Guide to Applying for the JET Program

JET_Program_Logo

I came across an article on Tofugu about the pros and cons of joining the JET program and wanted to complement that with a small outline and guide to the application process.

For those that don’t know, the JET Program is an organization for people to teach English in Japan. The first year I applied, I made it to the interview and ended up on a waiting list, but didn’t get a placement. The second year I applied, passed, and was placed in a high school in Japan where I worked as an ALT for 5 years. I gained valuable experience and wanted to share some tips with people who are considering JET.

Read more

Beginning Japanese Part 2: Choose a Resource

japanese textbook resources
This is part 2 of my Beginning Japanese series. Check out part 1, if you haven’t read that yet.

If by using the Dr. Moku app or Kana flash cards you learned Hiragana, that’s excellent. The next step would be to learn Katakana, but it is not necessary if you want to start seeing some basic sentences. I do recommend going back and learning Katakana once you start making progress in a textbook or app, so don’t forget!

Now that you have learned Hiragana, it’s time to apply that knowledge by diving into a textbook or learning vocabulary words. Here are some great Japanese resources for jumping in.

Read more

Beginning Japanese Part 1: Writing Systems

beginning japanese hiragana
Ok, so you’ve decided that you’re going to sit down and try to wrap your mind around the Japanese language.  Here’s what you need to know if you want to start beginning Japanese right away. If you’re starting from zero knowledge or even some, I hope this guide will be helpful in getting you started on your journey into Japanese!

Read more

The Road to Learning Japanese: Where to start?

Start Learning Japanese!

Why couldn’t I have picked an easier language such as Spanish or French? Nope, it just had to be Japanese, one of the most time-consuming languages to learn for English speakers. Of course, just because a language is easy to learn doesn’t mean you should be studying it.

You have to have the motivation or something that drives you to want to become fluent or knowledgeable in that language. For me, it was Japanese. From a young age, I was playing games that were developed in Japan. As I grew older, I eventually started watching animation and reading comics that happened to also be from Japan. These were the things that motivated me to make the incredible journey. 

Read more

Waiting for American Movies in Japan

Seeing American Movies in Japan

Why do American movies arrive in Japan so late compared to other countries? It’s really frustrating seeing many movie trailers online because while my excitement builds there is also a grim feeling of disappointment. I know I’ll have to wait 6-12 months longer than people in other countries to see the same movie.

Read more

Why Shenmue for the Dreamcast is a Cult Classic

Shenmue“Shenmue” for the Sega Dreamcast is a game that not many people had the chance to play when it was originally released. I am a part of that group that considers Shenmue an amazing experience and cult classic. Unfortunately, it debuted in the year 2000 on the Sega Dreamcast, a system that wasn’t able to compete with the Playstation 2. I want to talk about why I consider it a truly immersive game that had a profound effect on how I viewed video games and Japan.

Read more

Dogs and Demons: The Dark Side of Japan book review

Dogs and Demons

I’d like to talk about “Dogs and Demons: Tales from the Dark Side of Japan” by Alex Kerr.  The author has lived in Japan for more than 35 years, which gives him great insight into the swift changes Japanese society has undergone in that time.  He was the first non-Japanese person to win a prestegious literary award in Japan.

Read more

VSee: The Best Alternative to Skype

skype1

I remember using Skype when it was still in beta in 2003. It was simple, uncluttered, and it was only for audio. My friends and I were blown away by how clear someone sounded. It was better than a telephone and it felt like the caller was in the same room with you.

Read more

OpenEmu: Ultimate Retro Gaming Experience

OpenEmu: No Power Glove required!

Finally, I can talk about OpenEmu! A long time ago, it wasn’t easy to find a way to play retro games (Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis) on Mac computers. It was always possible using Windows, but the software was ugly and not smooth to use. For Mac gamers, everything has changed since the release of a retro game emulator called “OpenEmu“, exclusively for the Mac.

Read more