Tag Archives: Learn Japanese

Country names in Japanese

27 Jan

Finally I’ve made another one of learn-Japanese videos! 🙂

*I don’t know why but sometimes the video seems not working…Here’s an alternative link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD7bui7TPGc&feature=share&list=UUUQYdilXr8HOOhLdsRB5Reg

I was unable to cover all the country names in Kanji, but it seems each country has its name in kanji version.
This page may have your country in kanji version. 😉

Yet, please don’t misunderstand that every country in kanji is recognizable in Japan.
If you wish to remember country names in Japanese, do it in katakana when the country has both names in katakana and kanji.

Hope you enjoyed the video!


Ageru, Morau, and Kureru after verbs

8 Jul

How can I explain what comes after 教えて (oshiete) ? This was a question from one of my blog readers some time ago.
It was too difficult for me to answer from twitter, or a blogpost by text as usual. I found drawing something like a manga might be easier for me to get started. Also, it’s a good chance to play with the scanner I happened to get from someone just recently. 🙂

*Jenny in this story has nothing to do with the person who asked me this question.
*This story is fiction, I made it while I was drawing it.
Continue reading

Why do you need to study Japanese?

6 Nov

I’ve noticed that many of my blog readers are studying Japanese in some ways. At the same time I always wanted to ask them why they need to study Japanese. So today, my question is this: Why do you need to study Japanese?

I was only a school kid in the 80’s when Japan was enjoying the bubble economy and I hear that it was when Japan was even considered “menace” to the U.S. and was strictly criticized by Europe that we were working too hard as working bee. Without working experience at that time, there’s no way for me to know how our economy was actually good then, which was only before 1989 when burst of the economic bubble occurred and that led us to the longest deflation up until today, except for IT bubble in early 2000. When I talk with those who were working at that era, my father for example, I can find many many big differences from the days I started to work after graduation from university. They were hard working as much as we are now (as mentioned here and there). But the difference was they knew their income was soaring every year, or even every month! While today, unfortunately the truth is that we work so hard not to be fired or replaced by someone else because of downsizing.

When I was graduating from university before year 2000, it’s called “ice period for recruiting” and unlike those who entered blue chip companies 5 or more year ago, many of us, including myself had hard time finding jobs after graduating from university.

Well, apart from that, first of all I didn’t like to wear “recruit suit” just like anyone else to become less outstanding so that general Japanese companies like to hire. (Japanese companies are more likely to love hiring new graduates who they can educate any ways as they like, and employees are considered to work for the company until they retire from it. But these days bad economy changed that completely and Japanese companies do not have any extra money or time allowance to raise such workers with no working experiences just fresh out from school. Changing jobs used to be considered bad habit in Japan and the best thing was to keep working for a single company from start to the end. But that has changed since our economy went bad and it’s common for workers to change companies or jobs more often than before. )

New graduates without working experience usually have no achievement or performance to promote to the companies they want to work for. (Internship in Japan is not as hot as in the U.S for example. Most of new graduates are hired for his potential, personality, cooperativeness, endurance, school record, and so on.) Hence one of the most important points they cannot miss is to be liked by the interviewers of the company. Job interviews are usually 2 or 3 times with different people: HR, their future boss, people from related department, etc.

So how the new graduates try to be liked by them? They wear simple and neat suit called “recruit suit” with color options only from navy blue, black or gray and a collared shirt inside of it. Every new graduate wears one of them, with less makeup and less or no hair color. They read manual how to answer properly to impress themselves nicely to the interviewers and practice as often as possible with role playing or something.

I was so bad at all these things. I really hated to dress like everyone else! I felt like being sick or crazy at the first glance of the manual or the “test” before the interview. (This is a test to check the basic personality and basic knowledge of the applicants, and I often failed them because of my unique (!?) personality! LOL ) After all I didn’t buy the “recruit suit” and put on general suit as I liked, and I answered as honestly as I thought at the interviews. I saw some interviewers apparently made faces to me, until finally I settled at an exporting company where they needed someone who could speak English at work. I however knew that other workers called me “alien” behind me because of my strange actions such as playing guitar at lunch time, wearing a long hair wig and bright colored pants at work besides I expressed my opinions to my superiors…yes, I was wrong I should not have dressed like that at other industries but fashion. The company was dealing with transceivers, and I was the only one who dressed as if I were in fashion industry. (LOL)

o.O I’m sorry I was not intended to explain how new graduates get jobs in Japan. Let me get back on the track now, and so Japan is not as economically successful as it used to be in the 80’s. But then what do you learn Japanese for? What motivated you to study Japanese and how do you keep the motivation? Because you want to read manga as they are? Because you want to live in Japan? Because that’s required for your current job? It’s good for me to know such backgrounds of yours when I make my Japanese videos for you. 😀

Rambling in Japanese

3 Nov

Hi! I’ve uploaded a new video for trial that is just rambling in English and Japanese with some additional pop-ups for your better understanding. I was thinking if I can tell you how to speak casual Japanese between friends, for example, in such style of video. Tell me what you think.

If you liked it, I made a longer one (never mind my repeating introduction of myself, which is for the people who come from Youtube.) with more rambling in Japanese.

These videos are samples to see if they are helpful for you or not. So please let me know what you think. I’d welcome your suggestions to make better videos in the future. 🙂

Thank you.

Your name in Kanji

20 Sep

I made a simple video to reply to the comment from Amanda, and it tells you how it’d be like to have Kanji name. You can have any combination of Kanji that you like! Hope she likes my suggestion better than other options she had.

Enjoy your Kanji!

Japanese-English and English-Japanese online dictionary

29 Jul


This is the online Japanese – English or English – Japanese dictionary that I use when I write a blog post. (I cannot do without it. So I can easily get stuck with right wordings when I film my Youtube video. How stressfult it is to do this in second language! But I know I can improve it little by little, and I quite like the way to improve it from daily communication with other English-speaking people.)

ALC is a Japanese company engaged in English education or study-abroad programs from Japan to the world. The goodness about this online dictionary named Eijiro that ALC offers is that we can look up the word both in English and in Japanese. Meaning, if you enter Japanese word into the box, the English word that corresponds to the Japanese word will be shown as a result. When you hit English word, vice versa. So you don’t have to switch the box whether it’s from Japanese to English or the other way round. You can use whichever ways!

Another good thing is that we can search the word just like we search by Google. Let’s say I didn’t come up with the word “other way round” but I remembered only “other ??? round” I can just type as “other round” in the search box and hit enter. Then the right word can be found among the results. This also goes with misspellings. For example when I search as “simultanious” they suggest if I mean “simultaneous” but this is not alway working as I wish. :p

If you study Japanese, you can make use of it. But in that case you have to know exact Kanji to enter because they do not recognize the Japanese word, which normally is described in Kanji, written in Hiragana or Katakana. While it looks good as long as you learn corresponding Japanese words from the result of the English word you enter.

Just in case, for those who are unfamiliar with Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana, take a look at how to write “kawaii” in Japanese and see that we have 3 ways to write it in Japanese. However, usually one of them is mostly used at most occasions.

Blogs in Japan (Japanese blogspot)

25 Jun

I’ve set up another blog in Japan last weekend. At a moment I run 4 blogs.

No.1- Japanese Cuisine Daily Recipes and Something Kawaii From Harajuku
(Free Blogger blog that I started Feb.2008 in English and I still keep it while I update a new post only once in a while.)

No.2- Tokyo Kawaii, etc.
(This blog that I work hardest, and love most! I pay for domain and hosting server, from which you’ll see how special this blog is to me.)

No.3- Pi-chan (my dog) blog
(Free FC2 blog that I run in Japan in Japanese.)

No.4- My daily stock exchange market trading blog
(Free Seesaa blog that I run in Japan in Japanese.)

*I no longer run other 3 blogs, because I decided to focus more on this blog, “Tokyo Kawaii, etc.”.

Wow! No wonder I’m busy! But I’m spending most of the time for Tokyo Kawaii, etc. (this blog). I know I should stick to 1 blog, meaning Tokyo Kawaii, etc. only, but the first blog is still good to be kept. The third dog blog is important in order to record how my dog spends her life with us. The fourth one also is important to record what I am learning and how I’m acting in my daily trading habits.

Some of the readers from my first blog (Japanese cuisine…) might be confused to hear that I’m trading at stock exchange market because I used to work as an importer, house renovation planner, and writer. But now I’m working from home. Online stock exchange market trader from home, writer and blogger. Why such a big career change? It’s a long story so let me avoid explaining that here. :p

Instead, today I’ll introduce blogspot in Japan, as some of you are already good at Japanese and may want to browse Japanese blogs to read or to write a blog in Japanese by yourselves.

Blogsphere in Japan is totally different from the U.S or most of English spoken countries. First of all, WordPress is minor, which I think is because there are many attractive free blogs available in Japan and how to manage dashboard or how to write a post is far easier and more convenient compared with WordPress or blogger.


This is a dashboard from Seesaa blog and I was surprised to find this difference. In English blogsphere, we basically add things we want. We may join Google Analytics to track stats, and paste the code or do something to activate it if we want it, for example. To the contrary, Seesaa had everything there including stats. (not from Google, but original one) We are then deleting things we don’t need. That’s it!

Japanese people are used to this style; say everything being given in a package, and so, customizing blogs with plugins by themselves like what we do with WordPress is not accepted.

Here are major Japanese free blogs for your reference.
FC2 (Do you know FC2 ranks in No.2 in Alexa in Japan!?)
and there are actually hundreds of more but above 4 blogs are I guess most popular ones. There are many blogs that do not allow affiliate promotion. (Above 4 blogs are OK)

If you prefer Ezine, rather than blog, there is a free Ezine stand called “Magu Magu” and this is the most popular and the largest scale in Japan. Of course you can start yourself both blog and Ezine (in Japanese it’s called “melumaga” meaning mail magazine) for free, if you want to. But I know how hard it’d be to write constantly in foreign language, so you can at least browse Japanese blogs and Ezines of your interests just as you like to improve your Japanese with fun!