Author Archives: Michael Gakuran

Unusual Katakana Words

A recent teaming-up with Wonky Tofugu saw Koichi and I giving a special Edufire Superpass class on bizarre Katakana words in Japanese! It was such a success that we felt it wrong to deprive everyone who missed out, so here it is, in a special 2-part blog post split across and!
Posted in Japan | 51 Comments

Japanese One Point Lesson: なう

Welcome to the first in what I hope will become a long-running series on this site – Japanese One Point Lessons! Today’s lesson is an obscure and fairly recent bit of Japanese I discovered on Twitter – the word なう (Nau).
Posted in Japan | 41 Comments

Olympus E-P1 PEN Preview

Oh yes! Finally we get information about the highly anticipated Olympus micro 4/3 camera offering. All the benefits of a DSLR camera encased within the pocket-sized goodness of a compact body. It looks like this summer may turn out to be extremely expensive…
Posted in Photography | 32 Comments

New Monkey Island and Remake!

The Secret of Monkey Island, that classic adventure game with Guythrush Geekhood Guybrush Threepwood is about to return in full, glorious High Definition! A complete overhaul of the 1990s masterpiece. And that’s just the beginning – a *new* Monkey Island game – The Tales of Monkey Island – is also set to land this summer!
Posted in Other | 13 Comments

The ‘Gaijin’ Debate

That perennial debate – is it racist to use the word ‘gaijin’ to refer to foreigners? Here is a summary of the multitude of views out there surrounding this thorny issue and my own humble opinion.
Posted in Japan | 196 Comments

The World of Golden Eggs CM

Ooo! The Golden Eggs are back! Gotta love these insane little adverts. Plusheads and CC Lemon last year and right now on Japanese television they’re marketing a low fuel consumption car – the Nissan NOTE – again. Take a look! ^^
Posted in Other | 4 Comments

Super Mario X Japanese Lesson

I came across this fantastically hilarious Super Mario World parody today. It’s an original song by Hyadain which I enjoyed so much that I subtitled and turned into a special Gakuranman Japanese lesson for you! Men compete with their heart!
Posted in Japan | 14 Comments

Yakushima – Japan Travel Photos

Here’s a video-photo slideshow of my trip to Yakushima (屋久島), the green island in southern Japan, famed for its ancient cedar trees (yakusugi) and captivating forests. I went there for a 3-day trip with a couple of Japanese friends late summer 2008.
Posted in Japan | 23 Comments