Aug
11
2012

Shorthand Kanji Forms

Shorthand kanji forms (called 略字:ryakuji in Japanese) are something you’re unlikely to come across in your Japanese studies (since they’re technically incorrect), and thanks to the everything-becoming-digital age are less useful than they once were.

Shorthand Kanji Forms
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Jul
19
2012

Off the Beaten Path: Gujo-Hachiman

What makes this town unique is not only it’s beautiful scenery, but a castle on a steep mountainside with a stunning view, an “old-style town” (古い町並み) that is a pleasant walk, a pristine river that runs through the town, and a certain very unique product that the town is known for.

Off the Beaten Path: Gujo-Hachiman
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Jul
11
2012

Otaku Expression: MINAGITTEKITA!!!

Today’s post will be a short one on my favorite expression in Japanese: ミ・ナ・ギ・ッ・テ・キ・ターーーー!!!!!

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Jul
07
2012

Five Foods You Should Try in Japan

You’re reading this blog because you have some interest in Japan. As such, (I hope that) most of you will go to Japan someday, either for work or for pleasure. When you do, there are a lot of wonderful and surprising things waiting for you. Among them is a variety and quality of food that boggles the mind.

Five Foods You Should Try in Japan
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Jul
03
2012

Saying “You” in Japanese

Saying “you” in Japanese is much trickier business than in English. In English, we have just the one word, and we use it all the time. Japanese has a much broader vocabulary, but also a strong tendency to avoid using it.

Saying “You” in Japanese
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Jun
01
2012

Japanese Cheat Sheet Pack

At last, the time has come to unveil what I’ve spent the last several months working on: a pack of Japanese cheat sheets for intermediate to advanced Japanese learners.

Japanese Cheat Sheet Pack
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Apr
16
2012

How to use Japanese Counters

This blog topic will take on one of the more neglected topics of Japanese language. And by “neglected”, I don’t mean that it is not covered in text books, what I mean is that the coverage given in textbooks tends to lack structure and be inadequate for advanced learning.

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Feb
02
2012

Taking Kanji Apart: Radicals and Components

As any learner knows, kanji are an inescapable and daunting aspect of learning Japanese. There’s more than 2000 of the little devils and each one has multiple pronunciations, multiple meanings, and a predefined stroke order. That’s a lot to learn, so it’s understandable that most teachers and books avoid…

Taking Kanji Apart: Radicals and Components
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Jan
18
2012

Go: the perfect game

After a hiatus spanning almost a year and a half, I’m back in 2012 and my first article is about the board game of Go…. which coincidentally was also the primary reason for my absence. (^^;) I first learned of the game at a small cafe in the outskirts of Nagoya. Like many small cafes […]

Go: the perfect game
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Aug
01
2010

How to park your car in Japan

Have you ever wondered how Japan fits their roughly 78 million vehicles into a habitable area roughly the size of Maine? Well, it takes just the right mix of creativity and precision (it also helps that most of the cars are really tiny). In this post I introduce a few of the methods Japanese people have come up with for getting the most out of their limited parking space.

How to park your car in Japan
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