Tadoku June 2016 Round!

June 2016 Tadoku is underway! I have decided to attempt a terrifying modest goal of 1000 pages this round. Will I be able to make it? Stay tuned at the end of the month for my reflection post on the round.

My tadoku reading material:

  • 「しろくまカフェ」Vol 1-5
  • Baby Steps Manga (39 volumes total…I will try the best I can lol)
  • “Let’s Read Japanese” Level 1, Volume 1

Sunday Seidoku


Hello everyone! Just thought I’d create a fun segment called “Sunday Seidoku”. It seems like a cute name. What does Seidoku mean? Well Seidoku (精読) means “Intensive Reading” in Japanese.


What is Intensive Reading?

      • Intensive Reading,  sometimes called “Narrow Reading”,  may  involve students reading selections by the same author or several texts about the same topic. When this occurs, content and grammatical structures repeat themselves and students get  many opportunities to understand the meanings of the text. The success of  “Narrow Reading” on improving reading comprehension is based on the premise that the more familiar the reader is with the text, either due to the subject matter or having read other works by the same author, the more comprehension is promoted.

From <http://fis.ucalgary.ca/Brian/611/readingtype.html#intensivereading>


Basically to Intensive read, one must carefully examine carefully sentences.

I have been Extensive Reading (reading without referring to a dictionary) the manga 「しろくまカフェ」vol 1, but today thought it would be a good a time as any to try to intensive read the manga. Here are the introduction pages giving a brief description of characters you will see in the manga. (WARNING: My translations will probably have errors. This is as much as a learning process for me as it is for those reading this). Just a reminder: manga is generally read right to left.

intro shirokuma



パンダ        (n) panda
しろくま     (n) polar bear (Ursus maritimus).
カフェ (n)

① cafe (fre:); coffeehouse. ② hostess bar (serving western alcoholic beverages; Taisho and Showa period); (P).

常連客        じょうれんきゃく    (n) regular customer.
ちょっと (adv)

① (uk) just a minute; short time; just a little. ② somewhat; easily; readily; rather. ③ (will not) easily; (int) ④ hey!; (P).

面倒くさがり       めんどうくさがり (n)

(uk) tending to find things bothersome; person who tends to find most things bothersome.

面倒い めんどい (adj-i) troublesome; bothersome
adj +~がり屋

to describe one’s personality. More info at Maggie Sensei

Panda: A regular customer at “Polar Bear’s Café”. He is quite a lazy person.




ペンギン (n) penguin; (P).
世話焼き せわやき

(n) bother; meddlesome person.

で        (prt) (1) indicates location of action; at; in. (2) indicates time of action. {3) indicates means of action; cause of effect; by; (conj) @ and then; so; (aux) (5) indicates continuing action; (prt) (B) (ksbz) indicates certainty, emphasis, etc.; (P).
せっかち (adj-na,n) hasty; impatient; (P).

Penguin: A regular customer at “Polar Bear’s Café”. He is easily bothered and very impatient.





(vs) ① to master; to learn; (n) ② proprietor; manager; bar-owner. ③ master (e.g. arts, science); (P).


(n) ① doing things at one’s own pace (wasei: my pace). ② doing things one’s own way; (P).

しっかり者 しっかりもの (n) person of firm character; stable person; gutsy person.

Polar Bear: He is the owner/manager of “Polar Bear’s Café”. He lives life at his own pace and is a reliable person.





(n) ① (obsc) grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis). ② brown bear (Ursus arctos).

友人       ゆうじん (n) friend; (P)

(adv) ① (uk) very; awfully; exceedingly. ② (before a negative form) (not) at all; by no means; simply (cannot).

ワイルド  (adj-na,n) wild; (P).
性格        せいかく(n) character; personality; disposition; nature; (P).

Grizzly: Polar Bear’s friend. He has a  very wild personality.


I think that is a good amount of Intensive Reading for today. An introduction is more than enough to get a feel of what the manga will bring for the reader and how the stories will turn out. I hope you enjoyed this segment of Sunday Seidoku! If you want more of this segment again, please let me know!頑張って!

2016 JLPT Study Plan

I didn’t expect to be writing another entry in the same day but with the entries I do have, my blog seems like a jumble mess of thoughts. So I’m writing this entry to give some clarity as to exactly how I study Japanese with the intention of taking the JLPT N3 level exam in December. I plan to edit this post periodically.






“Japanese the Manga Way”


 Aug 2016

Quick read through.

Genki 2




Nihongo Challenge N4 Grammar Reading JLPT

 Reading through it now. Haven’t really done any exercises and plan to have a worksheet to summarize everything.

 Sept 2016

 This is where grammar exericises will occur. Fills grammar holes that weren’t filled with previous steps.

N3 Sou Matome


 Dec 2016


Nihongo Mon 500 intermediate


 Dec 2016

 In unison with Sou Matome.






RTK 6th ed

 Stalled…pls do something lol

 ? 2016

Contains Japanese keywords.

N3 Sou Matome


 Dec 2016







Optimized Core 2k/6k Anki Deck

307 cards mature; 9% cards seen

Oct 2016 (?)


Level 1> Ch2


I’m just doing this as additional study sessions

Vocab from native sources

Haulted atm; want to focus on Core for a while

N/A; this is my ever-growing vocab

Manga, anime, articles, etc.

N3 Sou Matome

Dec 2016

Listening: Watch at least 1 raw episode of a show/day

  • Sub2SRS
  • Kage Shibari

Reading: Read at least 1 manga chapter/day





「しろくまカフェ」Vol 1


 Aug 2016

Probably the longest time I’ve ever committed to reading something in Japanese.

Updates and Kage Shibari

Hello readers!

Sorry for another long hiatus! Things in my life have taken me to places I never thought I would. Mostly non Japanese related things which had steered me away. But here I am! I hope to make it a habit to update often too. Enough about my nonsense and let’s get on with some Nihong0-ing!


Continuing from the last entry, “Creating My First Sub2SRS Deck“, we present the next step in listening and push it further in speaking comprehension: Kage Shibari. I’ve briefly mentioned this program to you in an older post but this particular entry will be dedicated to looking into the program.

Kage Shibari: What is it?

It is a program that allows the user to create an “interactive transcript” ideal for controlled listening and shadowing. The program highlights lines of text that correspond with the audio. The user can also select any line they wish to hear/read and the program will continue from there.

Kage Shibari: Who made this program?

A koohii forum user: ballonguy

Kage Shibari: Why use it?

I’ll quote Nest0r for this answer:

With interactive transcripts you are able to negotiate the pace of the audiovisual to your own level’s pace by subordinating it to the text. You can control the shadowing process and modulate the ‘push’ the multimedia engenders, turning it from a fluency exercise (which is best used for mastered materials, as emphasized in Paul Nation’s Four Strands) biased towards the aural and the macro level of the text, to a deeper, more cognitively involved exercise at the sentence level, according to the content and the aims of the learner.


In short, when you have the power to control your listening/reading media, you also have the opportunity to not only increase listening comprehension, but have the confidence to shadow said media as well.

Kage Shibari: How do I set it up?

Before you can even use the program, you need a few things (look familiar?):

  • Subtitle files in 日本語 (.lrc, .srt,  .trs formats work)
  • Then the video file for the desired anime/drama /movie.
  • A program to convert the desired anime/drama/movie file into audio. I like to use VLC media player to do the conversion. If you need help in how to convert to audio files using VLC, check out this guide….or
    • If the video file is .mkv and you want to still watch the video, you can use this file and it will load the video file instead!

Once you have your ducks in a row, then we can begin to utilize them for Kage Shibari.


  1. First off, download the program here. Once downloaded, open the local .html file (I like to use Firefox but Chrome is fine too).
  2. Now it is time to add the audio file (mp3 or oog only; mp3 is better on Firefox while Chrome can play both) next to where it says “Enter url of media:”. (EDIT: This seems to only apply for Firefox. You can just easily load the audio file in Chrome.) This requires that you find the local path of that media file. How you ask? I’ll break it down.

How to Find the Path of Local Media File

 You can find the path of your local media file by Right-Clicking and choosing “Properties”. In the “General Tab”, you will see a category called “Location”. Copy the contents in that section as this is the majority of the local media path. The last portion of the path is the title of the file which you can clearly see on the very top. Copy…BUT WAIT! BEFORE YOU PASTE…

Switch the direction of the slash marks from what you copied in the Location section of Properties. I’ll use an audio file I made from the first episode of 「BORDER」.

From this:

Location = C:\Users\MY_NAME\Desktop\border ep1

To this:

Location = C:/Users/MY_NAME/Desktop/border ep1

Add 1 more slash at the end of the copied Location and then you can paste the file name at the end. Note that I have shortened the true file path for convenience sake. DO NOT have the brackets surrounding the Location line. You can compare your results with the example below:

 PATH=  [Location]/BORDER_1_0.00.00.000-

 Congrats! You just found your path! Now add “file:///PATH  (without quotation marks) into the bar next to “Enter url of media:” and click “Load”.

  1. To load the subtitle file, first make sure to press the circle next to “local” under the “Select Subtitles” category. Then click “Choose File” and select the accompanying subs for the media. (ALT: select “paste in subtitles” and well…paste it!)

If done correctly, you should have something that looks like this:

kage shibari

Here is a gif of it in action.

Kage Shibari: How do I use it?

  • Try to mentally follow along the transcript and audio. This is tough for me as I find Japanese dialog to be fast.
  • With unknown vocab, I can use a popup dictionary Rikaisama (Firefox) / Rikaikun  or Yomichan for Chrome (Chrome) to view readings and meaning.
    • For those using Chrome, initially the popup dictionaries will not work. I had no clue how to fix it either until a very nice koohii forum member, FaultyMaxim, pointed it out so thanks! Here is what you do:
      1. Go to Settings and then click “Extensions” on the top left side.
      2. Then look for Rikaikun/Yomichan and checkmark the box with the phrase “Allow access to file URLs”.
      3. Restart chrome! It should work now.
  • For those that want furigana, you can install the Firefox add-on Furigana Inserter or Chrome extension IPA furigana (Note: Please also checkmark “Allow access to file URLs” for the Chrome extension to work).  Not something I personally use but I’m sure someone will benefit.
  • With time and confidence, I eventually will start to shadow.

Ideally, I would use this program only AFTER I have at least seen the episode once so that way I can recall the scene in my mind when I hear the audio. Great additional listening practice outside of sub2srs reps too but with more control. I haven’t reached the shadowing stage but I’m confident that if I keep at it, I will. So will you 🙂


This is what it would look like if you load up an .mkv video file instead of an audio file (I am using 「BORDER」2話)

Kage shibari video

Here is a gif in action



Creating My First Sub2SRS Deck

For my “Understand Your Favourite TV Series in 30 Days” project, I’m going to be using the Japanese ドラマ 「Rich Man Poor Woman」staring with Episode 1. You can use whatever anime/drama/movie you want.

First you will need the following:

A very popular site to find subs for Asian dramas would be here: d-addicts.com. They used to have torrents for dramas too but that has been recently taken away so you will have to look elsewhere. Google is your friend folks. There are plenty of other places you can download Japanese media.

After you have gathered the necessary tools, follow the directions used in How to Use Sub2SRS

If done correctly, you should end up seeing a new popup of the potential deck like so if you pressed “Preview” like I did.

sub2srs preview

This is a screenshot of the preview of my deck. I tried to deactivate some cards based on the fact they were either 1 word cards (useless really) or not even words…like background music -_- I don’t need any of that. I got lazy so I didn’t look through the entire potential deck. I think it will be easier deleting as I encounter them in reviews.

Anyways, once you check the preview, click the Go! Button and the program will do its magic! Follow step from Importing into Anki 2:

anki deck name This is what my deck looks like after importing the file into Anki 2.

deck q Opening the deck and it shows my first question. The original first question was just a labelling of the format of all cards. Just delete that like the directions from the website instructs you to.

deck aHere is the answer revealed. But I plan to edit it so that I only hear the audio sentence on the Front/Question side and remove the Japanese dialog. Instead, I plan to add the Japanese dialog on the Back/Answer side with the English subs.  I’m only changing it this way because I am trying not to rely on the dialog and work on my listening skills. I start the editing process by pushing the Edit button surrounded by the red box.

It will takes me to this area and I then push the Cards… button highlighted in red.

edit cards

I then highlighted the last line from the “Front Template”, copied and deleted it from that area. I pasted the same line into the “Back Template” section.

copy deletepaste

See? 🙂 Then click close and continue reviewing. YAY!

Now this is my new Q & A format.

new q and a

That’s pretty much the setup! I don’t plan to study of this deck UNTIL I have seen the episode. I want to actually enjoy the story, ya know 😛

The next entry I plan to post will be the process of using Kage Shibari. & please, don’t hesitate to give your thoughts and opinions!

Let’s keep Nihong0-ing! ^^

Overview: Tricks of the Trade


It has been far too long since my first post (ごめんなさい)and I’m truly sorry about that. With a hectic schedule and my lack of experience having a blog…well…er enough with the wallowing. Let’s get Nihong0-ing!

It’s winter break for me so I finally have some time to catch up with good ol’ 日本語. YES!


The Plan:

To work on my listening skills (my worst skill), I will be doing a regimen based on this article I found online called  Understand Your Favourite TV Series in 30 Days but with my own modifications.

  1.  I don’t plan to use the Sub2srs Anki deck I made without watching the series RAW. Yes folks, raw! I tend to go a “go big or go home” approach from the get go. Also I feel seeing any form of subs will distract me from developing my listening skills.
  2. Based on the method broken down into days, I will be entirely be doing days 16-30 for the entire duration of the experiment.

GOAL: To not necessarily comprehend everything said, but at least get the general idea and be able to shadow sentences efficiently. Shadowing is important to me because I tend to have trouble following along in dialog without subs. Seems like they’re all going at a speed of light or slurring lol xD

To work on my grammar and vocabulary, I’ll be doing something else entirely but still using media. While the use of Sub2SRS is a popular method in the language learning community, this method I read about a few years back seems very underground and not often mentioned.

 The tools:

A tool made by balloonguy (koohii forum member)that allows users to create an interactive audiobook using srt files[1] and the audio from anime/drama/movies, etc and have them sync in unison.  The balloonguy post that changed everything (for me at least lol). It’s a great tool for shadowing.

Nest0r from koohii forums was a huge promoter of the program that she(?)[2] calls “Kage Shibari”, like the technique used by Shikamaru in Naruto.

Shadow Bind Technique (影縛りの術, Kageshibari no Jutsu)

You can read more on this blog post by Nest0r on how the method works. Controlled Shadowing with Kage Shibari (nest0r).

This seems like a super long and winded post so I will explain more in future posts!

Until then.



[1] typical files for subtitles

[2] there are forum topics that claim Nest0r as female but w/e…

First Post: 多読!

I thought I’d start this blog launch with a BANG! & why not match it up with 多読 (tadoku) Round 2.5 ? 

Basically, if you don’t know what the tadoku contest is, here is a quote from the site:

The ReadMOD contest was established to promote this least-method-like of methods.  It is extremely simple: read every day for a month, and report your pagecount; the person with the highest pagecount at the end wins eternal* fame and glory, the adulation** of the other contestants, and notably improved language skill.

Read More or Die

My reading goal is a modest 150 pages. This is my 2nd half round I’ve participated in. A half round is 2 week; full round is a month. I hope to finally meet my reading goals. I have yet to meet them but this time around I am determined! I feel like this mini round, I have the time and the resources….

…& that I would like to discuss in another blog entry. 😉 Don’t wanna dish out all the goodies in 1 post. ^^