Improving my Broken Japanese! 頑張ります!

japaneseI came to Japan two years and eight months ago, and my Japanese is still broken. What the…OK, it’s not a big deal. I just live in Japan is all. Ever since I stopped doing the self-study Japanese courses (provided through the JET Programme), I haven’t been diligent in studying Japanese. I’ve tried to make up for the slack by entering a Japanese speech contest. My problem: I don’t practice every day. I do speak Japanese every day, but I don’t practice Japanese enough.

I’ve decided to learn a new Japanese word every day. I’ve decided this since Friday. The words I’ve learned since then are kangei (歓迎, “welcome”), ooku no (多くの, “many”), koma (駒, “piece”), and kaikai  (開会, “opening of a meeting”). I suppose these choice of words alone show what’s going on in my life now.

At this time, Japanese schools are welcoming new teachers and students–and there are many this year at my school–while opening ceremonies and introduction games are taking place. Can you guess what word goes with what statement? Bet you can.

On top of that, I’ve discovered, a website designed for self-study (and competition, whatever way you look at it). Every time I pass a vocabulary question, I get points which up my ranking score out of everyone on the website. It’s a bit addicting, so I guess is doing its job.

Calligraphy and Art (書道と美術)


In black is the old way of writing. In red is what each kanji means.

In today’s class, everyone went to the calligraphy and art classrooms. There were many beautiful calligraphy and art pieces. Some of the art pieces were impressive, so I decided to take a picture of them. Later on, I’d like to try to make a bag calligraphy.




If my Japanese is wrong, please correct me! I’m still learning!



スタジオジブリレイアウト展: Studio Ghibli’s Layout Exhibition

ImageToday, my husband and I went to the Studio Ghibli Layout Exhibition at the Okinawa Prefectural Art Museum. It was so interesting! Hayao Miyazaki made beautiful layouts.


All of the works featured were from Studio Ghibli’s last fifty years. Works as early as Lupin the Third (1971) and Sherlock Hound (1984) stood among more modern works like Ponyo (2010) and Spirited Away (2001). Though exhibition showed many of Miyazaki’s works, other directors under Studio Ghibli also shared the spotlight. Studio Ghibli’s co-founder, Isao Takahata, showcased layouts from My Neighbors the Yamadas (ホーホケキョとなりの山田くん, 1999), Heidi Girl of the Alps (アルプスの少女ハイジ, 1974), and Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓, 1988).


At the end of the exhibition, everyone could make a black-and-white drawing on a sticker and put it on a wall. There were hundreds of stickers on the wall! Image

The next Studio Ghibli animations set to come out this year are The Wind is Rising (風立ちぬ) and The Tale of Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語).


My husband’s Blubber Island face and me hugging the kodama from Princess Mononoke

日本語の練習 Diary

今日、夫さんと沖縄県立美術館のスタジオジブリレイアウト展へ行きました。面白かったです!宮﨑 駿さんは美しレイアウトを作りました。私達はスタジオじブリのルーピンやシャーロックハウンドやポニョや千と千尋の神隠しのレイアウトを見えました。去年、スタジオジブリのアニメはかぐや姫の物語や風立ちぬがあります。


Picture of the new anime coming out this year (from Gigazine).