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Japanese Honorifics

‘Honorific’ is a linguistic term referring to titles added to a person’s name. In Japanese, the vast majority of these are suffixes. You’ve likely have heard one or two in movies: ‘Daniel-san’ and ‘Miyagi-sensei’ spring to mind. Honorifics aren’t just limited to suffixes however. In English for example, we generally use prefixes added to a […]

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Japanese Female Divers – 海女

Here’s word rich in culture that’s quite unusual and yet very memorable. Ama (海女) means ‘woman of the sea’ and is used to describe the free-diving ladies of Japan’s costal regions who plunge down to the shallows in order to gather shellfish and other food.

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Please Do It Subway Posters

Tokyo Metro produce refresh their series of subway posters annually, with an unique design for each month. In recent years, the posters by graphic artist Bunpei Yorifuji have been particularly stylish and easy to understand, utilising clever visuals and bright colours to grab the attention of commuters.

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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!

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Japanese School System

Have you ever wondered exactly how old school children are in Japan? Quite often the students are called by their school year and not by their exact age. Various types of media also use the Japanese school year system to break children up into groups.

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150,000 Free Japanese-English Sentences

Have you ever heard of the Tanaka Corpus? If you’ve been using Jim Breen’s fantastic free online Japanese-English dictionary JDIC, you may have unwittingly encountered it. The Tanaka Corpus is a collection of over 150,000 sentence pairs ideal for students learning Japanese. Perfect for repetitions in your favourite SRS software!

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Overview of the Japanese Alphabets

I figured it was probably a good idea to have an outline of the Japanese alphabets here on Gakuu for easy access. There are loads of good resources out there that talk about the basics, so this post will be brief, with a sprinkling of advice on how to learn the alphabets.

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