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


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

artwork by Melissa B. Perry

Bible for Children (Japanese Version) Part 3

Lately, I’ve been working on reading the Japanese version of the biblical Creation story. Getting past the fact that I already know this story in English, I must approach this story with Japanese in mind and try to understand the choice of words the author chooses to use. So far, it’s been going well, considering I’m still on the first day of creation after some months…but that’s fine. I am going to try and translate this to the best of my ability with what I know and without Google translate!


神様 (かみさま、kami-sama) - God

形 (かたち、katachi) - form, shape, figure

光 (ひかり、hikari) - light

覆う (おおう、oou) - to conceal, to hide, to cover

真っ暗(な) (まっくら、makkura) - total darkness, pitch black

  • 真っ暗な闇 (まっくらなやみ、makkura-na yami) - pitch black darkness

果てしなく (はてしなく、hateshinaku) - eternally, interminably (adverb)



Deeply Engrained Stroke Order

When I write a kanji the wrong way, and I didn’t know I wrote it the wrong way, deep down inside, I have this intense feeling of “wrongness,” as if I did something horrifically wrong.

The kanji didn’t feel right when I wrote it.

And, that’s when I know I have written the kanji with the wrong stroke order, even though I’ve obtained the same result.

Kanji: Week 2

Next list of kanji for the week. Italicized endings denote verb parts; it is not necessarily how the character by itself is pronounced.


Stroke Order                             Stroke Order


Stroke Order                             Stroke Order


Stroke Order                             Stroke Order


Stroke Order                             Stroke Order

Vocabulary: Week 12 「12週間の単語」


迷惑 (めいわく、meiwaku) - trouble, bother

作品 (さくひん、sakuhin) - artistic piece

記念写真 (きねんしゃしん、kinen shashin) - commemorative photo


迷惑(な) - bothersome, annoying


写る (うつる、utsuru) - to be photographed in

下がる (さがる、sagaru) - to step back, to move down (intransitive)

  • That is: Something 下がる。 Something moves down automatically.

下げる (さげる、sageru) - to lower (transitive)

  • That is: Subject が Something 下げる。 Subject lowers something.

凝る (こる、koru) - to be into something, to be immersed in


このような (kono you-na) - like this

空気が読めない 「KY」 (くうきがよめない、kuuki ga yomenai) - unable to read the air, can’t read the atmosphere or situation (also abbreviated to “KY”)

  • 空気 means air
  • 読む to read; in the potential negative form, it is 読めない

AP Japanese Kanji



For any of you taking the AP Japanese exam this year (or just interested in learning some kanji), I’m working on a set of flashcards in Quizlet for the 410 kanji you need to know. Here’s the link if you want to practice with it. (It’s still in progress, by the way)

Well isn’t someone amazing. :D

やっぱり「Cars 2」好き。
“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