is the Japanese word for lopping off an innocent person's head with a sword. My wife, Carla Sinclair, wrote about the origins of this grisly practice in her article for Tofugu
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The reasons for tsujigiri varied, but usually the swordsman slashed at an unsuspecting victim to try out his new katana, to practice a new move, to test his strength, or just for the sheer thrill of it. There was even a superstition floating around that said performing tsujigiri on 1,000 people would heal illness. The victims were usually merchants or peasants.
See sample pages from this book at Wink.
If you’re like me when it comes to speaking Japanese – extremely clunky with with a limited conversational vocabulary but can read the two syllabaries (katakana and hiragana), this book is a fantastic supplement to further study. Besides the high fun factor of studying with manga (which teaches you to speak like a Japanese person rather than a formal text-book-taught foreigner), it’s the first book I’ve read that clearly explains the grammar (such as when and where to use particles like wa, ga and o), the complicated number systems, conjugating verbs, telling time, etc. I’m also learning some basic kanji as well as silly things you find in manga like exclamations and swear words. Each chapter gives you exercises to do on separate paper with answers in the back of the book. This lesson book is packed with great info on how the Japanese language works, and it’s presented in an interesting way that makes me look forward to picking up the book. I'm really loving it.
However, I have to say that the title of this book is a bit misleading. Yes, we are studying Japanese using manga, but Learning the Basics is a bit of a stretch. The book does touch on the basics but it moves quickly, and if you’re brand new to Japanese, I would hold off on reading this book until you actually have learned the basics.
Japanese in Mangaland: Learning the Basics
by Marc Bernabe
Japan Publications Trading
2004, 269 pages, 6.8 x 10.3 x 0.9 inches (softcover)
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"It took all the skin off your hands," says former Army soldier Rollins Edwards. "Your hands just rotted."
For anyone learning how to speak Japanese, this is a fun illustrated “picture dictionary” with over 1500 words that will help build up your Japanese vocabulary. Designed like some of Richard Scarry’s classic books (What Do People Do All Day, Best Word Book Ever…) Let’s Learn Japanese is filled with colorful scenes, each with a theme such as the doctor’s office, the supermarket, colors, the zoo, clothing, etc, and each theme offers dozens of related, illustrated words.
At the end of the book there is an English-Japanese and a Japanese-English glossary and index so that you can look up a specific word when needed. I originally bought this for my husband and I to brush up on our vocabulary before making a trip to Japan, but now my daughter, who is interested in Japanese, pores over the pages as if she’s reading one of her favorite comic books.
Let’s Learn Japanese: Picture Dictionary
Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.
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This episode's guest:
Peter Bebergal, the author of Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood and writes frequently on the speculative and slightly fringe. He is currently writing Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock & Roll to be published by Tarcher/Penguin. He blogs at mysterytheater.blogspot.com.
Koichi is the editor of the Japanese language and culture blog Tofugu and the author of Japanese language resources, WaniKani and TextFugu.
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An increasingly frustrated native Japanese speaker discovers Siri can't parse the spoken word "work" when voiced with a Japanese accent
From the Google Maps blog:
September 12th is 'Space Day' in Japan, and we are celebrating by releasing new, comprehensive Street View imagery for two of Japan’s top scientific institutions: the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan). With panoramic imagery in and around these locations now available via the Street View feature of Google Maps, space enthusiasts around the world have a more complete and accurate sense of what it’d be like to virtually swap places with an astronaut.
More here. (Thanks, Nate Tyler!) Read the rest
Above, Alin Nava (C) stands in a checkout line at a supermarket in Monterrey April 5, 2012. Nava, 25, is dressed in the so-called "Lolita" fashion style (ロリータ・ファッション Rorīta fasshon), a fashion subculture from Japan influenced by clothing from the Victorian or Rococo eras. The basic style consists of a blouse, petticoat, bloomers, bell-shaped skirt and knee-high socks. Nava is the co-founder of the "Lolitas Paradise" club in Monterrey and for members of the club, the Lolita style is not only a fashion statement but also a way to express their loyalty, friendship, tolerance and unity.
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These women are fans of the Japanese television series "Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt" (which, by the way, is coming soon to the US on DVD). Photographed at the Vancouver Fan Expo #7, April 2012, by Jazman. He has more wonderful shots in this Flickr set. (via BB Flickr Pool) Read the rest
Aibo is a skilled beatboxer from Japan.
Here's her YouTube channel, and you can follow her on Twitter. Above, a little video featuring her work from MyISH.
The MyISH folks tell us she's "a friend/protege" of fellow Japanese beatboxer Hikakin, who was recently featured here on Boing Boing.
I approve, and most of all I approve of her collaboration with a cat named Nao (below).
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