I am learning Japanese using the Hacking Japanese Supercourse.  I started in mid June of 2015.   The purpose of this blog is to highlight some things that might help other Japanese learners and to keep myself motivated as I continue this crazy journey.  There are reviews of learning tools, some easy reading posts for people who want to practice their Japanese reading skills and various other things that seemed like a good idea at the time.

The course I am following is divided into various parts:

Phase 1 is assembling a bunch of useful tools.  I do have some reviews of learning tools on the blog, but I don’t really address this part of the journey.

Phase 2 is to learn the 2,200 daily use Kanji.  I started this blog when I was part of the way through this phase.  If you want to read about that, check out the Learn the Kanji posts under categories.  Hint:  it isn’t as hard as you think it will be.

Phase 3 is about vocabulary, grammar, listening and, of course, speaking.  That’s where I am now.  If you want to read about that, check out the Phase 3 posts under categories.

And, if you don’t want to read any of that, well, here’s some music for you:

I am learning Japanese to stop the old brain from getting soft and because it would be pretty cool to watch the movies of Akira Kurosawa and some of the Studio Ghibli films without subtitles.

If I can do it, so can you.


11 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello. I appreciate you making this blog. I too am using the NihongoShark method, but I often miss days, and I kind of snowballs into a point where I have to sit down for several hours and review all the cards that have backed up. When I got past the part I reached in the book, all the new Kanji felt overwhelming, like too much at once. I am hoping to start up again and kind of use your blog posts to follow along. Thank you for making it available.


    • Ah, yes. You are describing Anki Avalanche, when you get buried in your review cards. If I could anybody using Anki a piece of advice, it would be to always do your review cards. If you don’t do any cards on a given day, that’s all right, but always do your review cards, or at least don’t miss more than 1 day without doing your review cards if possible.

      Also, don’t forget that you can limit the number of new cards Anki will show you in a day. If you feel like you’re getting swamped with Kanji, lower the number of new cards it will show you per day.

      Hang in there! And don’t let Anki bury you!


      • Thanks for the encouragement. Hey, I had a question about method of study: Do you use Anki only to study the Kanji, or do you read the Remembering the Kanji book as well?


      • I use Anki mostly, but I do have the book. When a new Kanji pops up that looks a lot like an old one, I use the book to find the old one and compare the two. I also use the book from time to time just to flip through and review, because, unlike Anki, you can review any Kanji anytime with the book.


  2. Great Blog! Highly motivating. I’ve been reading some NihongoShark recently and Niko linked to your blog. I’m also working through Remembering the Kanji at the moment, but with Memrise which is also excellent for SRS.


    • I’m a big fan of memrise, too. In fact, I originally used memrise to learn hiragana. Free is good! Good luck in your learning journey!


  3. Hi !! I’ve just seeing a present was given to you long time ago, The Art of Spirited Away coming with furigana !!I’ve been looking for it for a very long time … Do you know where did they buy them?
    I would really appreciate it !!!
    How’s your Japanese going so far ? 🙂



    • Hi. A friend living in Kyoto bought the book for me and mailed it to me. That isn’t much help to you unless you live in Japan. If you do, and you want to know which store, I will ask and pass the information on. Japanese is going well, I would say. I know more now than when I wrote about the book!


    • I am just a plain old mixed mutt American with ancestors from all over Europe, I suppose. I love music, especially acoustic and folk music, but I discovered it through concerts and recordings rather than through my own heritage or family experience.


      • Ah, I see. I forgot to mention that it was that and that the pen name
        (?) used for your book sounded Italian/Spanish, haha


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