This blog is being fixed, slowly. Annoyingly all the pictures have to be re-uploaded, and then the old ones (which are still ‘stored’ but don’t work, somehow) have to be deleted one by one.

At the moment I’m trying to save money (would help if I didn’t keep buying 100 year old comics, eh?) so that I can apply for one of the low-paying-but-bound-to-be-hired private ALT companies. I have a couple in mind. A lot of them are extremely dodgy and some are even rumoured to be “short handed” (or short fingered) if you know what I mean. I’d been having second thoughts about trying to go to Japan at all, but read a few blogs that inspired me to keep trying.

I might try JET again too on the off chance. Not sure I fancy a dash back across all of Asia and Europe for an interview, mind you.

There’s not been a lot of “Japan-ish” stuff going on for me personally at the moment, as I have expanded the scope of this blog to Japanese things in general and not just ALT applications.  I’ve mainly just been chugging away at my job and trying to work on my self-published (British!) comics. I’ve also been learning more Japanese pretty slowly. I found a good book in Oxfam for £2.99 that I’ve been studying. It comes from 1976 (well this printing is from 1985 but it looks very 70’s – all typewriters and telex machines!) but is really good and well laid out.


The dustjacket cover


Without the jacket, if you want to look for it in second hand shops


A very 70’s leaflet inside. 

This book cost ¥2000 new… in 1985! I think the Yen was weaker then so that was perhaps £30 or more… You wouldn’t expect to pay that for a book this size today! Also the leaflet advertises a more advanced and larger book inside which is also sold with a set of 8 tapes, yours for ¥23,000! At todays exchange rate (and in 1985 you got a lot less yens for your pound) that’s still knocking on £200!

Anyway, having paid 299 pence for this one…


Sample sentences with translations and grammar explanations


Rather than going for the “dictionary form” of verbs they have left the endings blank to be filled in as appropriate. A simple table elsewhere shows how to turn the verbs into the common -masu and -te forms depending on what letter the stem ends with.

Ah, you say. It’s Romaji! You should never use that as a crutch if you are seriously learning Japanese. Well that’s covered too…


A small book is included with the sample sentences in ‘real’ Japanese.


They’re mostly Kana but also a few Kanji… which increase as you go along. Not all the Kanji that could be used are. Also only one reading/meaning is ever used for them – which as an oversimplification as most of them have multiple sounds and meanings. However this is only for beginners!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *