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Japanese Language Study Log: gaiaslastlaugh

#26
Update

General: I finally made a move toward the end of this week to break from reading US news and politics (most of which is pure infotainment anyhow), and am using my list of reading resources (see last update) as reading material when I get bored. It's been a struggle, but it really helps me make the most of the space I have during the day. 

Vocab: I've been mainlining 20 new words/day. It's getting intense, but not unmanageable. And I feel like I'm making real progress taking my vocab up to the next level. 

Anki stats: 

[Image: thumb?viewBox=1399]

Reading: Started tracking reading in a spreadsheet this week. Tadoku wrapped up, but I'm finding I love the accountability that comes with tracking. Still have Saturday to get some reading in, but will likely come in around 200 pages for the week. A little shy of where I want to be (I want to read around 250 pages/week), but I'll make up for it week after next when I travel. 

I'm still only about 27% or so through 百夜行. However, given that it's 840+ pages, that's like reading one whole normal Higashino Keigo novel. It's very good so far - a complex story spanning multiple years of the characters' lifetimes. I can't wait to see what it builds into.

Listening: Digging into J-subtitled drama a lot more recently, mainly courtesy of Zhuixinfan. I'm re-watching 相棒 S15 with J-subs, and am also working on 地味にすごい! and 東京タラレバ娘. I'm getting anywhere between 40 and 60 minutes of NHK News every day on the commute into work as well. I *really* want to bump my listening up a level before I take JLPT1 in July in Tokyo.

One goal I haven't met yet: Taking one morning a week to work on ドリルとドリル 聴解 exercises. Will see what headway I make this week.

Writing: I've been primarily posting to my Facebook page, along with an Ameblo post or two. I wrote about half a page more of my short story, but don't like the dark direction I was going, so I'm trying to think of something lighter-hearted and whimsical.

I'm finding that I'm de-emphasizing writing right now, as there are still huge areas in my input I want to work on. Listening and reading are more the priority until I feel like I've "bumped up" to the next level of fluency. (Don't ask me to define that; it's like porn - I'll know it when I see it.)
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#27
Update

Limited time today to finish up some reading, so I'll make this quick. 

General: I was jazzed this week when I went to a Meetup, and saw an American who I had met at another Meetup three years ago. At the time, I thought his Japanese was way better than mine (it was). After a couple of hours of convo, we ran into each other on the way back from the bathroom, and he said, "Your Japanese is really good, man!" I was stoked. I know I've come along way, but it's great to have that independent confirmation occasionally that you're making real progress. 

I was pinged by a recruiter on LinkedIn about a possible job working for the Japanese branch of an American company. Not sure a career move is the right thing for me right now, and I'm pretty sure they'll decline my request to work primarily out of Seattle and commute to Tokyo as needed. But, hey, you don't get what you want if you never ask for it, so I put it out there and will see what happens. 

Vocab: Over 1,300 words active at the moment. It feels very reasonable adding 20 words/day. I find that it still keeps my reviews under 30 minutes, while also feeling like I'm making significant progress in growing my vocab. 

I've started adding full names of famous people to my deck as well to help with reading name kanji.  

Anki stats (uploading this to my public S3 bucket, which should be more stable than the Amazon Drive links): 

[Image: Anki+2+11+2017.png]

Reading: Decent. I should end the week around 180 pages. A bit shy of the 200 pages I wanted to read per week, so I'll need to step it up. Edit: Made it to 200 pages!! Deadlines are very motivating.

I really want to push and get through 百夜行 next week while I'm traveling, but with 400+ pages remaining, that's probably a long shot.

Writing: Sadly, not much, as it's been a very busy week. I have a couple of story ideas, but they're not coming together in my head the way I want them to. (One feels too dark for my writing style, and another one is more attuned with my humor and sense of whimsy, but doesn't have a clear structure yet.) I'm going to try and start just writing the first part of one next week, and see how it goes. I'll also try and make a post to my Ameblo blog when I'm on the road tomorrow. 

While writing is one of my primary goals, I'm fine with my level of output at the moment, as I feel I'm still trying to enhance my reading speed and bone up on vocab and grammar ahead of the N1. If I pass N1 in July, I'll definitely want to increase my written output, assuming my schedule allows it. 

Speaking: Participated in a Japanese Meetup with my wife last night that lasted three hours. My wife made a new friend (one of her first in the area since she moved here!), and we drove her to the bus stop afterwards. That combined with conversations during the week means I probably put in about 5-6 hours of speaking. I have a work conference next week where I'll be able to hang with my Japanese colleagues, so I should get some good convo in there as well.

Overall, I'm still satisfied with the level of spoken exposure I'm getting, and haven't felt tempted to acknowledge iTalki's nag-mails urging me to "not neglect my language studies". OBVIOUSLY they're not reading my journal!

Listening: Crap, almost forgot listening! Also no lack of input here. The wife and I are watching several series actively - 相棒, 東京タラれば娘, 地味にすごい!, and the very fun 嫌われる勇気 - so I'm getting at least four hours of drama a week, plus news on the way to work. I'm going to grab a few more shows for possible watching on the road this week.
Edited: 2017-02-12, 12:38 am
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#28
Useful link - I can't believe I've gone this long without it, but here's a nice link about how to pronounce various mathematical symbols in Japanese.

http://izumi-math.jp/sanae/report/suusiki/suusiki.htm
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#29
(2017-02-15, 9:53 pm)gaiaslastlaugh Wrote: Useful link - I can't believe I've gone this long without it, but here's a nice link about how to pronounce various mathematical symbols in Japanese.

http://izumi-math.jp/sanae/report/suusiki/suusiki.htm

Sweet link! I learned the basic ones from my tutor (add, subtract, multiply, divide, fractions), but all of the others were new. Going to shove these into Anki, I think.
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#30
Update 

I've been thinking a lot lately about how glad I am that I've focused on comprehensive input. I have several friends now who are learning Japanese, have Japanese spouses, and in a couple of cases even live in Japan; yet by even their own admission, their Japanese isn't at the same level as mine, although many of them arguably have more opportunity to use it. I definitely attribute that to constant exposure to native input. 

Yes, forcing yourself into conversation at even an early stage of your studies can be useful. But in terms of improving my speaking ability, having solid material to model has felt more valuable than anything else. I frequently run across things I'm reading and think to myself, "THAT'S how you say that!" I usually spend a few minutes pronouncing the sentence myself, and sometimes even capture it in a document window for later recitation. It feels like that does more to enhance my speaking ability than engaging in dozens of repetitive conversations. 

Not a scientific observation by any means - just my personal feeling based on observing my own progress vs. that of others on a similar path. 

Reading: 298 pages (!!). I ended up getting injured while on a business trip to Vegas, and am still stuck here until tomorrow am. On the plus side, it's meant a lot of time reading in bed, hence the massive progress: I read a little over 100 pages yesterday. 

The suck thing is, I'm STILL not finished with motherf-ing 百夜行. Looks like I still have another 170 pages or so to go. And now I'm at the point where I just want to tear through it and see how the damn thing ends. I'm going to see how much I can put down today and tonight, maybe while enjoying a nice Manhattan in the downstairs bar.  (Yeah, life is good.) 

Vocab: Still keeping the Anki faith, much to my own surprise. 20 new/day, and almost 1500 active words in the study hopper atm. Current deck is 107 days old, with a combined 30 hours of study.

This week's status: 

[Image: Anki+2+19+2017.png]

Listening: A dip, I think. My attention for podcasts is pretty short atm. I'm mainly keeping up with the same three shows - 相棒、東京タラレバ娘、and 嫌われる勇気.

Writing: Admittedly not much outside of Facebook posts. I'm still more in the mode of trying to read extensively. I am starting a story right now, but am not sure how much time I'll be able to dump into that this coming week. I'm on vacation next week,  and will see about making some more writing progress then.
Edited: 2017-02-19, 7:40 pm
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#31
(2017-02-19, 7:38 pm)gaiaslastlaugh Wrote: Reading: 298 pages (!!). I ended up getting injured while on a business trip to Vegas, and am still stuck here until tomorrow am. On the plus side, it's meant a lot of time reading in bed, hence the massive progress: I read a little over 100 pages yesterday.

That is just amazing.  That's 298 pages of comprehensive input!  I'm so happy for you.  Hopefully for the day when I could knock out that much reading in a week.

As far as reading speed/ease how would you compare to english?  I'm guessing if you can read that much in a week, it feels like you are 'just reading' and you can get enveloped in the story rather than the 'deciphering a foreign code' feeling I get when I read..

btw, thanks for what you wrote about comprehensive input.  That's making even more interested in maximizing comprehensive input into my curriculum.
Edited: 2017-02-21, 2:47 pm
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#32
(2017-02-21, 2:45 pm)yogert909 Wrote:
(2017-02-19, 7:38 pm)gaiaslastlaugh Wrote: Reading: 298 pages (!!). I ended up getting injured while on a business trip to Vegas, and am still stuck here until tomorrow am. On the plus side, it's meant a lot of time reading in bed, hence the massive progress: I read a little over 100 pages yesterday.

That is just amazing.  That's 298 pages of comprehensive input!  I'm so happy for you.  Hopefully for the day when I could knock out that much reading in a week.

As far as reading speed/ease how would you compare to english?  I'm guessing if you can read that much in a week, it feels like you are 'just reading' and you can get enveloped in the story rather than the 'deciphering a foreign code' feeling I get when I read..

btw, thanks for what you wrote about comprehensive input.  That's making even more interested in maximizing comprehensive input into my curriculum.

Thanks! And I'm glad this update was useful. I'm glad I can occasionally post something that's of benefit to other learners.

Japanese reading is definitely still slower than English reading. With English, I can let my attention drift a little more and still feel like I'm understanding what's passing by my eyes. If I do that with Japanese, I'm lost after about five sentences. 

That said, my reading has definitely gotten faster, but part of that is that I've been keeping myself at the level of actual, comprehensible input. During the last Tadoku, I realized I was reading something above my level (too many known vocab words, too much teen slang grammar). That was about the same time I went on my current Higashino Keigo kick, as I realized I could read one of his shorter novels in about 3-4 days. (NOT the case with 百夜行, which is about 862 pages and which I've been reading since January 31st. It's like reading four of his books slammed into one monster-book. But I digress.)

Another deciding factor has been Yomichan. I've mostly been reading books in txt format converted to HTML using JNovelFormatter. I don't have the type of personality where I can easily ignore words I don't know, and Yomichan allows me to look up the definition quickly and add it straight to Anki. That, combined with daily study of Anki, combined with extensive reading - which re-exposes me to words I already know - has helped me greatly increase my vocab, which in turn makes reading easier and easier as time goes on.
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#33
I'm really enjoying your posts! I'm barely hanging in there when it comes to reading and adding vocab right now, but I hope to be able to apply more of your tips in future.
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#34
Weekly update:

Huge thanks to tanaquil, yogert909 and others who have tagged my posts here as being useful. Please let me know if there's anything you'd like to me write about in the future re: my studies that might be helpful to you. 

I'm in transit to Honolulu to celebrate my first anniversary. We got married a year ago - how time flies!! It's a relationship that never would have been if I hadn't decided almost five years ago to start studying Japanese as a daily habit. So, cheers to all from the Allens!

[Image: 17021801_1719821141642188_8208023890823095864_n.jpg]

Of course, I'm such a Japanese geek that I was more excited about this than I was about the free mimosas in first: 

[Image: Kimi+no+na+ha.jpg]

Yes, I watched it (and my wife laughed at loud as I tried to make a shred of the in-flight magazine stick to the screen so I could block out the English subs). Yes, it's everything it's cracked up to be. Don't fail to miss it when it hits your shores. 

Vocab: 1,630 words active. I'm finding 20 words/day is a very reasonable pace; reviews stay between 130 and 150/day, and take around 30 minutes (+ a little extra time searching for images for new cards). Onbusy days, I chunk up my Anki drills across 3 or more sessions during the day, which helps me avoid the feeling I'm spending too much time on Anki vs. native material. 

I'm continually amazed at how often I'm feeling the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon recently. E.g., there are words I feel like I'm just now getting down, after close to five years of study, that I now realize are part of my wife's casual vocabulary. It's made me more humble about my current Japanese abilities. I know I know *way* more now than I did when I passed N2, to the extent that I feel it's a minor miracle I passed that test at all. I'm sure I'll feel that way about my current abilities two or three years from now as well. 

Detailed stats: 

[Image: Anki+2+26+2017.png]

Reading: Ended the week at 226 pages. More importantly, I FINALLY FINISHED 百夜行!! At a whopping 860 pages, this thing took me about a month to finish. I'm going to read コンビニ人間 quickly this week (it's only 88 pages and an easy read), then I have another Higashino Keigo book and an Akagawa Jirou book teed up. After that, I will either go through my Kindle backlog, or will try my hand at some more Akutagawa award winners. I want to see if I can get back to tackling slightly more difficult works, now that I've spent some more time reinforcing grammar and building vocab with my recent slate of books.

Listening: Still hip-deep in this season's dramas (see above). Just trying to keep an hour or so a day here form a variety of sources. 

Writing: A touch of fiction writing, some Facebook. I may try and do some more this week during vacation. However, I'm still at a point where exposure and vocab acquisition are more important to me than constant output.
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#35
Enjoy your trip! Will you be staying on Oahu, or going to one of the other islands? Either way I'm a little jealous Hawaii is a special place.
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#36
(2017-02-27, 10:23 pm)yogert909 Wrote: Enjoy your trip!  Will you be staying on Oahu, or going to one of the other islands?  Either way I'm a little jealous Hawaii is a special place.

Oahu. We're mostly in Waikiki, but have rented a car on Wednesday to go see the North Shore, the Halona Blowhole, and a few other sights around the island.
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#37
Quick weekly update. 

Re-stated Goals:

- Reading: 200 pages/week. 
- Listening: 6 hours/week. 
- Writing: 1,000 characters/week, split between Facebook and offline writing. 
- Grammar: One Advanced topic from imabi.net each week. 

Adding a couple of life goals as well. After a week of vacation and contemplation, I realize I needed to take more steps to safeguard my health and help me increase my attention span.

- Diet: Eat healthy (salads, lean meat, few bread-y carbs) 
- Exercise: At least meet my Fitbit goals (10k steps/day, 13 flights of stairs); also aim to make it to the gym twice/week. 
- Coffee: Cut down to two cups/daily. 
- Meditation: At least five minutes/day, either sitting or while walking. 

Why include these here? Well, having public accountability for my Japanese has helped, so I figured having it for other goals in my life would as well. Also, I think they're related: if I don't take care of myself, I won't have the energy and focus for my studies, and won't meet my goals. 

I was on vacation this week, so with that much free time, it was pretty easy to meet my goals. Also, in a nice surprise, we discovered while we were in Waikiki that my wife's best friend was staying at the hotel across the street! We hung out a couple of times before she headed home and had some great conversations, mainly about our friend's love life. (On a related note - eligible male bachelors in their 40s with strong Japanese skills, please ping me.)

Vocab: 1,747 active words. My number of added words dwindled quickly this week, putting me down to under 130 unseen words. I think this is reflective of the fact that I'm reading "at my level". I may let the current bank of cards dwindle down, and focus on my existing words and getting my % Mature Correct rating up before tackling harder material and upping my new word count again. 

[Image: Anki+3+5+2017.png]

Reading: 284.4 pages. This week I started counting JP subtitles at the Tadoku rate (5m =~ 1 page), and the subtitles counted for a not insignificant portion of my reading this week. But I also finished reading コンビニ人間, finished the first 20% of Hoshino Gen's そして生活は続く, and read various articles, including a good analysis from Nippon.com about コンビニ人間, so I was still around 200 even without that. 

Listening: At least 6 hours of TV this week, plus conversation and some random other listening on planes, so I'd guesstimate around 10 hours. Still watching 相棒、東京タラレバ娘, 地味にすごい! (only a few eps left on that), and 嫌われる勇気、all with J-subs provided by ZhuixinFan. I also added in Quartet (カルテット) this week. My wife doesn't care for it, but I think it's one of the most interesting Japanese dramas I've ever seen; it plays out more like a movie than a J-Drama.

Writing:  Wrote about 1,000 characters of an essay, plus some Facebook updates. WIll try and finish this essay either during this week, or during my upcoming trip to Tokyo next week.
Edited: 2017-03-05, 6:06 pm
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#38
thank you for sharing your log with all these details. I had no idea hoshino gen wrote books but then again it seems like everyone has written at least one book in Japan. I wasn't surprised at all when I found out shimiken has written a book lol (he's a famous porn star who i only know about from his variety/talk show appearances). I was just curious among the dramas you mentioned which one you enjoy the most? in other words which one is the most entertaining and engrossing? Also with the books which one did you like the most if you had to rate them out of 5 what would you give them?
Edited: 2017-03-05, 6:42 pm
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#39
(2017-03-05, 6:41 pm)howtwosavealif3 Wrote: thank you for sharing your log with all these details. I had no idea hoshino gen wrote books but then again it seems like everyone has written at least one book in Japan.

I didn't either, but apparently he's written a number of them, and they're quite popular. I can see why - they're very open and honest commentaries about his life and his struggles with his own foibles.

I'm wanting to read more nonfiction and essays as a model for my own Japanese writing. His works are a good model for study, IMO.

(2017-03-05, 6:41 pm)howtwosavealif3 Wrote: I was just curious among the dramas you mentioned which one you enjoy the most? in other words which one is the most entertaining and engrossing? Also with the books which one did you like the most if you had to rate them out of 5 what would you give them?

My tastes can be quite low-brow, so I'm not sure it's worth it to anybody. Smile Plus, I tend to like the melodrama and "morality play" aspect of J-dramas, which seems to turn other people off. I find the optimism a nice change from American TV these days, which seems to get bleaker with each passing year.

That said, I'd give Quartet 5/5. I also give 5/5 marks to 東京タラレバ娘; the writing is great, and the actresses make it a blast to watch.

相棒 - 4/5 before this season, 3/5 for this season. The main character is a Japanese Sherlock Holmes, solving crimes as part of the 特命係, an office created specifically to sideline him and keep him out of people's way. It's a formulaic cop show, so YMMV. I pretty much detest the latest companion, and judging by ratings, most Japanese people seem to agree. The previous season with 甲斐亨 was much more entertaining.

嫌われる勇気 - 3/5. Formulaic, and 香里奈 is kind of wooden as 安藤蘭子, but I like that the premise is built around Adlerian psychology.

If you can still find it, I also thought ラストシンデレラ starring 篠原涼子 was very funny. 4/5, and there are JP subs available on D-addicts. 結婚できない男 from 2006 and starring 阿部寛 was also a 4/5 - good acting, great script, lots of laughs.

Finally, I'd give a 4/5 to ようこそ、わが家へ. It's based on a book by 池井戸潤 (see below), and tells two parallel stories of a man who struggles to reveal corruption at his job at the same time that his family is being terrorized by an anonymous assailant. J-subs available on D-addicts.

Books - I've read a ton of Higashino Keigo lately, and would recommend his most recent book, 恋のゴンドラ。It's less of a mystery and more of a wry love story, so even people who aren't mystery fans should be able to get into it. 4/5.

コンビニの人間 - 5/5. Haunting story with no straight answers.

A really hard but enjoyable read was 小さいおうち. I'd give this a 4/5 - very enjoyable in terms of offering a slice of life during Shouwa-era Japan. I deduct a point because the supposed surprise ending was pretty predictable if you were paying attention during the rest of the book.

Another writer I love but whose level I'm still rising to is 池井戸潤. I read 俺たち花のバブル組, which I'd rank a 5/5. It tells the story of entwined corruption at a major hotel chain and one of its major lenders. He's also the author of 下町ロケット and the 花咲舞が黙ってない series, both of which were also turned into dramas. I have 花咲舞 on my must-read list for sometime later this year.

Thanks for asking! I'll make sure to record reviews as I finish new series and books.
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#40
FYI, I've made my reading log public for those who want to see the types of materials I'm working through: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1...sp=sharing. It's mostly my book of the moment and subtitled drama for now, with a few news articles, self-help, and 社説 sprinkled throughout the week.
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#41
I'm interested. When you count subtitled dramas as reading what are you doing? Simply watching the drama with subs? Or are you doing something like printing the subs and reading them outside of watching the show? or something else?
Edited: 2017-03-06, 9:46 pm
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#42
(2017-03-06, 9:45 pm)yogert909 Wrote: I'm interested.  When you count subtitled dramas as reading what are you doing?  Simply watching the drama with subs?  Or are you doing something like printing the subs and reading them outside of watching the show?  or something else?

I'm reading the subs on the screen as the drama plays, as most of what I'm using right now are hard coded subs. I will sometimes go back after and do a second listen focusing solely on the audio.
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#43
I see.  Thanks.
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#44
Update: 

Vocab: Going swimmingly. Keeping it limited to 20 cards/day has really helped keep a lid on reviews. I can get through my deck in about 19 minutes on some days, and 30 minutes at the outside. And...I'm almost done with my backlog!! I had about a 400 word backlog at one point when I started my deck up again, but it's finally dwindled to about 40 entries.

I started a couple of weeks ago adding Name cards to my deck, and am trying to increase those. These are cards with full Japanese names - usually the names of celebrities, authors, politicians etc. where I can easily verify the pronunciation through Wikipedia. Studying concrete names associated with news I read or stories I like has been more beneficial than trying to study first and last names in isolation with no context.

Again, if time permits, and my backlog of unknown words stays low, I might add to it a bit by going through some historical Wikipedia articles I haven't been able to read due to the large number of unknowns. Two of my big targets are the articles on 坂本龍馬 and the 戦国時代.

Stats:

[Image: Anki+3+12+2017.png]

Writing: Not a lot of progress last week outside of some Facebook posts. I'm aiming to try and get a little bit more in this weekend. I've decided to try a new tactic where I do a combination of write/study. I.e., I will try and write a little bit and express what I want to say, and then take a break and re-read a little bit of そして生活は続く by 星野源, which I just finished this week. The idea here is that I can review an established essayist's work while working my own writing, which might provide me insights into patterns of expression that I can use in my own work. It's an experiment - we'll see how it goes and what benefits it yields.

Reading: 214.5 pages. I came back from vacation this week and have been absorbed in work, so I wasn't able to close in on 300 pages like I did the previous week; I was honestly lucky to get what I did. I filled in a lot of the gaps by just reading Japanese news on the go almost exclusively, and trying to follow the threads in complicated stories like the 森友学園 scandal.

A lot of my shows were on hiatus this week, so most of my reading came from my book and various online sources. As noted above, I just finished reading そして生活は続く. Next, I'm reading 不祥事 by 池井戸潤 on Kindle for PC. I found Ikeido's work challenging when I last read it (September 2016). Reading the first few pages of 不祥事, there are some sentence patterns I have to concentrate on to puzzle it out, but so far it's not nearly the grueling experience the previous book was. I take that as a sign that all of my extensive reading plus Anki-ing have led to some real gains in the past six months.

Next book in in my queue after this is 暗いところで待ち合わせ by 乙一, after which I'll probably circle back to some non-fiction essays a la 星野源.

Listening: I put in some good hours (I'd estimate around 6), but I feel like I'm not doing enough here, like stuff that I *should* be able to understand just slips by me. I'm going to try and pump up the amount of TV I watch, particularly finding more variety shows to watch with my wife, or else just tuning in to live TV with her for an hour or two in the evenings when we don't have anything else to watch.

Speaking: Again, my wife is Japanese, so not overly concerned with my progress here. I do find myself doing a lot more talking to and mumbling to myself in Japanese, and using Japanese a lot more in my internal thought processes, which is a Good Thing™.

That's all for now - back to the grind!
Edited: 2017-03-12, 3:23 pm
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#45
Very quick update - from Tokyo!!

This morning's post brought to you courtesy of the 朝日新聞 opinion page, which today features what could be regarded as the quintessential "Get off my lawn you damn kids" op-ed, if only it hadn't been written by one of those damn kids:

[Image: IMG_3331.JPG]

This is actually kind of sweet and endearing coming from a 16 year old. It wears less well as soon as you pass 40. 

I'm staying at the Sheraton Miyako in Shirokanedai, very conveniently located close to our office in Shimomeguro (about a 25 min. walk). My wife and I have a big dream of one day renting a small second apartment in Tokyo, and this place would be a great candidate for that - it's separated from the hustle and bustle of Meguro, but is one train stop away from Meguroeki, which makes it very convenient to hop around the city. And Meguro is in itself a fantastic place to shop and chill out. 

This is my fourth time in Japan, and I'm feeling a lot more comfortable here. The first time I came here I was scared stiff, and found it hard to interact with anyone. (It didn't help that my Japanese kinda sucked.) I feel like I have a better grip on the language, and can easily do simple things like ask hotel staff for a Japanese language paper to be delivered to my room. (Pro tip: Even if you speak fluid Japanese, ALWAYS ASK for a Japanese language paper, or it will be universally assumed you are ignorant in the ways of the kanji and you'll always get the Japan Times.)

Also, this is my first time traveling in to HND, and I have to say, I am NEVER going through NRT again if I can help it. HND is a relatively quick taxi or train ride down to Ginza and all points east and west, whereas traveling in from Chiba after 10+ hours on a plane feels like the Bataan death march. I tend to fall asleep on the shuttle ride from Chiba, when what I really want to do is stay awake so I can fall asleep around 8pm in my hotel and reset my body clock for the next day. Fortunately, with Delta making SEA one of their hub points, it's now pretty easy to get a ticket to HND for a decent price.

Is it sad that I *still* find one of the best things about coming to Japan to be Japanese TV? It's the end of winter season, so the wife and I will get the chance to see several season finales, such as the 最終回 for 東京タラレバ娘, the night that they air, and I'm unreasonably excited about that. It's also nice just to have it on in the background in the am.

Anyhoo, the stats: 

Vocab: I crossed the 2,000 active word limit threshold this week - woot!! Thanks to my continued extensive reading, I've managed to continue adding 20 words/day. I'm starting to hit the point now where Anki is bringing up a lot of old words that I haven't encountered in a while, so I have days where I totally bomb out on mature reviews and come in around 50-60% accuracy. I'm taking it in stride. This is precisely what I want Anki to do: put the words I've forgotten over time back into my head. 

Stats:

[Image: Anki+03-18+18_11_30-%E7%B5%B1%E8%A8%88.png]

Reading: I had a busy work week, but thanks to the 10-hour plane ride from LAX to HND, I managed to still eke out 204 pages, which is in line with goal (200 pages/wk.). I'm over halfway done with 不祥事 by 池井戸潤. I'm finding his work to still be challenging, but a lot less so than when I read 俺たちのバブル組 last year. That book felt it was more along the lines of N+2 my then-current level, whereas the new one feels more N/N+1. So, progress, I guess.

Listening: The usual TV (嫌われる勇気、タラレバ, カルテット), plus lots of NHKジャーナル. The wife and I also plan to finish up 地味にすごい! this week, which I highly recommend. It's complicated due to basically being a show about the Japanese language, and the main character (河野悦子) tends to talk at the speed of the Shinkansen, but it's worth hanging in there for it. 

I also started watching 真昼の悪魔, which...is...umm...oddly intriguing. Emphasis on "oddly". It's basically made-for-TV horror focusing on the cruelty inflicted by a psychopathic female doctor.

Writing: Not much, frankly. I did some on the plane ride over, and plan to do some more today and this week, as I have several ideas rolling around in my head. I should be posting some things to Facebook during the week.
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#46
Just wanted to drop a note to say how inspiring it is to read all that you're doing.

It actually wouldn't matter if it were studying Japanese, training for a sport or something else entirely. The dedication you're showing is really inspiring!
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#47
I always love your updates, so jealous of your time in Tokyo! Thank you for sharing and have a blast.
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#48
Thanks ariari and tanaquil! I'm glad folks are still finding these posts useful/entertaining.
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#49
Preparing to leave Tokyo today. I'll do a full update next weekend - this is just a "please congratulate me" blurb to tout that I just crossed the 100-book threshold on Bookmeter (http://bookmeter.com/u/388077). I just finished 東京タラレバ娘第1巻, which puts me at 50 manga and 50 full length books read. I have more travel planned this week (leaving for Sydney on Thursday), so I'm hoping i can put away both 嫌われる勇気 and 不祥事 before the end of the month.
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#50
おめでとう!! That is awesome!

I really need to start tracking my own reading on Bookmeter. I think I got as far as creating an account, but I never remember to update it.
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