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Japanese Folk Song on the Sanshin (家庭和合)

Background - an ancient volumetric Japanese re...

Over the last few weeks I have been spending a lot of time preparing for an sanshin performance. For those who don’t know, the sanshin is an traditional three-stringed instrument popular in Okinawa. I started playing earlier this year and ended up joining a サークル (club) in my area.

Last week, the サークル (myself not included) performed at a traditional Miyakojima folk song (宮古民謡、みやこみんよう)concert. My camera unfortunately broke a few weeks ago, but I did manage to capture it with my iphone.

*If you don’t understand any of it, please don’t worry. It is sung in the Miyako dialect which bares very little resemblance to Japanese. The hardest part of learning hasn’t been the sanshin, but remembering the words in Miyakogo!

Remembering the Kanji

remembering the kanji 1

Next in the line of helpful Japanese tools are a set of books. Remembering the Kanji 1 & 2 and Remembering the Kana are extremely useful tools, and combined with Anki, will hep you learn the Japanese kana and kanji before you know it. The system used in these books to teach the Japanese characters in not orthodox, but it works. If you are struggling to learn the kana or kanji, or maybe have been putting it off because the task looks to daunting, then you need to get these books. Once you get started you will be wishing you had started sooner.

If you want to get the books now, and I recommend you do, you can find links to purchase them in the right sidebar.

If you want to get started while you wait for your books to arrive, you can download the sample containing the first 276 Kanji now:

Remember the Kanji Sample

You can find more information on the books at the below link:

Remembering the Kanji

Japanese Study Tools


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japanese study tools

I hope everyone had a great weekend and got lots of Japanese study in. I had a busy weekend (looking for a new house to rent)  and so wasn’t able to post for the last few days. However, starting tomorrow, I will be writing a number of posts on some very helpful Japanese study tools and sties. We also have some new Japanese lists we are creating so stay tuned.

Remembering Japanese Words And The Importance Of Frequency

This post will be very short since I have made this point a coupe of time. I will make it again however, because how often you study is an important part of learning Japanese and especially remembering Japanese words quickly.

In the last few months I have been learning to play the sanshin (shamisen in mainland Japan). Over the last few weeks I haven’t had the chance to play much due to a number of friends visiting on vacation. After not playing for just a couple of days, the instrument feels strange in my hand. I can’t hit the chords smoothly and I have to make a consious effort to play.

Now if I pick it up, even for 5 minutes a day and play, each time I get a little better and it doesn’t feel foeign to me. This is the same thing with Japanese. It is better to study 10 minutes each day (preferably more) than 2 hours only once a week. To really learn the Japanese language and the words you need to use them often. Deciding a “set time” usually work best for me, but do what works best for you. The important thing is that you study everyday!

Samurai-Why I Love Japan

I have loved martial arts since I was a small child. I even had karate gi pajamas. My love for the martial arts was what originally brought about my interest in Japan and the Japanese language.  So, when I came across this video on Twitter, I just had to share. The show is called “Best House” and this segment is about a very talented sword master cutting all kinds of stuff with precision. The video even has English subtitles. Here it is..


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