Should I Really Use A Textbook To Study Japanese?

The Japan Guy's Stack of Japanese Textbooks

In a world of apps, gadgets, gizmos, and software, the old, faithful, paper Japanese textbook doesn’t always get the love it deserves. Maybe you’ve even come across people who have nothing good to say about textbooks: “You can’t learn real Japanese from a book!” “Japanese people don’t actually speak like that.”
“You’re learning Japanese, huh? "Oh you’re using THAT textbook.” “That textbook sucks eggs.” While I honestly haven’t heard the term “suck eggs” since my Ren and Stimpy, “Happy Continue Reading …

SOINN, The Robot Apocalypse Begins

Japan Guy Robot Apocalypse

There is nothing like a cool technology story. Today's little story comes from my good friend Koichi. Have you ever hear of SOINN? If you haven't prepare to have your mind blown! SOINN Stands for the Self Organizing Incremental Neural Network. This is a learning algorithm created by Dr. Osamu Hasegawa at the Tokyo Institue of Technology. Wait wouldn't that school name abbreviate as T.I.T.? I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. Back to the story... This algorithm can use the internet to Continue Reading …

A Japanese Sharehouse Tour

A look at a Japanese Sharehouse

Renting in Japan can be extremely expensive, in large part because of that pain-in-the-butt key money. This one time, sometimes exorbitantly expensive, fee is a major reason why many foreigners may feel hesitant about moving to a new place. When it was time for me to leave Tsukuba, the city I lived in for about five years, I had a little money in reserve to take care of key money and the first month’s rent at a decent apartment. However, I was trying to do my modeling thing at the time, and I Continue Reading …

How To Handle U.S. Jury Duty Summons in Japan

Georgia non-resident affidavit form.

Ah there’s nothing better than getting a message from a family member, especially when it’s a video message. That’s the next best thing to a real life visit. I was logged into my Skype account last week and sure enough that little red circle (with the white number “1” inside) popped up saying that I had a message. When I clicked it, much to my surprise, I saw that I had a video message from my father. I opened the message put in my video passcode and with a “Just happy to hear from my Continue Reading …

Panasonic Viera Commercial Spot 1

Donald Ash in Panasonic Viera commercial spot 1.

A friend of mine who I filmed a commercial with late last year recently sent me the link for it. This commercial is for a pretty cool television set by Panasonic that allows you to share and connect with your smart phones and other smart devices. I don't know much about price or release date specifics of the actual smart tv (as I like to call it), but it does look useful. I had a feeling that this is where television would eventually go. Everything being connected is the way to go. Continue Reading …