Skip to content


Hentaigana, and the Frustration of Learning Japanese

While I was doing research for another project I was doing, I went down a bit of a rabbithole.  I was trying to explain (and make sure I understood) the uses of voiced vs. unvoiced consonants.  I found a bunch of interesting things.  One was that there are some kana that are not well known and aren’t taught.  Another is that there are specific origins for hiragana, and some of them went down some rather odd roads before settling on their current form. Now, Japanese teaching and learning is a… Read More »Hentaigana, and the Frustration of Learning Japanese

Restarting Japanese – and More

I really liked the format of my last post. The use of separators gave it a flow that I haven’t yet been able to achieve in any other way, and I intend on continuing to do that. The other day, the smoke alarms in an apartment in my building started going off for no reason. I left my building and wandered around until I actually found the apartment in which they were going off. I found it, and the apartment was inhabited by a Mexican grandma-type – older lady, very… Read More »Restarting Japanese – and More

Memories: College

This is the second in a series of posts where I recall some memories of earlier in my life. Think of it as memoirs no one wants to read. The memories are as accurate as I can make them, though they may be slightly embellished due to faded memory, and may merge several related memories together. I mentioned a while ago that I was home schooled throughout my high school years. The only social interaction I had was with those in the church I went to. In that church, there… Read More »Memories: College

Homeschooling: a Horrible Idea?

For many reasons, homeschooling, at least in my country, is coming into its own. Because of the pandemic, the uncertainty of public schools, and possible disagreement with what is being taught, people are educating their children at home in record numbers. But is it a good idea? Let me tell you a story. From first to seventh grade, I was educated in a public school environment. I was what they called a gifted student (well, obviously! Modest, too!). I excelled academically, being on the honor roll almost every quarter, and… Read More »Homeschooling: a Horrible Idea?

The Intimidation Factor of Kanji

Let’s face it.  As a Japanese learner, Kanji are intimidating.  They are this set of pictographs that really seem to have nothing to do with anything, each of them have a whole bunch of readings, all of which apply only in specific contexts.  There is a sentence: 明日は日曜日です Where the same kanji appears three times, has two different readings, and two and a half different pronunciations (one of them is in a word that has a reading that only applies across the entire word – there is no specific reading… Read More »The Intimidation Factor of Kanji

Education Gaps

Here is a secret about me:  I did not actually go to traditional high school.  I was home-schooled.  My feelings about home-schooling, based upon my experience, are decidedly mixed, and lean negative, but that’s not a discussion I want to get into here. One of the things that has haunted me through most of my life was the feeling that I had major gaps in my education.  I think perhaps one of the reasons that my interests are so varied and diverse is a subconscious desire to close those gaps. … Read More »Education Gaps

What I Hate About Most Online “Learn Japanese” Sites

I’ve been using Wanikani lately  I’ve gotten to level 5, and it’s actually a little frustrating.  You have to get the radicals/kanji/vocabulary right a specific number of times, spaced out over months, before they consider the item “burned”, and you don’t have to see it again.  And they dole out the lessons sparingly.  You can’t binge on them.  A cynic might make the argument that they’re just doing that to stretch out the amount of money you need to pay them to complete the program, but while that may be… Read More »What I Hate About Most Online “Learn Japanese” Sites