Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Here are some recent interesting and thought-provoking articles you can use to share and discuss with your students, school, and/or community!

ハンバーグが餃子になってもいい、「注文を間違える料理店」のすべて - How do community members face issues arising from their population demographics?

こども食堂オープン(宮崎県日南市) - How do communities help give a sense of place to their children?

Learn Japanese as You Binge on Netflix Anime How can anime help Japanese language learning?

As the Earth Feels Ever Smaller, Demand for Translators and Interpreters Skyrocket What is in store for those who hope to translate Japanese in the future?

Japanese Game Fans to Nintendo: We Want Translated, Not Localized Games When bringing products to the West, how do fans feel about the localization process?

Do you or your students have an interesting news article that you can use for other teachers or students? Please share them with us!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Student Voices: Jonathon

What does learning Japanese personally mean to students? In this section, we highlight students and their personal journeys and motivations to learn Japanese!  Here Jonathon talks about his hope to learn Japanese so he can take his father to Japan and discover their roots together!

Click the link below to watch:

What does learning Japanese mean to YOUR students? What inspires them? Let us know!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Learning and Teaching Resource: Gakushuu Manga

Have you ever heard of Gakushuu Manga? Selected by the Nippon Foundation, these are manga titles that are not only entertaining, but also carry educational value, providing readers greater familiarity with a diverse range of subjects from agriculture (もやしもん), to social issues such as disabilities and bullying (聲の形), to the performing arts such as Japanese rakugo (昭和元禄落語心中).
These titles provide excellent content-based learning - students can not only learn Japanese but also explore an aspect of Japanese society or culture. Moreover, because of the diversity of the titles, students can find something that relates to them on a personal level, and through that strengthen their ties to another culture.
To find out more, visit Nippon Foundation's website here:
Gakushuu Manga

Friday, July 7, 2017

Cultural Topics: An Interview with W. David Marx, author of Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style

Mr. W. David Marx is the author of the book Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style. In this fascinating and meticulously researched work, Marx details the inter-exchange of fashion trends between Japan and America throughout the last hundred and fifty years. We sat down for a mini-interview to talk about his research on the fashion industry and its trends in Japan and the US.

There is much to explore about the influences between Japanese and American fashion trends.  Please visit the link below to learn more about Ametora and Marx’s research, as well as find links to excerpts from his book.

Interview below:

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Special Exclusive: A Talk with George Takei

On Saturday, June 24, the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) held a special event with actor and activist George Takei. We met with George Takei, where he spoke to us about the importance of appreciating diversity, such as the experience of Japanese-Americans, in the history of America.  Later he personally took us and other fans on a tour of his special exhibition: "New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei."
George Takei on the importance of telling the story of diversity:
"We want to talk about the diversity of American history and the diversity of the people of the United States who all contribute to making our democracy a better democracy."

On learning Japanese:
"I'm grateful now that I can speak the language and be able to move around Japan fairly comfortably."

Thank you very much, George Takei and JANM for speaking with us and providing the wonderful tour!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Welcome to our new Speak Japan Blog!

Greetings everyone!

It is our pleasure to announce our brand new Speak Japan blog!  Here, we will be introducing a diversity of resources, ideas, and inspiration for teachers and those involved in Japanese language education.  We will have cultural topics, where we highlight not only different aspects of Japanese culture, but also how they can be a springboard for cross-cultural dialogue and exchange; student voices, where you can see where different Japanese language students hope to take their Japanese learning; interesting links and news articles to share with Japanese learners; learning resources for students and teachers, and much, much more!

It is our hope that you can use these as possible materials to share with your classroom or community.  We will be covering a variety of subjects so that you can find something interesting to inspire your students (and perhaps even yourself!).  We also greatly value your contributions, and we hope that you, too, can help us all make Japanese language education thrive!

Also, be sure to subscribe to our Speak Japan newsletter!  Visit our website at, click the subscribe button, and check the box marked “6. Japanese Advocacy Newsletter.

Thank you for reading our blog.  Be sure to check back for more, and in the meantime, let’s keep Japanese language education going strong!