Top 10 list of Japanese series

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Japan is famous for its anime or manga series which has influenced more and more countries, not only in Asia. Manga and Anime have become a big part of the Japanese modern culture. That is the reason why there are many Anime series in top 10 list of Japanese series

Let’s take a look at the top 10 list of Japanese series.

1. 千と千尋の神隠し Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (せんとちひろのかみかくし)

Views: 23,5 millions.


Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited away) is an anime series released in 2001, produced by Studio Ghibli.

The series is about a 10-year-old girl, stuck in a spirit world after her parents were transformed into pigs on the way to their new house. The little girl then had to work in a public bath room of Yubaba to find a way to rescue her parents and come back to the human world.

2. もののけ姫, もののけひめ

Views: 14,2 million.

も ののけ姫 (もののけひめ Mononoke Hime: Princess of evil spirits) is one of the most epic anime series by Miyazaki, produced by Ghibli in 1997. “Mononoke” is Japanese word which means an evil spirit that causes disease, harms human beings… in another words, they are “vengeful spirits”.

Being cursed after killing Demon Tarari, prince Ashitaka has left the village to find out reasons why the Demon appeared and find ways to break the curse.

He headed west and met Lady Eboshi, who always wanted to seize the entire forest in the west. He also confronted Princess Mononoke – adopted by the white wolf goddess Moro. He then got dragged into the fight between the two women, also the fight between the forest goddesses and human kind.

With honesty and kindness, he had appeased the hatred towards the human kind in Mononoke Hime and showed Eboshi that the forest and human kind can live in harmony.

3. 明治天皇と日露大戦争(めいじてんのう と にちろだいせんそう)

Views: 13 millions.

明治天皇と日露大戦争 Emperor Meiji and the Great Russo-Japanese War. The film was produced by director Watanabe Kunio. The series is about the Japan’s battle against Russia’s aggressive invasion.

4. 崖の上のポニョ(がけのうえのポニョ)

Views: 12,87 millions.

崖の上のポニョが けのうえのポニョ Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea)

Mermaid Ponyo is the daughter of a masterful wizard and a sea goddess, had escaped from home and rescued by the boy Sousuke after getting stuck in a bottle.

Her father knew about that and grounded her. Ponyo escaped again to meet Sousuke with the help of her siblings, she then transformed into a human being.

5. 踊る大捜査線 THE MOVIE 2 レインボーブリッジを封鎖せよ

Views: 12,60 millions.

レインボーブリッジを封鎖せよ (Save the Rainbow bridge) is one of the most popular detective movies in the series: 踊る大捜査線.

6. ゴジラ Godzilla.

Views: 9,61 millions.

Godzilla is a half gorilla half whale monster awaken by nuclear radiation after a long sleep in an underwater city. It then attacked Tokyo – the capital of Japan.

7. 日本沈没(にほんちんぼつ、にっぽんちんぼつ Japan sinks)

Views: 8,8 millions.

Like a movie about doomsday, 日本沈没 is a story about the vanishing of islands after an earthquake.

8. ゴジラの逆襲(ゴジラのぎゃくしゅう : Godzilla Raids Again)

Views: 8,34 millions.

This is a story about two pilots Shoichi Tsukioka and Koji Kobayashi. On the hunt for schools of fish, they saw two monsters fighting, one of them is a giant Gorilla. The two monster then fell off the cliff and into the ocean, next to Osaka.

The pilots reported to the authorities in Osaka and another battle against Godzilla had begun.

9. 南極物語(なんきょくものがたり : South Pole Story)

Views: 8 millions. 

This is a story about the survival of the 15 dogs chained and left in South Pole, until their owners came back.

10. 借りぐらしのアリエッティ (かりぐらしのアリエッティ Karigurashi no Arrietty)

Views: 7,5 millions.

借 りぐらしのアリエッティ (Arrietty the borrower) is an anime series released in 2010, directed by Yonebayashi Hiromasa. The series revolves around a girl named Arrietty, a midget living under the floor. Her best friend is Sho, a boy who had congenital cardiovascular conditions and lived with with his aunt.

The movie was released on July, 17th 2010 and became the highest grossing movie in Japan in 2010. The movie had worldwide box office gross of 145 millions dollar and won the 34th Japan Academy Prize for Animation of The Year.

Above are the top 10 list of Japanese series, shown in Japan and all over the world.

Awesome Tips for Learning Japanese with the News

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A great way to study Japanese is by watching, listening to or reading ニュース(にゅーす), the news.

The news helps you learn important vocabulary and improve your listening and comprehension. Another advantage is that you can know what the heck is going on. All of the studying I did with the news came in really handy during the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima a few years ago. I was very glad I’d done it.

But I have to say that it’s tough at the start. When I first moved to Japan ten years ago, I planted myself in front of the news nearly every night and couldn’t make heads or tails of what anybody was saying. But I stayed the course and I kept studying, along with practicing conversation whenever possible.

Here are some tips that made it easier for me (and will for you too).

Tips for Learning Japanese with the News

1. Become a News Junkie

Consume a lot of news on a regular basis. Of course, the more you practice, the better your comprehension will become. But with news, there are certain phrases and words that are used repeatedly, such as:

について – about, concerning

によって – according to, due to

。。。に注意してください (。。。にちゅういしてください) – please beware of…/be careful with…
詐欺に注意してください。(さぎにちゅういしてください。) – Please beware of fraud.
雷雨に注意してください。(らいうにちゅういしてください。) – Please be careful with the thunderstorm.

政府 (せいふ) – government

問題 (もんだい) – problem, issue, question

事件 (じけん) – affair, case

地震 (じしん) – earthquake

You’ll get used to hearing these words and phrases, and this will boost your comprehension.

2. Let It Wash over You

When you first start studying with the news, don’t try to understand everything that’s being said. That will drive you insane. Instead, take in whatever you can pick out and try to get the gist of what they’re saying. If you find yourself losing the thread of what’s being said, try to start up again with the next story.

3. Remember New Words and Phrases

Whenever you’re able to pick out a new word or phrase, write it down. This will help you remember it the next time you hear it. Before you start your news watching sessions, do a little drilling on your new vocabulary to help it stick so that you’ll be better able to follow your stories.

4. Go Audio

Most of us watch the news on TV, but if you’re studying a language with the news, another option is to listen to the radio or a news podcast. In an audio format, broadcasters tend to talk more slowly and clearly. I noticed this when I discovered the talk radio stations in Tokyo. With podcasts, you can save episodes to go back and listen to them again.

5. Use Your Interests

If you’re not particularly interested in the news, choose a specific field of the news that interests you. If you’re a baseball fan, watch the sports news. If you like cars, find an automotive news podcast. If you’re into music, find some news about the Japanese music scene.

6. Follow a Story

Find a particular story that interests you and follow it. Each day, tune in to news about your story. You’ll remember the vocabulary and have the necessary context to understand the latest broadcast. I remember doing this with a newspaper story about a high school girl murder case. Pretty morbid subject matter, I know, but it was easier to understand than the political bickering and other news.

7. Japanese and English

A cool exercise for learning Japanese with news is to find the same story in both English and Japanese. Watch or read the story in Japanese first, and then use the English story to see if you understood it. This is easiest to do with newspaper articles. Often, a news story will originate with a native English news service and be translated into Japanese. With the internet, it’s relatively easy to find both stories.

8. Not Necessarily for Conversation

Keep in mind that when you learn Japanese with news, you’re not learning everyday conversation. I point this out because you don’t want to talk like a news reporter when you hang out with your friends. I recommend learning with the news as part of an overall study routine that includes colloquial Japanese as well.

Resources for Learning Japanese with the News

All of the resources below are free and most are aimed at Japanese language learners.

  • Japanese News App



Obon festival in Japan

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Obon is a very important festival for Japanese people. On the occasion of Obon, LearnJapanesedaily would love to share with you about Obon festival in Japan.


お盆(お ぼん)is a shortened form of 「盂蘭盆」 (うらんぼん)meaning a bowl or a tray (holding the offerings). The Obon festival originates from the story of Mokuren, who used his supernatural powers to rescue his mother.

The story is very common in China and countries which are strongly influenced by Chinese Buddism such as Japan and Vietnam. In Vietnam, the festival is a chance to show gratitude to the parents while in Japan, is to show gratitude to the ancestors.


Obon festival takes place around July, 15th of the lunar calendar, (as in some places, people follow the lunar calendar while in other places, people follow the solar calendar, hence the date difference).

The Obon festival lasts 3 days, if the holidays happen to overlap with Sunday, people will have the next Monday off to make up for this. In some places, people are given even a week off.

In this holiday, the Japanese often have these kinds of activities:

Welcoming bonfire

On the first day of Obon festival, the Japanese often make a bonfire inside the garden or in front of the gate, light an oil lamp on the Altar to guide their ancestors’ spirits home.

Welcoming horse

In many places, the Japanese use a cucumber or an eggplant to create a semblance of a horse which is used to carry the spirits.


During the time of Obon festival, the Japanese often place offerings on the Altar believing that their loved ones are around at the moment.

Obon dance

In many places, they perform Obon dance or dress up in costume parading down the streets. Obon festival is a chance for families to gather together, hence the dancing.

Some people think the Obon dance derived from the story: Mokuren danced happily with joy because of his mother’s release and grateful for his mother’s kindness. (Perhaps this is the Japanese’s version since it only exists in Japan).

To the cities which organize costumed festivals, everyone can register to take part in it. On the day of the dance, each team dress up as registered, arrive at destined places and dance along the decorated streets. Many foreigners also join this activity.

Farewell bonfire

In the last day of Obon festival, they often make a bonfire (where they made the welcoming bonfire). This is to bid farewell to their deceased ancestors. In some places, people send a floating colored lantern down the river or light a firework in memory of them.

Above are everything about Obon festival in Japan, LearnJapanesedaily would like to wish you a happy holiday!

Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Books Collection

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By JLPT Level:


Jareads – No1 App for learning Japanese ! – Learning Japanese with the News !


Web version:
Tap to translate any words. Easy to understand Japanese News.



Make a Japanese learning plan

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Why we need to make a Japanese learning plan:

While learning goals are a target that you aim for, learning plans will show you which step and action you need to take. That way you can reach your goals steadily, quickly within your time and money budget.

Learning plans helps you manage your time and allocate your time budget strategically (especially with detailed plans), it helps you keep everything in check, to see if what you’re doing is enough for you to reach those goals? If it’s not enough, you’ll need some adjustments.

Learning plans helps you focus solely on what you’re doing, you don’t have to worry about other things because you have already allocated your time into individual tasks.

You might need an hour or two to make a Japanese plan, however, don’t hesitate to spend that much of time, what you can benefit from it will be worth it.

Practice and learning plans:

There are two types of Japanese learning plans:

Mid-term plans (2-4 years): You have to sketch out what you need to do in 2 to 4 years. For example, your goal is to become a Japanese interpreter in 3 years. You can plan to focus on the basis and do some research on the field that you wish to work on (think about it as the time for you to relax since you will be more excited over things that you like) in the first year. In the second year, you need to practise for both the test and your listening and speaking skills. The third year will be the time for you to practise your speaking and writing skills, along with improving your specialized Japanese vocabulary.

Short-term plans (6 months – 1 year): Based on those above mid-term plans to determine what you need to do in each year, only this time is for each quarter, month and day. It’s important to allocate your time for every day.

How to make a Japanese learning plan?

Making a Japanese learning plan isn’t hard, what you need is a goal, take everything in consideration (mostly time), and find out what tasks need to be done to achieve the goal in a specific period of time – how long it takes to complete each task. It goes on like that until you’re able to allocate your time for each day.

For example, if you want to have your N5 after a month learning Japanese, you need to understand things you need to know about the JPLT N5, the JPLT N5 structure, how much N5 vocabulary or N5 Kanji or N5 grammar you need to learn. Split each day’s workload (25 days for example), you will know how much vocabulary, Kanji or grammar you need to learn every day.

You also need to make time to practise listening, writing and sometimes take some sample JPLT N5 so you can learn and see your progression at the same time. From the amount of vocabulary, Kanji…you need to learn in a day, take note of how long it takes for you to learn, which time is the best for you then choose that time to learn every day. You can relax, research, prepare as well as do other things in the remaining time. That’s how you use your day to reach your goal.

Deal with unexpected scenarios

While following your plan, unexpected things will probably happen (illness, family business,.), there are things you can take a rain check on (friend gathering, family business…), there are things you can’t avoid (take a rest to recover from illness). Therefore, you need to have buffer time to back up your plan. For example you can’t learn 7 days straight in a week, only learn in 6 days and spend one remaining day to revise, relax and to deal with unexpected scenarios. When you make a Japanese learning plan, or any other plan, don’t forget about this buffer time.

Review your plan every day

At the end of every day, spend some minutes to review what you have learnt in one day, how would you rank your day? 10 for an excellent day and go on. You’ll be rewarded if the outcome turns out well, and punished if the outcome turns out badly.


So you have already had your detailed plan, now it’s time to get started. Be determined to achieve your goal, because there will be many hardships along the way. It may be from other factors (friends, studying…) and from yourself (laziness, your love for sleep and all the fun…). Just win over them and over yourself and improve every day.

Adjust your plan

Making a Japanese learning plan is based on the knowledge, prediction, for a point of time in the future. Things can go like planned, or better ( for example. Your goal is to have your N5 in a month, but you can do it in only 3 weeks). You then have to adjust your plan, be flexible. However, don’t take advantage of that to compromise with your laziness and lack of determination.

The Uniqueness of Japanese Folktales

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The uniqueness of Japanese Folktales. So you are studying Japanese culture. This article will give you an insight into the realm of fantasy in Japanese culture: the Uniqueness of Japanese Folktales. What is distinctive about Japanese folktales? What have the adults taught their children over generations? What ideology and philosophy do the Japanese want to convey to each other and to the whole world, through their fairy tales?

What is the uniqueness of Japanese folktales?

In a typical Japanese folktale, there will be a kind-hearted protagonist faced with adversities (which may include antagonists), and a mystic force to help the protagonist. In the end good people have good results. OK, you may detect the very motif of any other folktales all over the world. However, unlike other countries’ folk stories, where amazing magic solves all the problems, Japanese tales do not focus on the mystic force. Even with the help from god, the protagonist plays the main part in the development of the story; that is, without the will and effort of the protagonist, no problem is solved despite the presence of magic.

The example below will clarify the uniqueness of Japanese folktales.

Japanese Folktale: God of Poverty

In Osaka lives the impoverished Gohei. He fails in most business because of his timidity and reticence. When Kami (God) of the Poor visits him, Gohei could not offer the kami anything, despite his good will. The god understands Gohei’s sincerity, and tells him: “At midnight three knights – one in yellow outfit and on yellow horse, one white, the last black – will travel along the pagoda. When the first knight passes by, hold the rein of his horse. If you fail, try at the second and third knight.”

Gohei thanks the god. He waits near the pagoda. At midnight, the three knights approach, appearing fearsome. Gohei is petrified, until the yellow knight has passed by. Regaining consciousness, Gohei seizes the rein of the white horse, but it roars and gallops. Gohei tries with the last knight, and the rein slips from his shaking hand. Despaired, he spots one more horseman approaching. He seizes the horse’s rein, and the horse stops. The horseman is but the Kami of the Poor, who explains:

“You are too shy to grab one of the three Gods of Wealth: the yellow one is Kami of Gold, the white Silver and the black Bronze. You are just so cowardly you can only grab me, God of Poverty. Try again tomorrow’s night, as we four will pass the pagoda again.”

The following night Gohei waits until the yellow knight comes. Gohei willingly grips the yellow horse’s rein. It gallops away ferociously. Undaunted, Gohei grabs the white horse. It shakes him off. Summoning all his courage, Gohei snatches the last horse. It swags and almost kicks him down, but Gohei closes his eyes and wrenches his arms. The horse wears out and stops struggling. When Gohei opens his eyes, the black knight and horse has disappeared, and in his hands is a bag filled with bronze coins. Then Kami of the Poor ambles by, giving Gohei a farewell smile.

Gohei comes home, fixes his house, gets married and lives happily.

(based on Contes Japonais (Japanese folktales) – Gertrude Fritsch, Gründ – Paris, 1970)

As seen, God of the Poor does not directly solve Gohei’s prolonged adversity, but offers him opportunities, as symbolized by the imaginary Gods of Wealth. Even with such chance, if Gohei does not overcome his innate cowardice, he may remain poor for the rest of his life. The “bronze award” fits Gohei’s ability, and he deserves the happy ending not merely because he is kind, but mainly because he has struggled to win over his limitation.

The essence of Japanese folktales  

Now you may have got an idea about the uniqueness of Japanese folktales. The moral of most Japanese fairy tales is not “God bless the kind”, but “The brave deserves”. A Kima (God) may give you some opportunities. If you fail to make the most of one, look for another and hold on. But if you are timid and hesitant, the opportunities just pass by. Japanese folktales often use great metaphors and allegories and convey Japanese philosophies and principles. They teach their children, and even adults, great lessons about will and courage.

We all know “Cinderella”, the most popular folktale in Europe, whose variant versions spread over continents. Poor and persecuted, Cinderella gets helped by the fairy-godmother, who makes carriage out of pumpkin and scintillating glass slippers out of nowhere. Cinderella goes to the ball, leaves there one slipper, then waits for the prince to come take her as spouse. Without the magic of godmother, Cinderella would still be doing chores. Cinderella deserves “happiness ever after” only because of her graciousness and benevolence. However, you may hardly find such an easy grant from the heaven in a typical Japanese folktale.

No wonder most Japanese are either tenacious strugglers or deep thinkers, or both. They act, fail, persist, win, and reflect on the process, crystallizing their unique philosophies. As you study Japanese culture, reading Japanese folk stories will bring not only relaxation but also deep lessons that may change your life. Indeed, the principles and morals Japanese have all absorbed as children did make Japanese one of the greatest peoples in the world.


7 gestures to avoid in interviews with Japanese company

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7 gestures to avoid in interviews. When being invited to an interview in with a Japanese company and other companies in general, some of your gestures can leave your a bad impression on your recruiters. Those kind of gestures exist inside each of us. They might be a subconscious habit, sometimes hard to control.

Let’s find out if you’re having one of them!

You might also be interested in: Japanese questions frequently asked in interviews with a Japanese company 

  1. Fail to make eye contact

Eye contact during conversation is very principle. If you look away while talking instead of looking at your recruiters in the eye, you are going to leave them a bad impression. Making eye contact when you first meet someone can be uncomfortable, however, to not leave a bad impression, learn to look at the other person in the eye during conversation (it would be better if you try directing your gaze towards the nose bridge, between the eyes).

You might also be interested in: Eye contact in interviews

  1. Keep fidgeting

Fidgeting in your seat will be noticed easily by your recruiters. Things like stretching, studying with your nails, cracking your knuckles… often leave a bad impression on them. Interviews can be stressing, especially the long ones. You might get tensed, uncomfortable, however don’t make it too obvious.

  1. Dominant Stand

Standing superiorly with legs spread widely is interpreted as a sign of dominance, leaving an impression of a person who is too proud and likes showing off. Remember to stand with your legs slightly apart.

  1. Leaning away

Leaning against the chair suggests boredom lack of interest in the job . With that posture, no matter what you say, the outcome can’t be as ambitious as it should be. Thus, sit up straight!

  1. Lean in or slouch

During conversation, many have the propensity to lean forward or slouch (like when you check yourself out in a mirror). Leaning in indicates that you’re interested, but if you lean forward a bit too much, it can come off as being overly solicitous or even threatening. Thus, do it right, sit up straight!

  1. Sway and shake your legs

Swaying and shaking your legs indicate lack of concentration, overly confidence or nervousness. This is a bad habit, can leave a bad impression on the recruiters. If you have the habit of doing this, get rid of it before going to the interview.

  1. Touch your hair

This, usually can be seen in women, especially those who have long hair. Tucking your hair behind your ear or twirling your hair may seem normal, but to many recruiters, these gestures can leave a bad impression. Wear your hair up so you don’t have to bother with that.

Above are 7 gestures to avoid in interviews. If you have one of those things, fix it or at least control it in your interview.

Japanese questions frequently asked in interviews

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Japanese questions frequently asked in interviews

A Japanese interview with a Japanese company is something to be expected if you are a Japanese learner. Interviews in your mother tongue are hard enough, let alone in Japanese…

That’s why in this article, LearnJapanesedaily will introduce you to Japanese questions frequently asked in interviews with Japanese companies.

you might be also interested in: Interviews with Japanese companies – 7 gestures to avoid

1. Tell me about yourself

The very first question you are going to be asked in any interview: Tell me about yourself!

“Jikoshoukai wo onegai shimasu” (自己紹介をお願いします/じこしょうかいをおねがいします)

The keywords of this question are 自己紹介 jikoshoukai. Sometimes you might not be able to hear every words clearly, but if you get these keywords, it normally means the interviewer is asking you to introduce yourself.

To not be confused when being interviewed, prepare a brief introduction beforehand and practise it on your own or with a friend over and over again. The introduction should be something about you that is related to the job such as: Name (again), age, academic background (very important to people being interviewed for the first time), work experience… Keep the words formal and polite.

2. What do you know about us?

This question is also asked very frequently, especially in interviews for the higher positons in the company, or highly skilled candidates. They might ask:

“(Name of the company) ni tsuite nani wo shitte imasu ka?” (Name of the company  について何を知っていますか/についてなにをしっていますか).

What do you know about our company (name of the company)?

Or they can go further with questions about their products:

Name of the company ga dono youna seihin wo tsukutteiru ka, donna seihin ni tsukawareteiru ka gozonji desu ka?” name of the company がどの様な製品を作っているか、どんな製品に使われているかご存知ですか/name of the company がどのようなせいひんをつくっているか、どんなせいひんにつかわれているか ごぞんじですか).

To be ready for this question, develop a habit of doing research about the company through their websites… If you can’t find the information, be honest and let them know. But at least, give it a try, this shows your concern with the company and the job itself.

3. Why did you apply for this position?

This question is asked a lot in interviews with Japanese company, the question might be:

oubodouki wo oshiete kudasai” (応募動機を教えて下さい/おうぼどうきをおしえてください).

Instead of using 応募動機, the interviewer may ask :

shiboudouki, oubo shita riyuu,” (志望動機、応募した理由 / しぼうどうき、おうぼしたりゆう), 

ouboshita kikkake” (応募したきっかけ / おうぼしたきっかけ

or “shibouriyuu” (志望理由 / しぼうりゆう)

Prepare your answers ahead of time if you don’t want to look and sound disoriented.

Focus on the reasons on how you would suit the position the best, or just simple as how you have always wanted to work in a Japanese company, or how you like their products and want to take part in the production…

Of course you should also prepare answers to questions that interviewers might have asked when they hear your answers!

4. Others

Besides all the questions mentioned above, you might also receive such questions:

Why would you want to change your job/ why did you quit?

ima no shigoto wo kaetai riyuu ha nan desu ka” (今の仕事を替えたい理由は何ですか/いまのしごとをかえたいりゆうはなんですか).

Tell me about your current job?

genzai no shigoto naiyou wo oshiete kudasai” (現在の仕事内容を教えて下さい/げんざいのしごとないようをおしえてください).

This is a chance for you to show the interviewers your work experience and knowledge that you have garnered from this job.

Tell me about your sales experience!

ima made okonatta seerusu katsudou ni tsuite oshiete kudasai(今まで行ったセールス活動について教えて下さい/いままでおこなったせーるすかつどうについておしえてください).

How do you deal with pressure/stress at work?

puresshaa ni dou taiou shimasu ka, puresshaa ni taisho suru houhou wo oshiete kudasai.” (プレッシャーにどう対応しますか。プレッシャーに対処する方法を教えて下さい/ぷれっしゃーにどうたいおうしますか。ぷれっしゃーにたいしょするほうほうをおしえてください).

Strengths – Weaknesses

長 所と短所を教えてください。Chousho to tanshowo oshiete kudasai. This question is asked a lot in Japanese interviews. You should prepare for it.

Above are Japanese questions frequently asked in interviews with Japanese companies. Go to the interview all prepared! What is better than having all the answers to to every questions?

Be confident and ace your interview!

How to Start Learning Japanese

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Japanese is an East Asian language, spoken by approximately 125 million people across the world. It is the national language of Japan, but it is spoken in Korea, the United States, and many other places as well. If you are a native English speaker, Japanese will be very different. It will require practice, but with a little effort, you can become an effective Japanese speaker.

1 Learn Hiragana.

Hiragana is the Japanese alphabet. It is comprised of 51 phonetic characters, and each character stands for exactly one sound. (This is different from English in which one letter may sound different in different contexts). Once you know Hiragana, you will know how to pronounce any word in Japanese. Begin your Japanese journey by studying and memorizing these characters.

The minimal way to learn Japanese Hiragana : Easy Hiragana App  (iOS)

2 Learn some Katakana.
Katakana is a series of characters used to stand for loan words or non-Japanese words (such as hot dog or internet). You will want to learn the Katakana terms for English words you are likely to use.

3 Learn Kanji.

Kanji are typographic Chinese symbols that are used to stand for basic words and phrases in Japanese. Whereas Hiragana symbols are more like English letters (depicting simple sounds), Kanji symbols are used to depict complete words. Knowing some basic Kanji will enable you to understand and speak basic Japanese.

Learn Japanese Kanji by using flashcards. Kanji Flashcards (iOS)

4 Avoid relying on Romaji.
Romaji is a system of using English letters to spell Japanese words. Romaji can be useful for learning initial key phrases, or for online communications. If you rely too much on Romaji, however, you will never move on to a genuine grasp of the language. Focus your study on Hiragana, Katakana, and some Kanji.

5 Practice grammar.
In order to learn Japanese grammar, you’ll need to try to forget everything you already know about grammar. Don’t apply the rules and concepts of your native language to Japanese. Instead, try to take the rules of Japanese grammar at face value.

  • Obtain a Japanese grammar workbook and begin following the lessons.
  • Locate free online resources to study Japanese grammar.

6 Learn some key phrases.
Learning a few key phrases will allow you to begin practicing, and may allow you to enjoy some casual conversation with a Japanese speaker. Although Romaji should not be relied upon, using Romaji to learn these basic phrases can work as a good jumping off point.

  • Hello – Kon’nichiwa
  • Goodbye – Sayonara
  • I’m fine, thanks – Watashiwa genki desu. Arigato.
  • Thank you very much – Domo arigato gozaimasu
  • Nice to meet you – Hajime mash’te

How to write an email in Japanese

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How to write an email in Japanese. If you’re working for a Japanese company, or in a company where Japanese is being used, you probably have to write emails in Japanese, hence the need to know how to write an email in Japanese. This is a chance for you to make use of your honorific arsenal. In this article, Learn Japanese daily will introduce to you how to write an email in Japanese in a proper way.

A proper email in Japanese consists of: 宛名 (atena : receiver)、挨拶 (aisatsu : greetings)、名乗り (nanori : addressing yourself)、要旨 (youshi : main body content)、詳細 (shousai : details)、結びの挨拶 (musubi no aisatsu : closing remarks)、署名 (shomei : name, signature). In case both parties are already close, you can leave out certain parts, however, the email be become less formal.

宛名 (atena : receiver)

Written right in the first line of the email.

ABC 株式会社 – Name of the company or organization, the form of the company shouldn’t be left out: limited, join stock.
代表取締役  – Position, skip this if it’s just an ordinary staff.
平野友朗様  – Fullname + 様 will make a better impression. However sometimes it’s ok to not write the fullname but only Lastname + 様.

When both parties are rather close, we can leave out the name of the company (organization) and the position. It’s ok to just write the fullname or Lastname + 様. When both parties are already really close and want to be more casual, replace 様 with さま.

挨拶 (aisatsu : greetings)

For example :

ご無沙汰しております。It’s been a long time.

先日は、ありがとうございました。Thank you for yesterday.

早速のご連絡ありがとうございます。 Thank you for contacting soon.

In case of contacting outside of the company, some frequently used phrases are: お世話になっております – Thanks for always helping me, or even more formal: いつも大変お世話になっております – Thank you for always supporting me. In case that’s the first time making contact, instead of using the two above phrases, we should use: おせわになります. I hope for the kind assistance hereafter. In internal cases, the frequently used phrase is: お疲れ様です – You have been hard-working lately.

名乗り (nanori : addressing yourself)

Next, write the name of the company (organization), position and your name, just like the receiver’s section (of course we don’t use 様 for yourself). You can use the structure: Position ~をしております、fullname と申します. Some people think the name of the sender is already displayed on the email, however not every web browser will display your name right, or when you read your email on your phone, the sender’s information may not be displayed. Therefore, you should address yourself so the other person can catch a glympse of who they are exchanging emails with.

要旨 (youshi : main body content)

When you are done greeting and addressing yourself. It’s time to move on to the main body content of the email. In this section, mention the main ideas of the email so the receiver can get an idea of it. Some phrases might be:

打ち合わせの日程について、ご相談いたします。 I’d like to discuss about the meeting schedule.

先日のお礼を申し上げたく、メールをお送りしました。I’d like to show my gratitude to you about the other day.

… についてお詫びを申し上げたく、ご連絡いたしました。I’d like to apologize about…

お見積内容のご確認のために、ご連絡いたしました。I’d like to confirm the bidding information.

In case you need an answer, you can use such phrases:

「お手数ですが、ご確認よろしくお願いいたします」 Excuse me, but could you please confirm…

「お返事をお待ちしております」 I’m looking forward to your feedback.

詳細 (shousai : Details)

In this section, explain to the other person what you wish to convey, what you want them to do for you. The most important thing is to explain clearly, the used words shouldn’t be too complicated. Using honorifics is important, however, if you are not too good at honorifics, use the formal form (ます) to prioritize the content you want to convey.

In this article, you can organize the content in a list, or use bullet points… to make the content more clearly. For example:

内容       ビジネスメールコミュニケーション講座

日時      2015年2月20日(金)

場所      株式会社アイ・コミュニケーション

対象      新入社員もしくは研修担当者

参加費   8,640円(税込)

結びの挨拶 (musubi no aisatsu : Closing remarks)

After you have done stating the main body content, use some closings to wrap it up, for example:

今後ともよろしくお願いいたします。I hope to receive your assistance hereafter.

ご検討の程、よろしくお願いいたします。I really hope you can consider.

引き続きよろしくお願いいたします。I really hope you continue (the job).

ご協力いただけますよう、よろしくお願いいたします. I really hope you will give me your cooperatioin.

署名 (shomei : name, signature)

You can write your name or insert your electronic signature to wrap it up:

会社名 name of the company、部署名 position.

名前  name (if the name is hard to pronounce, there should be a pronunciation).

郵便番号、住所、ビル・建物名 (address)

電話番号 (telephone number)

ファクス番号 (Fax number)

メールアドレス (email)

URL(ウェブサイト名も記載)the company’s website.

These above information will help your partner contact you more conveniently, especially for emergencies.

Above are the 7 main parts of an email in Japanese and how to write an email in Japanese. Hopefully this article will help you be able to write your a work email on your own.