Interesting isn’t it!
This page is specifically for interesting things related directly to learning Japanese or about the culture of Japan. Through my trawling of Japanese related webpages I have gathered a lot of links and now hope to show some of the more useful or amusing things (I’m not trying to make a weird Japan page, believe me). I have been posting some of these things in the Japan and Japanese section but having them on one page might be much more useful.
I’ll add things intermittently so stay tuned.
Your Name in Japanese
If you have even the slightest of interest in Japanese, you’ll probably be intrigued by how your name is written in a totally different writing system. It is written using the Katakana writing system, a system normally used for foreign loan-words introduced into Japan or for making text stand out like in advertising.
This website is a bit of fun. Just type in your name and see it converted into a number of fonts. It’s a nice interpretation.
How to Eat Sushi at a Sushi Bar
Watch it then read on.
This caused much merriment in class. It is so well made but the more comedic elements reveal it to be a spoof. To be honest, I could believe some of these jokes – entering the restaurant, pouring the drink, greeting people. There are a lot of hints this is ridiculous but it was great.
Japanese prank shows have the reputation of being cruel but at their best they are hilarious as these examples shows:
Rubber Band Gun
Sometimes when I think of Japan I think of the random stuff that is produced like this rubber band gun:
Why, you ask? Why not, I’d respond. The music is cool, it makes me think Metal Gear Solid and the gun even has a laser sight for crying out loud. This is so cool and appeals to the boy in me. Hats off to you sir, the free world has another weapon to defend itself with.
To celebrate five years of YouTube (and the billions upon trillions of wasted hours watching it) YouTube put up a series of videos featuring the most interesting (I use this word advisedly) characters on the service. Enter Junji Koyama who makes musical instruments out of vegetables:
Carry on Wayward Son performed on a Yama Electone ELC-01C Electric Organ.
At the time of this video, Ameri was 10. Whoever this girl is, she’s damn awesome. I wish I had her skills. Failing that, her cool electric organ would do. Listen to this:
Dear Japan by Matthew Brown
An epic video.
This is How Japanese Advertise Real Estate
The Kung Fu master (Kill Bill 2’s Pai Mei) says that Japanese houses are expensive. I’m surprised because I actually understood what he said.
Ramen Vending Machine
Because sometimes, chocolate isn’t enough! On a much more serious note, Japan is famous for vending machines that offer anything and everything plus it’s a look at the country.
Slouching Somewhere also sent me a link to an amusing article that charts all the useful things Japanese vending machines sell.
Speaking Manly Japanese
A chap named Bobbyjudo uploaded this video on YouTube which involves him getting people in Kyushuu teaching him how to speak manly Japanese. An interesting watch even if you don’t understand everything said because you can listen to his intonation.
The next two videos are from Vermilion Pleasure Night, the first ep of which is below.
This was a comedy sketch-show that aired in the early 2000’s. The antics on these shows were regularly screened on shows like Saiko Exciting (below) which I watched every Saturday morning.
A show where real women pretend to be dolls living in a doll-house and a middle-aged guy narrates their day, presumably because he’s playing with them. Just watch.
An old comedy sketch about a family of Americans who live in Tokyo.
Dezaato – Mail Me
Anybody who has watched Sion Sono’s Suicide Club will be familiar with the demonic J-pop that causes people to have existential melt-downs. Here’s the full version.
11 thoughts on “おもしろい ですね”
I’m certainly glad you liked it.
I absolutely love this page. Those are fantastic video finds. I particularly want to see a ramen vending machine. I thought at first that it would just dispense those usual instant ramen in a cup, but no, it comes in its own bowl… how cool is that!
We actually have a copy of the How to eat sushi at a sushi bar. It’s part of the Best of Resfest Digital Film Festival shorts DVD (volume 3). It’s so funny and makes you crave for sushi. 🙂
Thanks for the reply. I’m glad people are starting to take notice of this page.
The vending machine one is a gem. You often hear that Japan has a vending machine for everything and this is proof. The chap’s youtube channel has so many videos of different vending machines and demonstrations of them set to cool jazz music. You wouldn’t find anything like this in the west… What I also love is the fact that it shows a lot about Japanese culture.
Best of Resfest Digital Film Festival… Sounds intriguing, I’ll look it up. Thanks for the tip!
Pingback: A vending machine for almost everything « slouching somewhere
Jason, do you have a website suggestion for learning Kanji? Not tackling them yet in my class (we haven’t even yet done katakana), but I want to get a headstart. 😀
Well I have a list of sites on the right of my blog in one of the link menus that are great aids in helping Japanese and Kanji plays a significant part. I actually reviewed the sites when I first started the blog. Check the Japan and Japanese page. Anyway here they are:
Kiki’s Kanji Dictionary is pretty useful. Just type in a word (verb/noun) in English and the Kanji for it will come up.
Kanji Practice is the most useful as it shows you how to read (on-yomi and kun-yomi) and write the Kanji.
Real Kanji is useful as a flashcard type of learning tool. As long as you know the readings in hiragana, you should be fine with it.
Pen Pen’s Kanji game is fun if you know how to read certain Kanji. Basically you control a penguin pushing a Kanji towards the kana reading or vice versa.
The first two are the best, the last two are for when you are able to read the Kanji with some confidence. Nothing beats pen and paper but I find practicing on Real Kanji helpful and I hope you do as well 🙂
Ohhh! Thanks for linking. You’re so nice.
To start with, I want to learn how to write them properly – you know, which stroke comes first because when my teacher taught us Hiragana I found it much easier than when I was randomly guessing myself how to write.
I’ll have a look at those links!
Kanji Practice is definitely the one for you then as it has videos of the Kanji being formed and the readings. I watch ten then put on Japanese music and start writing away.
Another page you will find good is Basic Japanese Characters (also on on the right) which has videos and the different readings.
I have been practicing my Japanese speaking today with a tourist I bumped into. It was really cool but I found that I need to practice a lot!
That’s such a coincidence! I was just plannign to search for the Japanese guy who made musical instruments (an ocarina, I think?) out of vegetables! Thanks. 🙂
Glad I could help. 🙂
I’ll have to replace some of these videos…