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Haikyo Hiragana Reading Practice

Recently I had an article published in the Hiragana Times (on sale in Japan this month) about Haikyo – Japan’s abandoned buildings. The main article is only available in the magazine, but there’s a small summary on the Hiragana Times homepage that makes for some good reading practice for beginners. Enjoy!

日本の廃墟の隠れた美しさ

にほん の はいきょ の かくれた うつくしさ

Hidden Beauty of Japan’s Abandoned Buildings

4がつ ごう の 「にほん ぶんか マニアック」 では、 はいきょ に みりょく を かんじる マイケル・ガクランさん を しょうかい しています。にほん でも はいきょを たんけん する サブカルチャー が あります。

In the April edition of ‘Japanese Culture Vultures’, we introduce Michael Gakuran who is fascinated with Japan’s ruins. There’s also a subculture devoted to exploring abandonments.

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It’s interesting to note in the sentence above that「にほん ぶんか マニアック」is translated by the Hiragana Times staff as ‘Japanese Culture Vultures’ rather than the more literal ‘Japanese Culture Maniacs’, presumably because of the negative nuance ‘maniac’ holds.

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*ふるい もの の なか に ある かくれた うつくしさを 「さび」 と いいます。 また、かざらない そぼくな うつくしさ を 「わび」 と いいます。ふたつ を あわせて、「わび・さび」 と いいます。

*The beauty found inside old things is known as ‘sabi’. Additionally, unforced, simple beauty is known as ‘wabi’. The two words combine to make the concept of ‘wabi-sabi’.

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I talk a little about wabi-sabi and its connection to haikyo in the Hiragana Times article, but keep your eyes peeled on my main site gakuranman.com for a deeper look at the subject in the near future!

If you enjoyed the hiragana reading practice, you can find lots more over at the Hiragana Times blog, and naturally, lots of good reading practice in their monthly magazine.

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8 Responses to Gakuu. Studying with Real Japanese

  1. Sabrina September 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    This is pretty cool! Right now I’m studying on Textfugu which is great! I belive Gakuu can be really helpul too. What I like most is that its for pre-intermediate to advanced level students. So you can’t say its the same thing over and over again… students can actually improve their knowledge here. Thank you very much for creating this site. Have a nice day :)
    -Sabrina

    • Gakuranman September 30, 2010 at 1:09 am #

      Hi Sabrina! Thank you for your comment :).

      That’s definitely our aim. I love Textfugu for beginners and really getting students a solid grounding in the language, but afterwards (and even while) studying the basics, it can really help to encounter raw Japanese material. You don’t have to understand everything at first, but feeling challenged and picking up little bits here and there that are extra to your learning the basics helps expand your mind. Let me know if you have any more questions! More demonstration material will be up soon! We are currently having a special launch sale price for early adopters, so check out the pricing page if interested :).

      • Sabrina September 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

        Thanks for your reply. :) Unfortunately I’m even still miles away from the intermediate level. But I’ll definetly return to Gakuu when I get to this point. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the extra demonstration material. :) Keep up the good work.

        • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 12:21 am #

          Sure thing :). Let me know if you have any other questions or suggestions for things you’d like to see on Gakuu!

  2. missingno15 October 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    When I looked at this, I first thought to myself, “aw hell no, gakuranman is doing the same thing as koichi…even the website layout is similar”. But then I realized “it’s aimed at pre-intermediate to advanced level students” which is perfect for my situation right now because I now really want to excel way past beginner. So basically, Gakuu really complements Textfugu. Can’t wait for more lessons to see how this is gonna be like so I can decide if its worth getting.

    • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

      Hey there! Thanks for dropping by :). No way – Koichi and I are buds. I’ve always loved teaching the more advanced stuff so it worked out perfectly. I’ll be adding more stuff in the coming days, so please stay tuned!

  3. DumbOtaku (percent20) October 3, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    This is really cool. I am glad to see more online content going beyond just teaching hirigana and katakana. That is what I try to do on my blog, but with to little consistency. Glad to see an expert do it, btw already a signed-up paid member now. :)

    • Gakuranman October 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

      Glad to have you man! Look forward to hearing any suggestions you have for the site and future lessons :)

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