Golden Week Chilling

29 04 2008

Today is one of those glorious days where I phsyically will not do anything. Not one step out of my apartment. Just recharging the body, mind, and everything else. I will clean up I guess but sometimes it’s nice just to not do one fucking thing and don’t feel antisocial. Lovin it.

As for the rest of the week, another teacher from my company called me and asked if I would like to go to Osaka with her, so that’s the plan. Well, provided I can get a way back. The bus there had space, but when I went to reserve the way back, there were no buses available. But I’m working on it. Should be a good time. Definitly a must hit city before getting thrown off the island.

Since the last episode where I have told you about that website, All Japanese all the Time, I have been studying like a madman. No grammer, just kanji. It’s tough. I’m actually not immediately improving my ability to communicate at all, just write. But to be a truly effective speaker knowing the kanji is essential. I often have heard people ask the kanji for things if someone uses a rare word or something. So… it’s a long road. But I want to get to that fucking end so I’m doing it.

A few days ago I went to the cool city of Yanagawa and rode in a boat through the canals that lace the city. It was a really cool time. Here a sample of the best pictures… more on flickr.





Japanese of the Day.. I guess just some of the methods I am using will be ok here..


To learn the Kanji, it seems like everyone agress James W. Heisig’s book is the best. It goes through all 2000 or so “general use” kanji. What it doesn’t have, is any example sentences or readings. It’s all about remembering the kanji and how to write them. It gives you a mnemonic device to aid in remember all the kanji. Every kanji is made up of different components, or is a component all itself, unlike what I used to think which was that people just drew what they thoought things looked like.(sometimes that’s sort of correct but 90% of the time it’s not)So this book is step 1 to eventually reading or writing REAL japanese. Not textbook hiragana and furigana stuff. USing in conjuction with an SRS or “spaced repitetion system”, which is supposeively the best way to remember ANYTHING. I guess I can’t give a review yet of these methods because I’ve only been using it for about 3 days but I will in the future.


Japanese of the Day..Yui – Goodbye Days – from the movie タイヨウのうた or Taiyou no Uta or Sun Song. Solid Sad Japanese movie. They really churn those out and no one likes them more than me! haha. Chill out this week people!



The Morning After…

25 02 2008

It’s awesome when your in the grocery store and hear some J-pop song on the loudspeakers. It’s like wow I know this! Usually it’s weird music and random yellings of Irrashaimase!(welcome) so it’s cool when it happens.

Anyways, well last night I went out with the lucky japanese lady I met at the foreigner party in a previous episode. It was a really good time. We met at the grocery store since it seemed to be the easiest method. To be honest, first impression(well first impression when not drunk)… she’s cute but not like cute…if you catch my drift. She’s one of those people that are not sexy, but are cute. But she definitly is a really cool and happy person. I told her to choose where we went, since I have no clue of most of the places in town. She spoke the perfect amount of english which is almost none. I brought my dictionary and the conversation flowed really well. I’m sure I fucked up a lot of grammar but she got the point so that’s all that matters. We ended up at a cool italian place. Once I saw they had pizza, that’s what I wanted lol. Pizzas in Japan are like 30% of those in America so we had to get other dishes. I ended up eating 70% of it though since she stopped after like 5 minutes of eating. Annoying, but I ate it up eagarly. One thing she didn’t have a problem with was drinking. She kicked back around 5-6 beers and did not appear at ALL drunk. I had around 4 myself and was buzzing. After chilling and drinking for around 2-3 hours at this italian place, we went to an arcade at my request because I really wanted to see if they still had my drum game lol. We played around for like another hour and I suggested we end the night at around 11pm since I knew she had work the next day. I knew I could of kissed her, but I really want to keep things at the friends level. For my language and because I don’t want to hurt her. She’s one of those people that have such a like pure heart they should never get hurt. Hopefully I will stick to that rule. Next week she is going to Hawaii, but we promised to see eachother again next month. Long paragraphs are tough to read online so I apologize for all that stuck around for this whole story haha. But it was a success on every level, new friend, the most Japanese I’ve spoken consistently, and really fun.

One surprising thing about girls here is…it seems the most surprising thing is when you agree to hang out with their friends sometime. Her face lit up when I agreed to do it next time. She was like Honto! (really?) Honto? Honto???? I was like Um… yeah I think so…. Sounds like a good enough idea.

Japanese of the Day..this is sort of nerdy but interesting fact that might be interesting to my loyal readers…

In Japan a person that plays Mah-jong poorly and loses money is known as a duck. In Japanese..かも(鴨)(duck). In addition there is a saying in Japan that says “The duck comes along with a leek” referencing that a duck is so stupid it comes with a leek because it doesn’t know it’s about to be cooked. I used to play Pokemon, and by used to I mean I used to, but I still do occasionally. And there is a certain Pokemon that looks like…

Farfetch’d- in Japanese( カモネギ) Kamonegi or DuckLeek in Enlgish..

Looks like a duck holding a leek….. Interesting Ne?

Kanji: 鴨がねぎを背負って来る

Hiragana: かもがねぎをしょってくる

English : The duck comes along with a leek

Guest Source Koda Kumi:

 <– ” that was nerdy as hell”

Music of the Day… Yui (ゆい) – Merry ‘go round. Yui makes solid music. Check it out. Another week begins… later!

What’s Up?

10 02 2008

I sort of have made that English greeting my “thing” at work to students. When I first arrived, I would always use it without thinking. I was always met with confused faces or the response of “Good” or “I’m fine”. While it was funny for a while, I soon started explaining the correct answer. So now the whole school uses it like crazy! It’s really cool to see what I have started. Students walk in and say What’s Up? to  and that’s really cool. It’s cool to have an effect. I guess that’s why I like teaching. Sometimes all the other sales shit, paperwork, and answering phones gets old, but teaching gives you an opportunity to affect people in a positive way, and thats what I love about the job.

Japanese of the Day.. Extended Today Since I’m in a studying mood…..

Some interesting Kanjis will suffice…..

川 – river – kawa or sen 州 – state – shuu or su

For river, it looks like a river. Easy. For state, think of the river as a boundary in between the different lands. For example I am in Kyushu. 九州    kyu=9 shu= state. 9 state maybe?

日本語 – Japanese – Nihongo

語(go) = word, so that part is easy enough…but what about the rest?

日(nichi,jitsu,hi,ka)=can mean a few things….usually day but in this case it means sun

本(hon,moto)= also a few meanings.. most popular is “book” (hon) but it can also mean “origin”

Sun+Origin+Word=Japanese.. Land of the rising sun words?? Make sense? I didn’t think so either.

花 = Flower

化 =change  = grass ….. So Change + Grass = Flower! Easy enough right?

東京 – Tokyo

東 = Eastern – Higashi

京 = Capital – (yeah in my dictionary the word for capital is totally different, ,more research will need to happen to fully explain this-please comment if you can explain better)

Tokyo is the Eastern(Tokyo is the Eastern(東) Capital(京)   Bitches!

Ken Watanabe\
“Gaijin thinks Japanese is difficult, he make me laugh”

Music of the Day….noo ideas really…..Good Song… Yui – “Life” Shes pretty in the “I dont care about how I look” pretty. Understand? lol Enjoy People.

Nothing Much Here..

31 01 2008

Nothing much going on personally…Party on Sunday which should be cool. Working is a bit harder since we haven’t had a manager at my school for a few weeks, but it’s still easy as hell compared to any other job I’ve had in my life. If I didn’t have Japanese to study during my down time, I really would feel like I was a non-productive of society though.

On the coworker front…..I’ll see her at the party on Sunday and see what happens. But I refuse to have not being with her bring my attitude down anymore lol. I’ve said what I wanted to say, so now I’m done. I understand I’m still a bitch on this front.

I love Thursdays at work when the kid’s classes happen at my school. When I was sixteen, I worked at a Day Care for 4 years. I appreciated it then, but I appreciate it more now. There is something special about having kids idolize you that I truly miss. So when I have a few minutes in the lobby with kids to practice my Japanese speaking, or writing Kanji, I really enjoy it. There is no laugh more pure than a 3 or 4 year old laughing at your writing of your Kanji for “Flower”<—“hana.” There is no interest more pure than a 5 year old trying to figure out how to write your name in Hiragana. Yes it passes in 3 seconds, but for those moments there is nothing more in important in their world. Special Stuff.

Japanese of the Day… I really just use this space for problems I have with Japanese to help me remember it. If it helps anyone else, all the better! Soooo today…

The difference between casual and formal speech is massive in Japanese. For Example;

What did you buy?

Nan Katta? なんかった

Nani o kaimashita ka? なにをかいましたか

I saw a girl on the train text the top message. That is the EXTREME casual form. But I guess you should learn both or something. Dont complain to me, were in this boat together.

Music of the Day….Yui – “Goodbye Days” Lot of feeling in this song…most comes from the movie… but try to feel it anyways!

Japanese Regis = Solid

23 12 2007

Got back form my lesson in Fukuoka and turned on the TV. To my surprise, there was Who Wants to be a Millionaire? on. Except here it’s called Super Millionaire. The host, Norio Minorikawa is all business, and he does look oddly like what a Japanese Regis Philbin would look like.


The Final Answer routine is the same, but their are a few differences. First the top prize is only 10,000,000 yen which is about $87,573.34. So the title of the show is a little misleading…. Also, the phone a friend has morphed from call in for one person for help, into calling four crazy people in a room that can pretty much help at any time. After some research I found out it is against Japanese law to give one game show contestant more that 20,000,000 yen so those four people are needed to split up the top prize money to make it legal. Weird. Also when a contestant says final answer, the host rips up the garanteed money check they won’t be getting. So harsh. The US version tries to hold onto that ” Is she right?????” moment out as long as possible, but in Japan its is easily triple that. Ads even come up on the sides of the screen as you wait to find out if she was correct or not. It’s funny how long they hold this out.  And then occasionally even after this insane wait… they cut to commercial. Observe.

My Japanese teacher asked me after about 10 minutes, “So you haven’t met a girl have you?” I was a little surprised by the question, and I told her no not really. She goes “I can tell you are studying Japanese too much!” It made me LOL. But she’s probably right.

Music of the Day – Yui again – Rolling Star. Her Voice is soothing or something. It’s good.

Ugh. Can’t Sleep.

18 12 2007

I’ve gotten into this weird pattern of going to sleep at about 1am, waking up at 5 and then staying up for about an hour untill I fall asleep again. It sucks. Tonite I can’t fall back asleep for some reason. So I’m listening to my Japanese Audio Tapes with my eyes closed. Which is a struggle in itself because when I hear a word I don’t know I want to grab my dictionary lol. So sometimes I have to turn that off for my sanity.

My favorite hockey team, The Pittsburgh Penguins have a game in about 2 hours as well, so I don’t think I’ll be sleeping much tonite. My schedule is kick-ass that way. In the morning, I have the Penguins games to listen too. At night the Howard Stern show. Those two things really keep the homesickness away. They have both been a part of my life for more than ten years, so its nice to not have to give them up.

      Penguins                              howard

I first started liking the Penguins when my dad took me to see a hockey game when I was about 7 or so. I had this weird thing about not liking the teams everyone else liked and since we were at a Washington Capitals game in which they were playing the Penguins, the Penguins were the recipients of my fandom. Also I loved animals so that helped as well. I didn’t get hardcore into hockey untill high school. Hockey is the best mix of everything that’s good about sports. Everyone has to sacrifice to win and everyone sticks up for everyone else. It’s not about individuals. Watch the difference between when a basketball team wins the championship and when a hockey team does. Anyways, after college I started playing goalie myself which was awesome. I definitely which I started earilier. It’s challenging to start becuase you have to learn two things, first how to play the sport as well as learning how to skate but its worth it. Also I happen to have won a few championships….Fear the Gold Pads….yeah I’m sort of good….

smaller champschamps 2

 As for Howard, I started listening in middle school becuase one of my friends told me to check him out. Most people like to think it’s about girls all the time, but that’s just not true. There is no way to convince anyone otherwise though so I won’t try. But the show is like it’s own world that you get to get a look into. Sort of like a soap opera with amazingly funny stuff. Here’s just one example. Yeah they say some fucked up stuff, but that’s part of humour.  It’s no different than what guys joke about on a friday night just hanging out. That’s life. That’s why the show works.

Ok I feel a little more tired and I’ve written enough. Goodnight Hopefully.

Song choice is Yui – My Generation. Awesome song.