Tag Archives: japanese

Why Google Translate wasn’t particularly useful in Japan Tech News 24 MAY 2015

Ryan and I managed to navigate our way around Japan pretty well over the course of our whirlwind holiday last year.

However, this wasn’t because some useful translating tool like Google Translate was making everything understandable to us, nor more importantly allowing other people to understand us.

No, it was entirely due to the helpful course that big cities have undertaken in an effort to open up Japan to more foreigners – by putting up the romaji (literally Romanization of Japanese characters) versions of names everywhere!

In fact, Google Translate was pretty much completely useless to us over there. (A point made painfully apparent when we tried to converse with Terrance’s new parent-in-laws and after a half hour of trying the tools, resorted to hand gestures, nodding and waving)

Anyway, British presenter and tech personality Tom Scott and Gretchen McCulloch put together this great little video explaining just why it is that computers seem to suck so badly at translation. (Hint, it is not their fault)

Makes sense to me.


Related Link: Youtube | Tom Scott

Figurine: Satsuki Kiryuin (Senketsu) from Kill la Kill by Good Smile Company Toys 20 MAY 2015

Hobby products manufacture Good Smile Company turned to the final scenes of hit anime Kill la Kill to come up with this particularly angry looking figurine – antagonist Satsuki Kiryuin, armed and ready for bloody action, wearing Senketsu – the Kamui (Godrobe) sentient sailor uniform made up of Life Fibers.

satsuki kiryuin figurine senketsu version by good smile company 1

The figure is based on the garage kit created and sold by Iwanaga Sakurako from Shokubutu Shojo-en, with this PVC figure version having been sculpted and painted to be as close to the original kit as possible.

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Kill la Kill is an anime television series produced by Trigger. It follows vagrant schoolgirl Ryuko Matoi on her search for her father’s killer, which brings her into violent conflict with Satsuki Kiryuin, the iron-fisted student council president of Honnouji Academy, and her mother’s fashion empire.

satsuki kiryuin figurine senketsu version by good smile company 3

Satsuki Kiryuin is the 18-year-old ruthless student council president of Honnouji Academy. She administers Goku Uniforms to students using various hierarchical schemes such as a no-late day and battle royale-esque tournaments such as the Naturals Election. She wields a katana named Bakuzan which can sever Life Fibers and dons the Kamui named Junketsu. She serves as a major antagonist to Ryuko for most of the series. After having learned the true nature of the Life Fibers at an early age, she uses the Honnouji Academy Cultural & Sports Grand Festival to begin her rebellion against her mother and the Life Fibers.

satsuki kiryuin figurine senketsu version by good smile company 4

satsuki kiryuin figurine senketsu version by good smile company 5

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Related Link: Kill la Kill | Characters | Good Smile Company

Figurine: Noire / Black Heart from Hyperdimension Neptunia by Alter Toys 17 MAY 2015

Japanese figurine maker Alter is releasing this particularly aggressive (but in a cute way), 1/7 scale, anime styled version of Hyperdimension Neptunia’s Noire, aka Black Heart, figure late October 2015.

japanese figurine by alter - Hyperdimension Neptunia Noire Black Heart Figure 1

With her look faithfully replicated from both the anime and game, Noire comes in her standard HDD bodysuit processor unit with her signature large sword plus accessories and wings.

japanese figurine by alter - Hyperdimension Neptunia Noire Black Heart Figure 2

Hyperdimension Neptunia is a video game series of role-playing games created and developed by Idea Factory. The series debuted in Japan on August 19, 2010 with the video game of the same name exclusively for the PlayStation 3, later re-released as an enhanced remake under the name Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 for the PlayStation Vita. Two sequels, Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 and Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, in addition to the remake titles for both of them and three spin-offs on the PlayStation Vita, have also been released. Another sequel on the PlayStation 4, titled Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory II, was released in 2015. It has also branched off into a manga, light novel and anime media franchise.

A television anime series adaptation, titled Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation, began airing in July 2013.

japanese figurine by alter - Hyperdimension Neptunia Noire Black Heart Figure 3

Games within the series takes place in the world of Gamindustri, which is divided into four regions: Planeptune, Lastation, Lowee, and Leanbox. Each region is completely different from the others in appearance and atmosphere, with each representing a specific video game console. In the beginning of the story, the four goddesses are fighting each another for “shares” in a war known as the Console War.

Noire, aka Black Heart, is the goddess of Lastation (representing the PlayStation 3), who has a very individual personality and likes to perform things by herself in her own time, yet is quite forgiving and fair. She initially has a strained relationship with Neptune, who acts as her rival.

japanese figurine by alter - Hyperdimension Neptunia Noire Black Heart Figure 4

Related Link: Wikipedia | Characters | Alter

Joke Factory: Stevie Wonder and the Jazz Chord Jokes & other Funny Stuff 16 DEC 2011

Sitting at the piano in a concert hall, keen to please his new audience, Stevie Wonder shouts “Before I start, does anyone have any requests?”

Some little old Japanese man at the very back of the hall stands up and shouts back “Do a jazz chord!”

So Stevie obliges, playing an Eb Minor diminished seventh, with some arpeggios up and down the keyboard.

The crowd starts applauding and cheering Stevie.

He shouts “Does anyone else have a request they’d like to hear?”

The same Japanese man stands up and shouts insistently “No, do a Jazz chord, a Jazz chord!”

So Stevie tries a bit harder, improvising a jazz solo based around a few key chords, and breaks away into a full 3 minute jam with the backing band. The crowd goes absolutely wild at this incredible display of showmanship, giving him a standing ovation.

Once again though, the Japanese man jumps and and screams “NO, NO, A JAZZ CHORD!”

Frustrated at this man’s apparent lack of appreciation for his talents, Stevie shouts back “Alright mister, you come up here, and you do a bloody jazz chord!”

So the Japanese man unblinkingly gets up out of his seat, hobbles towards the stage, gets hold of the microphone and starts singing… “A jazz chord, to say, I ruv you…”

Basic Japanese Karate Terminology Martial Arts 12 MAR 2010

As karate originated from Okinawa, Japan, many styles across the world seek to maintain this inherent heritage by continuing to teach karate using the original Japanese names for the various techniques being taught.

Secondly, as karate now finds itself very much an international phenomenon, training with Japanese terminology is proving invaluable in allowing for people from different nationalities and cultures to train with one another, without suffering from any major translation problems.

It is thus a good idea that you as a karateka learn this basic terminology in order to better understand what is going on in your classes.

Basic Technique Terminology


Japanese Terminology: Black Belt Dans Martial Arts 05 MAR 2010

Reaching one’s black belt is often considered the pinnacle of one’s karate journey, but in reality, this is in actual fact only the first step. Now that you have finally reached your black belt, you are now ready to really start training in other words. However, not all black belts are necessarily equal and as such, there exists a ranking system for them as well, just as there does for the various colour belts that made up your journey to that coveted black.

These ranks are referred to as “Dans” and the following list indicates the various Dans ranked by seniority.

Black Belt Dans (Ranked from Lowest to Highest)

  1. Shodan
  2. Nidan
  3. Sandan
  4. Yondan
  5. Godan
  6. Rokudan
  7. Shichidan
  8. Hachidan
  9. Kudan
  10. Jiudan