Home

Week Fourteen Copy

015: Skipping Class Remember when I said that the bases are like puzzle pieces? Where this is where that comes into full swing. Today we are going to talk about expression that use the building blocks of the bases. Below are three examples of this…

Week Fourteen

014: Don’t Fail More verbs. Now that you know how to spot Ichidan, Godan and Exception verbs let’s get back into conjugation.    As a reminder here is the list of bases:  Base 1: a/あ Base 2: i/い Base 3: u/う Base 4: e/え Base 5: ou *long sound おう   …

Week Thirteen

013: Replies More verbs. Now that you know how to spot Ichidan, Godan and Exception verbs let’s get back into conjugation.    As a reminder here is the list of bases:  Base 1: a/あ Base 2: i/い Base 3: u/う Base 4: e/え Base 5: ou *long sound おう    Here…

Week Twelve

012: Grades Okay back to verbs. Now that you know how to spot Ichidan, Godan and Exception verbs we are going to start into conjugation. There are 7 verb bases, each of which adjust the ending of two main types of verbs, Ichidan and Godan. We are going…

Week Eleven

011: Messages Now that you can identify all of the different kinds of verbs, we should start applying them slowly. Keeping in mind all the time, the difference types; Godan, Ichidan, and those nasty Exception verbs. The the #1 thing to keep in mind here is that…

Must Try Kansai Foods

Kansai is a well-known region in Japan, including large cities like Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe. It’s famous for its wild dialect and pretty unique dishes.

Week Ten

010: Kyoto Bound The last group of verbs are somewhat of a pain. Like every language, there are the exception verbs. For the most part, Japanese is very good at obeying its own rules. However, there are a few verbs that break the rules entirely….

Week Nine

009: What To Do? The other kind of verbs are two fold. The first of the two are called Godan or Yodan Verbs. Both mean verbs that end in anything outside of ERU and IRU; Ichidan verbs. That’s right every other verb that doesn’t end in…

Take a Bow

This is an interesting point of Japanese culture that can sometimes be a bit difficult for foreigners to understand. But knowing when and how to bow can really help you improve your interactions with native Japanese speakers.

Week Eight

008: Sitting Down Today we learn a something epic and huge. That is verbs. Verbs are the most important part of the Japanese sentence alongside the predicate. That is because everything in the Japanese sentence is organized around whatever is at the and of the sentence….

Week Seven

007: Family Ties Family is an important and often tricky thing. While at first it may appear as simple as Mom, Dad, Brother, and Sister, there are a few other perspectives that we forget when we assume family is that simple. Today’s lesson is about…

Stop Learning Kanji

The #1 problem that I tend to come across with beginners that are learning Japanese, is the overzealous and premature attempt to learn Kanji.

Week Six

006: Meetings Today we are going to talk about KANJI. We will be getting back to particles and verb tenses starting again next week, that and this week is going to be a little bit of an odd lesson as there isn’t much talking going…

Japanese: A High Context Language

“Watching movies, dramas, and anime alone isn’t going to teach you Japanese, but it can at least give you some good listening practice (plus, there’s some really great shows out there).”

Week Five

005: A Wrong Turn Things go south…   Let’s continue talking about this formality and hierarchy stuff.   “I”  Out of these four levels it is important to be able to identify/distinguish oneself in Japanese. What this means is, the word “I” and “you” change…

Week Four

004: Following What is Masa Doing?   Let’s take a quick pause from all of our intense grammar study and talk a little about greeting and levels of formality.  Japanese is a hierarchical language. This means that there are a number of levels of diction…

Fluency Is a Stupid Goal

‘fluency’ in the language, whatever that actually means, is an aimless and often fruitless pursuit. This is because there really isn’t a way to decide if someone is fluent or not.

Week Three

003: What is a Tengu? This is where the story starts picking up.   This week we are going to learn about another particle. This particle is in the top three of how commonly it is used. That is the possessive/Connective Particle の. No or…

Back To School

School in Japan is pretty different from what you might be used to if you live in the U.S. (or anywhere that isn’t Japan, really). Yet Japan’s school system is consistently ranked as one of the top in the world.

Learn Japanese Through Anime or Manga

With the emergence and growth of Japanese culture and maybe partially due to the power of manga and anime, learning Japanese is now more on the minds of language learners more than ever. I mean who in their right mind would not want to speak the same language as their heroes and heroines?

Ukiyo: The Floating World

As you look more into Japanese history, especially the Tokugawa Period (1600-1868), you will quickly come across a lot of woodblock prints. These are generally referred to as ukiyo-e (浮世絵), or pictures of the “floating world.” So what is the “floating world?”

5 Habits Hurting Your Japanese

Take a Bow by John Dinkel The Biggest Pitfall   As Host of the Manga Sensei Podcast, People that are learning Japanese, or any other language, often fall into bad habits unknowingly. These bad habits can hurt your language learning. After years of hard experience,…

Tanabata – You Didn’t Miss It Yet

Tanabata; You Haven’t Missed It Yet By Jessica Hutchison Tanabata?!  One of the biggest festivals of the year is Tanabata (七夕). This one is celebrated all over the country during the months of July and August. Traditionally, it was held on the seventh day of…

Hanami (花見) – Flower Viewing

By Jessica Hutchison   One of the most recognized symbols of Japan is the cherry blossom (Sakura 桜). You can find cherry trees all over Japan, generally lined up along paths and rivers. During most of the year, you may wonder why there are only…

Kawaii Culture

  By Jessica Hutchison   As you start to learn more about Japan and its modern culture, you will probably run into one word a lot: kawaii.   Chances are since you’re on the internet, you’ve already heard this word. Maybe even in real life…

Sun’s Out, Shogun’s Out

By Jessica Hutchison   By now, hopefully, you have read my article about Samurai and Western misconceptions we have about them. Samurai are very popular and super interesting. There’s no way I could cover everything cool about samurai in that one article. So here we…

The Emperor: Why is he a Big Deal?

By Jessica Hutchison Japan has an emperor. Who exactly is he, and why is he important? Today, I’m going to try and explain that. The concept of an emperor is pretty foreign to most Americans. I mean, America has had some pretty close ties to…

Yokai, Demons, and Ghosts—Oh, My!

Demons, Ghosts, and Yokai – Oh My By Jessica Hutchison Yokai?  Recently in Japanese media, supernatural beings have become pretty popular. Well, I say recently, but they’ve really been popular for the last few hundred years. Japan has some amazing ghost stories, and it is well…

Travel Guide for Lodging in Japan

  Photographer: Conor Bodily By John Sorenson   Making travel plans in a foreign country can be downright terrifying. You never know what you’re getting yourself into without having experience yourself. It can be difficult to get a straight answer to the most basic questions,…

Japan-ified Holidays

By Jessica Hutchison Japan has a lot of unique holidays. From O-Bon to Children’s Day to the Emperor’s Birthday, it can be a bit hard for a foreigner to keep track of all of them. But there are a few that the Japanese have adopted…

Kachi Kachi Yama (A Japanese Monogatari)

by Jessica Hutchison A long, long time ago there was an old man and an old woman. They were poor, had no kids, and lived in the middle of nowhere. This is how every Japanese folktale starts so you might want to just commit that…

Japanese Business Quirks

Jessica Hutchison Whenever you’re working in a foreign country, you’re going to run into different customs. I mean, even America can have some strange business customs.   It’s good to understand the culture you are getting into, not just so you can impress a potential…

Japanese History in About Six Minutes

Jessica Hutchison In order to understand any culture, learning the history can really help. And Japan is no different. Japan has a wild history with dramatic changes in culture, government, and how they feel about foreigners. Figuring this out can really help you see where…

What You Might Not Know About Geisha

by Jessica Hutchison Geisha are a popular image of Japan. Most people who see a geisha, even if they aren’t familiar with the term, will probably associate her with Japan. However, people in the West also have a rather large misconception when it comes to…

Uchi and Soto

by Jessica Hutchison If you really want to understand Japanese culture, one of the things you really need to get is where you stand. Knowing your social standing in any sort of group situation dictates everything you do, including how you speak. We can coast…

How America Has Ramen All Wrong

Ramen is reminiscent of the cheap food from your college dorm room days, but not all ramen is created equal. In Japan, ramen is nothing like the dehydrated noodles with sad flavor packs we know in America. Check out how much better ramen can be than that sad, boring bowl you’re munching on right now.

Why Direct Translation is Killing Your Japanese

By John Sorenson There are a lot of pitfalls involved in learning a new language. Learning a massive amount of vocabulary, developing new reading and writing skills, and practicing proper pronunciation are all difficulties that just about everyone is aware of when they begin to…

Traveling in Japan with Dietary Restrictions

Special diets are hard. And traveling abroad with any sort of dietary restriction—especially in a country that doesn’t speak English—can seem impossible. But it is doable! Having lived in Japan for over a month on a gluten-free diet, I am here to give you some…

Sacred Time pt. 1

Due north of Tokyo, Niigata Prefecture lies on the western face of Japan, bordering the sea. Niigata’s terrain is carved with enormous mountain passes that mark the northern end of the Japanese alps. These soaring slopes are covered with heavy snowfall in the winter months,…

Writing a Japanese Resume

So you want to go to Japan, or you are in Japan and you want to apply for a job. That’s awesome. Congrats on your goal. However, when you look at that nasty blank template that you downloaded from the internet you have absolutely no idea where to start.

Takayama: Japan’s best kept secret

There’s no better place in Japan than Hida Takayama. Ask foreigners and they will likely never have heard of this small town, nestled in the Japanese Alps. Ask Japanese natives and they will tell you it is a favorite destination for the Japanese to go…

Minute and Hour Exceptions

Time in Japanese can be a easy thing to mess up. Which is why we made this easily printable 100% perfect reference. Make things just that much easier.   Watch out for the small ‘っ’ it can throw you off if you are not careful….

Why Japanese People Wear Masks

If you go to Japan, you’ll notice that they do a lot of things differently. Even though they seem out of place to us, they are actually pretty normal there, and Japanese people probably don’t even know we think it’s weird.   One thing that…