Learn Kanji with Japanese Signs and Rikaichan

Learn kanji with my Kanji Kanban(漢字看板) Japanese street and shop sign series, an ever expanding database of kanji, hiragana and katakana characters in natural contexts. The word ‘kanban’ refers to shop signs in Japanese. This series focuses on the joyo kanji (常用漢字), the most frequently used characters. It includes various reference tools that make this … Read more

Rikaichan

Rikaichan is a popup dictionary.  If I had to give up all but one of my printed and online Japanese learning resources, rikaichan would be the keeper. And it happens to be free!  You can download it and get more info here. One of the joys of living in Kyoto is that I get to … Read more

How to Use Rikaichan Japanese Dictionary for Kanji Study

Rikaichan is a pop-up Japanese dictionary add-on that can really turbo charge your online Japanese reading practice.  If I had to give up all but one of my printed and online Japanese language learning resources, rikaichan would be the keeper. And it happens to be free!  You can download it and get more info here. … Read more

Kana Kanban

おまつり How do you say ‘festival’ in Japanese? If you’re learning hiragana, try reading this poster advertising an upcoming event.  I noticed it on a community message board in my neighborhood in Kyoto.  The お at the beginning is an honorific and is often omitted. Use the rikaichan popup dictionary or your favorite reference tool … Read more

Even monkeys fall from trees, especially this one!

サルスベリ 猿も木から落ちる 滑る Use the rikaichan popup dictionary if you need help reading the words transcribed above.  They include a tree’s name,  a proverb, and a verb. Your studious friend has just failed an exam, a first.  You console her by saying 猿も木から落ちる!Even monkeys fall from trees.  Nobody’s perfect.  I was reminded of this common expression when … Read more

How do you say ‘casual’ in Japanese? You just did!

カジュアルお好み焼きお得です!セットメニュー昼も夜もOK30年以上人気No.1 Use the rikaichan popup dictionary on the text I’ve transcribed just below the photos if you need help reading the sign. Mr. Young Men wants you to know that they’re a casual okonomiyaki place,  in case that’s not already apparent from looking at the storefront. It’s in the Shinkyogoku  shopping arcade just north of … Read more

Wanted: Creative nurses!

看護師募集 看護師の心を大切にしたい 私達と一緒に実践しませんか  クリエイテイブな看護 Use the rikaichan popup dictionary on the text I’ve transcribed just below the photo if you need help reading this recruiting poster for nurses at a Kyoto hospital. This poster first struck me visually, with its use of a traditional building as a backdrop, outdoors with smiling faces under a beautiful sky instead … Read more

Kanji Kanban Japanese Sign #300-Parking Lot Warning

ブレーキ アクセルの踏み間違いにご注意ください。 Use the rikaichan pop-up online Japanese dictionary or your favorite reference tool with my transcription below the photo if you need help reading this sign. Over the years in Kyoto I’ve gotten used to the standard signage in parking lots telling customers that the lot’s full or warning them to lock their car and … Read more

Kanji Kanban Japanese Sign #299-Kyoto Chiropractor

筋肉を伸ばして体質改善。 美しい姿勢をつくる 当店独自の技術 Use the rikaichan pop-up online Japanese dictionary or your favorite reference tool with my transcription below the photo if you need help reading this Kyoto chiropractor’s sign. The numbers below refer to the kanji I’ve transcribed below the photo, and correspond to their order of appearance in both Heisig’s Remembering the Kanji … Read more

Kanji Kanban Japanese Sign #298-Kyoto Green Tea Shop

さわらないで 下さいネ。。。 Use the rikaichan pop-up online dictionary or your favorite reference tool with my transcription below the photo if you need help reading this sign.  In addition to the lone kanji character, you’ll notice that there’s a katakana character as well as hiragana. Katakana is often used in place of kanji or hiragana for … Read more