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Topic: Japan Discussion

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Skogur

661. Posted:

@Blaze Yeah, can't see that working out very well. Thanks for sharing your strategy though, didn't thought of books for some reason.

Edited on by Skogur

Skogur

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Blaze

662. Posted:

Skogur wrote:

@Blaze Yeah, can't see that working out very well. Thanks for sharing your strategy though, didn't thought of books for some reason.

No problem~ :3

The Blazeloggery~
Mah Animelist~

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Turnip

663. Posted:

@Skogur: Not only do you need to learn the 2200 Joyo kanji, but you'll also need to be fairly versed as far as grammar and vocabulary goes to be able to read something like video games, manga, and newspapers.
For kanji, I've been using WaniKani.com. It's nice because they use mnemonics and a spaced repetition system so the kanji get into your long-term memory rather than staying in your short term memory. The first two "levels" are free, and after that, there's a small ($6.00 or something) monthly fee. Because it's in beta, there are currently only 1700 or so kanji/vocab you can learn, but I hear that Koichi (the creator of the site) is planning on having all 2200 Joyo kanji, and possibly more, by the time it's out of beta.
Aside from their unique approach to kanji, the community is great, so I suggest making an account there even if you don't want to use it for learning kanji.

For grammar, you could use something free, like http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar, or you could pay for something like textfugu.

If you haven't learned hiragana/katakana yet, I'd learn that before trying to learn any kanji, because many kanji have okurigana (hiragana attached to kanji).

Im not sure how much kanji/vocab/grammar you know already, so if you already know a fairly good amount, you should definitely get some reading material in Japanese for you to practice on. I've found a few good sites for reading material.
http://hukumusume.com/douwa/betu/
http://life.ou.edu/stories/
These two sites only have short stories, but you could also read Japanese blogs, gaming sites, etc. for reading practice.
Also, depending on how confident you are, you could make a lang-8 account and have people fluent in Japanese correct journal entries that you write in Japanese.

Edited on by Turnip

Cringing is really fun.

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Skogur

664. Posted:

@FadingEuphoria That was some useful links you provided, thanks! Being that I've studied Japanese for almost a year now (through japanesepod101) I do know Hiragana and Katakana, along with some grammar and vocab.
So far I've learned Kanji through looking up those I stumbled upon in games or on the internet, using http://wwwjdic.org/.
Reading Manga that makes use of Furigana (Hiragana that shows the pronunciation of the Kanji) has also proven to be quite helpful. Just like games in Japanese makes great reading practice. I do however feel that I'm in a big need of practice, because I'm not nearly as good in writing them, as in reading them.

Skogur

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Turnip

665. Posted:

Skogur wrote:

@FadingEuphoria That was some useful links you provided, thanks! Being that I've studied Japanese for almost a year now (through japanesepod101) I do know Hiragana and Katakana, along with some grammar and vocab.
So far I've learned Kanji through looking up those I stumbled upon in games or on the internet, using http://wwwjdic.org/.
Reading Manga that makes use of Furigana (Hiragana that shows the pronunciation of the Kanji) has also proven to be quite helpful. Just like games in Japanese makes great reading practice. I do however feel that I'm in a big need of practice, because I'm not nearly as good in writing them, as in reading them.

The ability to write kanji is slowly becoming more and more unnecessary, because nowadays people mostly use keyboards rather than handwriting everything. I haven't really been learning the proper stroke orders, because I'd much rather put that effort into something like grammar, vocab, or reading kanji.
If a time comes when I need to learn how to write, I'd much rather learn the stroke order rules that apply to almost every kanji than learn the stroke order for each character individually.

Edited on by Turnip

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RR529

666. Posted:

J-Melo was on tonight!

The all female rock group Scandal was on tonight, and they performed "Satisfaction" (really liked the upbeat sounds of this one), "DOLL" (another great rockin' offering), "Shunkan Sentimental" (a Bleach opening theme!), "Awanai Tsumori No, Genki De Ne" (another great selection), and "LOVE SURVIVE" (I really enjoyed this one as well!).

They showed a montage of their various music videos such as "Shojo S" (another Bleach opening theme), "Taiyo To Kimi Ga Egaku Story", "Haruka", "HARUKAZE", "Pin Heel Surfer", and the full video of "Taiyo Scandalous".

They also showed some video of them performing across the globe (Seattle, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New York).

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RR529

667. Posted:

Imagine-Nation was on tonight!

Main Theme: They covered the anime movie Saint Young Men, which hit theaters on May 10th. It's comedic series, taking inspiration from a sensitive subject, religion. In the movie (and manga series), Jesus & the Buddha are friends living in an apartment in Tokyo. They aren't demeaning with their humor, instead opting for respectful representations of the figures. They then spoke to pastor Nosei Ando (a Christian leader in Japan), who endorsed the series. They also mentioned that in some areas, the manga is being used to introduce the younger generations to either religion. The manga is also known to utilize famous Japanese landmarks.

Side Theme: They featured the anime Miyakawa-Ke no Kufuku, which is based off of a game, which itself is based off the anime Lucky Star. They also touched upon the PS3 game, Terraria

Creator's Interview: They talked to budding manga artist, Hiroyuki Ohashi. His most famous work is City Lights, which is a comedy that features oddball characters. He is a fan of MMA.

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RR529

668. Posted:

Unfortunately, due to my dad's new work schedule, I'll no longer be able to catch Journeys in Japan, Tokyo Eye, or BEGIN Japanology :(

I'll still be able to catch J-Melo & Imagine-Nation, however :)

Edited on by RR529

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RR529

669. Posted:

J-Melo was on tonight!

The rock group Alice Nine was on, and they performed "RAINBOWS" (not spectacular, but pretty good), "Daybreak" (pretty good as well), "Affection" (created using input & ideas from their fans across the world. Another good one), "Heart of Gold" (I really liked this one!), and "the beautiful name" (this one was nice as well).

They also showed a montage of their music videos, featuring "Shun Ka Shu To", "TSUBASA", "Hana" (flower), "Senkou" (flash), "Niji No Yuki" (rainbow snow), and "Subete-e".

I liked that they weren't heavy metal, like most of the rock groups they bring on are.

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RR529

670. Posted:

Imagine-Nation was on tonight!

Main Theme: They covered Sega's Online RPG Phantasy Star Online 2 for PC (also released for Vita, and coming soon to smartphones. It has cross platform capabilities across the three platforms). There are over 2,500,000 active players, and you can quest with up to 12 players at once. It uses a "free-to-play" model, where you can play the game to completion for free, but it costs money to customize your character in any way (every single accessory costs a couple hundred ¥, around a few $), or to create more characters. They than interviewed & watched a group of Vita players, then sat in on a developer meeting about how many characters a user can make (currently your first for free, and up to 9 more for money. Players want the 10 character limit raised to around 30). The first game in the Phantasy Star series was released in 1987 for the Mega Drive/Genesis (Sega's first RPG), with the first Phantasy Star Online game released for the Dreamcast. They currently have no plans to bring the newest entry west, due to differences in monetary trading, and the vast differences in console preference between Japan & the west.

Side Theme: They mentioned the anime movie The Garden of Words, by the talented new studio Makoto Shinkai (OMG, this is the most gorgeous anime I've ever seen). They'll be going in more detail next week.

Creator's Interview: They interviewed the manga artist Michihiko Toei, who's current worki is The Last Restaurant, about a restaurant famous people throughout history go to for their last meal. He was inspired by the manga Blackjack, and the classic TV series Knight Rider (he is even modeling his car to look like Kitt).

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Magikarp3

671. Posted:

RR529 wrote:

Side Theme: They mentioned the anime movie The Garden of Words, by the talented new studio Makoto Shinkai (OMG, this is the most gorgeous anime I've ever seen). They'll be going in more detail next week.

Makoto Shinkai's making a new movie?!?!?

DAISUKE KASHIWA IS DOING THE SOUNDTRACK!?!?!?!?!?

Be right back. I have to go alert ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE. This is incredible!!

EDIT: This is awkward, because this film has already been debuted. In Australia of all places. Ok, so it was in the Gold Coast which is about 900km (around 550 miles) away from my city, but had I known about it sooner I totally would have made my way up there.

Edited on by Magikarp3

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always thought I'd change to Gyarados after I turned 20 but hey, this is more fitting I guess. (also somebody registered under the original Magikarp name and I can't get back to it anymore orz)

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RR529

672. Posted:

Yay! I got to catch today's episode of BEGIN Japanology! The theme was the role of the strawberry in Japan.

The strawberry is the nation's most popular fruit, with over 170,000 tons produced every year. Strawberries native to Japan tend to be larger & sweeter than those found in Europe, and the largest can be sold as ornate gifts (individually or in a group). A group of large fancy strawberries can go for ¥5,000!

They are extra popular during the winter time, where strawberry shortcake has become the definitive Christmas time sweet in the Japanese home. Traditional sweets, such as rice dumplings filled with red bean paste, now also have strawberry flavored varieties. There are many farms in Japan that will let you spend 30 minutes picking and eating strawberries to your heart's content (for a price, of course).

The fruit was initially introduced to Japan in the 1850's, from Dutch traders, but was mainly used as a decorative plant, since Japan's climate wasn't suited to growing them for consumption. Around 1890, a farmer working in the imperial garden decided to try and make a variety suited to Japan, and after 10 long years he finally succeeded (although these could only be eaten by the imperial family). The average Japanese farmer couldn't afford a greenhouse at the time, so it remained a delicacy for the rich. During the 1920's, a new "stone wall" technique was invented (growing strawberries in the cracks between rocks in a wall, since the stones would retain the heat of the day), but they were still expensive. It wasn't until the 1960's, that strawberries first became inexpensive enough for the mass market.

39 of the 47 Japanese prefectures grow strawberries, with Tochigi being the nation's leader. There is a scientific institute there, for the purpose of creating new varieties of strawberries (the average species will only last 15 years on the market, until the consumer base moves on). They start out by crossing seeds from over 1,000 plants, and over a 5 year period, they whittle it down to one new species to introduce to market. The newest species introduced was the "sky berry" in 2012, which is exceptionally large and sweet. There's also a new robotic harvester being tested, which can speed up harvesting times by 60%.

A retired scientest from the Tochigi institute has since moved to Thailand, to teach farmers there how to grow strawberries suited for their climate. The government in Thailand is battling the growing of the Opium Poppy (which is illegal), you see, and strawberries are an inviting alternative for farmers, since they command a high price in the marketplace (they're just insanely difficult to grow in the country). The techniques the scientist discovered are starting to work, and neighboring countries like Myanmar & Vietnam are starting similar programs.

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RR529

673. Posted:

J-Melo was on tonight!

It was a repeat (the viewer special).

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KeeperBvK

674. Posted:

RR529 wrote:

The first game in the Phantasy Star series was released in 1987 for the Mega Drive/Genesis (Sega's first RPG)

The first Phantasy Star was on the Master System.

Edited on by KeeperBvK

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RR529

675. Posted:

KeeperBvK wrote:

RR529 wrote:

The first game in the Phantasy Star series was released in 1987 for the Mega Drive/Genesis (Sega's first RPG)

The first Phantasy Star was on the Master System.

Yeah, I probably just misheard them (trying to watch the program, and type down everything at the same time).

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RR529

676. Posted:

Imagine-Nation was on tonight!

Main Theme: Tonight they talked about "Independent Animators" (short films). They briefly mentioned the short films God of the Mountain (a story about boys' life over summer), April Teeth (a humorous video promoting dental hygiene), and Flowering Dogwood (inspired by flip drawings). A studio formed by three independent animators (all formerly interviewed on Imagine-Nation, as it so happens) called CALF, has been put together to promote & sell independent work, and their first original work as a studio is an abstract work entitled Wonder. Croudfunfing (think Kickstarter) has become an integral part of funding for these independent films. They than went to see what's going on at the Tokyo University of the Arts, where they interviewed professors & students alike, about the future of Japanese independent animation. They also interviewed one particular aspiring artist, on the subject about how hard it is to make it in the anime world. They then visited a doujinshi convention, and focused on original content (instead of the stuff based around fan fiction, which is also popular at these events). They also looked up a couple of artists who have made it mainstream, but still make their own small art pieces. They then talked about the talented artist Makoto Shinkai, who nearly single handedly created the award winning animations, The Voices of a Distant Star, and The Garden of Words (wow! these look stunning!).

Side Theme: They briefly mentioned the new anime series premiering soon, Ghost in the Shell Arise!

There was no Creator's Interview tonight.

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FOREST_RANGER

677. Posted:

Yesterday, i stepped upon an interesting 2-part video and thought I'd share it. It's called something along the lines of Anime vs. Reality and talks about school:

Edited on by FOREST_RANGER

Formely known as bobbiKat

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RR529

678. Posted:

Imagine-Nation was on tonight!

Main Theme: It was part one of a recap special, where they recaped some stuff from the past nine episodes. (all of which I covered in detail in previous posts)

There wasn't a Side Theme or Creator's Interview tonight. The recap probably makes sense, being E3 week and all.

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RR529

679. Posted:

Tokyo Eye was on today! It was part one of a two part Tokyo nature special. Today they went to Machida (a residential district of Tokyo), to check out the Tama Hills.

First, they went on a hike through the Satoyama (a term used to describe terrain that's a mix of farmland & forest). The path led thtough forested areas (including a bamboo forest, which was absolutely gorgeous) and farming fields (Samurai used to walk this route, as part of a shortcut). There are trees in the area that grow Soapberries, which lather up like soap when in contact with water. It's a light walk that anyone can partake in. It costs ¥5,000 for a 3 hour tour, for up to 5 people.

They then visited a farming university, where they helped students plant lettuce & herbs. They interviewed some of the students, who love nature, and want to preserve the satoyama.

They then visited an old farming couple (the Kobayashi's), who treated them to home grown comfort food, and tales from their past.

They then hit up the Machida Squirrel Garden, which is a petting zoo home to a few hundred Taiwan Squirrels. They are most active during the morning and evenings (they even climbed up the camera equipment), and it's a popular place for kids. It's ¥400 for adults, ¥200 for kids, & ¥100 for a pack of sunflower seeds to feed the squirrels.

They then visited a museum that specializes in the 10,000 year old Jomon culture. There are Jomon artifacts on display, as well as interactive exhibits (such as a replica fire making tool, and clothes visitors can try on), Jomon craft making classes (free, but requires reservation), and a recreation of a Jomon village. Admittion is free.

They then finished out by going to Kid's Land, a large park in the Tama Hills. It's a large place to play, and have picnics (although no alcohol is allowed). There are various attractions located here as well, such as two large dome shaped trampolines, a 110 km long slide, and rafting in a river (there's no way they'd let kids do that here, lol). It costs ¥600 for adults, and ¥200 for kids. There is also a bike riding attraction (with unique animal shaped bikes, and bikes that require hopping to move) that costs an extra ¥100 for 10 minutes of riding.

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FOREST_RANGER

680. Posted:

Fikachu wrote:

FYI, my 2 main motivations for wanting to move to Japan happen to be the following

1. Getting married

2. Getting a job at Capcom Japan

I think it's a good time to once again reflect a discussion made last year about moving to Japan:

An otaku member had noted his dream of moving to Japan on this thread. Our fellow member, @Tsuchinoko had given real information about what it takes to go to Japan. His advice greatly increases the chance of successfully living in japan, though still not guaranteed.

For those interested, you can start reading the discussion here and do make sure to read like 4 pages to understand it.

==================================================

Now it's important to note that (surprise!) Japan isn't for everybody (even if you're an otaku). There's a YouTube video titled Don't come to Japan if you are this kind of gaijin (loosely meaning foreigner). I gotta warn to sensitive and young folks that it contains foul language and some other crude content, not to mention that the author's attitude isn't everybody's cup of tea. But it helps those who want to come to Japan. Here is the video.

==================================================

If you still want to come to Japan, it's a good idea to fit in with the crowd. So here's a basic video on social things that one should not do in Japan:

==================================================

Lastly, do your research! This post may be very informative, but I doubt I covered everything about moving to Japan. You are responsible for determining if you actually want to live in Japan, seeing what it takes to live there, working out your issues preventing you from living there, making the necessary preparations, and anything else not covered that needs research.

Thank you for reading this post.

P.S. If you want to live in Japan, please make sure that you have several reasons why you want to live there.
Not one.
Not two.
Not three.
But several reasons.
And they should be important reasons too. As @Tsuchinoko mentioned, living in Japan is similar to being married: there are the delightful and happy things about the relationship; there are the ugly things about it.

Edited on by FOREST_RANGER

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