For basketball fans out there, watch Kuroko’s Basketball!

Posted on 18. Apr, 2014 by in Culture

Here is for the basketball fans (who are also wanting to study more Japanese) out there. Try watching Kurokono Baske (黒子のバスケ、くろこのばすけ) online to enjoy one of the most popular Japanese animations on basketball.

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In the past, I have brought up the idea of watching Japanese news, movies, or animation, etc.. whatever you might enjoy watching and watching it over and over to get used to certain expressions. Well, if you like basketball, here is the one you can try. This animation series is based on the original manga (漫画、まんが). This story is about one of the high school basketball teams, trying to make their way up to national tournament.  I was surprised to see the wikipedia entry for this animation/manga. (If you are interested, here is the link.)

There were two seasons worth of episodes aired for this animation. The second one just ended not too long ago. The reason why I am suggesting to watch the episodes from Kurokono Basuke is because most of their episodes have English subtitles.

Here is the quick video on Kurokono Basuke. This video summarizes some good parts of the animation series.

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If you liked the above, you can enjoy the animation series from one episode at a time by going to the link here.   I am not sure how long there links will be valid, so enjoy while you can if you like it. :)

Even if you don’t watch the entire episode or not too crazy about basketball, here is the funny one you can enjoy.

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They also have pretty good opening song to go with the anime. Here is the one for you to enjoy.

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Hope you will enjoy watching this anime( アニメ). I think this is a passive way of learning Japanese, but if you would like to relax one day but learn a bit of Japanese, enjoy these!

Folding a Japanese Crane with Origami

Posted on 15. Apr, 2014 by in Culture

Have you tried Japanese Origami (折り紙、おりがみ)? Origami is a traditional Japanese art of paper folding, which started in the 17th century AD. Since then, it has been adapted as a modern art. Origami is very popular in Japan.  Many of the toddlers start folding Origami papers and start making simple art objects with it. There are some basic folding process involved in folding Origami, but it is pretty easy to master them once you get used to it.Below is the Origami workshop you can go through from simple art to a bit more complicated one.

Folding a cup(カップ)

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Folding a Helmet(兜、かぶと)

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Folding a frog(カエル)

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This one is a lot of fun! This origami frog jumps! Kids like racing using Origami frogs.

Folding a Ninja Star(手裏剣、しゅりけん)

You will need two sheets of paper to complete this Ninja Star.

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Folding a Crane(鶴、つる)

Here you go. This is the famous Crane!

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Folding a Flapping Crane(鶴、つる)

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If you would like to be creative, you can try making Pikachu(ピカチュウ)with Origami.

Folding a Pikachu(ピカチュウ)

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If you would like to try more projects, try the following web site, Origami Club.On this site, you can find tons of projects from easy to complicated. They are also organized by month, events, and category. They also have animated videos for most of the projects so you can follow step by step.

Try this link below. This page is all about Easter! You will be surprised how many variations of bunnies you can make with Origami.

Happy Easter Origami

My favorite one is this Bunny.

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Click the picture, you will see the instruction video.This Easter, try one of these Origami projects!

For those who would like to go further into Origami folding,there is more complex Origami folding called “Modular Origami”. Modular Origami requires more than two sheets of paper, attaching them to create more complex, 3D objects.  The popular one is called Kusudama (くすだま).

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How was the Origami Workshop! Leave me your comments if you have any questions!

Japanese Kanji Lesson – Body Parts

Posted on 10. Apr, 2014 by in Grammar

Learning Kanji’s can be hard at first, but if you study in the correct order, I strongly believe that you can build your Kanji knowledge steadily.  In Japan, school children start learning Kanji’s starting at 1st grade in elementary school.  It is true that they also learn Hiragana & Katakana; however, during the same year, they also master 80 first Kanji’s.  These 80 Kanji’s are basic Kanji’s to begin your Kanji studying. My advise is, if you are just starting to learn Kanji’s, stick to these 80 Kanji’s first. Within the 80 Kanji’s, learn each Kanji by grouping together with other ones based on its meaning. That will facilitate your learning.

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I have written a few articles in the past, discussing about Kanji’s that are mentioned in the above chart. If you are interested in reading these articles, click the link below.

In this third article of Kanji, I would like to cover more Kanji’s, this time the ones related to “people”, such as men, women, and also the ones that represent your body parts.  Note, for those who would like to learn how to write each of these, I have also a link to take you to a site that shows you the correct stroke order. When writing Kanji’s, stroke order is very important!  So, I hope you will take advantage of the site. Let’s get started!

Manー男、おとこ(otoko)

click here to learn stroke order.

Womanー女、おんな(onna)

click here to learn stroke order.

Humanー人、ひと(hito)

click here to learn stroke order.

We often use the word, “Onnanohito(女の人、おんなのひと)”, meaning, woman by combining with the Kanji, 人. Similarly,  man will be expressed as 男の人、おとこのひと(otokonohito).

Childー子、こ(ko)

click here to learn stroke order.

女の子、おんなのこ – girl (onnanoko)

男の子、おとこのこ – boy(otokonoko)

Mouthー口、くち(kuchi)

click here to learn stroke order.

Eyeー目、め(me)

click here to learn stroke order.

Hand―手、て(te)

click here to learn stroke order.

Feetー足、あし(shi)

click here to learn stroke order.

Earー耳、みみ(mimi)

click here to learn stroke order.

When it comes to memorizing each Kanji, the key is to write and write, and write!  I have to tell you it is very important to keep writing each one of them until you feel comfortable writing the Kanji without looking anything.  Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions!