Earthquake Registering 8.9 in Japan

An earthquake Registering 8.9 on the Richter Scale hit off the coast of Honshu, Japan’s main island. As I write this I’m watching the BBC which is showing shocking images from people scrambling out of buildings just missing getting hit by debris to a giant whirlpool which threatens to swallow a boat. Thankfully, Japanese buildings have been built to withstand earthquakes but news is still grim.

Damage is extensive. Communications like cell phones are down, nuclear facilities are damaged and as I’m writing this, there is a death toll of between 200 and 350+ people across Japan (highest in Sendai where police have found a number of bodies). Due to the fact that communications are down the number of casualties and the true state of infrastructure is unknown.

Unfortunately, in the aftermath of the earthquake there has been a tsunami which has caused utter havoc and devastation in Japan and the wider Pacific area.

The impact in Japan itself seems devastating. News organisations are carrying images of shipping containers, cars even houses being washed away like bracken as the tsunami water flows inland these have been deadly as it seems that between 200 and 300 people have drowned.

The BBC has given this blanket coverage on its news channel and website covering the event comprehensively.

A quick check around a blog I follow reveals unfiltered information and startling video. Twitter reported a thousand tweets a minute from Tokyo. TBS has been streaming its news programmes over USTREAM (Japanese language).

Enough from me. Japan hasn’t asked for aid yet but if you want to contribute help head over to the Red Cross website and donate to their appeal. Update:

Anime News Network have a series of links to places you can donate

Crunchyroll is also taking donations

Easy to Read Kanji

It has been a while since I posted anything about learning Japanese so I’m back with a short and rather silly post about Kanji and how to recognise the easy ones and some of my favourites.

Through some examples I have raided from recent anime and Japanese news programmes I watched I want to show Kanji characters that anybody can quickly recognise.

Let’s go… or should that be 行きましょう!!!!

Continue reading “Easy to Read Kanji”


We have previously learnt about hiragana and katakana (collectively known as kana) but now we have the much more complex Kanji – the one Japanese alphabet that is scary – and I try to introduce just what it is and how to read it (thereby exposing the depths of my ignorance). That said, despite my fearful words and negativity, Kanji was what I did well at during my last exam so if a dunce like me can learn it you can to!

Brace up for what might become boredom or enlightenment (depending upon how literate I feel).

So What is Kanji?

Quick history lesson. The origins of Kanji go back to the Chinese scribes of the Yin Dynasty, which lasted from 1700 to 1050 BC. 

Continue reading “Kanji”