Thursday, May 05, 2011

Hello Japan! mini-challenge: April links

Hello Japan!

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Hello Japan! mini-challenge for April. For April the topic was Back to School and the task was to learn something about Japan, with a very special prize. Click on the links below to visit everyone's posts. (Also my apologies for the delay in posting these links. It's been a busy couple of days.)

Teresa started us off with a little bit of Japanese she's learned.
I started to recognize my son's name when he'd write it in kanji and when I told him so in an email, he told me my name was written as テレサ

I've also learned a lot of school-kid slang from him that he learned from his students. The most popular seems to be 'kimoi,' which means 'gross,' but which they seem to use for anything even remotely silly or goofy, reminding me of how my siblings used the word 'weird' for just about everything when we were younger. His students are quick to tell him they aren't being mean or that they are joking if they use this word to him. :)

Novroz of Polychrome Interest shared her reasons for learning Japanese and even her favourite kanji.

Uniflame at Uniflame Creates posted about learning to make origami lucky stars.

Conversation Book for Everyday Japanese and English (4)Litera at Litera-tour was so busy learning Japanese that she didn't get around to writing a dedicated blog post but still wanted to share her efforts. (Such a great reason!)
The April's topic was a great opportunity for my to repeat hiragana and go back to learn Japanese. I love this language but I'm a little bit lazy sometimes and then I break my learning (I hope this won't recur again!). This month - as I said - I did repeat hiragana, but I still have problems with katakana. Writing Japanese is much more difficult than speaking... I've also turned back to learn words and phrases from a book that my friend gave me last summer - "Conversation Book for Everyday Japanese and English (4)" from the series "Point and Speak Handbook" written by Diane Nagatomo. I just love this book! It's really easy to learn new words and phrases from this book not only because each English word/phrase is translated into Japanese and written in kana and rōmaji but there are also illustrations that help find words very quickly. And learning from this book gives so much fun! :)

Gnoe of Graasland has been getting reacquainted with origami as well as learning origata (the art of gift-wrapping), how to fold an origami bookmark AND learning how to count to 10 in Japanese. Plus Gnoe very generously pledged to make her own donation to JEARS (Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support). Thank you Gnoe!

And I've been learning a little about sake, and how it's made. Despite living in Japan, I haven't really had much sake so I'm pretty much a beginner, but am looking forward to trying some of the different kinds soon.

Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support

As you know, instead of an individual prize this time, I pledged to donate 500 yen for each participant to either the Japanese Red Cross or JEARS (Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support). I wish we'd had a few more people join in, but every little bit really does help. Since the Japanese Red Cross has already received a lot of money through various charity projects, including some that we have supported as well, I hope you won't mind that I'll direct the total to JEARS. These volunteers are working tirelessly to rescue as many animals as they can and could really use any extra help. So I've already donated an additional 2500 yen (approx. US$31) to them on your behalf, after my own personal donation. Thank you! If you would like to learn more about the work that JEARS is doing, you can visit the JEARS website, or the JEARS Facebook Page.

Also, please take a moment to watch this video and share it with anyone you think may be able to help.

On a happier note, if you haven't already seen the new Hello Japan mini-challenge, May is Mystery Month. I look forward to hearing about the mystery and mayhem you enjoy this month.

Happy reading!


  1. I totally agree with your decision to donate all to JEARS since I think they're the one who most need it. Like you, it breaks my heart to see those abandoned animals waiting faithfully for human beings. And I'm deeply impressed with the work of the volunteers.

    Thank you for this generous Hello Japan! challenge! Now I'm off to double your donation. :)

  2. I am so happy that you picked to help the animals in need! I think they are overlooked in times like these. As if animals don't matter at all. So thank you so much for this! :)

  3. Hello! I found your page by accident and I was very surprised to read your very nice comments about my book. Thank you for writing about it and I am very glad you are enjoying the book.
    Diane Nagatomo


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