Sunday, March 07, 2010

OK, Go! Do The Pythagoras Switch

Were OK, Go! inspired by the Japanese Pythagoras Switch?

I thought I was watching Japanese comedy duo Pythagoras Switch when first I saw the Rube Goldberg version of 'This too Shall Pass' from Illinois band OK, Go!

Pythagoras Switch [ピタゴラスイッチ | Pitagora Suicchi] are probably more famous for their Algorithm March, which has been copied all over the world from hitchikers in Europe to prisoners in the Philipines. Sure it's entirely possible, these guys do it over and over again for NHK. Can you see any similarities?

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Learn Kanji with an Analogue Spaced Repetition System

Crush your kanji with a Leitner learning box

Earlier this year I set myself the challenge to review the 2000 jōyō kanji by December when I plan to re-sit the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. The problem that I face daily is how to manage my flashcards efficiently so that kanji I know well moves back into the box. Ideally I don't want to carry cards that I know well so I can increase my kanji learning rate.

I was recently given a set of Kanji Flashcards from White Rabbit Press to review, but before I do I want to put them to good use. I already own a set of Tuttle Kanji Cards so it seems like a perfect opportunity to do a comparison as I work my way through the jōyō kanji. I'm using a learning technique called spaced repetition that incorporates increasing intervals between the review of each known kanji.

Leitner Box Preparation - Four
Leitner Box Preparation - Four by Rainbowhill LL, on Flickr


Monday, March 01, 2010

Japanese iPhone Apps and Black Ships to Mixi

March 1st Link Post - Ureshii Hina Matsuri

As mentioned two weeks ago, posting about iPhone apps is a sure way to get hits. It looks like Yonasu is on to a good thing here with 5 Japan-related apps for your iPhone. Once again anything that contains the three keywords iPhone, Japanese and Twitter gets hits big time.

Lee from Tokyo Times asks is it wabi-sabi or just way-off? Tough question, but just like horse-radish it is a an acquired taste. No, that's wasabi!

While you were all learning how to read Japanese manga, Nick Simmons (son of rock legend Gene Simmons) was learning how to draw it. Too bad he didn't give up the tracing habit before he took someone elses work to the publisher and passed it off as his own. Shame on you Nick. You can see for yourself the blatant theivery here.

OrigamiPod : icPod for everyoneI'm all about finding new study techniques for Japanese, so I was interested to see just how many people clicked on the Leitner flashcard system link from wikipedia. It's just like an SRS but for your bookshelf. If you are interested in kanji flashcards of the paper variety watch this space, I'll be featuring cards from White Rabbit Press and the techniques you need to use them here on this blog in the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime you may want to find out how to get into mixi without a Japanese cellphone from Tofugu, I hear there is a also a giveaway for flashcards if you check out the video.

If you want more linked up goodness, make sure you follow me (@rainbowhill) on Twitter. The links alone are all available as a feed on

Thanks for reading, I mean that!

Image: OrigamiPod : icPod for everyone by hawkexpress, on Flickr