Kodomo News Weekly

Here is a neat site to practice reading Japanese. The Yomiuri Shinbun has a “Kodomo news weekly” (KODOMOニュースウイークル) article that comes out every Wednesday on a current news topic. There is also furigana for the kanji that are used in the article. See the link below to the October 1, 2014 article on the Dengue fever outbreak in Japan.


Here is a list of past articles



John Chapter 3: 3 – 4

Alright, we’re starting a new chapter in the Gospel of John. As always, I’m doing this to learn along with everyone else. If you have a comment/question post below in the comments section.


I’m using a screenshot of a free app called “Kougou KJV” for these lessons. It contains the Japanese Kougouyaku translation and English King James Version, both of which are in the public domain. Checkout and download this great app.


Below is a link to a website with the text as well as the audio of the Gospel of John Chapter 3. Try reading the Japanese and then eventually read while listening to the audio. The plan is to  go through all of John Chapter 3 so eventually you should be able to read and listen to the entire Chapter.


Example of Decomposing a Japanese Sentence

I bring my iPad to church on Sundays to read the Bible instead of carrying a hardcopy one, and it also gives me a chance to practice reading along in Japanese. We were going through some verses in Luke Chapter 12, and I thought verse 21 would be a good example to use to show how I try to break down a verse or passage.  Of course having the English translation helps.



自分: oneself, himself, herself, myself
のために: for, for the sake of, on behalf of
宝: treasure
を: direct object marker
積んで: to pile up, accumulate (te for of the verb “tsumu“)
神: God
に対して: towards, regarding
富まない: is not rich (plain negative from of the verb “tomu“)
者;: person
は: topic marker
これと同じ: the same as
である: formal literary form of “desu

Typhoon #18 (台風18号)

If you have been looking at Japanese news sites lately you will find a lot of clips on Typhoon 18 that’s hitting Japan. It looks like it will move over the Tokyo area and then out to sea according to the weather predictions.

In all of the Japanese news clips I’ve seen on typhoons they are noted by a number. This one is Typhoon #18 (台風18号). However, I saw that this one also had a name which is Typhoon Phanfone. That’s interesting because I’m not sure how often this name is used by the Japanese news media or the Japanese people themselves. All Japanese news reports I’ve seen use the number in referring to a typhoon.

(tai, dai): pedestal, stand, counter for machines and vehicles
(fu, fuu, kaze): wind, style, manner
台風 (taifuu): typhoon
(gou): number, item, title, name

I’m not sure why the character was used in the word typhoon “pedestal/stand + wind”? Maybe someone can shed some light on that.


Q: Who knows what the difference is between a hurricane, typhoon and a cyclone?

A: They all describe the same weather phenomenon. The word used is different depending where it is occurring.

  • Hurricane: Used for storms in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific
  • Typhoon: Used for storms in the Northwest Pacific
  • Cyclone: Used for storms in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean

Here is the Weather Channel info about the Typhoon


TV Asahi News has a number of clips on the Typhoon for your practicing pleasure


Another Gimmeaflakman Japanese News Lesson – Ebola Virus

Here is another Japanese news lesson by YouTuber “Gimmeaflakeman” about the confirmation of the first Ebola case in America.


I first became aware of the Ebola virus around 1995 when a book by the name of “The Hot Zone” came out that talked about the first appearance of the Ebola virus in Africa. Now I need to find my copy and re-read it. It is one of the few books I can say is on my favorites list (along with Hell in the Land of the Morning Calm).


Researchers believe it originated in the country of Zaire (present day Democratic Republic of the Congo), and was transmitted to humans by contact with the infected bodily fluids of a mammal such as a bat or monkey. Ebola is a tough way to go because you basically start bleeding out of every pore and orifice of your body. This can be seen in the characters for the Ebola virus in Japanese

エボラ出血熱 (ebora shukketsunetsu) = Ebola (virus) hemorrhagic fever

エボラ: Ebola
出る (shutsu, deru): to leave, to come out
(ketsu, chi): blood
血する (shukkestsu suru): to bleed
(netsu): fever

The apocalyptic concern is that the virus mutates and becomes transmissible through the air like the flu.  That would be a scary situation.

I had a previous post on Japanese news and the current Dengue fever outbreak in and around Tokyo, and some of the same terms used in that article are used  in the Ebola article. That’s the good thing about using news to study. If the subject matter is the same, you will see the same words being used. A couple of the words that were similar are

感染者 (kansensha): infected person
確認 (kakunin): to confirm
(netsu): fever


world health

Here is information from the World Health Organization (WHO) about the Ebola virus

The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated. Ebola virus disease (EVD) first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

The current outbreak in west Africa, (first cases notified in March 2014), is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. There have been more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined.”

It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.

Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.”

We’ll have to wait and see what develops over the coming days and weeks here in America as well as new cases being reported in other parts of the world


Hell in the Land of the Morning Calm

I mentioned this book in a recent post, but thought it deserved its own. If you want to read a great book and a real-life story of someone who fought in the Korean war definitely get a book called “Hell in the Land of the Morning Calm” written by a man named Dallas Plemmons. I happened upon his testimony on television a long time ago and was enthralled. Once I started reading the book I couldn’t put it down, and finished it in one sitting. There are not many books that I can say are my favorites, but this is one of them.

It’s amazing he made it out alive. I have an older version (see below), but there are newer used versions available on Amazon.com. After you read his story, you will definitely understand why people say “war is hell”.


Link to book on Amazon.com



Here is a link to Mr. Plemmons website: