Category Archives: Japanese

JLPT N1: To Take or Not To Take?

Although I’ve complained about the JLPT exam (日本語能力試験) in the past, I have been thinking about taking the final level: the N1 (一級). The N1 exam is the most difficult, and usually takes a few years to prepare. I completed … Continue reading

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Meiji Shrine Fortune-Poem

Hello, My wife and I like to visit Meiji Shrine in Tokyo often. Last year, my wife was having Yakudoshi right now (maeyaku, yakudoshi, atoyaku), so she went there to get purified and avoid potential calamity. I like going just … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Japanese, Literature, Travel | Leave a comment

Introducing the Kokinshu

Hi Everyone, Some readers might remember that I am a fan of Japanese waka (和歌) poetry. Waka poetry, is an older form of poetry that came before haikus. When people think of Japanese poetry, they often think of haikus, but … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Language, Literature, Poetry | 2 Comments

Frustrated with the Heisig Method

As readers probably remember, I started learning Japanese kanji using the Heisig method almost 3 years ago. Some people can learn all 2,200 kanji in 4-6 weeks but I work full-time and raised a daughter so progress was much slower … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Language | Tagged | 8 Comments

Getting To The Bottom Of Ferguson, Cutting Through the Madness

I was sad to hear about the verdict in the trial for police officer Darren Wilson. I felt bad for Mike Brown’s parents who lost their son, and for all those frustrated with life in Ferguson, MO. But then I … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Hosso, Japanese, Literature

MCD Flashcards For The Win

Lately, I’ve been converting my existing flashcards on Anki from basic flashcards (sentence or word on one side, translation on the other) into “MCD” cards. The idea for MCD was promoted by Khatzumoto at AJATT in this series of posts. … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Korean, Language | 2 Comments

The Science of Kanji Part 7: Reading Compound Words

Most people who learn Japanese kanji, or Chinese characters, tend to learn them in isolation: one character at a time. But in reality. They are often used as compound words. So learning individual characters isn’t enough: you have to learn … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese, Japanese, Language | 4 Comments