a Japanese language blog. vocabulary, grammar, and other resources for studying the language.


range: intermediate to semi-advanced with beginner lessons sprinkled throughout.

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artwork by Melissa B. Perry
“You know more Japanese than you think.”
- Kozasa-sensei

Grammar: ~てしまう

New grammar for the week is ~てしまう (te shimau), which is the te form + shimau. The verb しまう means “to put something away,” but when you attach it to the te form of a verb, it means “an ‘unrecoverable event’ as a result of being put away” (Johnson 163). ~てしまう can have two meanings, which are pretty much extreme opposites:

  1. しまう can indicate the completion of an event/action or an event that is carried out with determination. It means you did “something completely, or finish[ed] doing something, or have something done” (Banno et. al., 117). It has a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that you’ve done something to completion.
  2. しまう can also have a negative meaning. It can mean a regrettable, unchangeable event that happened because of either something we did or uncontrollable circumstances. In this sense, it invokes a “sense of regret” or “epic fail” for lack of a better word.


Kanji: Week 1

The introduction of kanji—finally! I’m aiming for 6 to 8 kanji per week. I will not be going by grades as most of these will be from the Genki II textbook and later on Tobira. I am using EPSON Kaisho font for kanji; some kanji may be in a different font because EPSON Kaisho may not have a good representation of the kanji (more calligraphic).

Italicized parts of words denote a verb part; it does not necessarily reflect how the individual character is pronounced. For example 運 by itself is not pronounced hakobu. The added bu makes it a verb: 運ぶ。

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to ask!

Stroke Order                             Stroke Order

Stroke Order                              Stroke Order

Stroke Order                              Stroke Order

Vocabulary: Week 11 「11週間の単語」


試着室 (しちゃくしつ、shichakushitsu) - dressing room, fitting room

  • 試 (し、shi) - means to try or test. Same kanji in 試験 (shiken) meaning test.
  • 着 (ちゃく、chaku) - means to arrive, to wear and also clothing. You’ll find this kanji in 着物 (kimono).
  • 室 (しつ、shitsu) - room


きつい (kitsui) - tight

ゆるい (yurui) - loose


試着する (しちゃくする、shichaku suru)

裾上げする (すそあげする、susoage suru) - to hem up


もう一つ上のサイズはありますか。 (mou hitotsu ue no saizu wa arimasu ka) - Do you have a bigger size?

  • You can also use 大きい (ookii) in place of 上の to say the same thing.

もう一つ下のサイズはありますか。 (mou hitotsu shita no saizu wa arimasu ka) - Do you have a smaller size?

  • You can also replace 下の with 小さい (chiisai) to say the same thing.

ちょうどいい (choudo ii) - it fits well, it fits perfectly

  • ちょうど - exactly, perfectly

裾が長い (すそがながい、suso ga nagai) - the hem is long

裾上げしてもらえますか。(すそあげしてもらえますか、susoage shite moraemasu ka) - Can you hem these up for me?

~にします (~ni shimasu) - to decide on an item, to take something

  • これにします。 Kore ni shimasu. I’ll take that.
  • そのTシャッツにします。Sono T shattsu ni shimasu. I’ll take that T-shirt.
  • そばにします。 Soba ni shimasu. I’ll take soba noodles.

またにします (mata ni shimasu) - I’ll pass, I’ll decide on it later.

Grammar: It’s Good That…~てよかった

Super short grammar lesson on how to say “It’s good that there’s something.” The form is ~てよかった (te yokatta)。 Although よかった is the past form of いい (good), you can also use it to refer to a present situation. So if you’re really happy about something right here and right now, you can use よかった! in confidence!

Forming ~てよかった is very simple! Add the te form of a verb + よかった, and you’re done!


Kanji: 女性専用車両があって良かったね。
Kana: じょうせいせんようしゃりょうがあってよかったね。
Romaji: Jousei senryou sharyou ga atte yokatta ne.
English: I’m glad that there’s a women’s only train car.

Kanji: 今日早く授業に着いて良かった。 
Kana: きょうはやくじゅぎょうについてよかった。
Romaji: Kyou hayaku jugyou ni tsuite yokatta.
English: It’s good that I got to class early today.

Kanji: 来てくれて良かったです。
Kana: きてくれてよかったです。
Romaji: Kite kurete yokatta desu.
English: I’m glad that you came (for me*).

*Kureru means someone gives or does something for me, myself.

Kanji: ドイツのチームは試合を勝って良かったですね。
Kana: ドイツのチームはしあいをかってよかったですね。
Romaji: Doitsu no chiimu wa shiai wo katte yokatta desu ne.
English: It’s good that Germany’s team won the game.

Examples 1 and 3 taken from’s dialogues:

"Beginner Lesson #115: No Boys Allowed,", podcast audio, June 12, 2014,

"Beginner Lesson #152: Inspection,", podcast audio, May 15, 2014,

“Train your voice. Speak Japanese!”
- Nihononthego
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Beginner Lesson #152 - Inspection · Learn Japanese | (Audio)
44 Plays Audio Lesson #152: Inspection


警備員: 私が先に行きます。失礼します。
小林: あら、やっぱり来てくれましたね。
小林娘: 誰が来たの?
小林: 警備さんよ。格好いい警備さんが来てくれましたよ。
警備員: 中央警備の高橋と申します。 お忙しいところ、もうしわけございません。
小林: いいえ、いいえ。 来てくれてよかったです。 安心できます。 こんなにいい警備会社がついていて、よかったです。
警備員: ありがとうございます。
小林娘: ああ、素敵ですね。初めまして。小林えりこと申します。宜しくお願いします。
警備員: ありがとうございます。どうも。 高橋と申します。
小林: 高橋さん、ご迷惑をかけてしまいましてもうしわけございません。私が防犯ブザーを鳴らしてしまいました。 暗証番号を忘れてしまったので、消せないんです。
警備員: 大丈夫です。すぐ消します!
小林+娘: ありがとうございます!
警備員: では、失礼します。
小林+娘: さようなら。


Grammar: Particle を & Intransitive Motion Verbs


This post tags onto Giving Directions Vocabulary, where this grammar construction shows up. In my post on Transitive and Intransitive Verbs, I mentioned that intransitive verbs take the particle が (ga) as opposed to を (wo) like transitive verbs. Compare ジョンが電気をつける to 電気がつく。 While both refer to a light turning on, the subjects are different. In the first sentence, John turns on a light. In the second, the light turns on. See that the second sentence, which has an intransitive verb つく (the intransitive counterpart of つける), takes particle が as do most intransitive verbs. I say most because you know that Japanese is an interesting language, and like an action movie, there’s bound to be a twist—somewhere.

The Twist!


Giving Directions Vocabulary


Photograph by Ikko Narahara: Marunouchi, (from the series: “Tokyo the ’50s’”), 1954-58.

Today’s vocabulary list is a back-to-the-basics lesson for myself. I feel like I never really grasped the concept of giving directions in Japanese. There are words I don’t remember and such and new words that I’ve learned.