Studying the language of the land of the rising run

Manga straight from Japan to your tablet

honto - Android Apps on Google Play 2014-08-15 17-31-54

I recently discovered how you can buy raw manga directly from japan to read on your android tablet.  I pieced instructions together from Japanese Tease and tfq.

  1. Start by making an account at http://honto.jp/
  2. Then download TunnelBear from the google play store
  3. Connect to a Japanese server in Tunnel Bear
  4. Go to settings -> accounts and make a new temporary google account
  5. Go to google play and switch to that account (google play should turn all kanji-ey!)
  6. Then search and download the honto app
  7. You can then go buy whatever manga you want from honto, then download it to your device to read from their app :)

It took a lot of digging to figure it all out, but it’s not too tricky to get set-up :)  It’s a little hard getting around honto, but they had no problems accepting my american CC x3  I used chrome since it will auto-translate pages for you which made it a bit easier.

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Hey death, Moshimo

A friend hooked me up with a way to play Japanese games, it’s pretty nice Japanese practice :) The instructions are over here.

I started off with a game called “Hey death, Moshimo” it’s a free download based on RPG Maker.  So you’ll need both the game and RPG Maker VX Ace RTP to play.


The game is a little weird, but I liked it a lot.  You start out in a room, and you really don’t go anywhere else.  You can run around and clicking on different objects in the room and almost immediately you’ll get and “ending”  but you’ll be able to start where you left off, which is kinda unique.

Spoilers after this!

After a while a diary showed up after I answered the phone.  It was about a girl (akari I’m assuming)  Who was waiting for mike-san.  They were planning to get together for their 6th year anniversary, but mike-san got busy with work and had to postpone it.  The last entry describers her as being happy that his plane will be arriving tomorrow and she’ll go pick him up.

That will give you an ending, and starting after that the TV will flash white.  If you go up to the TV it will tell you a news report, that a girl was ran over by a car today and died in a hospital that afternoon.  It then tells you that news report is a month old, and you get another ending.

Then when you start up again you’ll hear a pounding at the door, lave the room and a scary ghost appears!!  And it will give you three options: deny that it exists; embrace it; or search the room.  The last one is a little odd…but I choose to embrace the monster.  Then there’s a sweet little cut scene and the evil monster turns into a cute girl.  Happy end, awww :)

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Japanese Color Guide

While attending my online Japanese class one of the other students shared a link to the lovely Japanese Color Guide site.  What is cool about this site is that it has translations for a heap of different colors next to a sample of the color itself.  They don’t have every color under the sun, but it’s a nice resource if you’ve ever wondered how to say vermillion in Japanese (Syu-iro by the way.)


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Japanese Dictionaries

I know a few good (and free) Japanese Dictionaries that are available via the web and iPhone.  They’re both based on Jim Breen’s WWWJDIC, which is one of the most well known and trusted dictionaries available.  Although using Jim Breen’s dictionary straight from it’s own website never gives me the results I’m looking for :/  So that’s why I have these two alternatives that are a little more user friendly.

The first dictionary I want to talk about is Jisho.org.  It’s one of the best designed Japanese dictionaries I’ve seen.  And 90% of the time I’ll get the result I’m looking for when searching it’s database, it also checks for you if you’re using Romanji and will find results based on that without you needing to specify if you’re searching for English or Romanji words.  You can search by radicals, and it has stroke order for all the Kanji in the Database.  One thing though, it’s error messages could use a little work.  When you search for a word that it’s doesn’t have any entries for instead of saying something like “No matches found” it goes to an error page that says “Please come back later.”  When I first saw this I thought the site had gone down, but I had simply misspelled the word  was looking for.

The other dictionary I want to talk about is Kotoba for the iPhone.  It’s just as good as Jisho with all the same features, but with better error messages.  This one is only available on the iPhone though.  It’s great when you’re away from home and you don’t need an internet connection to use it so you can search away on you iPod Touch without worry of WiFi.  The only issue I have with Kotoba is when I’m using an App that has a word I want to look up I have to close that out and then open up Kotoba to check it.  That is why I have Jisho as a backup – so I can have it open on a computer while using an App on my iPod.

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Ninja Words

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I recently picked up an app called “Ninja Words”  It’s normally $2.99, but I got it on special for $.99 :)  It has a free version too, so you can get a feel for it before putting any money down.

It’s a very nice game for studying Kanji, I’ve played Slime Forest Adventure before and the quality and price of Ninja Words is a lot better.  Although, Ninja Words only goes over 500 Kanji and no Kana.  The graphics and storyline and very cute, and I’m finding that the typical grinding style RPG gameplay is pretty well suited for studying.  I really like that it has a storyline involved so there’s some motivation to move through the game.

There’s one bad thing though, that I’ve noticed with other Kanji studying tools too.  It doesn’t have any sample words or furigana :(  If you care to learn how to speak the words you’ll have to keep a dictionary handy.

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