All posts filed under: japanese immersion

Japanese Music: STUTS

Today, I would like to write about STUTS, an artist that I have discovered recently!  I already mentioned STUTS in a previous post, when I was talking about another Japanese artist: Alfred Beach Sandal. STUTS and Alfred Beach Sandal have made an EP together called “ABS+STUTS”. To be honest, I am completely obsessed with this work and I have listened to nothing else for the past days!  I was thinking of working on the lyrics, but I always stumble across parts I cannot translate or understand so I got discouraged… STUTS is described as a “track maker”. To be honest, I don’t know what it means exactly, but guess it is something like making the instrumental backing track for other artists? He has been working with various artists and attracted attention with his first album “Pushin’” in 2016. STUTS says that he sees this album as a collection of his best works until then (source).  In 2017, he released two EP: “ABS+STUTS” featuring Alfred Beach Sandal, which is my favourite album so far.  “ALLSEASON” featuring …

Film review: 『犬に名前をつける日』by Akane YAMADA

『犬に名前をつける日』(official website) is a “documentary drama” by director Akane YAMADA (山田あかね) that was released in Japan in 2015. It features Satomi KOBAYASHI (小林聡美) and Takaya KAMIKAWA (上川隆也). Akane YAMADA is a film director for the television. When her dog dies in 2010, her friend and mentor Nobuko SHIBUYA (渋谷昶子) suggests that Akane YAMADA should make a film about dogs. This is what triggered the project, and 4 years of shooting and more than 200 hours of film later, the documentary drama 『犬に名前をつける日』was born. 『犬に名前をつける日』is mainly a documentary on people who work to rescue dogs and cats, but it is also more than that. We follow a television director, Kanami KUNO (久野かなみ) who lost her dog and starts a documentary on stray dogs and the people who help them. But while the protagonist’s story is based on Akane YAMADA’s own life and work, her role is played by the actress Satomi KOBAYASHI. When I saw the film, I thought it was a traditional documentary, and I was convinced that the person I saw on the screen …

Japanese Immersion: November week 1

This post will be short because I have done nothing interesting this week to study or get immersed in Japanese. I have only studied Anki and I have written a short text in Japanese every day (a little more than the half of an A6 page). I would like to say that I have been busy, but I haven’t. I just didn’t want to study Japanese this week, I was more into journaling, writing and drawing. The good thing is that I listened to some Japanse music while doing these activities, and here are some songs that I particularly like: First of all, my favourite singer on this list: Alfred Beach Sandal. I like his album Unknown Moments, but my favourite song is “Horizon” from the EP ABS+STUTS: I find that this is a song perfect to listen to while drawing, I can’t stop hitting the “repeat” button 🙂 If you like this style, you can check STUTS too (who worked with Alfred Beach Sandal on this song), but his work will be either instrumental or …

Japanese Immersion: October week 5

As I mentioned on Monday, I have finished watching the 10 episodes drama 『シグナル 長期未解決事件捜査班』and I have started a new one this week! I also continued reading the political magazine Sapio. Japanese drama シグナル: final thoughts I have watched maybe 4 or 5 Korean drama entirely in my life and started dozens of them without being able to make it through the first episode. Korean dramas are not for me, even though the story of most of them appeals to me, I just don’t like watching them. The same happened for the drama “Signal” when I tried watching the Korean original version when it came out. I have watched I think 3 episodes, but I found most of the scenes too long and the main character irritating. These and other little things made me give up this highly acclaimed, suspenseful and remarkably well-written drama. The Japanese remake is a condensed version of the Korean one. While the Korean version has 16 episodes of 1 hour (more or less), the Japanese remake has only 10 episodes …

Japanese Immersion: October week 4

The more I write these Friday posts, the more I doubt whether “immersion” is the good term for them. Initially, I wanted to create a Japanese environment around me to be sure that I was absorbing as much Japanese as possible. I find this harder to achieve than I had imagined. The problem is not the lack of things to listen to or read in Japanese (on the contrary!), but my own disposition. I am more keen on absorbing cultural/entertaining contents in English than in Japanese. Furthermore, I have realised that a passive immersion in the language does not help me that much. Letting a Japanese audio run the whole day long won’t make me progress in my listening abilities if I don’t consciously listen to it. As a result, I found that working on an audio for 1 hour is more useful than hearing Japanese all day long without making an effort to understand it. Anyway, this is what I did this week! シグナル: reached episode 8! The drama『シグナル』will certainly be the first Japanese …

Japanese Immersion: October week 3

This week, I mostly read magazines! I bought the autumn edition of the 趣味の文具箱 and a magazine called Sapio. 趣味の文具箱 This magazine is all about fountain pens and ink. The issue 47 is called 『万年筆インクの知りたいこと』and is all about ink. You will find in it interesting charts and analysis, as well as the new colours available in Japan. I particularly liked the “user’s ink life” section where are displayed how people use their ink to write, draw and keep ink journals. It is not the best magazine to practice reading because it is often enough to look at the many pictures, charts or writing samples. I try to force myself to always read the captions and additional explanations. But even without a heavy reading practice, I think that there is nothing better than associating one’s hobby with the language you are learning. You will naturally feel motivated to read and understand something if it is about your hobby, and the language will be associated with positive feelings as well. The site ei-publishing has a lot of …

Japanese Immersion: October week 2

I have been a little sick this week and haven’t done much for my Japanese. First of all, I was a little disappointed, when I watched the 5th episode of the drama 『シグナル 長期未解決事件捜査班』, to find it very difficult to understand. I thought I had made progress, and it is discouraging to realise that I still have to struggle as soon as the actors speak a little faster or use difficult words. Not feeling well certainly did not help me because I was not willing to put in the extra effort and look up words as I would have done otherwise. I also watched the first episode of 『流星の絆』. I have finished the novel by Keigo HIGASHINO and wanted to have a look at the drama, but I didn’t like it. It is a good listening practice though, so I might continue to watch it, but I don’t like it enough to study it or listen to it several times. As they made 10 episodes out of a single novel, they had to add scenes, …