EtoEto and Textfugu

So I have gone through the first chapter of textfugu and I’m really enjoying it! (Learnt all my Hiragana and Katakana from there, which then led me here, thanks textfugu!) But since It’s my first time ever practicing a language on my own, I’m not completely sure if it will be the right tool for me, since I have no experience in what you need to focus on when you self-study. It feels like it clicked for me very well, and it motivates me to pay for the rest of the lessons, but I’m still not sure about it. Since most of you here are also self-learners, what is your opinion on textfugu and do you think I should go for the rest of the lessons?

Also, is EtoEto up and running as well? since I saw that you will also get invited there if you pay for textfugu and I totally love that you can upgrade it to lifetime when you have reached the threshold of payments. Which also leads me to ask if WaniKani has a similar approach or if you have to pay the one-time payment only in order to upgrade to lifetime?

As you can see I’m very new to studying Japanese, but so far it has been an absolute blast! But as with all beginners the basics are usually the easiest part, so I’m a bit worried that I might take a wrong turn.

Anyone that can enlighten me a bit about this?

I also noticed some posts about this in the archive but I didn’t really found what I was looking for, and I thought I could make a post about it that is a bit more recent, I hope that’s ok.


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EtoEto will probably take longer to finish because they’re going in a different direction.

But It’s still available for textfugu members?

TextFugu is a failed project in its current form. They’re at the moment working for a way to salvage it. Same with EtoEto. EtoEto Kuma is the only thing worth anything in the whole project, and even that is for somewhat advanced learners, it doesn’t exactly teach you anything - it’s just shadowing.

You won’t get far with TextFugu and the fact it’s still being sold is borderline scam in my opinion. I suppose the one who pays is the dumb one. There are free resources 192 times better than the joke that is TextFugu. Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese and to name a couple.


I hope that all current TextFugu subscribers will automatically get EtoEto lifetime for free.

What content that exists in TextFugu is still good. Especially the earlier chapters which were refined more. If you’re unsure about self studying TextFugu actually has a lot of tips throughout about how to study and overall TF has a very conversational tone. It’s still a great starting point even if towards the end it’s not quite complete. When I did it I never felt that it wasn’t a complete product (until the very end when there started being placeholder practice pages lol).

If you’re liking it so far and don’t think you want to jump into a more textbook feel with Genki then I see no problem with continuing and starting Genki or another resource later. Multiple resources is always good!

Personally I did TF first and Genki I after and Genki I didn’t teach me any major grammar points that TF didn’t. The only new grammar points were various phrases. And Genki has practice exercises, something that TF is severely lacking.

As a warning though. No one here likes TF and you will probably only get responses saying it sucks. You won’t really get varying opinions in response to your question.


For the sake of anyone who bought into it, I absolutely hope so.

If I had just now bought TextFugu, I’d be demanding my money back as soon as possible. It’ll be at least 2 years before it’s any use to anyone.

I can see why people would be a bit upset after waiting so long for EtoEto and TF not being a complete product. But then again, it feels like I get a lot more motivations from TF than with Tae Kim’s guide (one of them that you mentioned). I can see that an advanced member would find it easy to grasp everything in it for sure, but for me it just feels very confusing.

I just need somewhere to start, and so far TF has helped me learn Hiragana and Katakana faster than I could ever imagine so I can’t see why the method would be as bad as you say it is. I can see that your opinion is that it sucks and anyone that buys it is stupid, but why do you think It’s that bad? Please take a look at it from a complete beginners perspective too and not from a very advanced learner. Saying it sucks, period and not explaining why you think so won’t give me much :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, did you know what to focus on when you started out? Have you self-studied any other languages or Japanese and know the drill? Experience is everything when it comes to this I think.

Also, TF has already tought me what products are good for beginners and how to study with Anki (It would probably have taken me A LOT more time to be fluent in Hiragana and Katakana without Anki) And without TF I would probably not even know about Anki until I signed up here. It has also listed Tae Kim’s guide and I have checked it out, Genki I for starters which I have bought. It has actually helped me a ton already and I havn’t even payed anything for it yet.


I’ve had Textfugu since 2011. I didn’t even know it was still being sold.
Although I’d love an offline/ebook version of it.

I bought lifetime TextFugu to get lifetime EtoEto. I also treat it a bit like kickstarter, I believe in Koichi and that EtoEto will be worth it. :slight_smile:


There are so many other resources that you could use which might benefit you more. In particular, the Tofugu Resource Guide might be of interest to you. If you already own Genki I would suggest finishing that first and then see if you feel like your grammar is still lacking.

E-books are good because of the fact that you can use them on the go but I personally don’t see much point in using TF when Koichi himself admits that it isn’t currently on the same level as some of the other resources you can get nowadays. EtoEto might well be worth it when it is released and understandably the lure of a lifetime subscription being thrown with TF is nice and all but I don’t think it is a good idea to waste money paying for a lifetime subscription on something you can’t use right now.

I agree (with some of the other commenters in this thread) that it is really important not to just get caught up on relying on Wanikani alone. Some of the resources I use as a self-study learner:-

Nihongogogo - Japanese Language blog - A useful blog with a variety of phrases, vocab, and tips for your learning. I particularly like her charts that have words and phrases which I sometimes print out.

Renshuu - Similar to Anki in that it uses SRS flashcards to help you learn. I don’t really like Anki and I always forget to do Memrise.

Language Exchange - If you are looking to talk to native speakers you can try this but as with any sort of website where you are talking to strangers use with caution. (I haven’t had any bad experiences on it though but it is hard to find a learning partner that might be as motivated as you).

Japanese Pod 101 - Listening resource - The spam you will get from this site is unreal. If you do use it make sure you edit your settings to take yourself off of the mailing list. I registered for a free account and downloaded all the podcasts on my phone to listen on my way to work or while cooking and stuff. Don’t try and rely on it for any structural learning but there are very interesting cultural points.

NHK Web Easy - Since the news changes every day you pretty much always have fresh reading material from this. I look for a headline that I can understand (for the most part) and try and work out what it means. For example, this article about Mount Etna is fairly straight forward if you read the news and you can look up the words you don’t know.

I also use Genki as my main textbook which I got second hand on ebay and I also picked up a bunch of primary school level study books which have cute coloring pages and stuff to learn the names of animals and objects etc because why not. Try the Wanikanify in your browser to reinforce what you learn on here. Can’t think of anyting else!


Yeah do not get TF just for Eto Eto. That doesn’t really make any sense to me to essentially buy something that doesn’t exist. And I mean look how long WK was in beta. There’s even a good chance you would be well beyond it by the time it comes out. Though kuma does exist already for advanced learning.

I bought TF when I started learning Japanese as it was recommended to me by someone, and the promise of complete soon to be ready (what a joke that turned out to be) EtoEto that covers beginner to advanced content hooked me in. Sure, Koichi writes in a charming way and it makes the ‘book’ more approachable. However, simply looking at the price tag and comparing it to the contents, I cannot recommend it to anyone in its current form., except perhaps as a way to get the WK -50% discount (not sure if it still exists). TextFugu is just an incomplete project that for some insane reason is still being sold. There are so many COMPLETE products out there that cover more ground for less money, even for free. Buying TF before EtoEto is finished, which I imagine is at least 2 years from now, is simply a foolish thing to do in my opinion.

Regarding the topic of learning a language, I can share my experience and how I feel it about it in general. Most of the people sharing advise here are in my opinion misguided, and sadly probably will never get truly proficient in Japanese. The amount of level higher level people unable to work their way through a simple NHK Easy article is a good testament to the inefficiency of their leanguage learning methods.

It has become somewhat clear to me that I’m somewhat of an outlier on this website, my views on language learning do not align with that of many here. Japanese is in order the 4th language that I’ve achieved some level of proficiency in. Last December I passed the JLPT N1 test after little over 15 months of learning Japanese, without any sort of tutors or classes, so much like you I’m a self-learner. I must stress that I did have to make some sacrifices, for example my writing ability is still very much in progress and my speaking ability is far behind my comprehension capabilities. Something that I’ve spent now 2-3 hours a week really improving in fact. I read books, newspapers and watch/listen to political and economical discussions comfortably, also currently all the video games that I play are in Japanese.

With English and Swedish, I’ve tried the classroom approach. Never learned any English in the classroom, all the English I’ve learned has been through osmosis via video games, TV, music, and since the late 90s, the Internet, and the little Swedish I learned in the classroom didn’t stick for long. The endless conjugation tables for nouns and verbs still haunt to me to this day. I’m from a bilingual country, we’re forced to learn Swedish starting from grade 5 or 7, depending on the school a little. You can ask any Canadian on this site for example how well most English-speaking Canadians speak French. Not very well. It’s the same for us Finns with the Swedish language. I managed to get by with the little Swedish I knew, barely getting a passing grade in the Swedish classes, until I entered the university. We’re required to do Swedish at university level where they assume you have a solid B2 -level (in the CEFR). I was in deep trouble.

Long story little shorter, somehow I happened to stumble upon Memrise which is a SRS -thing similar to Anki except easier to use and more fun. Figured out that the key to language learning isn’t conjugation tables, grammar concepts or speaking to your equally poorly skilled classmates about your summer vacation or your pets. The key to learn any language is to know words, lots of them. Here we then arrive at the first main issue I have with every textbook out there, especially incomplete ones like TextFugu, is that they do not teach you enough vocabulary. Even Genki that is heralded as the best thing to get when starting Japanese, barely teaches you 500 words. It’s pathetic. What can you do with 500 words? - Not much.
The second issue that I have is the way how grammar is hugely over-emphasized in language learning. To me grammar is maybe 15% of the learning process. I see doing textbook exercises and conjugation tables absolutely pointless waste of time. Most of it won’t stick and it won’t make you understand any better what someone just said to you. Knowing that a sentence was in past tense barely does anything for you if you have no idea what all the other words meant.

Sadly, I’m running out of time to write this so I’ll just leave this at that. In summary, my recommendation for everyone learning a language is to focus on acquiring new words, reading and listening to things that you care about and are truly interested in. Grammar should be treated as a reference only, you will quickly notice the different patterns that occur in a language without having to learn impossible sounding grammatical terms and concepts or work your way through conjugation tables. I didn’t have a chance to explain what I feel about speaking early on in your language learning process. Simply put, INPUT > OUTPUT.

I’m basically done with Wanikani and before I leave for good I promised to write a long essay in Japanese for the folks at the Longest Thread Ever -thread, so I think I might choose this as my topic for that, once I get enough time to organize my thoughts properly around the topic. Perhaps I should write an English version of it too.

Sorry that I don’t have much time right now to go into more proper details.


Mostly +1
Practicing grammar with only a small vocabulary can lead to inadvertent sentence memorization (rather than sentence pattern acquisition and integration) and too much thinking while formulating sentences. I personally feel that ‘grammar’ (i.e. formal characterization of language) is best learned as an aside to help clarify the ‘why’ and ‘how’, whereas the primary mode of learning should be extensive hands-on experience with a language.


So to summarise: Put more inputs of Japanese into your life. Do more than 20 minutes of vocab learning on some app on the internet?

Does anyone know if I buy TextFugu do I get access to EtoEto Kuma? I know it’s just shadowing, but that’s what I need most at the moment and it looks so much nicer than other shadowing apps :slight_smile:

I have the same opinion. Im using Text Fugu since January.

As far as the content goes, its good (Im at season 7 atm). I really like the motivational stuff and the explanations. I tried Genki before and didn`t. I didnt think Genki was written with the self-learner in mind and this is what I like about Textfugu.

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I think so. I bought Text Fugu in the end of January, but didnt get my eto eto key yet. As far as I know, Kouchi is sending beta keys for every owner of Tf. I think if I sent Kouichi-sensei an email he would give it to me, but I want to finish TF first before trying anything else. I have the bad habit of changing my books halfway through it. This time I will stick to TF until the end.

When I first heard about TextFugu the price was astronomical to me. For that amount of money back then I could buy half a year of language classes. This days I work full time and earn my own money and can make a decision to spend it even on something that may not see the light of the day any time soon. As I said before, I treat it like kickstarter.

As for the content, personally I would be just as happy without motivational stuff, I would like more exercises and for explanations to be prepared a bit differently. But I am also used to a bit different approach to language learning.

From what I understand, currently buying TF puts you in lottery for key to EE. You will get the lifetime no matter what, but whether you get EE key now is up to lottery.

Based on what Kouichi sensei said in his last post about Eto Eto, I think everyone will get beta acess sometime soon

Many of you are still waiting for an invite to EtoEto’s Alpha.

Sometime this month, I’ll make sure everyone gets invited to the current EtoEto. I think around 75% of all TextFugu Forever members have been invited already, but there are still quite a few folks who haven’t.

If you haven’t gotten your invite by the end of the month (January 2017), and you purchased a TextFugu Forever account in 2016 or earlier, please email me at In addition to this, I’ll increase the rate at which new people (who register in January 2017 and later) get invited too. "