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Japanese: a Failed Experiment – Part Deux

I attempted to write this post previously but it took on a tone I didn’t like, so I’m going to try to redo it.  Last time I talked about why I consider learning Japanese a personal failure.  Now I want to talk about why I don’t think it is. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I failed at Japanese.  But it did serve a very important purpose, and I may yet pursue it for other reasons or considerations. I remember when I first truly became interested in learning Japanese.  I don’t… Read More »Japanese: a Failed Experiment – Part Deux

My Tumultuous Relationship with Music

Good morning! It’s Labor Day in my country today, which for most people means a day off, barbecues, that kind of thing. I am taking the week off. I have been working at my company for over five years, which means I get three weeks now, and I plan on using all of them. Plus since it’s a holiday, I only have to take four days. Yay me!! Okay, so on to the post. I have made my thoughts on music like JPop, KPop, etc., pretty clear. I like some… Read More »My Tumultuous Relationship with Music

My School Uniform is Getting in the Way

I have been slowly going through AKB48’s discography and writing review posts for my new site. I knew I would learn stuff about Japanese culture I didn’t know. I didn’t know what I’d learn. The title of this post is the English translation of an AKB48 song called “Seifuku Ga Jamaosuru”. The song isn’t very good, in my opinion. It’s just a JPop song. The dancers are spastic, the song is just a song, and there’s nothing really great about it. But I watched the video. And oh my… The… Read More »My School Uniform is Getting in the Way

Mikan – A Redux

Now that I have made clear what the purpose of this blog is going to be moving forward, I feel like I am a little freer to make the posts I want to make, here. So that’s a good thing. Today I’m going to try to put words to something I don’t have a word for. You won’t know, but I think it’s going to take a very long time to write this post. I think that logic and reason really drive very little about what we do. Oh, we… Read More »Mikan – A Redux

Wasurenaiyo. Zettai.

After having spent most of the day adding a bit of spit and polish to the new site, I wrote the first post. If you’re interested, you can find it here. (Of course, if you’re not, don’t bother clicking, I won’t be offended). This post was about AKB48’s first single, “Sakura no hanabiratachi”. I’m going to try to do at least one music review per week, and then manga, anime, etc when I get to it. I’ve written about that song here before. It’s an amazing song. Not because it… Read More »Wasurenaiyo. Zettai.

Akimoto Yasushi – a Second Take.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about Akimoto Yasushi, the guy who founded the AKB48 jpop empire. Akimoto Yasushi – Good or Evil? I want to revisit that post now. As I’ve become more familiar with Japanese culture, I’ve begun to see nuances that I didn’t before. Are my previous criticisms valid? Yes. He did create an empire that at least has the potential to exploit teenage girls and young women. And as a driver of culture, he bears responsibility for the effects that his songs have… Read More »Akimoto Yasushi – a Second Take.


My first real introduction to Japan and Japanese was through idol culture.  Morning Musume, to be precise.  So it’s no surprise that I’m unusually knowledgeable about the subject.  I can name quite a few idols from Morning Musume, AKB48, Sakura Gakuin, and a few others besides.  And those that I can’t name, I might be able to recognize. I know about the scandals of both Sashihara Rino and Minegishi Minami, and how they resolved.  I know why those scandals occurred in the first place, and I understand some of the cultural… Read More »Idols

Kawaii Aidoru

YouTube is an incredible distraction throughout most of the issues that have been going on in the world, and in my country. One thing I’ve been watching is Babymetal reactions.  It’s quite amusing to see someone reacting for the first time – “Well, this is a band with… three girls?  And they’re Asian?  Korean maybe?  Well, I have no idea what to expect…”  “SOMEONE GIVE THOSE GIRLS SOME CHOCOLATE”  Anyway, I find it amusing. There’s this one guy, NeonReaperGaming, who has been really going down the foxhole – to the point where… Read More »Kawaii Aidoru

The petals of our tears

Namida no hanabiratachi ga harahara The blooming of the sakura trees in Japan is a joyful, yet bittersweet moment, as they, in a very real way mark the passage of time.  The passage of time is both a time for new beginnings, and bittersweet goodbyes.  Sometimes goodbyes are temporary, sometimes they are permanent, and sometimes they are final. Goodbyes are often accompanied by tears, as tears are often associated with loss.  It is an unfortunate consequence of life that loss is unavoidable, but it never hurts any less, does it? In… Read More »The petals of our tears

Why does a Classically Trained Pianist like J-Pop?

As I might have mentioned at one point, I am a classically trained musician.  I am familiar with most of the works of many major composers, but my favorite classical pieces – or romantic pieces, as the case may be, are some of the more famous piano concertos.  Those by Saint-Saens, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Schumann – I love them all and have been listening to them for many years.  I love the complexity, the interplay between the soloist instruments and the orchestra, and most important, how even though there are many… Read More »Why does a Classically Trained Pianist like J-Pop?