C’mon Lets Mikuru Legend

This goes out to everyone starting the Japanese language program here at Waseda this week. Come on let’s dance, special generation!

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Japanese Journalist Killed in Burma

I’m sure most of you who are tuned in to Japanese issues heard about the Japanese journalist killed in Myanmar last week. For those who want more information, you can head on over to Japanprobe.com, a good source of information for things Japanese both cultural and political.

Be warned, there is footage of the actual shooting as well as the sad aftermath two minutes later as Nagai-san lay helpless in the streets of Rangoon.

My thoughts certainly go out to those in Burma fighting for freedom and I hope that those who have lost their lives find comfort in the days too come.

Link to story

Episode 39 – Fire Hazard


On my way to Akiba (Akihabara), I speak on a few topics after discovering a huge fire hazard in my apartment. Find out more by listening below.

Show Notes:

  • Walking to Akihabara
  • Crazy thing with my power adapter
  • A little gear-talk
  • School starts on October 1st for me – skipping a level, suicide?
  • Politics
    • Too much politics research
    • Waiting for Scott’s “What’s Up America”
    • Being away from home and how it affects your views
  • Darth Vader
    • Looking like him
    • Dream I had about him when I was a kid
  • Tattoos in Japan
  • More insights on work
    • Emergency rescue kit bag
    • Sleepy time
    • Power using MS Excel
  • My rant about “Lifehacking”
  • The podcaster biorhythm
  • Follow-up story

Second Life – Japan

As if actually being in Japan weren’t enough, today I ventured into Second Life today to see what I could find that was Japan related and perhaps find a venue for some more in-depth language practice. This was also to do some research for an upcoming video episode that I wanted to do. More on that later…


I first found this sign on “Help Island”. Pretty encouraging to see the use of Japanese even in the introduction section. This area is like a sandbox and full of just random things.


But I was able to find Japan city pretty easily. I only explored one area since the area I wanted to go to was not available at the time. Notice the grid map over my left shoulder which shows all of the land areas for Japan City. This is my “I am the master of Japanese Text” pose.


In Japan city, I quickly met some people. The person all the way on the right then proceeded to give me some items that I was able to keep – including a maid-cafe thing that follows you around. When you double-click on it, it brings you to a maid-cafe. I could have sworn I saw this guy at Tokyo Game Show. Something fishy here.

Snapshot_004.jpegAhh, but certainly like real life. It all goes downhill real quick. This Mr. Slick turned into Ms. Lush and proceeded to drink large beers and stumble around wildly. Though it sounds immature, all interactions were in Japanese so it did have at least some education aspect for me.

Overall, I think Second Life has some potential for learning another language. Japanese support within the program is great and definitely has some advantage to your helping your reading skills. Also, since the last time I have checked out Second Life, there is also voicechat, which makes conversing with people in their language that much easier.

I want to explore some more as I get some free time, but at least for now I’ve gotten myself situated and can find some other areas to practice Japanese in. Now, if I can only find that maid cafe in Akiba… (^_-)/

Episode 38 – Deer of Miyajima


Man and beast collide… well not really. But we did get to hang out with some deer. Enjoy the sites of us interacting with some deer on the island of Miyajima during our vacation in this quick 3 minute video, complete with mellow music for your deer-viewing enjoyment.

Notice he goes right for the star in that photo!


Episode 37 – Dictionary Games

G4's Code Monkeys

Seems like this turned out to be the review episode. A Kanji dictionary, a great g4 video podcast to share, and some podcasting software review action. Is this podcast really about Japan?! And why do I mention sheep being on the radio? Find out if you listen here. Let’s go!

Show Notes:

  • Intro
    • Getting motivated to bring out some more content
  • Review of Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten DS Dictionary
    • Who should get it
    • Where you can get it
    • Features
  • G4 Code Monkeys
    • Great clip from a great online show
    • iTunes RSS Feed here
    • Other G4 podcasts
  • Review of Ubercaster
    • Podcasting tool
    • Great functionality
    • Poor performance in editing
      • Update: Turning off waveforms really helps though
      • Update: Ubercaster is now available for a discount, see the site for details.

Episode 36 – Movies and Mt Fuji


Alex joins in for the conversation about our Mt. Fuji experiences. We get sidetracked a little bit first with a few random topics: movie theaters in Asakusa, and the saga of our washing machine. I originally thought this would be a multi-topic episode including the review of the Nintendo DS dictionary and Ubercaster, but alas it wouldn’t fit – we’ll save that for episode 37.

Picture above is for SanNakji: “Yes those are vending machines”. Alex and I hope you enjoy this nearly hour long episode!

Show Notes:

  • Intro
  • Movie Theaters in Asakusa
  • Washing Machine Troubles
  • Mount Fuji
    • Getting to Mount Fuji
    • Stations
    • Descent
    • Wrap Up


So I fire up dashboard with my handy Japanese weather widget and I see…


I’ve never seen a RED umbrella before. Should I be worried? Apparently a typhoon is on the way. A co-worker says that the above-ground trains are often stopped when a typhoon comes. Since I take the simply wonderfully sky-high-above-windy-terrain-to-begin-with Yurikamome line every day on my way to work, I’m wondering if tomorrow/Friday might be my first real commuting adventure here in Japan.

Episode 35 – Yakiimo Truck

One of my most favorite characters in this neighborhood is the Yaki Imo delivery truck. Yaki means grilled and Imo means potato. In this case, this guy sells grilled sweet potatoes. But his method of cruising through the neighborhood should not be taken likely. This man is a pro, even if the recording skips just a little bit.

Unfortunately, we haven’t seen Mr. Yaki Imo in a while so we’re not quite sure if we will ever get to eat one. But if he comes back, rest assured I will be the first one on my block waiting for that sweet delicious treat. Enjoy!

Oh, and here are the lyrics to the song. Let’s all sing along.


yakimo~~, yakiimo~~~, ishi ya~~~~kiimo~~~~~, yakiimo~~~~

roasted potato, roasted potato, stone roasted potato, roasted potato


Episode 34 – Tanabata Festival In Asakusa


This is a short slideshow of some sights and sounds captured in Asakusa during the Tanabata festival. The history and meaning behind the Tanabata festival is quite romantic and really quite interesting. Check out some more info here on Wikipedia.

Enjoy the mellow music and shades of blue as I walk you through Asakusa to Ueno taking in the sights and sounds of the festival. This is a larger frame size file but the download should be very short, only about 4MB or so. Make sure you download and view it. Viewing it here on the website will not let it display in its full size.
If you like this format, please let me know. I would love to get some feedback on it. This type of video podcast is very fun to put together and doesn’t take much time. I’m using what I’ve learned from Stuart Isset’s piece I featured back in April.