Author Archives: toritaiyo’s Micah Cowan on Remembering The Kanji and Kanji ABC

So the other day I found this high quality and thorough review of Heisig’s “Remembering The Kanji” – Remembering the Kanji, volume 1, by James W Heisig I particularly liked: I would love to see someone completely rework this system, and perhaps choose better keywords, and address some of the other problems I mentioned […]

Posted in Kanji Revolution | Comments closed

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

There is a revolution taking place in the way people learn – AND (if I’m successful) teach – Kanji!   The methods are faster, smarter, …. lazier   My goal is to merge mnemonics and context to use neuroscience and tadoku to push these kanji methods into the classroom   And to shine light on […]

Posted in Kanji Revolution, Neuroscience | Comments closed

One sweet and succulent dictionary! – an interview with Gregory of the Tangorin dictionary app

Hope you made room for dessert because today you’re in for a treat! We’re chatting it up with Gregory Bobin, creator of Tangorin Japanese dictionary! JapanTree: What motivated you to start your Tangorin project? Gregory: The faculty at my university declined my offer to digitize and open source the kanji learning materials they were distributing […]

Posted in J-web Interviews, Learn Japanese | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Kanji Link

Found a really interesting site a while back Called kanji-link It has a great introduction to kanji And thought I’d share it. The introduction explains how 75% of the kanji fall under just ~30 radicals! The chart explaining that looks great too. If you’re a teacher its great since its easy to use in […]

Posted in Learn Japanese, Teaching Japanese | Comments closed

2,136 Kanji OR Die! The 97 Day Kanji Challenge – an interview with Nico from

Alright !!  I’ve got a treat for you! Today I’m chatting with Nico from NihongoShark. His website has plenty of good information for language learners including a free ebook on learning Japanese that gives an excellent overview of what and how to study. If you’re looking for motivation, great advice (some of the best I’ve heard, […]

Posted in J-web Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Gone Fishin’: for a human approach to Japanese – An interview with Brian Rak of Human Japanese

Today I’m here with Brian Rak of Human Japanese. His app, Human Japanese, is on a mission to help you “get” Japanese in an engaging and human way. This is definitely one program anyone learning Japanese will want to try out (especially self-learners). I know teachers and tutors will love it too. The introduction to hiragana (with […]

Posted in J-web Interviews | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

The Internet’s Best Japanese Translation Dictionary – An Interview with Honyaku Star!

Today we’re talking to Mark of LocalizingJapan. Mark is the creator of the Japanese translation dictionary Honyaku Star. “But,” you ask, “just what is a ‘translation dictionary’? What makes it different? And what makes Honyaku Star the best?” Ahh, my friends you’re about to find out. But first, I’d like to say, if you’re like […]

Posted in J-web Interviews | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

My Japanese Diploma – years of hard work, money (mostly other people’s), sweat blood tears, created this sheet of paper

My diploma, a bachelors degree, from Jochi University in Tokyo Japan. Earned in 2006. Displayed here in 2014 to say I got one. It is a B.S. in “comparative culture” – the name of all degrees from the then faculty of comparative culture.  In my case it was a degree in International Business, specifically Economics and Comparative […]

Posted in Random | Comments closed

Registering for the J-cat

So, I think it would be great to get rid of the JLPT; J-cat a free test from the Univ. of Tsukuba is a nice alternative. I have registered for the J-Cat and am awaiting my login info. Only being able to take it once in 6 months is a little worrying. I need to […]

Posted in Japanese Tests | Comments closed

Use your personal Japanese library to teach your students – Pictures of my Japanese language library

During my three years of University in Japan (and in my high school classes) I amassed a small library of Japanese textbooks. I am willing to bet that if you have reached the advanced stages of learning Japanese you have at least a small library too.

On top of that I picked up a ton of cheap books/videos at Book Off during my time in Tokyo. (most of them were only 100 yen ~ $1 USD)

Maybe you have too. If not, maybe you live near a Book Off branch (in the U.S. there is at least one I know of in New York).

Start mining these resources to teach your students Japanese.


Here are some of my Japanese library items:

[caption id="attachment_1773" align="alignnone" width="281"]Yokoso Japanese textbook Yokoso Japan textbook audio CD[/caption]
Posted in Random | Comments closed

Neuroscience and teaching Japanese

In 2012 I went to a seminar taught by the director of (Canadian Institute of English), a PhD in Neuroscience. The course taught laguage teachers a couple dozen methods of teaching. These methods were based on neuroscience and how our brains learn. LONG STORY SHORT our brains learn when our bodies are active. So, sitting […]

Posted in Neuroscience, Teaching Japanese | Comments closed

George Lucas influenced by Akira Kurosawa

When my Japanese got to the intermediate level I fell in love with Akira Kurosawa movies. 7 Samurai, Ikiru, Madadayo are some of my favourite movies of all time. (I love the line in Madadayo where the teacher makes “baka” soup – a deer/horse combo. It you know the kanji for baka you know why that’s clever in an […]

Posted in Random | Comments closed

Adventures in Teaching Japanese

If it is your first time here – I am a non-native Japanese teacher. (years of Japanese/ Japanese University grad) I am currently teaching at a small private high school that encourages innovative methods. For me, teaching Japanese is like coming home. It is like giving back. In my senior year of high school my Japanese […]

Posted in How To Teach Japanese, Teaching Japanese, Yakitori Sensei !, Yasuke Adventures in Japanese, Yasuke Tips for Teachers | Comments closed

Yakitori Sensei ! “I can teach you to learn Japanese and go to Japan”

よこそ! 始めまして「焼き鳥」先生でーす!どぞよろしく Welcome! My students call me “Yakitori Sensei!” It’s nice to meet you! Book my online lessons on Teacher Profile: Japanese is FUN! I work as a Japanese instructor at a small private school in Delray Beach, FL. I also organize classes and tutor individuals. In all my classes I use CIE learning methods. I […]

Posted in Yakitori Sensei ! | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

An Open Letter

“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” — Samuel Adams If you have any part in the J-web I beg you to suffer through this long letter. If I have done my job well it will be more than worth […]

Posted in Random | Leave a comment

The J-web economy

Nick Ramsay had an excellent post about his officially becoming a programmer. we want to have lives on our terms. etc. location free. yada yada. post outline is on p.56 of #28 notebook. Hi Philip, Thank you so much for contacting me. I think your nihongoup is a great tool. And I hope it […]

Posted in Random | Leave a comment

Questions – to myself and to the community

Reformulating. Rethinking. Lurking. It seems to me that a sustained and useful Japan-related web community requires soul searching. I know that for myself, for me to be a useful and long-term contributor, I have to do soul searching. I have to know what really drives and motivates me; what will really sustain my enthusiasm for […]

Posted in Random | Leave a comment

May Toolbar Improvements

I have been rather inactive on the J-web lately but it is always on my mind. Instead I have been digging deeper into the soul searching I started at the end of last year. And I have been tapping into what my passions truly are which I think will ultimately do me and any project […]

Posted in Random | Leave a comment

Take JapanSoc on the go! J-web Community toolbar upgrade

Hi all, As part of my commitment to make the community japanese language toolbar a force for enhancing collaboration on the Japan-related web I’ve just added a cool new feature: Floating JapanSoc Widgets! (see screenshot below) “Why should I care?” you say? Well, if you are a Jsoc’er you can use this handy tool to […]

Posted in Random | Leave a comment


This widget floats about the web pages and stays with you as you surf away from JapanSoc

Posted in Random | Leave a comment


Posted in Random | Leave a comment

Reluctantly switching to Google

I gave Nipponster a little makeover and made the changes live today. This included turning my back on Swicki and using Google instead. I really did not want to do that but I had to bite the bullet… It’s not that I don’t love Google, I do. But I saw something unique in Swicki and their […]

Posted in Random | Leave a comment

Semi-frequent blogging

Hi, My name is Tori Johnson (a.k.a The Chemist) and this is DailyJ. It is currently a blog in transition as I search for new meaning and ways to add value to the Japan-related web community. Click on “The Interviews” tab above for interviews I conducted with over 20 Japan-related webmasters. Thanks for dropping by […]

Posted in Random | Leave a comment


Going once, going twice, gone! snatched up And I decided to keep Japanopedia. I have one more Japan-related domain name that I might be willing to part with if you have a good plan for it. “” Email me if you are interested.

Posted in Random | Leave a comment

Power to the people – the Japanese Toolbar belongs to you

I’ve just finished a wiki page for the Japanese Toolbar on The purpose of this page is to put the creative direction of the toolbar into the hands of the users. It is now more than ever your toolbar! The goal of this project is also to encourage a “open-source” style of collaboration on […]

Posted in Random | Leave a comment

Nipponster Toolbar gets a makeover

It’s been awhile. Being away from the action is never fun and I am glad to have found some inspiration and time to make some updates and post them. I am always lurking and seeing things here and there though. So much is going on lately on the J-web and I am anxious to talk […]

Posted in Random | Leave a comment


Going once, going twice, gone! snatched up And I decided to keep Japanopedia. I have one more Japan-related domain name that I might be willing to part with if you have a good plan for it. “” Email me if you are interested.

Posted in Random | Leave a comment

Giving away a few Japan-related domain names

I have a few domain names that I’d like to give (yes, free) to anyone who will do good with them. Going forward it will be important for me to focus my time and resources on the areas where I am already providing value (and can provide future value). And I plan to cut everything […]

Posted in Random | Leave a comment