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I'm an American living in Japan for three years while my wife is on assignment here. (Three years has come and gone so I should probably say three years and counting.)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Been a While

Well, two weeks have slipped by and no blog. So much for a blog-a-day. But in my defense, I've entered a new phase in my Japanese studies. Since I am now able to slowly read Kana (Hiragana and Katakana), I decided to bite the bullet and quit using Romaji (Roman letters) to help me learn Japanese. Let me briefly explain. I started learning Japanese by reading Japanese words written using the English alphabet (Romaji), e.g. the Japanese word for book would be "hon" in Romanji. So most of my Japanese study book was actually written in the English alphabet. (example 1)

Example 1

Recently, I started writing my exercises using Kana. (example 2)

Example 2

I then realized that reading Romaji would not help me learn to read Kana more proficiently. So I switched from the Romanized version of my book to the Kana version. (example 3) Since I don't read very quickly yet, this has increased my study time dramatically to do the same amount of work.

Example 3

So just as I was beginning to feel comfortable with my lessons, I found a way to make them harder and more time consuming! Although difficult, it's pretty exciting to actually be doing my lessons completely in Japanese. As a side note, you may have noticed that my Japanese writing is much better than my English writing. Weird. So, long reason as to why I haven't blogged in a while. Anyhow, on with the blog.

We were in Tokyo yesterday and I have to share this picture. In the past I've talked about the level to which Japanese people will dress up their dogs and here's another example. This man was very proud of his dog and was quite happy to let me take their picture.

This was a little lamb coat (notice the little cotton ball tail) worn over her separate ruffled dress!

And, of course, the ears! What you can't see in this photo, is she was also wearing a beaded necklace.

Tokyo never fails to amaze me. Every district has its own distinctive style. With each visit I am more surprised and impressed with the variety of architecture. The following five pictures were taken in Ebisu Garden Place, a plaza consisting of shops, restaurants, and business offices near the Ebisu train station. The third picture features Marcia looking very model-like.

Last week I had my first official Mt. Fuji sighting. The winter months in Japan are the clearest and, therefore, the best for long range viewing. Marcia's office is on the 14th floor of a building in downtown Yokohama so I was able to get this shot.

Now before you say, "Wow! What a great view. Marcia's living large! What a great office.", she can't see Mt. Fuji at all from her specific office. This shot was a taken from the men's bathroom. The two best views of Mt. Fuji are from the men's and women's bathrooms.

Well, I should probably go study some Japanese.
Ja mata.

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