Ninomiya Sontoku: The Power of Curiosity & Passion

The power of passion and curiosity, a subject I always wanted to write about. Incidentally, the desire to do so, first emerged during my stint in Japan, quite some time ago. But having months of transition behind me and needing to lay out my future anew now, it resurfaced and I suddenly felt the urge to finally write it down. Long enough it has been sitting in the back of my head …

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Sontoku’s classic image emerging during the Meiji period. Him using every opportunity to read in the Teachings of Confucius (論語;ろんご and 大学;だいがく) while carrying firewood or working the fields. Although a sort of romanticized depiction of his and not an actuality, it is that image which remains in the hearts of the people.

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How Do You Live? 君たちはどう⽣きるか? by Yoshino Genzaburou

How do you live? or Kimitachi wa dou ikiru ka? (君たちはどう⽣きるか) in Japanese, is a story written by children literature author Yoshino Genzaburou (吉野 源三郎・よしの げんざぶろう). It depicts the story of a second year middle school student as he is confronted with questions of growing up and becoming part of society. In other words, what it means to be human and how to live as one in our world.

How do you live?

After Your Name (君の名は。), will ‘Kimitachi wa dou ikiru ka?’ be the next Japanese novel to receive an anime adaption?

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NHK World Easy Japanese – Japanese Beginner Lessons

Sakura & Anna First Encounter
The main characters of the NHK World Radio Japan audio drama Easy Japanese Anna (right side), a student from Thailand and Sakura (left side), her Japanese tutor and friend, at their first encounter at the university campus. In the background, the cherry trees in full bloom indicate the arrival of spring, which is also the time for new school semesters in Japan.

Are you a budding student of Japanese, looking into ways to get your Japanese learning routine off the ground?

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AmazonGlobal Otaku and Popular Character Stores at amazon.co.jp

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amazon.co.jp got you settled with everything you need, directly from Japan to your door steps!

A few months ago, back in October 2016, I posted the first version of this article, however, a change corrupted some of the settings😤 and it’s no longer appearing properly on Google (sigh, technology 😩!), which lead me to post this again. Might have been a WordPress glitch, but I hope the new article stays unaffected. The former article I left as is though, as some visitors might still strand there (see Edition History on the bottom⬇). The main content remains mostly the same except for some minor editing. Well, here we go again🏃💨!

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Amazon.co.jp rolls out Otaku and Popular Character Stores

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Originally I had planned a mini series for October, unfortunately though this drowned in work and I had to give it up. Still on my ‘Creative Break’ and finding myself with not enough time at hand for research and translations in recent months, there is something I like to make a quick post about today.

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日本のことは、マンガとゲームで学びました。by Benjamin Boas – The Power of (Pop-)Culture, Benjamin’s COOL JAPAN!

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English Title: Everything I know about Japan I learned from Manga and Video Games

Publisher: 小学館

ISBN-10: 4093883955
ISBN-13: 978-4093883955

Language: 日本語・Japanese
Pages: 143
Price Tag: 1188 JPY

While in preparation for a next extensive research project of mine, I took the time to check out another COMIC ESSAY. It is the one of BENJAMIN BOAS, which I announced in my previous post of NORDIC GIRL ÅSA DISCOVERS THE MYSTERIES OF JAPAN VOL. 2 ・北欧女子オーサが見つけた日本の不思議 2, in which he has a quick entry.

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A Year to forget – 忘年会・(ぼうねんかい)

No, no it was not all that bad, the passing year, however as we are going towards the end of it, I would like to talk about the custom of year-end parties in Japan, which are the so called BOUNENKAI (忘年会・ぼうねんかい). It is yet another and last occasion of the year for the festive people of Japan to throw their parties. The country has a vibrant festival culture, but unlike many seasonal events, bounenkai has no religious connotation or specific event protocol what so ever. Nonetheless, it can be said that it still carries a not unimportant social relevance and therefore is not to be missed out.

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北欧女子オーサが見つけた日本の不思議 2 by Åsa Ekström – A delightful Journey to continue!

Åsa made it again - ‘Nordic Girl Åsa discovers the Mysteries of Japan 2’. The cover of the second cover comes in similar fashion.
More mysteries to be revealed, Åsa made it again! – ‘Nordic Girl Åsa discovers the Mysteries of Japan 2’. The cover of the second cover comes in similar fashion.

English Title: Nordic Girl Åsa discovers the Mysteries of Japan Vol. 2

Publisher: 株式会社Kadokawa

ISBN-10: 4040679105
ISBN-13: 978-4040679105

Language: 日本語・Japanese
Pages: 157
Price Tag: 1080 JPY

I am happy to announce the second in my series of book introductions for COMIC ESSAYS (see also FUN WITH COMIC ESSAYS side page). After enjoying the first volume of Nordic Girl Åsa discovers the Mysteries of Japan・北欧女子オーサが見つけた日本の不思議 (see post) quite a bit, I got myself also the sequel, which was published back in September. Whereas I was about 6 months behind the release for the first book, for the second volume I have miraculously managed to post slightly more opportune. Then I shall get started right away with the latest book introduction of mine, with which I hope to tempt you in reading the book yourself. Continue reading

北欧女子オーサが見つけた日本の不思議 by Åsa Ekström – Re-discovering Japan with a Nordic Girl!

Book Review
‘Nordic Girl Åsa discovers the Mysteries of Japan’ by Åsa Ekström

English Title: Nordic Girl Åsa discovers the Mysteries of Japan Vol. 1

Publisher: 株式会社Kadokawa

ISBN-10: 4040674235
ISBN-13: 978-4040674230

Language: 日本語・Japanese
Pages: 140
Price Tag: 1080 JPY

This is my first book introduction ever, or perhaps I shall say Manga introduction 🤗 It is an independent one, I just read the book, thinking to myself, this is something I want to share with other readers interested in Japan and learners of the Japanese language.

The book goes under the genre comic essays and comes in the FOUR PANEL COMIC-STRIP format (also 四コマ; Yon koma). It was published in March 2015 and somehow picked it up from the shelves some months back to keep my Japanese going, while no longer in the country. While there are no kanji readings (furigana or ruby characters) provided, the stories are not too hard to follow. I suppose that everyone with a JLPT 2 level will read through fairly smoothly.

I had to pull out the dictionary a couple times, but it didn’t hinder me from reading it all the way … やる気さえあれば (if only one has the motivation to do so). Even though there is no version other than Japanese (not yet), I think it is probably the most fun to read it in the one language because certain references and nuances of contents just come across best.
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Aiming for Gods – Dragon Ball Super・ドラゴンボール超

Let the show begin! - Last sequence of the opening song before the curtains open to the new story arc. DRAGON BALL SUPER is being broadcasted since July 5th, 2015.
Let the show begin! – Last sequence of the opening song before the curtains open to the new story arc. Dragon Ball Super is being broadcast since July 5th, 2015.

After the movie Dragon Ball Z Resurrection (F「rieza」) earlier this year, the first new Dragon Ball episode aired in over almost 2 decades on Japanese TV since the beginning of this month. The story sets in sometime after Majin Boo‘s defeat. The earth seems to be once again freed from evil, but somewhere out in the universe a new, a mightier enemy is lurking to threaten this newly gained state of peace.
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