might imagine, I have spent most of my time on the Japanese kotowaza and 4-letter compounds (四字熟語), but fortunately these dominate the content on the site with over 700 posts (out of a total of around one thousand).
There’s a few reasons I really enjoy reading the Japanese-related content on this blog. One of the reasons is that many of the posts have cleverly-made titles that often employ puns, though to be honest some of them are a bit cryptic. Some interesting titles are “Belly full of sap, head full of sky”, “Lose yourself in the public flats”, and (a truly great one) “Ningen Shikaku”.
Another is that the posts are generally well-researched and written. I generally don’t hesitate to point out mistakes on other people’s Japanese learning resources (and always appreciate others pointing out my mistakes), but I can’t think of any times I found a mistake on the posts on this site. “Confanity”, apparently the person writing the posts, frequently talks about important details, including variations and historical context, especially the Chinese origin of many of the compounds addressed. There are often funny or interesting images used to emphasize some point (or just to be funny).
The site is also well organized with categories on the right pane, and a page where all the kotowaza are clearly listed.
Some of the Japanese phrases and compounds highlighted on “landofnudotcom” are arguably academic and not that used much in practice, but for those who want to enrich their vocabulary this site is a great place to visit. Those who like Japanese classic literature, like myself, are more likely to come across some of these traditional phrases in your reading. Some of the phrases like this one are commonly used in everyday language (which I happened to cover myself).
I was surprised to see this site had only around 195 followers despite all the great content, which is another reason I wanted to write about this site. (Some of this may because many readers don’t have a WordPress account and cannot follow the blog.) Part of blogging is the satisfaction of just creating and getting the content out there, but it always is nice to know that people are actually interested in your stuff.
Thanks again to Confanity for running such a great blog. Looking forward to more content!
I confess that the image of walnuts on the background of the thumbnail for this post is a bit a joke stemming from my mis-remembering of this blog’s name as “landofnutdotcom”. In reality there is no “t” after the “nu” part. (: