Manga Sensei

Manga Sensei offers multiple free options for learning Japanese, including a daily grammar podcast, a daily Kanji video on YouTube, a 30 day basic grammar challenge, and an original manga strip that teaches different grammar and cultural lessons. The latter follows the Yamaguchi Family as they travel Japan and meet interesting characters and grow up. Each weekly theme is written by Japanese natives for all … [ Read more ]

Manga Club

Manga Club is a site that posts officially licensed manga free with ads. But we’re not telling you about it because free manga is great; they recently added the ability to easily switch between Japanese and English with the press of a button!

Now you can read free manga without needing to choose whether to buy Japanese, English, or both, if you want to use them … [ Read more ]

The Ultimate Guide To: は vs が (The ONLY lesson you need!)

This forty minute video by YouTuber Misa from Japanese Ammo might be one of the only resources titled “ultimate” and “the only lesson you need” that I actually believe. Misa breaks down the particles and and explains the differences in depth with multiple examples and on-screen text and translations.

and can be a major struggle for English … [ Read more ]

Japanese (App)

Tofugu Review:

There are tons of Japanese reference and learning apps out there, so if this one looks familiar to you, don’t worry. That’s because it isn’t new at all. It’s been around on iOS since 2008.

But Japanese has undergone some major changes recently and is now the shiny, new version 4!

This app has a ton of new content:

  • Built-in Japanese-English dictionary with

[ Read more ]


Tofugu Review:

Pulling material from both NHK News and Hukumusume, TangoRisto allows users to make the most of their reading experience with unique features, customizable vocabulary lists, and easy Japanese dictionary lookup.

When you open the app, you’re given a few options to choose from:

  1. NHK News Easy
  2. Top NHK News
  3. Hukumusume.

NHK News Easy is Japanese news written for kids – think … [ Read more ]


Kanshudo is the fastest and most enjoyable way to learn and remember the Japanese kanji and written Japanese generally. Whatever your current level of Japanese ability, Kanshudo will help you improve, with assessment tools such as our unique visualization of your kanji ability, the Kanji Wheel, games such as Kanji Match and Word Match, the Kanji Quiz, fun and engaging Beginner lessons and Intermediate lessons, … [ Read more ]

“What I Use To Study Japanese” – Jonathan Kirk from Kanshudo

In this series, Tofugu asks learners what Japanese learning resources and methods they use to study and why. Today, we talk to Jonathan Kirk, the guy who made the popular kanji learning app, *Kanshudo*. Jonathan focused on building up his reading skill first (which led him to create his kanji learning system). So if you want to boost your Japanese reading ability, pay attention.

Editor’s Note: … [ Read more ]

Japanese Language School Database

Ross at Japanistry has created a Japanese language school database that contains the latest school information and lets you search by a range of criteria (location, course type, accommodation criteria) so that you can find the best school quickly and easily. According to Ross, there are a few other databases out there at the moment but they unfortunately contain dated information or are not easily … [ Read more ]

So You Want To Learn Japanese

Editor’s Note: I post this despite the protests I know it will inspire in many. It is a strange, but interesting piece. As the author states at the end, the essay is a joke and should be taken like one. Anyway, I don’t specifically endorse anything said but neither do I apologize for posting it.
So You Want To Learn Japanese.
You’ve eaten at a few Japanese … [ Read more ]

Useful Tips for Typing in Japanese and English in MS Windows

Typing in BOTH Japanese and English WITHOUT switching between the two in IME.
Switching IME modes is a real pain. Have you ever wondered if there is a better way? Well, there is. Actually there are two ways:

  1. Just select the Japanese mode, type whatever you want in Japanese and then hit the F10 button. This works great for a single word but may not be

[ Read more ]

Pera Pera Penguin

This was a great short (1-page PDF) Japanese language learning column written by Hitomi Hirayama and carried every five weeks in the Daily Yomiuri newspaper. Although the main link is no longer valid, the original PDF files are still online and I link to them below. Alternatively, I have compiled all of them in a single .zip file (25.4MB) you can download … [ Read more ]

The Different Ways To Learn Kanji, As I See It

The kanji methods war is broken up into several camps, which I will be naming the following:
– Repetition
– Vocabulary & Context
– Reading Reading Reading
– Heisig’s
– Mnemonics With Readings

As I go through each “Way Of The Kanji,” I’d like to look at the positives, negatives, and history of each (if possible).

Slime Forest Adventure

Slime Forest Adventure is a learning RPG which aims to teach a basic set of Japanese language skills. The free demo version of the game teaches the user how to identify all hiragana and katakana characters, along with up to 200 kanji, and also contains supplementary grammar training. There are two premium versions of the game: Gradeschool Kanji expands the kanji covered to 1,000 and … [ Read more ]

Kanji Games

Kanji Games is a site offering two Kanji learning games, to be used either on the site or via iOS apps. Kanji Connect is a fun way to learn JLPT kanji/vocabulary and the full version (not free though a free ‘lite’ version is available) contains over 1125 kanji (45 levels x 25 kanji), covering JLPT N5 to N2. The Lex Flashcard Game app is a … [ Read more ]


RomajiDesu is another free online Japanese ⇆ English dictionary. You may type a word in Japanese, Hiragana, Romaji or English. A mobile-friendly version is available as well. Other features include sample sentences, audio pronunciation, kanji information and stroke order diagrams.

How To Identify A Kanji That You Don’t Know

Koichi at Tofugu offers up an excellent primer on identifying unknown kanji characters and lists some useful resources. Even more useful resources are mentioned in the comments, so check them out as well.

Amazon’s Kindle USA Now Offering Japanese eBooks; Here’s How To Study With Them

Looks like a non-Japanese (aka USA, for now) Amazon Kindle store now stocks books in the Japanese language. This opens up some huge opportunities for study, though it does currently have its share of problems. Koichi spent the weekend reading terrible books and trying things out, though, so he’d be able to share them with you.

Japanese Reading Practice For Beginners

Since it’s normally pretty hard for beginners to find reading resources, Tofugu put together a list of resources for beginners to study with, listing them with a little bit about each including some suggestions on how to study with them.

How to Learn 2,000 Kanji in 3 Months: Mission Possible

Your mission, if you choose to accept it Mr. Hunt, is to master the meaning and writing of 2,042 “Standard Use Kanji” (常用漢字・じょうようかんじ) in 90 days. This feat normally takes the Japanese themselves all the way through the end of junior high school, and most non-native learners of Japanese never make it even after years of study.

But worry not! Armed with the right psychology and … [ Read more ]