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Itsukushima: Place I’d Like to Visit + How to Get 日本語上手(笑)

にほんごのれんしゅう(日本語の練習) 第7週 Japanese Practice Week 7

Hello everyone! Kyuusei here. Let’s start with a few things about Japan.

Itsukushima ()

Itsukushima is an island in the city called Hatsukaichi in the Hiroshima Prefecture (Southwest part of Japan) This is a shrine island where many statues can be found while going up stairs that lead to the Daisho-in Temple. These statues are rakan (らかん) or disciples of Buddha. They are basically followers of Buddhism who have walked the long path of enlighten but have not reached Buddhahood yet. Visitors come to offer knit caps and scarves to keep the statues warm.

In shrines you will often find torii (とりいー鳥居) which are large red gates. If you are into hiking, the top of Itsukushima’s mountain Mount Misen is accessible by walking. If you are not the hiking type, you can access the top by one of the two ropeways (also known as cable cars) to the mountain.  However, there is still a mile trek to get to the top of Mount Misen.

After the long trek, enjoy Momiji manju (もみじ饅頭) or red leaf pastry. This is a pastry that is filled with things such as sweet red bean paste, chocolate or caramel. Due to their being many maple trees, the locals make the shape of this manju into a maple leaf (hence Momiji).

Here’s a video:

For more details about this location:

I found this video a while ago on a website degreed, a curating website that will help you search for media on what you want to learn. This is the video that I saw under my Japanese skill media:


This video encourages me to do better with my Japanese and even provides a few helpful tips on using the right grammar or even the right verb. With this I hope that I can continue to get better. I know that I will make mistakes. However, I would like to make less mistakes. I feel as though I am in a solo race to fluency.


Here are my results from my second (?) post:

And here are my current stats as of today:

My writing score has increased quite a bit from last time. As has other stats.
Let’s shoot for Green Belt!

I am close to my goal of being a Orange belt 3rd Kyu. Perhaps I will shoot higher and go for a green belt before this year is over.

And now I present more grammar notes.

Stating Intent Base form verb + つもり+/です

This grammar note is used only when you plan or intend on doing something.




I plan on cooking.

I plan on becoming a detective.

I plan to study Japanese every day.

To have scheduled plans Base form verb + よてい + /です/はある

This grammar note is used only when stating that you have scheduled plans. It is more direct and straight forward than saying you plan to, or you intend on doing something.




I am scheduled to have an interview.

I am scheduled to wake up at 6 o’clock.

I am scheduled to have a date.

And speaking of dates… here is a long dialogue:



エマ: ね、レイ。ここにいますよ。

レイ: あ、エマ。お待たせしました、申し訳ありません。

エマ: 篤彦先生は厳しいです、ね?

レイ: はい、そうです。篤彦先生は「エッセイを書き終えてから出て行っていいよ」と言いました。

エマ: あのエッセイの締め切りはおとといでしたよ、ね?

レイ: はい。先週、エッセイに出した。しかし、先生は僕にエッセイを書き換えたかったんです。先生は「レイさん、あなたはもっとうまくやれるよ」と言いました。

エマ: なるほど。お父さんみたいです。

レイ: だろう。


エマとレイ: 黒茶を一つください。


レイとエマ: いいえ、けっこうです。

レイ: そ、れいーくんも黒茶が好きですか?

エマ: はい。将棋をする時、たびたび黒茶を飲みます。

レイ: 将棋をしますか?

エマ: はい。それは趣味です。それに、下手です。

レイ: 本当か?

エマ: 本当。家族に将棋を教えてあげるつもりでした。しかし、かれらは将棋がむずかしいと言います。私は将棋が下手なので、たくさん詰め将棋をします。

レイ: いつか一緒にしましょうか?

エマ: いいよ。しましょう。れいーくんの趣味は?

レイ: 書道。子供の時、書道を習います。

エマ: おもしろい。レイーくんの字がこんなにきちゃんとしているのも不思議ではないです。まだ漢字を学んでいます。教えてくれてください。

レイ: いいよ。

ウェイター: 黒茶をどうぞ。ごゆっくり。


ウェイター: どういたしまして。

エマ: あ、もう少しで忘れました。私の誕生日のパーティーに行きませんか?

レイ: いいよ。いつですか?

エマ:  来週です。友達のハルはパーティーを飾ってあげます。

レイ: え?ハル?いずみハル?黒くて短い髪?濃紺の目?

エマ:  はい。知り合いですか?(“すごい。とても特定。ちょっと羨ましいな。”)

レイ: 少しです。実は、友達はハルことが好きです。

エマ:  ひょっとして、この友達はヒビキですか?(“良かったです。レイーくんはハルが好きだと一瞬思った。”)

レイ: ピンポン。どうして分かったんですか?

エマ: ハルはいつもヒビキことを話します。ハルはかれはシャイだけど、頼もしい男ですと言います。

レイ: なるほど。イデアがある。聞きませんか?

エマ: 私たちは同じイデアがあるとおもいます。しましょう。

Emma and Rei are meeting at Café Noir. They met last semester.

Emma: Hey, Rei. I’m over here.

Rei: Ah, Emma. Sorry that I kept you waiting.

Emma: Professor Atsuhiko is strict, isn’t he?

Rei: Sure is. He said “you can leave after you finish writing your essay”

Emma: That essay was due the day before yesterday, wasn’t it?

Rei: Yes. I turned in my essay last week. However, he wanted to me rewrite it. He said, “Mr. Ray you can do better than that”.

Emma: I see. Sounds like a father.

Rei: Right.

Waiter: Would you like to order?

Emma and Ray: One black tea please

Waiter: Yes. Anything else?

Ray and Emma: No, thank you.

Rei: So, you like black tea, too.

Emma: Yes. When I play shogi, I often drink black tea.

Rei: You play shogi?

Emma: Yes, it is a hobby. And, I’m not good at it.

Rei: Really?

Emma: Really. I was going to teach my family shogi. However, they say that shogi is difficult. I’m not good at shogi, so I do a lot of Tsume Shogi (Shogi Puzzles).

Rei: Shall we play sometime?

Emma: Sure. Let’s do that. How about you? Any hobbies?

Rei: Calligraphy. I learned it when I was a kid.

Emma: Interesting. No wonder your handwriting is so neat. I’m still learning Kanji. Will you teach me some time?

Rei: Sure.

Waiter: Here is your black tea.

Rei and Emma: Thank you for the tea.

Waiter: You’re welcome.

Emma: Oh, I almost forgot. Would you like to come to my birthday party?

Rei: Sure. When is it?

Emma: Next week. My friend Haru is decorating for me.

Rei: Eh? Haru? Izumi Haru? Short black hair? Wears glasses? Dark blue eyes?

Emma: Yes. Do you know her? (“That’s amazing. Very specific. I’m a little jealous.”)

Rei: A little. A friend of mine likes her.

Emma: Is this friend by any chance, Hibiki? (“Thank goodness. I thought Rei liked Haru for a second there.”)

Rei: Bingo. How’d you know?

Emma: She’s always talking about him. He’s shy, but he’s a reliable man.

Rei: I see. I got an idea. Would you listen to it?

Emma: I think we have the same idea. Sure. Let’s do it.


What is Shogi (将棋)?


にほんごのれんしゅう(日本語の練習) 第6週 Japanese Practice Week 6

Hello everyone! Kyuusei here. And happy new year. With that being said, let’s continue with a couple of things about Japan.


Life is like playing a game of chess… but I play shogi.

Shogi 将棋

Sho 将 -> General’s

Gi 棋-> Board Game

Shogi is Japanese chess. A 9×9 grid with 20 pieces each for both players. With chess, once your pieces are gone, they are out of the game for good. However, with shogi, the pieces you capture can be dropped back on to the board as your allies. That is also the main reason why I think shogi is harder than chess.

Shogi even have ranks. For amateur players, they start out with 15th kyu and work their way up to 1st kyu. After that promotion you are ranked in the dan territory which starts from 1st dan to 8th dan. With professionals however, have their own ranking scale, from 6th kyu to 3rd dan then 4th dan to 9th dan. Supposedly, amateur and professional ranks are only a few ranks away from each other. For instance, if you are an amateur player ranked at 1 dan that is the equivalent of being a 4th kyu in the professional shogi world.

Today I joined, a site where you can play shogi online with other people. I must say that I’m a total beginner compared to majority of the people on there. However, that will not deter me from improvement. Instead it only puts fire on the coals. I got into shogi because of an anime called March Comes in Like a Lion or 3-gatsu no lion (Kind of weird how they translate that to English. The literal translation is something akin to “March’s Lion”). From there I bought a shogi game app from Microsoft Store and a Shogi Puzzle Book by T. Gene Davis. I started watching shogi tutorial videos on YouTube by HIDETCHI.

This website starts you off at 9th kyu. That’s a beginner for this website. So hopefully I can get past this rank before the year is over. Funny thing is the site is made by HIDETCHI. Go figure!

On another note, here is a grammar note and examples.

I’ve had that experience ➔た-form + ことがある

This grammar is usually used when saying that you have had an experience doing something. So of course, we must use the past tense for this. But wait how can we conjugated with “to have an experience doing ___”?

Ladies and gentlemen, the て-form is back again. Except this time, you must change it to past tense た-form. So, in the past post, you used the て-form just simply switch the てout with た.







(I have had the experience of cutting my hair myself.)

(I haven’t had the experience going to Japan but, I have had the experience of going to Germany.)

(I have had the experience of buying a wrist watch)

(I have had the experience of writing a diary)

(I have had the experience of sketching an anime character)

(I haven’t had the experience of breaking my bones. Thank goodness!)


Previously: A young boy named Takeshi has gotten into trouble. His mother told him to sit at the kitchen table until she returns. His friend comes over and wants to play. After Takeshi is convinced to go play by his friend, the phone rings. It’s his mother. Now how did she know he got off his seat and was about to leave.

Now, we start back to where we left off last week. Sounds like Takeshi and his friend are in trouble.






たけしの友達: じゃ、あまたね。

たけし: おい!お前!行かないでよ!

お母さん: あなたはもトラブルに巻き込まれるよ。

たけしの友達とたけし: きゃ~!来た!

Takeshi: Mom?! Where are you?!

Mom: I’m on the roof. And, I can see both of you.

Takeshi: Our roof?!

Takeshi’s friend: What?! Wow that’s amazing. Is she a ninja?

Takeshi: Shut up!

Mom: My orders are absolute. My orders have been and will always be.

Takeshi’s friend: Well, see ya.

Takeshi: Hey! You! Don’t you leave!

Mom: You are also in trouble.

Takeshi’s friend and Takeshi: Ahh! She’s here!


レイ: ね、ヒビキ。今晩、パーティーがあるよ。一緒に行こうか?

ヒビキ: ううん。ちょっと疲れた。

レイ: ハルはパーティーに行きますよ。

ヒビキ: え?!ハ。。。ハルさん?!

レイ: うん。ハルの親友の誕生日のパーティーだよ。彼女の名前はエマだ。エマはイギリス人だよ。

ヒビキ: 何人来るのか?

レイ: 10人ぐらいだ。

ヒビキ: どこか?

レイ: エマのアパトだ。それに、僕たち四人だけはカラオケばーに行く。

ヒビキ: じゃ、行くと思う。

レイ: え、セカンドウインドか?

ヒビキ: ほとけよ。行こうよ。

レイ: はい、はい。

ヒビき: そして、レイ。

レイ: なんだ?

ヒビキ: ありがとう。

レイ: ノー問題。


Hibiki and Rei Part II

Rei: Hey, Hibiki. There’s going to be a party tonight. Shall we go together?

Hibiki: Nah. I’m a bit tired.    

Rei: Haru is going the party.

Hibiki: Huh?! M-Ms. Haru?!

Rei: Yeah, it’s her best friend’s birthday party. Her name is Emma. She’s British.

Hibiki: How many people are coming?

Rei: About 10 people.

Hibiki: Where is it?

Rei: At Emma’s apartment. Then just the four of us we’ll go to a karaoke bar.

Hibiki: Well then, I guess I’ll go.

Rei: Eh, getting your second wind?

Hibiki: Leave it be. Let’s go.

Rei: Yeah Yeah.

Hibiki: And Rei.

Rei: Yeah.

Hibiki: Thank you.

Rei: No problem.

In conclusion, I hope that this series is helpful with your journey to learning Japanese and/or taking an interest in the country’s culture. Until then… また来週。

Japanese Culture: Gift Giving and Aizuchi + Goals


にほんごのれんしゅう(日本語の練習) 第5週 Japanese Practice Week 5

Hello everyone! Kyuusei here. This will be my last post of the year. With that being said, let’s continue with a few things that I found interesting about Japan this week.

Gift Giving

Now that Christmas is over, I would like to share Japan’s culture on gift giving a bit. In many movies and television and my home during the holidays, I see people tearing away at the Christmas wrapping to get see what they have received. Sometimes, we even use the same wrapping from last year (just using what we have left on the rolls, not picking up the shreds and pasting them back together).

In Japan, things are a bit different. Wrapping is very important in Japan. This dates back to many centuries ago (sometime around the medieval period I believe), where they explained the art of gift giving and how to wrap it. In general, a Japanese person would not reuse the same wrapping.

Furthermore, they usually don’t open gifts in front of the giver until the giver leaves. This may have more to do with how formal their mindset is compared to America. Yes, they are happy that you have given them a gift but, it mostly has to do with being considerate of the giver’s gift and that you (or someone else) worked hard on the gift wrapping.


はい、そうですね、マジ 、なるほど。

These are words or phrases used to show that you are actively listening to the conversation that is going on. They may even nod their head to show body language that they are listening. Furthermore, rephrasing a question to what was already discussed is also apart of this cultural expression of active listening.

For instance:

A: きょう、このかのじょに話していました。

B: かのじょですか?

A: そして、彼女は本当にきれいでした。

B: そうか。

A: So, I was talking to this girl today?

B: A girl you say?

A: And she was really pretty.

B: I see.

This may seem like they aren’t listening to you. However, without aizuchi, the speaker may assume that you aren’t interested in hearing them out or disengaged in the conversation. Without aizuchi, there may even be pauses of awkward silence. Perhaps this was put in place to keep the conversation flowing.

What I learned this week:

から と ので ➔ because


This is used when you want to give a specific reason for something. It is inflexible and is more direct. Politeness is a major key in the Japanese language, so let’s show you another way of giving reasons.


I won’t go to the party because I want to see the new One-Piece movie.


This is usually used if you want to be vaguer when giving a reason. In most cases, there may be more than one reason to give.

For instance, “I don’t want to go outside, because it is hot, it is muggy, I dislike going outside in the heat, and there is nothing to do outside today.”

Instead of saying all of that, we can just give one reason which will indicate that this might not be the only reason we don’t want to go outside.


I am studying because I have a test tomorrow. (may also mean “I want to get a good score or I don’t want to fail this test or this is my worst subject so I have to put more time in studying for this test”)

Using ので with だor です are replaced with な



I will not go outside, because it is cold.



I can read, because it is quiet.

How to (do something/ the way of doing something) Verb + かた

With this new grammar you have to do something special to the verb. You must change the stem to what is called the い-form. The い-form is basically where you replace end of the verb (such as つくる- to cook) to the い-form (つくり). Here are the conjugations for this form:

う→ い

つ→ ち

る→ り

む→ み

ぶ→ び

ぬ→ に

ぐ→ ぎ

く→ き

する→ し

Now let’s see some examples:


I don’t know how to drive.


I know how to write this kanji.

Difficult to do – Verb (-form) + にくい

Now that we know how to use the い-form, let’s take a look at how to say something is difficult to do.


I’ll read that book, because this book is difficult to read.

You could probably use the negative form of にくい to say it is not difficult. However, it would be better to learn how to say something is easy to do instead. That is where we  shall go from here.

Easy to do – Verb (-form) + やすい


Hiragana and katakana are easy to read. However, Kanji is hard to read.

Too much – Verb (-form) + すぎる

This is used to say that you do something too much.


It is easy to write kana (Hiragana and Katakana), because I write kana every day.



A young boy named Takeshi has gotten into trouble. His mother told him to sit at the kitchen table until she returns. His friend comes over and wants to play. However,…








B: ごめんなさい。間違った番号です。失礼します。





A: Hey, Takeshi. Your mother isn’t home anymore. Let’s play.

B: No way. My mother said, “Sit here.”.

A: Forget what your mother says. Besides you look bored.

B: (“This idiot is trying to get me killed but… [he is right that I am bored]”) Let’s go.

A: Alright! Oh, the phone is ringing.

B: Hello. This is Takeshi.

C: Where are you going?

B: Sorry. Wrong number. Excuse me.

A: Who was it?

B: Mom.

A: Seriously?! Wow, it’s ringing again.

To be continued…


A young girl runs into the house asking her mother for water. What has made her look so exhausted?

花ちゃん: た。。。ただいま。見...水をいいぱいちょうだい。


花ちゃん: (水を早く飲んでいます)公園で運動していましたんです。


花ちゃん: まず、プロテインシェイクを飲みました。そのあと、腕立て伏せ100回やりて、上体起こし100回やりて、スクワットを100やりました。そして、ランニング10キロをしました。

お母さん: え?!100回?!プロテインシェイク?!!なぜ?!

花ちゃん: 私はワンパンマンのようになりたい。


Who is One Punch Man?!

Hana-chan: I-I’m home. G-give me a bunch of water.

Mother: Welcome bac- Wow… sure, here you go. Why are you sweating?

Hana-chan: (Drinks water quickly) It’s because I was exercising in the park.

Mother: What kind?

Hana-chan: I drank a protein shake, did 100 push-ups, did 100 sit-ups, and did 100 squats. After that, I ran 10 kilometers.

Mother: What?! 100?! Protein shake?!! Why?!

Hana-chan: I want to be like One Punch Man!

Mother: Who is One Punch Man?!

Since the new year is coming soon, I would like to address goals. Like Hana-chan in this story, we must strive towards a goal and maybe even aim to be like someone we idolize. If you have new year’s resolutions, I think it would be great to start doing them now. We don’t need a new year to change something about ourselves. Even if it is a long-term goal, set small achievable goals to complete it next year. So, don’t wait – start now. Even if it is hard, pace yourself, try meeting your goals, and do your best.

For myself, I have a few goals:

Learning goals:

  • Learn how to use more than 500 kanji. (I’ve been learning how to use grade school kanji – about 200 kanji)
  • Get a green belt in JA Sensei. (I’m on Orange belt 1st kyu)
  • Keep writing this weekly blog.
  • Complete a shogi puzzle book (I have done all the 1 move shogi puzzles. I am now doing 3 move shogi puzzles. This book goes up to more than 7 moves. Good luck future me!)

Physical goals:

Been working on this since October of this year. At first it was tough. Especially the running. I just had to learn to pace myself and get the right shoes.

  • Did this every day:
  • 100 push ups
  • 100 sit ups
  • 100 squats
  • I am jogging three days out of the week:
  • 5 km jog (Had to start somewhere since my stamina is poor. I will work my way up to 10 km. Then I will consider doing this every day. See, pacing. Remember not to push yourself too hard. Learn your current limits. Building upon yourself is all that matters. So, once again pace yourself.)

In conclusion,

I hope that this series is helpful with your journey to learning Japanese and/or taking an interest in the country’s culture. Until then… また来週。。。また来年!

Snowball Fighting is a Sport?! + Explaining てーForm


日本語の練習 第4週 (Japanese Practice Week 4)


Welcome to week 4. To start us off here is a poem:





(The snow has fell

It’s cold but,

let’s start,

The Snow Battle!)

雪 ゆき→ Snow

合戦 がっせん→ Battle

雪合戦/ゆきがっせん→ Snow Battle

Yukigassen. This is a snowball fight competition first held in 1989 in Sobetsu, Hokkaido. It is now played in many cities worldwide. It is akin to capture-the-flag with the mixture of a snowball fight between two teams. Here is a video showcasing one of their competitions:



The te-form is put in use to conjugate u-verbs and irregular verbs. They are conjugated:

·        To add an “ing” at the end of a verb



·        To connect verbs


(I went to the library by foot, drank tea at a café, and studied Japanese.)

·        To add please to a verb (usually a request).


(Please listen)

How to conjugate:

It depends on the ending of the verb. For instance iku (the irregular verb “to go”) changes to itte and sagasu (the u-verb “to search”) changes to sagashite.

Here are the conjugations:

·        U-Verbs

うつるー>って、むぶぬー>んで、くー>いて、ぐー>いで すー>して

·        Irregular Verbs

すろー>して、くる-> きて

Another example sentence:


 (I went to class on a motorbike and had a Japanese exam. I was almost late.)

Here is the te-form song video that helped me remember these conjugations:


Now, about the ru-verbs. Fortunately, these are less complex than the other kinds of verbs regarding the te-form. All you must do is drop the ru from the end of the verb and add te. 


Their actions will be in parenthesis [ex.(he is eating a hamburger)]. Their thoughts will be in quotations within parenthesis [ex. (“This is not an interesting movie”)]. From now on, I will be doing the dialogues like this. Furthermore, all translations will be at the end of each dialogue.

意地悪なクラスメイトMean Classmate (Mixed)

A girl sees a familiar face at a café. It’s her classmate. Since they are both in Japanese class together, she wanted to chat and practice her Japanese. However,…



A:(“ひどいですよ。”) 私を忘れますか?






A: May I sit here?

B: Who the heck are you?

A: (“Jeez that’s harsh.”) Did you forget me?

B: I remember seeing you somewhere. Do you have Ms. Yukiko’s class?

A: Yes. We met last week.

B: Sorry. Since I’m busy right now, you can’t sit down. Maybe next time, okay?

A: Understood. Well then, see you. (“She’s a bit of a mean person”)


A: あの,けんーくん。

B: はい、ジョン。

A: この映画のキャストは日本語で話しますが、あまり分かりませんでした。あなたは?

B: ぜんぜん分かりませんでした。会話が早すぎるから、映画は分からなかった。

AとB: はあ~


A: Hey, Ken.

B: Yes, John.

A: The cast in this movie were speaking in Japanese but, I couldn’t understand it much. How about you?

B: I didn’t understand anything at all. I couldn’t understand the movie, because the conversations were too fast.

A and B: Sigh~

Continuation of the dialogue from Week 3


This is Hibiki’s friend named Rei. They live in an apartment together. Hibiki has just arrived home from the bookstore.

A: ただいま。

B: おかえり。こんばんわ、ヒビキ。

A: あ、レイ、こんばんわ。いつここに帰りましたか?

B: 一分前だけ。 お前は嬉しそうだ。

A: ええ、本当か。

B: うん、本当。しごとはどうでしたか。

A: 別に。

B: あの少女はまた見ましたか。

A: あの。。。

B: 当たり?ピンポン?

A: ウザイ。

B: じゃ、どうだった。今度はあの少女と話していましたか。


B: ハルちゃん、ね?いい名前。あの本はどこにあったか?

A: 一番高いのシェルフの上でした。

B: わ~一番高いのシェルーおい!なぜそれをしましたか?お前は高所恐怖症がないのか。

A: ええ、とってもこわかったよ。

B: なれば、なぜ。

A: 僕の仕事なんだ。それに、ハルさんと話したかったから。(彼はコラを飲んでいます。)

B: お。じゃ、結婚式はいつ?

A: (ゴホゴホ)


A: いくつか?小学生か? ほっといてくれよ。

B: はい~辞めるよ。辞める。


A: I’m home.

B: Welcome back. Good evening, Hibiki.

A: Ah, Rei. Good evening. When did you get back here?

B: Just a minute ago. You look happy.

A: Eh? Really?

B: Yep, really. How was work?

A: Nothing in particular.

B: Did you see that girl again.

A: Uhh…

B: Am I right? Bingo?

A: You’re being annoying.

B: So, how was it? Did you talk to her this time?

A: Yeah, I helped Ms. Haru find a book.

B: Haru, huh? Nice name. Where was that book?

A: It was on the highest shelf.

B: Wow it was on the highest shel- Hey! Why did you do that? Don’t you have acrophobia?

A: Yeah, it was very scary.

B: Then why?

A: It’s my job. And, I wanted to talk to Ms. Haru. (He’s drinking cola.)

B: Oh. So, when’s the wedding?

A: (Strong cough)

B: Anyway, do you plan on dating her? (Gave Hibiki a handkerchief.)

A: How old are you? Are you in grade school? Leave me be.

B: Okay~ I’ll stop. I’ll stop.

To be continued?

I hope that this may help others in their reading comprehension. I’ll be back next Sunday with more.

With that being said, happy holidays.

Japanese Idioms


日本語の練習 第3週 (Japanese Practice Week 3)

I have recently come back to learning Japanese on the JA Sensei app. I want to get an unlimited account as soon as possible. This app has tons of content available compared to when I was using it at U of L. I decided to start from the beginning. Here are my results so far:

It is fun to see progress

There are some categories that I should work on such as the kanji and kana drawing category. Fortunately, the reading comprehension category is not an issue. Each lesson comes with interesting culture topics (healthcare, variations of politeness, etc.). So, that will increase as I complete each lesson. Overall, I still have much to learn about the language and the culture of Japan.

No alt text provided for this image

On another note, George has published Japanese from Zero 5. (ジョージ先生, おめでとうございます!絶対に買っています。[Congratulations, George sensei]) Many people have waited for this book for years. Since I started the fourth book a few weeks ago, I, fortunately, will not have to suffer the wait. The kanji is getting hard but…


(I still must practice.)

With this book out, I hope that he will continue working on the Japanese from Zero videos.

Speaking of the Japanese from Zero video series, I found another YouTube channel that will help review Japanese concepts called JapanSocietyNYC. I will get into their main lesson playlist soon. As for now, I am enjoying their Uki Uki Nihongo series. I recently watched their idiom video:


Finally, here are a few dialogues. I thought I should revisit that one dialogue from the first week. There might be another part to it for next week. I have been thinking about adding titles and more context to these dialogues (whether the speech is polite, casual or mixture of the two). From now on, I will be adding this content. Furthermore, I have went back and translated majority of what I write into English. These translations will be added for now on as well.

Continuation of the dialogue from Week 1

ヒビキとハル II (Polite) (Hibiki and Haru Part II)


(Hibiki works at a bookstore. Hibiki is looking for Haru’s most favorite novel. But…)


(I found it but… why is that novel…)


A: お...お待たせいたしました。 その小説を見...見つけました。

(So- sorry for the wait. I fou- found that novel.)

B: 本当にありがとうございます。どこに見つけましたか?

(Thank you very much. Where did you find it?)

A: 一番高...高いのシェ...シェルフの上でした。

(On top of the hig- highest sh- shelf.)

B: わあ~ 凄い。すみません。

(Wow, amazing. Sorry.)

A: いいえ。ノ...ノー問題です。

(Not at all. N- no problem.)

B: え、大丈夫ですか?あなたは揺れってますよ。

(Uh, are you okay? You’re shaking.)

A: はい、大...大丈夫です。

(Yes, I- I’m fine.)


(To be continued?)

イェイ ケーキ!(Casual) (Yay cake!)


(A father and his daughter eat at a cake buffet.)


(May eat that cake?)


(What kind of cake?)


(The red velvet one)


(Yeah, go ahead. Don’t eat too much, okay?)



昼ごはんの時間 (Mix) (Lunchtime)


(The girls are eating lunch in the cafeteria.)


(This flavor is good. You have to eat this.)


(What is it?)



Ⓑわあ~ おいしいそう。じゃ、いただきます。

(Wow. It looks good. Well, thanks for the food.)


(How is it?)


(Ah. It’s really good.)




(Did you make this?)


(Yeah, I made it.)


(How did you make it?)


(I’ll tell you but, you can’t tell anyone about this recipe.)

That is it for this week. また来週。(See you next week.)

Japanese Learning Apps

2019年12月08日 「日」

日本語の練習 第2週 (Japanese Practice Week 2)


(You don’t have to have a lot of money to be happy.)


Today I will be starting off with some apps I use to learn Japanese. Perhaps these will help you as well.

Apps I use to learn Japanese:

JA Sensei

Heard about this app from a classmate in my Japanese class. Really helped me when I was learning how to write out the kana. This app has flashcards and you can also practice writing the correct stroke order for each. Not only does it have the basics such as kana, this app has grammar lessons, kanji, radicals, and much more to offer to the more experienced students. This app also has a ranking system symbolized through belts (white belt, yellow, belt, etc.). When you do many of the activities they have to offer, you will rise in rank.


A new one that I found this year. It’s a progressive learning system that allows you to learn the language mostly through 2 or 3 grammar topics or subjects at a time. It is set up somewhat a kin to Duolingo (points and goal setting XP per day). I like that this app has a bonus topic after each lesson to enforce the material that you learn through listening comprehension and speaking.


A: ねえ アレクス、あそこに立ちなくてもいいよ。こち向いて。

B: あ、あすこ。久しぶり。何を読んでいるのか?

A: えと~ この本を読めない。

B: え。なんで?

A: この本は多い難しい漢字がありますから。

B: この本を読みなくてもいいだよ。なぜまだ読むのか?

A: 訳者になりたいよ。私の将来のために、この本を読みなければいきません。

B: わ~ 凄い。じゃ、頑張って。応援するよ。

A: ありがとう。

(For my future)

(Hey Alex, don’t stand over there. Come here.)

(Ah, Asuko. It’s been a while. What are you reading?)

(Um, I can’t read it.)

(What. Why not?)

(Because there are many difficult kanji in this book.)

(You don’t have to read this book. Why still read it?)

(I want to be a translator. For my future, I must read this book)

Wow, amazing. Well then, best of luck. I’m rooting for you.




かれの怖く彼女 (His scary girlfriend)


(Where are you going?)


(I’m going to my girlfriend’s house.)

A: 彼女はまだ怒っているの?

(Isn’t she still mad?)

B: ええ。


A: どうして行くのか?

(Why are you going?)

B: 行かないと。

(I have to go.)

A: 分かった。気を付けて。あの彼女が怖いだよね。

(Understood. Be careful. That girl is scary, isn’t she?)

B: そうだね。あの...お前と一緒に行かないのか?

(That’s right. Um… Will you come with me?)

A: だめ。怖いすぎる。頑張る。

(No way. Too scary. Do you best.)

B: ...行ってきます。

(I’m heading out.)

A: いってらっしゃい。(ドアが閉まる)

(Return safely. (the door closes))

A: 可哀想な。

(Poor thing.)

My Journey with Japanese


日本語の練習 第1週 (Japanese Practice Week 1)

Note: I have moved these past posts from a different site today. I will post the next one on Sunday. Enjoy the four posts.

This blog is to practice my writing in Japanese and to help others gain an interest in the language and the culture. These posts will consist of English and Japanese. Will update every Sunday with dialogues and/or things that pertain to the Japanese language, culture, etc.

I will make mistakes.

さるもきからおちる。(猿も木から落ちる) (Even monkeys fall from trees)



(Nice to meet you. I am called Kyuusei. I am studying Japanese. I am still a beginner. My hobbies are Shogi, anime, and books. From now on I will do my best to study Japanese. Best regards.)

Books I am using to learn Japanese:

Genki Series by Yutaka Ohno · Chikako Shinagawa · Yoko Sakane · Eri Banno · Kyoko Tokashiki

I used this series while taking Japanese courses at University of Louisville. They start off with romaji and then ease you into learning hiragana and katakana. Their dialogues tell the tale of ‘Mary’ and her friends that are mentioned throughout the start of each chapter. I like that they have CDs to practice your listening comprehension. They also have workbooks that help you grasp the language’s speaking, grammar, writing, reading, and listening.

Japanese from Zero Series (JFZ Series) by George Trombley · Yukari Takenaka

Stumbled across George’s videos during my time at UofL. At that time, I only wanted to focus only on the Genki series so I only watched videos here and there. Now, I have recently finished his third book and feel as though I would have been better off studying this during my summer breaks and coming back to class more fluent. I understand I could’ve done both but I made an excuse to not overwhelm myself during the semester with another book.

Overall, I like his style of teaching the most. He gradually teaches you the hiragana, katakana, and kanji. It works like a textbook integrated with a workbook that helps you grasp the language’s speaking, grammar, writing, and reading. His YouTube channel is packed with lessons that are covered in the book.

Speak Japanese in 90 Days by Karl Marx

This is a (daily) challenge of learning the language. It gives you some culture notes and necessary foot notes so you don’t use the wrong phrase and/or use it at the wrong time. He has four stages that he uses for each phrase:

  • English translation (This is my kindle.)
  • Romaji (kore wa watahsi no kindoru desu.)
  • Hiragana and katakana (これはわたしのキンドルです。)
  • Then a mixture of the hiragana katakana and kanji in the sentence (これは私のキンドルです。)

Considering I found this book after coming across Genki and JFZ, the romaji is somewhat off putting. However, it is understandable to have it for people who are just starting out learning the language and pronouncing words. Besides, romaji is nowhere in sight in the second volume according to the reviews that I have read about it. I am almost half way through the book. From what I have read, it builds a pretty solid foundation and progressively gets harder.


A: お顧-お顧客様、大ー大丈夫ですか。どんな本を探していますか。

(C-customer, ar-are you okay? What kind of book are you looking for?)

B: はい、大丈夫です。一番好きな本を探しています。

(Yes, I’m fine. I am looking for my most favorite book)

A: 手伝いましょうか。いつでもお手伝いします。

(Shall I help? I am always ready to help.)

B: はい、おねがいします。あ、ごめんなさい。あなたの名前は何ですか。

(Yes, please do. Oh, I’m sorry. What is your name?)

A: 響と申します。よろしくお願いします。

(I am Hibiki. Best regards.)

B: ハルともします。よろしくお願いします。

(I am Haru. Best regards.)

A: じゃ、この本のタイトルは何ですか。

(Well then, What is the title of this book)

B: 夏目漱石の「心」です。

(It’s Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro.)

A: 分かりました。僕は今すぐに探します。

(Understood. I will find it right away)


ヒビキ: お顧-お顧客様、大ー大丈夫ですか。どんな本を探していますか。
彼女: はい、大丈夫です。一番好きな本を探しています。
ヒビキ: 手伝いましょうか。いつでもお手伝いします。
彼女: はい、おねがいします。あ、ごめんなさい。あなたの名前は何ですか。
ヒビキ: ヒビキと申します。よろしくお願いします。
彼女: ハルともします。よろしくお願いします。
ヒビキ: じゃ、この本のタイトルは何ですか。
ハル: 夏目漱石の「心」です。
ヒビキ: かしこまりました。僕は今すぐに探します。