Ring of Fire

A volcano on the southern island of Kyushu has begun to spew ash and rock, the country’s weather agency has announced.

Shonmoedake mountain is more than 1,500km from the epicentre of Friday’s earthquake, and it’s not yet clear if the eruption is linked to the earlier seismic activity.

Also reported is the 70% likelihood of aftershocks greater than magnitude 7 by Wednesday, and 50% chance of more through the end of the week.

Blackouts are due to begin today and people are asked not to leave the vicinity of their homes as transport and other services will be affected. The blackouts are expected to last through the end of April.

The folks at JapanesePod101.com have been kind enough to release their iPad/Phone/Touch apps for free through the 19th to assist those with sudden language needs due to the tragedy continuing to unfold.

Learning Japanese via ‘manga’

Check out a new site to help you understand/learn that pesky Japanese slang! Japanese in Anime & Manga.

“Manga” comic books and “anime” films are building up interest around the world in learning Japanese.

Providing a link: A Web site operated by the Japan Foundation features English translations of Japanese phrases typically spoken by “manga” and “anime” characters.

But students of the language are having a tough time understanding the colloquial expressions that abound in manga and anime, for instance when a samurai character ends a sentence with “gozaru” or a man from Osaka says “desse,” because dictionaries and language textbooks say sentences end with the polite forms “desu” or “masu.”

The Japan Foundation, a public entity supervised by the Foreign Ministry, launched a Web site earlier this month to teach foreigners phrases spoken by typical anime and manga characters.

via Learning Japanese via ‘manga’ | The Japan Times Online.


The cutest most telling thing about people happened on the way to the station yesterday … picture Japanese every 5-6 feet in front and behind you … maybe 7 of them in each direction … on the left hand side of the sidewalk, as we all walk. Along comes a lady with a viscious little dog snarling and barking every few feet as they pass each individual, with the lady having to literally pull it up off the ground by it’s neck chain to keep it away from every single person. The dog stops at me, pulling the lady short, he sits down and wags it’s tail, looking at me. The lady looks at me too, with a shocked expression … they continue on. I hear snarling and barking more and more and more times behind me. 😉 Happy day. Dogs really can tell human nature!