During my trip to Tokyo and Nagano I took a ton of video. My ideas was to use this video to show you some different places in Japan, teach some Japanese words, and show a bit of Japanese culture. What I didn’t think about so much, was that all the HD video I took would be almost un-editable to my 4 year old computer. The video editing program I used just couldn’t keep up and it would skip several frames at a time.
However, I still wanted to make the Japanese videos, so I ordered some memory and am now back in business. It is still slow going (rendering a 5 minute video takes about 4 hours), but it is doable.
At the moment I am rendering a really cool tunnel I found in Nagano. In the meantime, I have already put up a few videos of some very beautiful parks I visited.
I am always on the lookout for good Japanese learning tools. With all the available channels there are a lot of different types products, but to be honest, many fall very short of really teaching you the language. But every once and a while, I happen to stumble across one that really impresses me. What’s even better is that this particular video series is completely free.
Now I will admit that Let’s Learn Japanese is a little bit outdated, but the over all content is great (and I did mention free right?).
The videos do a great job, of putting the Japanese words and conversation in context so you can get an understanding even if you don’t understand the Japanese. They then break it down and explain the meaning and have you practice the various Japanese phrases and words .
The other thing I like is that the series is shot as a funny and interesting little story. While it isn’t a blockbuster, I thought the film crew did a good enough job that I wanted to keep watching. The story line follows Yan, a foreigner coming to work and live in Japan.
There was also a companion book for the video series called “Let’s Learn Japanese”, but it seems to be out of print now. I was able to find some PDF copies on Scribd.
You can find the rest of the Japanese videos below:
I’m a huge car enthusiast, so when my brother started telling about an anime he was really enjoying about cars it certainly caught my attention. Now to be honest, I don’t really watch a lot of anime. I have seen pretty much all of the Miyazaki films and most of dragon ball, but that’s about it. But once I started watching Initial D I couldn’t stop.
The cars and racing were interesting and it was good practice for listening in Japanese. When I studied abroad in Tokyo, I started reading the Manga as well. It was great because I knew most of the stories which made reading it was much easier. I would also occasionally play the Initial D arcade game when I came across it.
When I lived in Tokyo it was actually pretty common to see ハチロクs (hachiroku). In fact, there was a tuned one that was parked in the same neighborhood I lived in. Since I saw rare cars all the time, I never really worried about taking pictures. However, now that I have moved to the smaller island of Miyakojima, seeing any kind of sports car is much rarer. Especially older models like the ハチロク.
So the other day when I came across a ハチロク, and just happened to have my camera, I took a few shots. It looks like they were going for the look of Takumi’s car after the modifications (for those of you who have seen the anime).
For those who would like to see a real ハチロク in action, this is one of my favorite videos, putting two ハチロクs against a Nissan GTR. The video is all in Japanese, so it should give you a little bit of Japanese language practice (though there isn’t much talking).
I am a huge National Geographic (ナショジオ) fan. Nature shows were some of my favorites to watch growing up as a kid. I was (and still am) fascinated by nature and can sit and watch nature programs for hours on end. If only the videos were available in Japanese then I would be able to watch interesting videos and practice Japanese. The only way it could be better is if they were free.
Today I stumbled across a blog called “Wired in Japan” that had a post pointing to the National Geographic YouTube site in Japanese. There are a ton of videos, and since it’s National Geographic, you can be sure they are using proper Japanese. Take a look and get some Japanese listening practice.
I recently found this movie on YouTube, and thought I should share it with you. It’s only a 30 sec video, but I think you can see a lot of Japanese culture of the so-called サラリーマン(salary man).
I found it very funny and true. This video shows how a lot of Japanese men live their life.
First, they are expected to graduate a decent school and get a job, get married and have a baby. But, did you realize that all he did after his marriage was commuting in a 満員電車（a completely packed train), working, and drinking? And many losing their hair… 🙁 Many business men go out to drink till they throw up on the street or even in subway to forget about the work and stress.
It is slowly changing but many Japanese companies are still strong on 終身雇用（しゅうしんこよう） which means to work in one company for your whole life. To get promoted to higher positions 出世（しゅっせ), it is very important to have good relationship with your superiors, 先輩（せんぱい）, which often also means social obligations. So, if you are asked to go out to drink after work by your superiors, you “have” to go. We call this relationship building with your superiors 付き合い（つきあい）. Building a good relationship with your customers is often based on drinking as well, which is called 接待（せったい）. Many corporate men have to be good at 付き合い and 接待 to financially support themselves and their family, which often makes them focus on their work much more than their family.