Fallynleaf's study log

Made it to level 41!

I’m officially 2/3rds of the way through WaniKani, so that’s exciting! Level 40 took me about thirteen days. My personal life has been relatively uneventful, thankfully, so I’ve had more energy for Japanese.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 3515 (and 2536 on KW)!

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

Here’s an interesting discussion about translating accents, which I thought might be of interest to some folks here.

I also reached a personal milestone, which is that I was able to debunk a fishy seeming DeepL translation of a Tokyo Sports article that was going mildly viral on wrestling twitter. Here’s the original article. I talk more about in in this post, which is also linked below.

I was glad that I was able to understand the joke in this tweet, thanks to a word I learned from DDT :sweat_smile:.

Speaking of DDT, I’m proud to announce that I understood my first Gon the Fox joke without needing the translation. 金玉 proving its usefulness once again :sweat_smile:. Hilariously, I understood the dirty punchline but was not familiar with the word it was a pun on, which was presumably たーまや (or たまや). Apparently these are shouts used when viewing fireworks.

Here’s a really funny kanji joke that I think many of us around the world can relate to right now. あっっっっっっっっつい indeed :hot_face: :pensive:.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 36 – Lesson 37

Was on a bit of a time crunch for lesson 36, due to basically having no time for textbook study my first week of this level thanks to translation deadlines :sweat_smile:. I did finish it in time, though!

One of the audio exercises for this lesson asked me if there’s anything I do to avoid getting sick. Thanks to covid, my perspective on health and safety has changed pretty drastically, so all I could think of for this was “大勢の人がいる所は行かないようにしています” :sweat_smile: :sweat:.

The last exercise of the lesson asked me to talk about a kind of transportation/vehicle I wanted to exist, and being an American without a drivers license and with pretty significant train envy concerning other countries, I just talked about Japan’s train system, and said “いつかアメリカでもそんな電車が乗れるようになるかもしれません.” We can hope…

I didn’t technically finish running through all of the lesson 37 vocab yet because I started it a little late, oops! But they’ve all been added to my main deck, and should be all in circulation within the next couple days.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 37 kanji!


Spanish (Reading: finished local history parallel text book, started Antes de Ser Libres by Julia Alvarez) (Listening: Duolingo podcast)

I finished the local history book! I started a new book called Antes de Ser Libres by Julia Alvarez, which is a young adult book that is fairly short. So far, the writing is very straightforward, the vocab isn’t too difficult, and the story is compelling. It’s going very well! I’m 46 pages into the book (there are 184 total), so I might even finish it before my next update.

So far so good with the read every day challenge. Almost halfway through it with no missed days!

Once again, no further progress on 大海原と大海原. I had the opportunity to read a little more of it, but prioritized a different book :sweat_smile:. On the bright side, the longer I wait, the better my language skill gets, so the manga becomes much easier to read.

I had a little more time last week, so I translated some more senryu again!





I also got into some fights in the senryu thread about translation, because as you might guess, I have some opinions on the matter, haha.

As far as TJPW translations go, I had another very busy week (and then a second much less busy week)! Here’s everything I got done:

2022.07.16 TJPW 東京プリンセスカップ — (28 words added across this show and the next)
2022.07.17 TJPW 東京プリンセスカップ
2022.07.18 TJPW 東京プリンセスカップ — (8 words added)
2022.07.23 TJPW 東京プリンセスカップ — (12 words added)

My wrestling deck is up to 923 words (116 of which still aren’t in circulation). I’m hoping to gradually make up ground when there’s a little bit less activity and when I don’t have textbook vocab to work through.

The books I ordered months ago finally arrived! Including the NJPW English book, which took so long to get here, by the time it arrived, I had stopped watching the company… awkward :grimacing:. It still seems handy for translation purposes, though.

Here’s a post where I shared some photos of all of the books, along with links to buy them and short descriptions. I also got ごんぎつね, in honor of me understanding my first Gon the Fox joke in DDT (This is a lie. I ordered the book months ago, and it just so happened to arrive last week). I included a picture of the book in this post.

My tentative reading plan is looking something like this:

  • Now (late 2022):
    • Finish 大海原と大海原 volume 3 (then the 大海原と大海原 video game)
    • 新日本プロレス英語入門
    • 世界が広がる 推し活英語
  • Early 2023: Finish Minna no Nihongo 2, and start Tobira. Reach level 60 in WK.
    • Read the MNN novel
    • Read the Read Real Japanese series
    • Dive into manga in earnest, starting with Flying Witch and Yotsuba&! and then try out some of the literal hundreds of free manga I’ve gotten from Bookwalker
  • Late 2023 or early 2024: Finish Tobira.
    • Start reading 365日にっぽんのいろ図鑑 at the beginning of 2024
    • Pick up some wrestler biographies or other longer form wrestling stuff that I’d been hoping to read. Maybe get a shupro subscription.
    • Try out some regular novels in Japanese
  • ?

Timeline is of course flexible, and I’m liable to read stuff ahead of when I originally plan on it. But if all goes as planned, I’m hoping to be comfortably past N4 at the beginning of 2023, and comfortably past N3 by the beginning of 2024. The whole time, I’ll be continuing to build up vocab in Anki, as well as learning more kanji outside of WK.

Unless TJPW gets a proper translator again, I’m planning on continuing with the translations, though I’m hoping to get much faster at them (and have a lot less translation questions) as my language skill continues to improve.

On that note, I started reading the NJPW English book! It’s going surprisingly well so far? I somehow got through the first, uh, 64 pages in one sitting. I’m very much reading extensively and not intensively, so I’m basically skimming it and skipping a lot of details that aren’t interesting to me. Here’s the post I made about it. There’s some griping about translation in that post, too.

It’s an interesting experience because I wouldn’t recommend the book to most beginners (anyone who can’t easily read 90% of the kanji they come across will probably have a bad time), but it’s set up very well for my particular strengths (very high kanji, moderate vocab, and low grammar). I’m nowhere near this fluent in other genres, but for wrestling, I know quite a bit of specialized vocab, plus have an overall familiarity with the characters and such, which helps a lot with overall comprehension.

I’m planning on skipping ahead to the glossary section and reading that next. Poor 大海原と大海原 might get put off a little bit longer because I think this book will help me with translation decisions, which is a little more urgent.

New resources (pronunciation-related):

Continuing the pronunciation section laid out in this guide… I started studying pitch accent!

  • Watched my first Dogen video: Japanese pitch accent in 10 minutes. Exactly what it says on the tin, pretty much. Kanshudo’s guide is also pretty good. Here’s (64m) a series of videos that’s basically a crash course on pitch accent and intonation. I was particularly fascinated by the fact that い-adjective pronunciation is changing! The new way is a lot easier to memorize :sweat_smile:. I don’t think my listening comprehension is quite there yet, but if I can, I’m going to try to listen to which style of pronunciation my favorite wrestlers use for い-adjectives. I suspect the new style? Could very well be proven wrong!

I think I’d put learning pitch accent about on the level of learning how to write kanji, in terms of how it benefits your overall comprehension. Studying pronunciation is to listening what practicing writing is to reading. You can listen and read very proficiently without a background in either, but having some experience does help you recognize sounds/characters. Of course, if you wish to become a very proficient speaker or writer, you’ll obviously need to practice more than the basics!

I’m planning to go a little bit further with this, until I finish getting through that section of the guide. We’ll have to see what the future holds beyond that.

New resources (not pronunciation-related):

I’m so thrilled to share this one. The Japan Foundation launched a new digital library consisting of broad genres such as manga, literature, Japanese language, art, history, culture, society, cooking & food, etc. There are 1,800 titles total, and they’re completely free to read! I’ve barely looked at this yet, but it sounds like an incredible resource! Many of these books aren’t in Japanese, but they do have some that are. I’m not sure anyone has shared this one on the forum yet, so maybe I should make a thread about it after I’ve had the chance to check it out?

Tobira (and the workbook) also arrived in the mail along with my other books! I’m not exactly sure how fast I’ll be able to get through each chapter of the book, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Two weeks per chapter would be ideal, but three weeks would be a fine pace. The book seems to be a great resource, though the overall design is rather dry :sweat_smile:. I’m a little spoiled by how visually appealing MNN is.

I caved and implemented an unofficial fix for the Anki Forvo downloader addon, since there still isn’t an official update for it. The fix works fine so far. I also found the Yomichan Forvo Server addon, which allows Yomichan to pull audio directly from Forvo. Handy!

Next steps:

I think the next level should be a little less busy for me? I hope so, at least. If so, I’m aiming to get more reading done outside of the translations, and hopefully get around to some of the other things I’ve been wanting to do, like posting in the tools thread and making that Hiragana Muscle Anki deck.

I’m also hoping to finish up my foray into studying pronunciation! I’m weirdly not getting bored of it yet, despite what I’d assumed, but it’ll be nice to have some of that time back, haha.

Onward to level 42! 行くぞ!


Made it to The Answer (level 42)!

Kind of a fun little milestone, which coincidentally ended up marking an actual real milestone in my Japanese journey? Sometimes time is weird. In any case, I spent just shy of fourteen days on this last level, and boy were they eventful!

It wasn’t all good, unfortunately. Got some more bad news at work and found out that my favorite coworker is leaving, which will make things a lot tougher, and which will also make work a lot less fun for me. This sort of re-triggered my depression, but I ended up managing to push past it, largely thanks to distracting myself with the new project I just started…

Which is a public twitter account I created to promote my Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling translations! I’ll talk about this in more detail later, but yeah, my translations have a proper audience now, beyond just a handful of friends and scattered readers on a pro wrestling thread on a language learning forum. It’s very scary :sweat_smile:!

It’s also a new avenue for small, occasional opportunities to practice producing Japanese, which is fun! I’m still feeling out the identity of the account, and what exactly I want it to be, but in addition to sharing translations, I do want to use it to participate in fun TJPW hashtags, and occasionally comment on wrestlers’ posts, and that sort of thing.

This update was a couple days late because I had a pretty busy weekend, with two large TJPW shows and a DDT show as well. I spent a lot of my remaining time trying to get as much done on the translations as I could. The sheer amount of work ahead of me scared me at first, but I think I’ll be okay :blush:.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 3667 (and 2648 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

Something I’ve noticed is that my ability to pick up stuff from wrestling shows is increasing. I’m able to catch a lot more from Namba’s announcements at the beginning of TJPW, and the announcements in DDT, and that sort of thing. Still missing Raku’s train of the day in almost every show, but I did manage to catch that the last one was the さくら 新幹線!

Regarding the TJPW translation twitter account, I started it after I read another major story misinterpretation on twitter and finally snapped :sweat_smile:. There is a fair amount of misinformation out there because English-speaking fans aren’t understanding that many of the things happening in matches are deliberate character decisions, not signs of athletes acting irrationally because of unknown power struggles backstage. I love wrestling because the storytelling can be so wonderfully subtle, but that’s also a double-edged sword because it asks a lot from the viewer, and not all viewers are willing or able (due to language barriers) to put in the work.

But, well, my account is out there now for the people who do care about all of that. It’s intimidating having 60+ people reading my work now, though :sweat_smile:. It’s also intimidating because the wrestlers themselves can also find and interact with my translations now :sweat_smile:. Pom Harajuku and one of the dream on the ring candidates have found and liked a few of my tweets already :sweat_smile:. My fear is that I’ll accidentally teach them weird English or something. Like when my predecessor accidentally taught Maki Itoh the word “cuck” thanks to how he translated one of her backstage comments.

One of the first things I did with my account was write up a very, very long thread sort of summing up major story and character moments from earlier in the year. I went back through all of my old translations and pulled out what I thought were important highlights. And wow, it was a lot of work! I was a little bit floored by just how many of these translations I’ve done. Incidentally, the first person who liked this thread was actually a Japanese fan, so I guess some Japanese fans are frustrated by the misinformed discourse among the English-speaking fandom, too.

Something that was kind of fun was that TJPW posted (in Japanese) asking fans to post under the #ぽむがんばれ hashtag with words of encouragement for Pom Harajuku, going into her match with the terrifying Max the Impaler. I ended up composing a tweet in Japanese:


Pom did in fact see it! I also ended up making a post explaining what the hashtag actually meant so that English-speaking fans would understand what they were saying when they used it. That post received a lot more appreciation than I was expecting, and I had someone ask me to explain the difference between 頑張れ and 頑張って :sweat_smile:.

I’m being very upfront about my actual Japanese level on this account so that people don’t treat me as an actual authority, but I don’t mind answering easy questions like that. I’m far enough along in Japanese that I’m already forgetting that even extremely easy stuff like “ぽむがんばれ” is inaccessible to most English speakers. So I’m going to try to be more cognizant of that and try to bridge that gap a little whenever I can.

So that was my big update! Everything else is just the usual small stuff, haha.

Max the Impaler posted a very simple Japanese tweet after their three scheduled matches in Japan were over, and I was charmed by all of the Japanese fans responding to it with just incredible delight that Max had had such a good time there. One fan said that when they saw the tweet, they almost cried because Max’s character isn’t really the type to say positive things in Japanese, so it was heartwarming that Max chose to convey their love anyway.

I really liked this tweet from the woman who does most of the photography for TJPW and DDT (as well as photographing a fair number of independent wrestlers in Japan). She talks about how happy it makes her to receive positive comments about her work by the wrestlers, staff, and fans, and how she’s even happier when her work gets used as inspiration for fanart. She said: “創作の種を手渡せた事って、光栄すぎる,” that being able to hand over the seed of creation is an incredible honor.

Whenever I see stuff like that from creators, statements that are just so full of love and respect for fanworks, it warms my heart.

The other thing that gave me encouragement was a few more tweets that Kota Ibushi made. He said that he does in fact want to come to AEW at least a few times, and tag with Kenny Omega as the Golden Lovers again! Of course, this is all if his health permits it, which is not a guarantee. His shoulder still has to heal. But it was really encouraging to me to see that he at least wants to continue their story if he’s able to.

The Golden Lovers live on after all…

みんなの日本語 Lesson 37 – Lesson 38

Barely managed to finish lesson 37 before publishing this update, but I did get there! Since I’ve already gotten started on the lesson 38 vocab, I think that puts me about ½ of the way through MNN 2? And ¾ of the way through the entire beginners series. That’s a neat milestone!

I did want to mention that I’m really glad that I’ve been doing the production exercises despite not initially having an interest in that aspect of Japanese, because that practice has really come in handy with my new twitter account. Practicing production definitely does slow me down, but I think in the long run, the time I’ve spent on it is really beneficial.

Even if my Japanese currently is a little awkward or stilted, I feel like that’s better than not trying at all, y’know? I’m sure my Japanese still reads like “person who has gone through a beginner’s textbook” Japanese, but I’d rather that than it come across as too informal and impolite :sweat_smile:.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 38 kanji!


Spanish (Reading: Antes de Ser Libres) (Listening: Duolingo podcast)

Did not get a whole lot of Spanish read (or listened to), but I did read at least a page or two every day, so I technically have kept up with the challenge :sweat_smile:. I’m currently about 75 pages into the book, and the difficulty remains at a pretty good level.

I didn’t get any 大海原と大海原 read, but I did read some more from 新日本プロレス英語入門 when I didn’t have any TJPW translations to work on at the moment. Here’s my post about some interesting things I found in the glossary for the NJPW English book.

Regarding TJPW, I ended up switching things up slightly because I found out that 週刊プロレス has more complete transcriptions of the post-match comments and some of the in-ring promos available on their mobile site if you have a subscription! That’s the content I really want to be translating (instead of just gleaming what I can from the official recaps, which are available for free), so I took the plunge and signed up for it. It’s kind of hilarious because I literally just said in my last post that maybe I’ll get a shupro subscription in… 2024 :sweat_smile:. Jumped the gun on that one a little. I’m probably not going to try to read much of the actual magazine yet, though, because that’s just too deep of a rabbit hole. But I do technically have access to it now, as well as quite a number of back issues…

So far, I’ve finished two show translations with the full backstage comments. When I translated these, that’s when I really started feeling like I’m truly doing this for real now.

2022.7.31 TJPW 東京プリンセスカップ — (8 words added)
2022.08.07 TJPW 上福ゆき地元凱旋興行~kewlest town is 湘南台だべ!~ — (10 words added)

My wrestling deck currently has 940 words in it! A solid 100 or so still aren’t in circulation yet, but I’m gradually making up ground.

The words added count on those individual show translations is a little deceptive, in terms of how much work these were for me. With this new style of translation (focusing purely on direct quotes from the wrestlers and not match recaps or anything like that), there are less new words for me, but more characters in total to translate.

It’s interesting how it’s simultaneously harder and easier. It’s easier having proper context for everything instead of having to puzzle out lines in isolation, but it’s harder because there are just more lines to translate, period.

I have quite a bit of work ahead of me from this weekend because TJPW had back to back Korakuen Hall shows :sweat_smile: :cold_sweat:. I was really overwhelmed after the first one, just looking at all of the work I had to do, but I managed to get a decent chunk translated before the next show, actually, and felt a bit better about my ability to actually do this.

New resources (pronunciation-related):

I’ve made no new progress on this front! Simply did not have time. Maybe next level? :sweat_smile:

New resources (not pronunciation-related):

I found a tool for reading epub files that lets you take advantage of Yomichan while reading: Book Manager | ッツ Ebook Reader. Have not tried it out yet, but it seems really handy. I’m probably still a year out from properly attempting novels, but at this rate, who even knows…

Next steps:

My immediate priority is to get caught up on the TJPW translations. Everything else will have to take a bit of a backseat to that, as usual. I do want to get around to the other things I’ve been talking about wanting to get around to doing, though :sweat_smile:.

I’m trying to stay wary of burnout and all of that, but so far, I don’t think I’m in danger. Honestly, translating is a pretty good distraction from other stress, and it’s nice in a way because it can help me get a little distance from the emotions of the stories as well as bring the emotions closer to me, if that makes any sense? It’s like I’m looking through TJPW from two different lenses, one as a fan who is invested in the characters, and the other as a learner using it as a study tool. When one of those lenses becomes harder, for whatever reason, the other one often serves to get me through.

Onward to level 43! 行くぞ!


There’s nothing wrong with that! We all gotta start somewhere. That’s how we improve.

Good for you for pushing yourself to manage a Twitter account that shares content that you’re interested in and can help others who aren’t quite at your Japanese comprehension level! That’s a big motivator because you’re so passionate about the topic and that means you’re bound to improve more and more as long as you keep at it. :slight_smile:

By the way, look at you at battling through WK like a pro while managing your main interests! That takes a lot of effort! You’re doing great!


Thank you!!

Truthfully, I don’t think I’d be nearly this far in WK if I wasn’t so strict about keeping a consistent daily schedule, haha. I’ve been doing this for long enough, I feel like I’m not going to have any problem riding out the rest of the levels. It’s just second nature now to wake up and do my daily lessons. And if I keep doing that for enough days, one day I will be done :blush:.

And as far as doing all of this while managing my main interests goes, well, my strategy there is called “being autistic” :sweat_smile:. It’s very easy to put in the work when you have a hyperfixation on a Japanese language thing which developed into a hyperfixation on learning the language itself. It makes studying genuinely an enjoyable way to spend your time.

My main fear is what will happen if I lose the hyperfixation, so I’m trying to get as far as I can while I still have all of this energy and motivation to do it. I’ve definitely fought past some real low periods, but so far, nothing has stopped me yet! The further I get, the easier it is to keep going.


Made it to level 43!

It took me just over fourteen days. I dragged my feet a little over logging out and logging back in again because I didn’t want to lose access to the secret subforum… :sweat_smile:

Something kind of fun is that the kanji that brought me over was 荒, wild, which is the first kanji in TJPW wrestler Yuki Arai’s name: 荒井優希. Remembering the reading for that one was easy as pie, haha.

Been a busy past couple weeks for me. I’ve been working pretty hard on translating. But I’ve been able to keep up with things thus far!

Something a little sad, though, is that GM Imabayashi’s DDT contract is ending, and one of the consequences of that is that Hiragana Muscle is also going to be ending after their next show (which will be the seventh in the series). I’d dreamed of one day being fluent enough that I could watch Hiragana Muscle and understand without needing the live translation threads on twitter, but it looks like I won’t be able to achieve that with new entries in the series :pensive:.

But, well, it is what it is. It’s the same lesson that pro wrestling has taught me over and over. I made myself this meme as a reminder to myself:

On a happier note, though, Kenny Omega made his return to wrestling! I’m hopeful again for more Golden Lovers stuff down the road somewhere, barring further health issues getting in the way of things. Kenny’s new entrance is full of blue and white stars, an incredibly blatant homage to the Golden Star Kota Ibushi, and it left me completely overcome with emotion. That night, Kota liked at least three tweets about Kenny’s return, including Kenny’s own tweet about it.

It felt sort of like Kenny was returning for both of them. If Kota’s injury never recovers to the point where he can wrestle again, Kenny will carry Kota’s legacy with him for the rest of his own career.

Another instance of getting the bitter along with the sweet. But that’s just wrestling.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 3087 (and 2755 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

This section is quiet this level. I’ve been keeping very, very busy with Japanese outside of WK, but most of that has been active immersion.

I did start venturing a bit into the #TJPW hashtag on twitter, though I’m trying to keep an eye on my own habits so that I don’t spend too much time in there. Mostly I’ve been curious about how Japanese fans are perceiving things as opposed to how western fans are perceiving them. It’s interesting because there will be a bunch of English-speaking fans posting a lot of negativity, especially toward Yuka Sakazaki, and then the Japanese tweets surrounding them will be really positive and excited about the matches and stories.

It does further my hunch that many western fans watching without the ability to understand the Japanese are, well, sort of missing the entire point of the stories the company has been telling this year :sweat_smile:. Obviously there are plenty of western fans who are still very excited about things, but there is a certain… narrative, shall we say, that often dominates the discussion.

TJPW just got a new logo, which was intentionally chosen with an eye toward helping them expand internationally. I’m ambivalent about the design, but have enjoyed the memes that fans (and the wrestlers themselves) have been making based on it. Their new logo has no Japanese in it, just the letters “TJPW”.

I wonder if they’re looking for a new translator… Seeing how it went with DDT this year, I’m guessing yes. Well, if they do find one, that’ll free up a lot of time for me haha. I do believe pretty firmly that they have no real hope of reaching a substantial English-speaking audience without reliable translation. I feel like the discourse has been proof of that…

I really enjoyed TJPW’s last show, which had an all-women audience with free tickets! This was the third show of this type that they’ve done, but it’s by far their biggest one yet (it was at Korakuen Hall), and it’s the first one to actually allow crowd vocalizations. As soon as the ring announcer Namba heard the female fans cheer, she started crying immediately.

The wrestlers, too, were all clearly excited about it. It was so much fun seeing their reactions upon hearing so many women cheering for them. I loved Maki Itoh’s “Who’s the cutest in the world?” spot especially, which received a very loud “Itoh-chan!” cheer from the female audience. I really appreciated that TJPW clearly has a huge interest in expanding their non-male fanbase, to the point where they chose this show to be the one where they unveiled their new logo and sort of launched the company in a new direction.

Namba gave little introductions before each match where she briefly described the wrestlers, and I was delighted to be able to understand a decent chunk of these! That felt very cool!

みんなの日本語 Lesson 38 – Lesson 39

Lesson 38 was really easy, which I really, really appreciated, haha. I was so busy with other stuff, I didn’t have a lot of time for textbook exercises, so I was really glad that these ones didn’t take as much time as they usually do for me.

I did spend more time than I really needed to working on the last exercise in lesson 38, which asked me to compare the personalities of my family members. I talked about my brother and I, and I wanted to end it with basically: “Maybe the two of us are more different than I thought.” It did not take long for me to realize that that sentence was a little overly ambitious for my current grammar level, haha. My best attempt at it was: “たぶん2人は思ったより違いがありますね。”

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 39 kanji!


Spanish (Reading: Antes de Ser Libres) (Listening: Duolingo podcast)

Didn’t get much listening done because it has been too hot and there is too much wildfire smoke to spend a lot of time walking. Also did not get too much reading done because, well, you’ll see how much Japanese translation I had to do, haha.

I did want to comment a little bit on the content of the book. It’s a good book so far, but also kind of a stressful one to read at a time when there is increasing unrest in your own country… I feel like I’m relating a lot more to the protagonist, but in a way that’s kind of depressing. I’m feeling very “may you live in interesting times” about, well, 2016 onward, but especially the past few years.

Reading-difficulty-wise, it’s still pretty doable. Often all I get read in a day is a page or two, but I’m still making steady progress.

Still going strong with both languages in the read every day challenge! It’ll be over in a few days, and then I think I’ll be switching gears to listening on the off month.

I did find the time to attempt a few more senryu translations. Here are the poems I translated:

イチローを越えたと二浪の息子言い (this one sparked a lot of discussion because the punchline is based on a pun which does not translate at all easily into English)



アレどこだ!? アレをコレする あのアレだ!

I didn’t get any 大海原と大海原 read, but I did squeeze in a bit more of the 新日本プロレス英語入門 glossary on the one day I had when I didn’t have any TJPW translations to do.

Here are the three show translations I finished. The August 13 and 14 Korakuen shows smashed my old record of most characters translated in a short period of time, haha. Between just those two shows, I translated over 11,000 characters in just over a week.

2022.08.13 TJPW 東京プリンセスカップ — (part 1 and part 2)
2022.08.14 TJPW 東京プリンセスカップ

Completely lost track of how many words per show I added :sweat_smile:. Not that this information really matters to anyone else, but it helps give me a sense of things. My wrestling deck currently has 963 words in it, so I suppose I probably added around 23 total? About 90 still aren’t in circulation, though that number is lower than last time, so I am slowly making progress.

New resources (pronunciation-related):

Made no progress on this front this level. Maybe the next will be easier, but looking at the translation workload I have ahead of me these next couple weeks, I’m not optimistic :sweat_smile:.

New resources (not pronunciation-related):

I checked out a book called Japanese–English Translation by Judy Wakabayashi from the Japan Foundation library! I’ve only finished the first chapter so far, but it seems quite handy, though I technically don’t meet the minimum qualifications it suggests at the beginning haha (my Japanese is neither N2 nor N1) :sweat_smile:. I also figured out how to open these books using the ebook reader I linked in my last update, and lo and behold, I can indeed use Yomichan on it, which is so handy! This will make Japanese novels so much easier to read in the future. Even with this translation book, honestly, it’s really helpful to have Yomichan for it, though obviously not as essential. I’m contemplating buying myself a copy of this book.

Here’s a twitter post with a few slang words that are commonly used but not generally taught in textbooks.

Apparently Hideo Kojima decided to provide an English version of his podcast? I haven’t listened to either version, but it might be another avenue of practice for anyone who’s a fan of his work.

Next steps:

Going to be another busy couple of weeks! TJPW is doing a big burst of shows, so I have a lot of work ahead of me there, though it looks like things are calming down a bit after next weekend. Hopefully I’ll be able to get around to more of my other goals after this current level.

There’s also a decently strong chance I get a full-time job soon. Basically either I get a full-time position, or my part-time job will end in December and I’ll be unemployed again :sweat_smile:. Lots of mixed feelings on that. I really need the full-time job, but it’ll be an obstacle with studying Japanese for sure… Well, I guess we’ll just have to see how things go!

Onward to level 44! 行くぞ!


Made it to level 44!

Took about fourteen days. I’d love to say that they went great for me and I got a lot done and am feeling very hyped and encouraged, but, well, life had different plans for me :sweat:. I’m still here, though, and I did actually get a fair amount done, but there were some major roadblocks in the way as well.

The first was a positive one: my brother was visiting, and I got more or less only bare minimum studying done while he was here. He left right before AEW’s All Out pay-per-view started on September 4, and I thought, “Great! I’ll be able to get some studying done tonight after the show!” Wrong!

The show itself was fairly average, as far as AEW PPVs go. Not their worst, not their best. Then the post-show media scrum happened, and that’s when all hell broke loose…

I’m not sure we’ll ever actually know the full details of what happened that night. It’s looking to be this generation’s Montreal Screwjob. But let me tell you, the dirtsheets (which feed the wrestling rumor mill and which are written by the closest thing pro wrestling has to actual reporters) had a very, very busy week, and I got very little sleep and did not have a very fun Labor Day :sweat:.

Last month, I wrote a post in the pro wrestling thread where I rambled about mostly TJPW stuff, but also touched on a repeated metaphor in AEW, where the wrestlers known as the Elite are figuratively referred to as the “walls” of All Elite Wrestling. Well, on September 4, those walls were seriously shaken, and it was the biggest threat to the company’s existence that they’ve faced so far. For a company that survived a pandemic that happened in its literal second year of existence, that’s saying a lot.

I’m going to put a longer explanation under a cut so that people who don’t care about wrestling drama can skip it. Yes, this actually is important context for my Japanese language journey!

Here’s, like, the shortest possible explanation I can give. It’s still long :sweat_smile:.

In August 2021, AEW managed to convince the retired wrestler CM Punk to join the company after he’d spent seven years out of the wrestling industry due to WWE leaving him physically, mentally, and emotionally burned out. Him joining AEW was A Big Deal. They sold out an entire stadium for his debut based on the mere rumor that he would be there. In the few months that followed, the company reached new heights of popularity that it has yet to reach since, including getting some major ratings victories over WWE, their main competitor and the global industry juggernaut.

CM Punk was from an era of wrestling that was well before my time, and even while he was at AEW, my main focus was on other stuff, mainly Kenny Omega’s ongoing storyline, and then all of the sideplots that sprung off from that while Kenny was out of action for many months to recover from a bunch of surgeries and lingering injuries he’d had.

But I did start paying more attention to CM Punk when he had a really great feud with MJF, a wrestler I don’t typically like, and then Punk went from there to challenging Hangman Adam Page for the AEW championship. A bit from that feud is alluded to in the post I linked above, but basically part of the crux of the story was that Hangman essentially said that he, as someone who built the walls of AEW along with the rest of the Elite, was going to save AEW from CM Punk.

But it was not to be. Hangman lost to Punk, dropping the AEW title to him, and then before Punk could do anything with the belt, he got injured and had to step away from the ring for a few months to heal while they crowned an interim champion. Punk came back just a couple weeks ago, and right after he returned, he lost within minutes to the interim champ Jon Moxley in the match to unify the titles. The week after that, Ace Steel, Punk’s old friend and mentor, was introduced to the audience when he cut a rousing promo in the ring to rally Punk and convince him to challenge Mox again at All Out, the PPV that weekend.

So Punk vs Mox happened again, and this time it was a proper match, and Punk managed to win! MJF, who’d been away from the company for months as part of a worked shoot storyline (a blend of real and fake), came back at the end of the show to challenge Punk, evoking some lines from one of Punk’s most famous promos in Ring of Honor years ago.

The media scrum started pretty much immediately after the show. Punk still had blood on his face after his match. Right away, things started going off the rails. Punk went on a tirade about his former friend Colt Cabana, with whom he had a very public falling out with many years ago, and then he started to lay into the EVPs of the company (who are the three core members of the Elite: the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega, who had coincidentally just been crowned AEW’s first trios champions that night), as well as Hangman Page and MJF. He made all of them as well as the company as a whole look very, very bad. Notably, at one point later in the scrum after Punk’s part is over, a security guard can be seen absolutely booking it out of the room.

After Punk left the scrum is when everything imploded. All the details we know were reported second or third hand through the dirtsheets, so the specifics are probably not quite right, but essentially the EVPs went to confront Punk in his room, bringing with them the head of legal and the talent relations representative, and things devolved. Punk punched Matt Jackson (one of the Young Bucks), and Ace Steel knocked out Nick Jackson (the other Buck) with a chair, and then bit Kenny (who’d reportedly saved Punk’s dog and then ran back into the room to try to break up the fight only to get bit by a human man).

It’s one of those cases where I didn’t even believe it was real at first. A press conference devolving into violence is one of the oldest wrestling tropes in the book, and a literal chair getting used as an actual weapon is just incredible. The whole conflict was also exquisitely foreshadowed, with basically everything every single one of Punk’s opponents said about him coming true. Someone on reddit actually predicted the whole thing (as an intentional storyline) almost flawlessly, and with Punk’s “You stupid old man. I’m a snake” line getting repeatedly referenced, it just seemed almost too perfect. And with MJF already doing a worked shoot storyline, and with Punk having a history of doing them as well, it all seemed to point toward this just being a very messy and complicated work (i.e. a storyline and not a real altercation).

But, well, I guess it just turned out that the reason why it was foreshadowed so perfectly is because the wrestlers were bringing real stuff into it. Hangman’s conflict with Punk was real. Punk’s threat to AEW was also real. Maybe repeatedly hearing all of that from all of the wrestlers he feuded with, even though it was kayfabed, made Punk feel like he could never escape the narrative that was told about him, so he just gave into it.

Reportedly most of the locker room is very angry at him, and it seems likely that he will be fired (if he doesn’t quit first). He actually got injured again in the title match at All Out, and won’t be able to wrestle for several months regardless. Currently, his status with the company is unclear. The status of the Elite, too, is unclear. It’s possible that they leave the company, or get their EVP jobs stripped from them, or they could come back fundamentally unchanged.

The “fracas”, as the dirtsheets are referring to it, is currently under investigation, and all of the wrestlers who were part of the altercation are currently suspended while they investigate, including Kenny (right after he just came back, too, :pensive:), and Punk and the Elite all had to vacate the titles they just won. It’s a tough time to be a fan of the company, because it feels like in many ways a betrayal of what AEW stood for at the beginning. Punk brought with him a deep bitterness and resentment that festered within him until there was nowhere else for it to go but out.

As of right now, this is all we really know. AEW is at a bit of a crossroads. Maybe Punk gets fired, and the wrestling world goes back to being a world without him in it, only this time he’s reviled as a villain instead of hailed as an anti-establishment hero for the people. Or maybe Punk and the Elite manage to mend fences somehow, and the whole thing becomes a legitimate worked shoot using this real conflict as a springboard.

Pro wrestling is a weird world where people hating each other can actually generate a massive amount of hype for a match and sell loads of tickets. But it’s also a world that requires immense trust between opponents (who quite literally have each other’s lives in their hands), and wrestlers have said over and over again that their worst matches are with people they don’t like (because there’s no trust there), and their best, most brutal and most spectacular matches are with people they actually love.

This is why Kenny Omega vs Kota Ibushi is the only match other than a G1 final to sell out Budokan Hall in the past 15 years, and they did it twice. Wrestling is at its best when the wrestlers genuinely love each other. Hate sells tickets, yes, but I think love actually sells more.

I’m extra bummed because this is the second major obstacle in the Golden Lovers storyline this year that stems from depressing shoot (a.k.a. real) stuff happening in their companies. I’m sure that they’re still determined to continue the storyline if at all possible, and I have faith in them finding some way, somehow. But it has been a very long 3+ years.

Obviously I missed Punk’s first, second, third, etc. go at things in the wrestling world, but at the same time, I feel like I got to live the entire CM Punk Experience, contained in this tiny microcosm of a year. I get why people hated him. I get why they loved him. It’s hard to fully unravel my emotions concerning AEW because its timeline matches up almost perfectly with my own timeline as a wrestling fan, and I’ve been following the company for essentially its entire existence, through its (many) growing pains and all of its biggest triumphs as well as tragedies.

But, well, I’m still here. And wrestling is still here. AEW is still here. The Golden Lovers are both still here, reaching constantly for a reunion that’s always just out of their grasp. I guess for me, the lesson is that, as always, you just have to love the things that you love while you still have them. Nothing is unshakable, and just because something is good now doesn’t mean it always will be. プロレスは諸行無常.

On a more positive note…

I used my Japanese ability to help out a real life friend! I also had my first actual conversation (in writing) in Japanese! So despite falling behind in some aspects of my studies due to all of the distractions, I did manage to actually use Japanese in some really cool and productive ways this level.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 3963 (and 2852 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

One of my friends was doing some genealogy research, and she discovered that one of her ancestors appears to be a Japanese woman who had a love affair with an American soldier during the Korean War. My friend was trying to track down more information about this woman, but all she had was a name, photo, and an address (written in romaji) from old letters. My friend asked me if I could help her track down more information about her. One of the biggest obstacles is that “Margie” is what her name is on the letters, and no one is sure if that was her actual name or just what he called her.

It was hard (and frustrating, haha) working with only romaji, but I think I did manage to translate it into an actual usable address, thanks to my kanji knowledge from WK. But Kokura City changed pretty significantly in the 60’s, and it looks like the neighborhood and establishment where the woman lived no longer exist. My friend was super grateful for the help, even though it feels like I actually did very little. I hope it’s enough to at least give her a place to start when looking for other resources.

Figuring out the city and district wasn’t too hard, but I was initially confused with “Ryokufuso. Tonary.” Then I realized that it was probably saying she lived next to, “(となり)”, an establishment called “Ryokufuso”. The one thing I couldn’t figure out was “Ōsonocho”. I wasn’t getting any results for おうそのちょう in that area, so my best guess was that it referred to the block or the street where she lived, which seems to be no longer there. I wondered if maybe it was “おうそ の 町”, perhaps “大曽の町”. I offered to help my friend with it some more if she gets stuck again. Hopefully there are English-language resources out there to help people who are trying to do this kind of research. In any case, having at least the prefecture/city/district/etc. pinned down should at least help her figure out who to ask to get more information.

In other news, I spent a bit of time looking at posts from Japanese fans regarding the AEW stuff. There are a few fan accounts that translate English-language wrestling news and occasional promos and such.

One of the most popular fan translation accounts made this tweet in reaction to the news that Kenny Omega had been suspended along with everyone else, and that the Elite had to vacate the trios titles. It actually really helped me understand the concept of 建前 haha, and it taught me the word/concept of 本音 in contrast to that.

On the surface (建前), the fan was talking about giving credit to AEW’s president for punishing both sides, because as an EVP, if Kenny doesn’t take responsibility if he caused trouble in some way, that sets a bad precedent for the other wrestlers and staff. But the fan’s real thoughts (本音) were dismay and disappointment that it had to happen haha. Judging from the number of likes, this was a relatable sentiment among the Japanese fanbase.

The episode of AEW after the media scrum was a pretty important one because it established the immediate direction the company is taking after all of this. A few wrestlers cut promos that were super vital, and I’d worried a bit that the Japanese fans might be missing them, especially if Michael Nakazawa isn’t going to be subtitling the episodes while he’s suspended. So I was really happy to see at least one fan translation of those promos circulating.

I ended up scrolling through that fan translator’s account and I found this essay they wrote on MJF and his AEW story. Reading the full essay is still a little bit out of reach for me unless I dedicate a lot of effort to it, but I was super impressed with what I did read. I read a lot of wrestling essays of this type written in English, but I hadn’t had much luck finding that same kind of essay in Japanese. I was really happy to see this one.

MJF is probably the most inaccessible wrestler in AEW for non-English speakers, in my opinion, since his main skill is his ability to talk (in-ring, he’s more or less just okay). Following his story this year has all kinds of additional complications because of the way that it blends work and shoot, and getting the full picture requires at least a little bit of awareness of what’s being reported in the dirtsheets.

It’s hard enough as a native English speaker to navigate the labyrinthine mine of rumor and myth (and frequent mistranslation) that is the wrestling dirtsheets. I can’t imagine trying to do it as a non-native speaker.

So I was super impressed by that essay because it weaves together MJF’s onscreen storyline with some of the backstage rumors that inform it, as well as incorporating a bit of CM Punk’s Ring of Honor history from well over a decade ago, which keeps getting referenced and paralleled in AEW’s shows. Writing an essay of this type requires a deep understanding of English-language wrestling history and fandom, not to mention the ability to translate MJF’s frequently slang-loaded and kayfabe-breaking promos. I’m glad that Japanese fans are getting to experience this story a little better thanks to this person’s efforts.

I ended up reaching out to this person with my TJPW translation account because I wanted to tell them how much I appreciated their work and offer some solidarity as another fan translator coming at this from the opposite side. And I had my first actual conversation with another person in Japanese!

I noticed after the fact that I’d made a typo in one of my tweets haha (that’s what I get for composing it while I was also watching DDT :sweat_smile:), but the person was super appreciative and really encouraging. They said they saw my TJPW blog, and I did great :blush:. They said, “東京女子プロレスの情報を発信されているということで、応援する団体は違えどもお互い頑張りましょう.”

I wasn’t exactly sure what level of politeness was appropriate for this kind of interaction, so I went in with what I understand to be sort of “default politeness”, a.k.a. using です/ます. The other fan responded to me with even more polite speech haha which was honestly above my level of understanding :sweat_smile:. But overall I think the interaction went very well! I feel less scared talking to someone who is also learning English, because I feel like we’re sort of on the same level, and there’s a lot of forgiveness for mistakes.

I had a bit of a hard time figuring out how to word this (I learned that a verb cannot in fact be passive and potential at the same time): “MJFの話を訳するのは特別に難しいので、日本人のファンも感動れられてもらうことができて特に嬉しいです!” A few hours after I sent it, it occurred to me that I had made the mistake of posting a public tweet with notorious vanity searcher MJF’s name in it. But I think the tweet being in Japanese saved me haha.

So, yeah, there was at least one positive thing that came out of the whole mess.

Another thing that was amusing to me is that Mugiko Ozaki, my favorite wrestling interviewer, talked about the English language diaries she’s doing with her English teacher, and she mentioned that her teacher is also a wrestling fan, so they spend a lot of time talking about wrestling haha. She wants to get better at English so that she’s able to conduct English-language interviews and such. She’s very dedicated to wanting to spread her love of joshi wrestling. One of my friends has been translating all of her interviews into English, and Ozaki is so delighted by this.

In non-wrestling news, I enjoyed this cup that someone shared on twitter. This was actually the second time I saw the word 珈琲 written in kanji that week. The other time was on the packaging for a fancy coffee accessory that my brother owned, haha. I don’t think I saw the word spelled in kana a single time on the packaging, only the kanji. Neither of those kanji are in WK, and I guess now is as good of a time as any to add them to Anki. I remember reading some debates about this word in the forum before (probably since it was included in a WK example sentence), with at least one person arguing that 珈琲 is rarely used in everyday life.

Yet another lesson that you can’t really make absolute statements like that about Japanese :sweat_smile:.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 39 – Lesson 40

I was lucky to get any textbook study done at all this level :sweat_smile:. But I did finish lesson 39 :triumph: (though I was technically a bit late…).

I don’t think I have anything in particular to report about this level, except that I used some of the grammar in this right away haha in my aforementioned twitter interaction. So I guess it came at a good time after all.

I think lesson 40 was the first level where I knew all of the kanji in the vocab? It’ll be interesting to see the numbers when the spreadsheet is complete.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 40 kanji!


Spanish (Reading: Antes de Ser Libres) (Listening: Duolingo podcast and La Casa de las Flores)

I made it 100 pages (out of 184) into Antes de Ser Libres by the end of the read every day challenge. I’d been hoping to get a lot more read, but, well, life had other plans :sweat_smile:. I did manage to faithfully read at least something every single day, though!

When September started, I got back into watching La Casa de las Flores! Since I’m refocusing on listening for a bit, I resumed where I left off in season two of the show. It’s still going pretty well, though I’m still missing a lot. It’s kind of funny because I’ll be pretty sure that something is happening in the show, but won’t be entirely certain that I understood it correctly, and then I’ll need to wait until the climax when everything comes together to find out how well I picked up on what was happening, haha.

I think I might honestly be at a point where I could move on from the Duolingo podcast? I’m not going looking for something else quite yet, because I do like the podcast, and figured I might as well listen to the remaining episodes, but I don’t really have trouble comprehending it at this point. That’s pretty cool!

I finished the summer read every day challenge with a perfect score! Didn’t miss a single day with either Spanish or Japanese. Click that link to read my recap post for the challenge. Those past two months were by far the most productive months I’ve had so far. I finished 11 show translations, and I think I translated more than 37,000 characters total.

When September started, I hopped back into the listen every day challenge for the off-month (again aiming to do both Spanish and Japanese). I’m not really doing anything particularly special to practice this time, except I am making an actual effort to watch every single TJPW backstage comments video and follow along with the shupro transcript. I’m a bit blown away by how much my listening has already improved since the last time I tried that challenge, honestly! I guess all of the translation work I’ve been doing has really been paying off.

No additional reading done this level on 大海原と大海原 or 新日本プロレス英語入門 or anything else. I couldn’t even get my bare minimum translation work done! :sweat_smile:

Finished just two show translations this level. The August 28 women-only show was another long one!

2022.08.27 TJPW PERFECTION — (4 words added)
2022.08.28 TJPW Go Girl 3~女性限定無料興行~ part 1 and part 2— (15 words added)

My wrestling deck is up to 978 words total. Still not all in circulation yet, mainly because I put a pause on adding new cards while I was busy. I’m on track to catch up within the next few weeks and be able to easily keep up with future additions from the shupro transcripts. I’d considered adding cards from other sources, possibly non-wrestling ones, but I think I’m going to hold off until my job situation is more stable, and until after National Novel Writing Month at the very least.

Depending on how things go, I might have to take it easier with Anki until I’m done with WK, if I do end up getting a full time job. Thankfully the wrestling cards do seem to be somewhat tapering off, partially thanks to me choosing not to translate the actual match/show recap parts and only translating the wrestlers’ comments, which use a more limited set of words.

New resources (pronunciation-related):

No progress here yet again! Too busy/distracted with other stuff :sweat_smile:.

New resources (not pronunciation-related):

Here are a few Japanese-English translation resources, which I have not actually looked into at all yet, but wanted to hold onto the links regardless. I still have no interest in doing this as a career, but I’ll take any resources I can find.

And here’s a book that seemed interesting: 江戸文化から見る男娼と男色の歴史 (“History of Male Prostitutes and Homosexuality Observed Through the Edo Culture”). Definitely not something I have the ability (or the time) to read currently, but I do like reading historical information about LGBTQ people in various cultures, so I might try picking it up a few years from now.

Next steps:

I’m really hoping that this next level is less eventful for me. I’m going to have to spend a decent amount of time working on a job application, but I’m really hoping that’s the only distraction I have to deal with besides normal work stuff.

My main goal is to be actually caught up on the TJPW translations by my next update. From there, I actually can start to think about other projects again. Of course, we’ll be heading into October, and I usually try to do some sort of drawing challenge during that month, haha, so my time for Japanese might be a little more limited, but I’m going to try to work with the time that I do have.

Onward to level 45! 行くぞ!


If it helps at all, my guess would be the の is probably part of the name, and the reading makes me think 大園町, which appears at least to exist in a few places (albeit not necessarily the specific one you’re looking for). Not necessarily a sure thing though of course!

edit to add more pondering: my best guess for the kanji for “Ryokufuso” would be 緑風荘, which seems like a plausible establishment name, in the sense that there are establishments named that. (working backwords from 荘 seeming like the most plausible “so” at the end of a name like that to me)


I don’t frequent this community very often but when I do I always check out this thread. You are doing great work and I appreciate everything you are doing. You are a real inspiration to プロレス fans studying the language for the sole purpose of knowing what Hyper Misao is saying.


Thank you! I’m really glad that it’s inspiring! I’m also glad that you’re appreciating the translations! Truthfully, they wouldn’t be half as good as they are without rodan’s extensive help, haha :sweat_smile:.

My goal with Japanese is to learn the language well enough that I can eventually help someone else who’s learning Japanese for wrestling in the same way that I’ve been helped :blush:.


Oh yeah also thanks to @rodan as well. I love when ye discuss the meanings and interpretations with each other. It’s things like that I find really useful and helpful for thinking out how to read sentences.


Made it to level 45!

Took about thirteen days. I even managed to get my job application submitted, too, though it took some time away from other things. There was also another major distraction :sweat_smile:.

This next part is going to sound so strange after the despair and hopelessness in my last post (if you’ve been following the pro wrestling thread, you know what’s coming), but the thing that got me into pro wrestling in the first place, the thing that ultimately inspired me to want to learn Japanese, the thing that I have been waiting 3+ years for…

It finally happened! :sob:

The Golden Lovers reunited!!!

They kind of did, uh, the equivalent of eloping :sweat_smile:? In the sense that the reunion happened very suddenly and on twitter (not in the ring anywhere), and it happened while both of them are currently being punished by their respective companies. If we needed a reminder that the Golden Lovers story is theirs, and it doesn’t belong to any company, well, there you have it (I talk more about the industry stuff (and where that leaves them) in this post, if you’re curious about it or are just deeply nosy about backstage drama).

Something kind of darkly funny to me is that the level 38 kanji 懸 came up for review a few days ago, and I realized that Kenny Omega, who is currently suspended, had given me a new mnemonic for the kanji meaning “suspend” with the reading “けん” :sweat_smile:.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 4088 (and 2952 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

This is going to be mostly the Golden Lovers reunion section, haha, sorry in advance!


The reunion happened because Kenny was in Japan (for the Tokyo Games Show) for the first time in years (thanks to the pandemic), and I guess he and Kota got tired of keeping kayfabe (can’t say I blame them) and didn’t want to do the sneaking around and seeing each other in secret that they had to do the last time their characters weren’t on speaking terms.

Here was Kota Ibushi’s original tweet from September 14 (September 15 in Japan… Kirk/Spock Day…), with photos of him and Kenny and Michael Nakazawa. He also replied to a few tweets from fans, and his replies were very sweet (and sad), and the Japanese is easy enough, I didn’t have any trouble reading them :pleading_face:.

For those who don’t know the deep Golden Lovers lore, they’ve been having dinner dates like this for fourteen years, and Michael Nakazawa has been third-wheeling them for fourteen years. He served as their translator at first, but he has said (many times, but here’s a recent one) that his translations were unnecessary, haha, because even when Kenny couldn’t speak Japanese, the Golden Lovers were still able to somehow understand each other.

Kenny posted a reply to Kota’s tweet the day afterward. Thanks to his tweet, I learned the phrase 温故知新(おんこちしん), which is apparently a proverb about developing new ideas based on study of the past. Based on the context (the photo is staged pretty clearly like it’s meant to imply a date, with the candle on the table and the two straws in the drink), it seems like he’s saying that the Golden Lovers are giving their relationship another try, with the intent of not repeating the mistakes they made in the past.

Michael Nakazawa lightly poked fun at Kenny’s tweet when quote-retweeting a reunion of his own, fulfilling the time-honored tradition that there must always be a DDT parody of any Golden Lovers reunion.


This exchange is also the first time that Kenny has interacted directly with any of Kota’s tweets since maybe early 2019. The last time they exchanged tweets (January 2021), Kenny actually replied to Nak’s translation of Kota’s tweet, not the tweet itself. So he was still using Nak as a mediator, almost like he was afraid to speak directly to Kota.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been happier to add a word to Anki than I was to add “温故知新”. Every time the card comes up, it just makes me smile.

I’m looking forward to being able to learn more words from Golden-Lovers-related stuff in the future. I guess one small benefit of this reunion taking so long to happen is that I had the time to start learning Japanese in the meantime, which means that I’m better able to appreciate the story that we’re getting now, as well as the past.

In non-Golden-Lovers news, Jun Kasai had a match with El Desperado, which I did not watch (deathmatch stuff isn’t my cup of tea, though this one was apparently extremely good, according to everyone I know who did watch it). Someone pointed something out in this tweet (warning for, uh, photos of a deathmatch :sweat_smile:) from Jun Kasai that is super cool: he spells the word for match, 試合(しあい), with 死愛(しあい) instead. Death and love…

That really embodies so much about both Kasai and Despy, and about deathmatch wrestling and wrestling in general.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 40 – Lesson 41

I thought I was finally wise to the ways of counters and rendaku, but one of the workbooks tested me on 冊, 個, 杯, and 本, and I did alright on all of the 1s, 3s, and 8s, but messed up ろくさつ and よんほん haha because I was expecting tricks and there were none :sweat_smile:. I also missed the whole row of 10s, as well as なんばい and なんぼん. So, clearly I need more practice! I put everything in the rows I failed into my MNN extras deck in Anki, which mostly consists of various counters that I have trouble with.

An exercise in lesson 40 asked me to talk about a famous or interesting incident that I know about. Well, you see, there is a man named CMパンク… :sweat_smile: :sweat: (プロレスファンとして、大変なときでした。)

Judging by some of the vocab for lesson 41, I suspect I might soon be rereading one of the stories I read while listening/reading to some 童話 a couple months back…

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 41 kanji!


Spanish (Reading: Antes de Ser Libres) (Listening: Duolingo podcast and La Casa de las Flores)

Got pretty much zero reading in Spanish done besides just incidental stuff and I guess reading my own transcription of a bit of Spanish audio, but I had a pretty cool breakthrough with Spanish listening that I will talk about a bit later!

I also finished La Casa de las Flores! The main show, at least. I found out there are a few specials on Netflix in addition to the main three seasons. So I’m planning on watching those as I’m finishing up the listening challenge this month.

I actually really liked the show, though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to everyone. The show likes to play with telenovela tropes (for better or for worse), and depending on your tolerance for those, you might get more or less out of the experience. I will say that it’s a great show to watch if you like your media having lots of central LGBTQ characters, but the characters do experience a fair amount of transphobia and homophobia, and there is some very intense anti-gay violence in the last season, so just a warning for that.

By the end of the show, I was wanting to binge the rest of the season, haha, but I forced myself to ration the episodes so that I could watch one each day to fulfill the listen every day challenge :sweat_smile:. I’m still not exactly sure what I’m going to use to fill out the remainder of September, though I do have plenty of episodes of the Duolingo podcast left.

The listen every day challenge is still coming along somehow! I haven’t missed a day yet with either Spanish or Japanese. I think I am definitely improving, though it’s especially hard to say with listening.

I did somehow find the time to translate a few more senryu:




That first one ended up sparking some debate in another thread, mostly over the concept of the contrastive は. It was an interesting conversation that was a better lesson for me on the concept than I could probably get from any textbook, haha. The best way to learn is when you’re either getting corrected on your own grammar or are correcting someone else on theirs, I think :sweat_smile:.

No progress on 大海原と大海原. It’s looking like it might be 2023 before I get around to finishing it, at this rate :sweat_smile:. I guess maybe December will offer another window of opportunity…

Also, I didn’t plan on doing this, but I did end up finishing the glossary chapter of 新日本プロレス英語入門. I ended up using that chapter to create a glossary of pro wrestling terms for use with the CAT software Smartcat (more on that in a bit), so I decided to finish reading the whole thing.

Here is the NJPW English pro wrestling terms glossary I created, if anyone wants it for any reason. I ended up including 207 terms, which is a lot more than I was expecting! I left out some words that didn’t seem necessary to include, and included some that are probably more useful from the other direction (English to Japanese), but I figured it’s still a neat reference to have.

I might add more terms to it from elsewhere in the book once I get around to reading more of it, but I’m not sure when I’ll next have time to read it :sweat_smile:.

Here are the TJPW show translations I got done (these were all pre-CAT, so I don’t know yet how trying out that software will affect my overall process):

2022.09.03 TJPW AUTUMN TOUR ’22 — (6 words added)
2022.09.04 TJPW CITY CIRCUIT~名古屋公演~ — (10 words added)
2022.09.11 TJPW INSPIRATION — (10 words added)

I learned a new non-WK kanji while translating that I really liked! It’s , which I encountered when Saki Akai used the word (さかのぼ)る, which means to go upstream or to go back (to the past or origin). Those are basically the main meanings that the kanji is associated with. I found it interesting that Japanese also associates swimming upstream with going back to the past. 遡河魚 is apparently the word for anadromous fish (fish that migrates upstream, e.g. salmon).

I also had probably the most interesting translation experience of my life so far. I talked about it a bit more in the TJPW Inspiration post, but basically, two wrestlers from the Mexican company CMLL, Dalys and Stephanie Vaquer, came to TJPW for a one-off match, and naturally they did their post-match comments in Spanish. So I had the Spanish video and then a Japanese translation of it to work from, and I had to get it into English somehow!

I ended up transcribing the Spanish audio, then translating from that, after getting my transcription double-checked by a friend who’s fluent in Spanish to make sure it was correct. That same friend double-checked my translation, too. It was a real test of my Spanish listening comprehension, which has thankfully improved substantially since I started doing the listen every day challenge! I made several mistakes when transcribing, but did better than I expected. It’s funny, because I don’t think the Japanese translation of the Spanish on the shupro site was actually very good :sweat_smile:. Mine was better!! :triumph:

My pro wrestling deck on Anki just passed 1005 words! 83 still aren’t in circulation yet, so I can’t quite claim to have learned 1000 words from pro wrestling just yet, but we’re getting there.

New resources (pronunciation-related):

No progress again, though hopefully I’ll have better luck on this front over this next level, now that I have a little more time!

New resources (not pronunciation-related):

This is more of a resource for, uh, professional translators than language learners, but one of my friends recommended I use Smartcat for my TJPW translations, because it has been helping speed things up a lot with her own wrestling translations. I’m still very new to the world of CAT (computer-aided translation), so I’ll probably make a more detailed post about it later, after I’ve learned the ropes a little, but it seems like a neat program! It’s web-based, so Yomichan still works on it, and the way it splits everything up line-by-line is pretty helpful. It’s also free, which is awesome.

It learns from your previous translation choices, which is really handy for stuff like wrestling, which machine translation and dictionaries often struggle with. You can also upload your own glossaries (like the word list I made from the NJPW English book). The cost of it being free is that your own translations get used to train machine translation, but honestly with wrestling stuff, that’s almost more of a plus :sweat_smile:. Ultimately my goal is to prevent false rumors and such from spreading, and the better machine translation gets, the less that happens.

Something that’s especially fun about Smartcat is that it tells you what percentage of the text you’ve translated, so it’s really handy for tracking overall progress and splitting up the workload into more manageable chunks, and it’s good for the part of my brain that likes to watch numbers go up, haha.

This isn’t a direct resource in the sense that I normally use this section for, but I wanted to link to Vanilla’s post on consistency because I feel like his advice is very solid, and every single item on his list is something that has helped me achieve consistency in my own Japanese language journey, though obviously I’ve only been doing this for about a year and a half, compared to his five years.

If you’re following my log and struggling in your own studies, I highly recommend giving that post a read. Though, the steps that require mindset changes are probably more difficult to do than simply changing up your routine. I’m not sure exactly what to suggest trying if you’re struggling with those, except for maybe creating a study log?

It’s great to have a place where you can talk about Japanese content that you love, acknowledge your language failures with fondness, celebrate your small successes, record really cool and interesting things you’re learning about the language, and cultivate much smaller goals to work toward than “fluency”. I’ve mentioned this before, but I actually really look forward to updating my study log every level, haha, and I take a lot of notes on things I want to include throughout the level. Finally getting to share those things is my reward for making progress.

Next steps:

I’m going to be doing a drawing challenge during the month of October again (and then NaNoWriMo right after that…), so I’m fully expecting to have a lot less time to study very soon :sweat_smile:.

I’m hoping to finish studying the basics of Japanese pronunciation/pitch accent before I get swamped with everything else. I’d also like to work on my various other projects, but, well, we’ll see. As always, my priorities are keeping up with SRS, the TJPW translations, and making progress on my textbook. Everything else will just have to fit around that.

Onward to level 46! 行くぞ!


Hey, just wanted to mention that briefly talking about you being into wrestling made me remember I have a friend really into wrestling so I forwarded your Twitter account his way.

“yo, total japan!
It’s hard to get comprehensive details on storylines and characters over in japan because of the language barrier
so this rules”

So I’m happy to say I know one new person who appreciates what you’re up to :slightly_smiling_face:


Oh that’s awesome, thank you! I’m glad your friend appreciates the account! :blush:

It’s actually kind of funny, because I’ve been retweeting some English-language interviews with the TJPW wrestlers to my translation account to help promote them, and I’m not sure who those publications have doing those translations, but, uh, most of them are not that great :sweat_smile:. My own translations (even without rodan’s help) are better, and I’m not saying that as a compliment to my own work.

When reading them, I sometimes can figure out what the wrestlers were probably saying in Japanese just because I can recognize common ways that machine translation usually interprets it.

It’s kind of a shame to me that for many people, those interviews are probably all they really have to go on for understanding the motivations of the wrestlers. I hope those publications are eventually able to find better translators if they want to keep publishing interviews.


Yeah, you’re welcome! It’s a really cool thing you do!

Translation standards really are low, huh? I guess when you know your target audience doesn’t know the original it’s not hard to feel like a low point is “good enough.” I’ve always experienced that from videogames, there’s a certain Japanese voice to all but the best translations, where a final pass of localization didn’t quite happen and there are speech patterns that just don’t come up with native English speakers really, even though it’s all essentially coherent. Your examples may be even worse though.

You know I was actually thinking about you nudging me to do translation recently, heh. I’ve been mentioning how much I’m playing Splatoon 3 – stumbled onto a guy who makes educational content for the game talking about how there’s a real need for translation. Japanese meta tends to be very different from the things western players gravitate towards, and the Japanese players (really both solo queue and the very top teams) are, quite frankly, just known to be better. Western teams sometimes emulate that stuff through simply what they see in tournaments, but yeah.

I considered giving it a quick look at least, though I was a little disappointed to learn that the kind of Japanese guides he was talking about are likely usually video rather than written, which is definitely harder for me. And there wasn’t a real precise place given. I’m not hooked in that much with the competitive community. They advised checking out a specific recurring league and then trying to chase down the players for Youtube accounts and whatnot, but I haven’t spent the time going to all that effort, at least so far.

Ehh, who knows :melting_face:


Oh that’s super cool! I’m pretty out of the competitive gaming loop (for all games and in all languages), but my brother is into it, and I have lots of friends who are as well, so I hear bits and pieces about what’s going on in various scenes.

I’d never even thought about the need for translation there, but that totally makes sense! That’s really interesting. I wonder if the youtube autocaptioning feature could help you out there. I bet even if you tried to translate just a little, it would improve your own playing, and also lots of people would be very grateful, haha. It would be cool to sort of bridge those two worlds a little.


Yeah I’ve never really been into the high level competitive stuff in games either except sorta passively for a couple games I was really into, it was Team Fortress 2 years ago before this. I follow a few English Splatoon high level players mostly just because it being the small thing it is, they give off really chill vibes. So much of actual esports tries so hard to look cool, heh.

There really is a big divide in the two playerbases, and the game is SO popular in Japan. Something like 3% of the country bought it within a couple weeks, heh, and IIRC it’s just the largest videogame launch in Japan now. Still toying with the idea of at least exploring in that direction, though I’m not looking forward to learning the alternate names for 100s of game mechanics/maps/weapons/etc haha.


Made it to level 46!

Took over fourteen and a half days, which is a bit on the longer end, but that’s totally okay. I’m actually slightly reducing my pace from here on out: I’m going from 11 lessons a day (3 kanji and 8 vocab) to 10 a day (3 kanji and 7 vocab). There are less vocab lessons for these later levels, so I might end up further reducing my daily lesson count. It’s not really resulting in less work, haha, because I have more daily reviews due to more items in circulation and more leeches, but it’s compensating a bit to balance that out.

For once, it was a pretty quiet level. I spent a lot of time making Corsi-Rosenthal boxes for the library and my home, because covid is still a concern as well as ongoing wildfire smoke in the area. Turns out having good air is very nice! Would recommend!

My translation twitter account for TJPW gained a huge burst of followers last week, and now has over 140. It’s a bit scary, honestly… But I had a couple people tell me that they’ve been following me for a couple months now, and they really appreciate everything I do. That part of it is nice.

My October drawing challenge is going well. I have various artistic skills, but drawing is not something I’m especially good at, so I try to practice a little every year so that I’ll gradually get better. I’m someone who does very well with “do [BLANK] every day for a month” type of challenges, as I guess is probably obvious :sweat_smile:.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 4217 (and 3054 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

Here was something I found fun: if you want to write 株式会社, the general term for corporations, but you want it to take up less space, there is a special unicode character that puts all four kanji into one character: ㍿. Yomichan apparently thinks it’s an abomination and doesn’t want to recognize it, haha.

AEW has been a bit of a mess lately for a variety of reasons, but it hasn’t stopped me from watching. One of the funniest things they’ve done is that they’ve managed to get “scissor me, daddy ass!” over as a catchphrase, to the point where thousands of people will chant it and different variations of it at shows. The joke has continued to the point where they celebrated “national scissoring day” at their three year anniversary show last Wednesday.

I got distracted for a good chunk of the segment wondering how on earth the Japanese translation team was going to handle that one. “scissor me, daddy ass!” is a hard enough phrase to explain in English, haha, because there’s a lot of wordplay involved and it’s very referential. Billy Gunn getting referred to as “daddy ass” is a joke that evolved out of his own wrestling gimmick coupled with Danhausen nicknaming his sons the “ass boys”, and the “scissor me” part was a joke that the Acclaimed started by making a scissoring gesture with their hands after winning matches. Anthony Bowens, a gay man, took it to the next level by combining the two when they started teaming up with the Gunn Club. In any case, the catchphrase is loaded with so many double entendres, I do not envy the job of whoever has to translate it.

Just for fun, I came up with my own translation as a joke: “性的に魅力的な男性のケツ、私をはさみすろ!” I used the NJPW English book’s definition for “daddy” haha, even though it’s not really an appropriate translation choice here because it lacks both the snappiness and also the literal “father” connotations. Thanks to Kamiyu for teaching me ケツ.

Interestingly, my fellow fan translator made a different translation decision with “scissoring” than I did: they used 国際チョキチョキデー for “national scissoring day”. I got curious about how the Japanese AEW account translated it, but the only tweet I found just… used the English hashtag, haha (someone must’ve decided that attempting to translate that was a bit above their pay grade…)! Yomichan tells me that “チョキ” refers to the scissors in rock paper scissors, so I wonder if maybe that’s why the fan translator went with that instead of はさみ, since the Acclaimed do a scissors gesture with their hands. (The segment also did end with a rock paper scissors joke).

I was curious about the Japanese term for the, er, more common use of “scissoring” as a verb, because I was wondering if maybe that part was getting lost in translation if the double entendre didn’t also exist in Japanese, but I wasn’t brave enough to try venturing beyond wikipedia in my google investigation :sweat_smile: (and Yomichan isn’t enabled in incognito browsing, which is something I had not anticipated being a problem until now). I don’t have a NJPW subscription anymore, so I can’t check the Japanese commentary feed for AEW to see how they chose to handle that translation, if at all.

In any case, translation: it’s a hard job!

みんなの日本語 Lesson 41 – Lesson 42

I was correct! Lesson 41 did indeed contain a version of the 昔話 featuring 浦島太郎! I know this one already haha. The MNN version was slightly easier than the other version I read. The exercise afterward asked me to tell a 昔話 from my own country. I tried to come up with a folk tale that I’d be able to describe with my existing vocabulary, struggled for a bit, then gave up and wrote about Supernatural as a joke :sweat_smile: (thanks again to Kamiyu for the monster hunting vocabulary).

I also learned a bit of the even more polite language that that fan translator used when talking to me, haha! It’s funny what people say is and isn’t useful to learn as a beginner. I guess individual experiences can really vary a whole lot.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 42 kanji!


Spanish (Reading: Antes de Ser Libres and La Casa de las Flores fanfiction) (Listening: Duolingo podcast, La Casa de las Flores, Elisa y Marcela)

I watched the La Casa de las Flores special and movie! I finished out the month by watching Elisa y Marcela, which is a period piece about a real lesbian couple who managed to get legally married by tricking a priest over 100 years before gay marriage was legal in Spain.

I thought the movie was decent, and the dialogue was a lot more sparse than La Casa de las Flores, which made it a much easier listening experience!

I also dipped my toes into La Casa de las Flores fanfiction. There isn’t a whole lot of it on AO3, but a large chunk of it is in Spanish. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s mostly Paulina/María José, which is a ship I’m totally down to read. I ended up trying one out, and it was actually pretty doable! I barely had to look up any words, which is cool. It was easier than watching the show for sure. I suspect that the reading difficulty probably varies heavily depending on the individual fic writer.

I’m going to focus on finishing Antes de Ser Libres, but I might end up using fanfic for some of my daily reading, haha!

I finished the month-long listen every day challenge I did with a perfect score! I signed up for the fall read every day challenge, though I’m already falling behind on actually updating my chart, haha. I haven’t missed a day yet, even though it doesn’t look it!

Translated a couple more senryu! Here they are:



Believe it or not, I actually got another chapter of 大海原と大海原 read. I had several days with nothing to translate, so I decided I might as well pick up the manga again. I finished chapter 5! Once again, it was unbelievably easier than the last time I read anything from it, haha. It makes me feel good when I see someone in the book club thread asking questions about a line that would have confused me months ago but which I now have no trouble understanding. I think translating stuff for wrestling actually helps a lot with manga because both are mostly dialogue, and there’s a lot of colloquial speech used.

I finished two TJPW show translations:

2022.09.16 TJPW AUTUMN TOUR ’22 — (11 words added)
2022.09.24 TJPW AUTUMN TOUR ’22 (part 2) — (15 words added)

I did both of these with Smartcat! I really like the program so far, and I think it does speed things up a lot. I haven’t really used it enough for it to have developed an extensive library of my past translation choices yet, but the biggest benefit I’ve seen from it so far is the way it separates the whole translation out, line by line. It makes it way less intimidating to get started on longer projects, and it’s way easier to parse the text when it’s not in huge blocks. It’s kind to my ADHD, at least, haha. The percentage bar at the top is also great. It helps me portion the whole thing out so that I can aim for getting another 20% done that day, and that sort of thing.

TJPW’s former biggest show of the year (it has been supplanted by other shows they added to the lineup in 2022), Wrestle Princess, was on October 9! This is going to be my longest translation thus far because it’s the first of their three big shows this year that I’ve had a full transcript for. So I’m looking at a document that is 9963 characters! :scream:

I have under a week to finish it if I want to get it done before their next show. This is definitely not happening :sweat_smile:. I’m going to try to do the best that I can, though.

My wrestling deck on Anki has 1,045 words in it! 74 still aren’t in circulation. We’ll get there eventually.

New resources (pronunciation-related):

None! I’ll try to get around to working on this again by my next update? :sweat_smile:

New resources (not pronunciation-related):

Tofugu posted an article with new learning resources in fall 2022, and the only one I’ve tried so far was Chika Sensei’s Japanese Academy’s JLPT grammar lists, mainly because I was curious to see exactly how much grammar I had learned. I could confidently check all the boxes on N5, almost everything on N4, and some of the N3. I didn’t bother looking at the rest, haha. That’s about where I feel I’m at, so it makes sense. There was some grammar I’ve seen when reading/translating that I can recognize, but which I can’t confidently say that I know (my rubric when grading myself was whether or not I could correctly use the grammar in a sentence in addition to recognizing it).

I’m not sure how useful this is as a learning resource, but apparently there is now a Japan Fact-Check Center, thanks to a grant from Google. It’s a resource for checking the validity of information in Japanese media.

Next steps:

It’s going to be a busy next couple weeks for me, but I’m going to do my best to keep juggling all of my different projects and various responsibilities. I’ve managed to survive so far!

They’re offering a free conversational Spanish class for faculty and staff at the college I work at. I ended up signing up for the intermediate one :sweat_smile:. It’s a little bit scary, because speaking is still really intimidating to me, but I do really need it for work. It’s kind of funny because before, I used to be very afraid of the thought of attending a class entirely in Spanish, but I actually wrote on the feedback survey for this one that I would prefer it if they taught as much of it in Spanish as possible. I’ve learned that my listening comprehension of Spanish is way better than I thought, and I don’t think I’d have trouble with beginner level Spanish, as long as the teacher doesn’t speak too fast. No idea if they’ll actually do it that way or not. I guess I’ll report back on how it goes.

There was some interest on twitter when I floated the idea of writing a blog post with Japanese language learning advice/tools with specifically a wrestling focus in mind, so I think I’m going to start a document compiling stuff and slowly add to it as I can, and then publish it when it’s complete enough. Mostly I want to be able to tell people about Yomichan, ichi.moe, and the existence of the shupro show transcripts. Everyone reading my study log has gotten to experience me learning all of this the hard way, haha.

Onward to level 47! 行くぞ!


Made it to level 47!

Took about fourteen days. Things have been a little busier than average, thanks to the drawing challenge I’m doing this month, a job interview I had last week, my new biweekly conversational Spanish class, some charity work that has been keeping me busy, and the longest translation I’ve done thus far. Still managing to keep up, though!

The conversational Spanish class is going alright so far. The Spanish is definitely below my level, but that’s okay because I’m not really able to speak at the level I’m able to understand (the consequences of going hard on input without practicing output for years…). I’m happy to report that the instructor has been teaching a lot of it in Spanish as I requested, and I am in fact able to more or less understand it just fine.

It’s kind of interesting how the class material and style of teaching differs so much from the Spanish classes I took in high school, as well as Duolingo’s Spanish program. This class touches on some grammar that wasn’t taught to me until Spanish II, and teaches it in a much more quick and dirty way without really dwelling on memorizing full conjugation charts or any of that. We practiced some common grammar/vocab that I hadn’t learned until I saw it a lot in La Casa de las Flores and the books I’ve been reading. I’m not sure I’d like learning this way if I didn’t already have a base of knowledge to work from.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 4342 (and 3165 in KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

A NOAH fan on twitter had a bit of a homophobic meltdown over Marufuji and Sugiura holding hands in a video that NOAH published. That video was particularly funny to me because many months ago in this study log (July 2021), I posted about being very surprised to see 彼 used by those two wrestlers in a video package for a Marufuji vs Sugiura match, because it was my first time encountering that word outside of the context of it being used to refer to someone’s boyfriend.

There was another homophobic twitter meltdown (I think by a different NOAH fan??) that went viral within the past few days, wherein a fan basically said he watched NOAH because it was properly masculine, unlike other wrestling. Right after this happened, retired Pro Wrestling NOAH legend Kenta Kobashi posted photos of himself getting his nails done for the first time, which was pretty great timing (his nails turned out really cool so I recommend clicking!).

Mercedes Varnado (formerly known as Sasha Banks in WWE) has been teasing various matches with joshi wrestlers from other promotions, and in one of those interactions, she tweeted “Hola” at Miyu Yamashita, who had just arrived in Spain for a show. Miyu responded “HOLAAァァ?!、、” which made me laugh haha. The way her Spanish transitioned into Japanese in her excitement.

Miyu and Mercedes actually ended up getting to meet each other a few days later.

During TJPW’s October 14 show, the three remaining candidates from TJPW’s 夢プロレス project all had exhibition matches agains three of the top talents in the company. After the matches ended, TJPW asked fans to vote for which of the three candidates they were moved by the most during their match. I ended up trying to translate the rules for voting during the show haha, though I don’t know if anyone really needed it. I also belatedly realized I forgot to include the #TJPW tag haha but oh well :sweat_smile:.

This one isn’t really a “fun” encounter, but I got a bit worried about Hyper Misao because of some tweets she was making where she seemed really discouraged, and seemed to be considering retiring again. The first one where she said she might retire if she didn’t reach 10k followers before the end of the year seemed to be less serious, but the last one worried me a little more because おまけ was the word she’d used earlier this year to describe when she’d discovered pro wrestling after her suicide attempt in 2015, and her speaking about this “bonus track” to her life (as she’d translated it) in the past tense was a bit concerning. The tweets were also made at a very late hour in Japan, which after Hana Kimura’s situation, always worries me, especially when they’re coming from someone with a history of depression.

I ended up composing a supportive reply to her in Japanese. I told her that she’s one of the reasons why I’m learning Japanese, and I got into TJPW in the first place because I was moved by her story in 2019. I’m not sure if she saw the reply or not, but I hope she knows that she’s loved and appreciated by people all over the world.

If anyone reading this is a fan of Misao, it might be a good idea to send her some extra support (her English is honestly decent, so don’t feel like you have to try to write in Japanese if you don’t feel confident producing Japanese!), or at least follow her on twitter.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 42 – Lesson 43

The 標準問題集 workbook had a review exercise for lessons 34-42, and it went about as well as these always go for me, haha, which is to say I got 78/100 right :sweat_smile: (I guess it’s a slight improvement on my score for the lesson 26-33 review, which was 74/100). As always, I treat these like a proper test and don’t let myself look anything up in my textbook, notes, or the internet (besides kanji stroke order so that I can write my answers properly). Usually that means I get got by some verb form or other grammar point I learned months ago, which my memory has since gotten slightly vague on… But, well, as long as I’m able to understand why the right answer is correct for everything I missed, I think I’ll be alright.

I think that means I’m about a third of the way through MNN 2? Not bad! From here, it looks like the number of vocab per chapter is lower for most of the remaining lessons, which I’m looking forward to, haha.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 43 kanji!


Spanish (Reading: Antes de Ser Libres) (Listening: AAA’s Triplemania)

Reading has been slow, but I’m still managing to read at least a couple pages every day! I’m on page 144/184 of Antes de Ser Libres, and expect to finish it before the end of next month.

I haven’t been actively practicing my Spanish listening, but I did tune in for the latter half of AAA’s Triplemania show on October 15, and it ended up being my biggest listening comprehension victory thus far! The show had Spanish commentary, and I was blown away by the fact that I could… actually understand it for the most part? I had probably 80% comprehension, even without subtitles.

I’m not sure what exactly changed since the last time I watched lucha libre, since I haven’t really been watching/reading much wrestling stuff in Spanish lately. I guess it was probably a combination of reading (which improved my vocab) and then listening to the Duolingo podcast and then the TV show and films I watched for the summer listen every day challenge, which boosted my comprehension speed as well as gave me practice with recognizing words when I hear them.

It made the show a lot more fun because I was able to get more context on the wrestlers I wasn’t as familiar with (the commentary would point out notable moves and explain some of the characters’ history), and I also caught what felt like a fun easter egg lol when the commentary mentioned that Kenny Omega wanted to be in the match for the Megacampeonato belt, but his AEW suspension prevented it. That is more than has been officially said on AEW television regarding his current status. Being multilingual with pro wrestling gets you all kinds of fun bonus information haha.

It was just really cool! Felt like all of my studies were really starting to pay off. It’s super neat to watch native content without subtitles and actually understand it.

Still going strong with the read every day challenge, though the challenge itself has definitely taken a backseat in my priorities.

I translated just one senryu:


Been too busy with TJPW translations to read any more of 大海原と大海原 or anything else. I got just one translation done, but it was my longest yet, at almost 10k characters, so I’m proud of that! It was so long, I had to split my posts about it into three parts for the pro wrestling thread:

2022.10.09 TJPW WRESTLE PRINCESS Ⅲ — (38 words added)
(part one)
(part two)
(part three)

I’m behind again on the TJPW translations, thanks to the length of the Wrestle Princess one, but everything after that has been a lot shorter, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to get caught up soon!

My Anki deck currently has 1,079 words in it, though 110 still aren’t in circulation yet. I’d hoped to get to 1,000 before November, but it doesn’t look like that’ll be happening. That’s okay, though! It’s more important that I don’t burn myself out.

The end of this level marks the start of a short Anki freeze for me. I’m going to be doing my reviews every day, and will be adding my textbook vocab as needed, but I’m not adding any new cards from my immersion to my circulating deck (I have a deck named “beneath the ring” that contains wrestling cards waiting to get added to circulation. I also have a “retired” deck that contains retired wrestling cards, and a “suspended” deck that contains suspended wrestling leeches. Those two decks didn’t get fun names because those are both concepts that already naturally exist in wrestling, though I did briefly consider changing the name of the “suspended” deck to “The Elite and CM Punk” as a joke).

The reason for the Anki freeze is that I’m preparing for NaNoWriMo next month, which is going to eat into a lot of my spare time (and there’s a possibility I will be going from working 16 hours a week to 40… :sweat_smile:), so I want to reduce my SRS workload during the month of November. Hopefully I’ll be able to start things back up in December!

New resources (pronunciation-related):

I actually found the time to get back to this! Continuing once again with this guide

I think I’m going to stop here for now. The section on phonetics in this guide looks useful, but I think I’d probably get more out of it if I was regularly practicing speaking, haha. That’s in the “maybe someday” category for me.

I do have to say, I have absolutely no idea how anyone could really start with learning pitch accent at the very beginning when learning Japanese. I feel like the videos and guides above would have absolutely done my head in if I watched them without a basic understanding of Japanese grammar and lots of hours of experience with listening to Japanese. Either that, or I would have been bored to death or overwhelmed, and would have likely given up!

But, well, I’ve managed to reach a point where pitch accent charts for words are actually useful for me, and I can conceptualize how words sound in terms of their pitch accent, and that’s pretty much what I wanted to get out of this. I think my main strategy going forward is that I’m going to try to pay attention to which sound in a word is accented (if any) when learning new words.

New resources (not pronunciation-related):

I found a game that seems like it might be worth tracking down. As this twitter thread describes it, it’s a 2002 video game called Trans, with the interesting subtitle of “僕とあたしの境界線”, which was made by a game company run by and for Japanese crossdressers. The mechanics of it are really fascinating, and apparently the company is still around and they ported the game to modern PCs in 2011. I’m marking this one down to try a bit later, when my Japanese is better, but it’s very intriguing!

Someone on twitter mentioned that the creator of the manga グラップラー刃牙外伝 recently made the digital version free in honor of Antonio Inoki (a very influential wrestling legend who recently passed away). Apparently the manga has furigana, so it’s more accessible to beginners (not that this matters for me now). I don’t really know anything about this manga and don’t know if it’ll be to my tastes or not, but thought I’d include it here regardless.

I watched this presentation by Mishima Kitan from earlier this year on the current state of LGBTQIA+ progress in Japan. It’s, uh, pretty bleak, honestly. So just a warning for that if you decide to check it out. There are some links to some further information, including some resources in Japanese if this is a subject that is of interest to you.

I discovered Fontworks, a Japanese type foundry. There are some neat fonts on here, though I’m pretty set for now, with everything I downloaded to use with the Jitai script :sweat_smile:.

With the yen being so weak right now, and since I had already ordered some wrestling goods from Japan, I ended up caving and buying some more books :sweat_smile:. I bought プロレス語辞典: プロレスにまつわる言葉をイラストと豆知識で元気に読み解く, which is a wrestling dictionary that CyberFight president Sanshiro Takagi was involved with, and which rodan has been helpfully consulting for answers to some tricky translation questions in the pro wrestling thread.

I also bought all of the volumes of よつばと!, which I found used for a good deal on Amazon. I had been a bit reluctant to buy print manga, not really having the shelf space to spare for it I still own a fair amount of manga in English from my high school years, but I already know that I love Yotsuba in English, so I figured I would not regret owning it in Japanese. All of these books are getting shipped with my other stuff via Tenso, so I expect it to be a few months before they arrive, haha.

Next steps:

I’m currently gearing up for the start of November, which means the start of National Novel Writing Month and also possibly the start of a full-time job for me, if my interview last week went well. If my interview last week went poorly, then, well, at least I’ll have more time for Japanese? :sweat_smile:

I’m trying to stay positive, but waiting is stressful. Feels like I’ve been doing a lot of waiting lately, between waiting for news on my job, waiting for the wildfire smoke to clear and for the pandemic situation to improve (not sure I’ll ever see this happen), and waiting for my favorite wrestlers to be able to actually wrestle again…

Nothing really to do about that, though, besides try and focus on other things, so I’m trying to work on my translations and keep up with my studying in general. Sometimes I feel like the TJPW translations are the sole thread on this earth keeping me sane. It’s fun getting more insight into the stories and characters, and it feels good to think that I’m helping other people get more enjoyment out of them, too. That’s something, at least.

Onward to level 48! 行くぞ!


Made it to level 48!

It took almost fifteen days, and it has honestly been a terrible past couple weeks for me, but weirdly enough, I’m coming out of it more committed than ever to studying Japanese? Basically, I did not get the job I applied for, so my part time position at the library will be ending after December, and the whole experience is causing me to rethink a lot of things about my career, and I guess reevaluate what I’m doing with my life :sweat_smile: :sweat:.

(Depressing job stuff)

A lot of my expertise is in book preservation, and I found out the hard way that being a preservation librarian doesn’t exactly make you the most popular person at work :pensive:. I sort of lost my job (or at least they decided not to hire me for the full-time position) because I tried to insist that our library follow proper protocol when dealing with mold and that we have a disaster plan for situations like that, and my boss did NOT want to hear it.

I also pushed for improving the ventilation in our building and installing Corsi-Rosenthal box filters to help compensate for the wildfire smoke and increased spread (and severity) of respiratory diseases, and this also put me on my boss’s bad side. But I couldn’t compromise on my professional ethics, and I had to do what I could to protect our students and the other staff (as well as the library collection), so I had to try to fight for this while I was here.

Entry level librarian jobs are few and far between, and they’re really competitive, even if you have a master’s degree and experience. This job was really my best shot at career stability, and not getting it will set me back years, unfortunately.


Long story short, I think I might be giving up on libraries? If I’m just going to fail at my backup career, I might as well fail at the career I actually want, which is writing. I’m planning on spending the next year or so hardcore studying Japanese and working on getting better at translation (and ideally trying to get back into writing as well…). I’d like to publish my own books, but I’m increasingly open to getting into translation professionally, too.

I’m not sure I’ll ever get the chance to translate wrestling stuff for pay, but, well, as I’ve recently learned, never say never :sweat_smile:. One of my friends actually has started to receive offers for paid translation work thanks to the publicity from her free translations, including getting paid by a Japanese media company to officially translate a series of interviews they’re publishing.

I’m solidly at least a couple years away from being at a level where I’d feel comfortable doing translation work for money, though. I’m still heavily reliant on rodan’s help with the TJPW translations :sweat_smile:. But it’s absolutely a skill you improve at with experience, so I’m sure I’ll get there eventually.

I’d say that it’s still probably unlikely I’d get a paying job translating wrestling, but I have been thinking more about trying to eventually find work translating like short stories and novels and such. I am a short story and novel writer in English, after all, so I have the writing chops on the English side, and if I continue to improve my translation skills (and just Japanese skill in general), hopefully I’ll eventually get to a point where I’m capable of faithfully translating someone else’s fiction work into English. Maybe I could even do senryu, haha!

It also occurred to me that I could look into translating Japanese papermaking stuff into English, since the papermaking field is pretty small, and I don’t think there are many people who have papermaking expertise who are also capable of doing Japanese-English translation. There certainly would be a lot of demand for it on the English-speaking side, because the entire field of modern book conservation heavily relies on Japanese paper. But I don’t know if there would be money in that, haha :sweat_smile:. I do have some connections to some pretty big names in the field, though, so I’m thinking of reaching out to some of my old professors in a few years (assuming I’m able to reach an advanced level of Japanese) and seeing if they’d be interested in helping make this happen.

In more positive news, I finished my October drawing challenge, and National Novel Writing Month has been going smoothly so far! I was really worried about it with how depressed I was at the end of last month, but I’ve sort of just been funneling my job despair into enthusiasm for the work that actually gives me joy, which is writing and studying Japanese.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 4467 (and 3264 in KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

Don’t really have much to talk about here this level, at least nothing really worth mentioning. I did get the chance to practice some listening immersion during TJPW’s October 24 show for Wrestle Universe subscribers, which was a pretty wacky show as always. I didn’t have a transcript for it, so I didn’t do a translation for this show, and I relied pretty heavily on an English language recap from another fan, but I still picked up on a few things.

One of the matches was a 人狼ゲーム4WAYマッチ (Werewolf Game 4-Way Match), which was exactly what it says on the tin. The wrestlers all got assigned a role (three were citizens and one was the werewolf), and if the citizens pinned the werewolf, they won, but if two of the citizens got pinned, the werewolf won. I heard the WK word 人狼 many times, haha, because the wrestlers spent most of the match arguing over who was the werewolf.

I talked about some other fun bits of this show in this post.

A highlight from the past week is that NJPW wrestler Katsuyori Shibata came to AEW to challenge Orange Cassidy for the All Atlantic Championship in one of the most absurd dream matches of all time. Most of Shibata’s career was well before my time, since he got injured in 2017 and basically had to retire, but he came back to do an exhibition match with Zack Sabre Jr. in 2021, and then he had a proper match with Ren Narita (whom he trained) at Wrestle Kingdom in January this year. I actually saw that match because I was still watching NJPW at the time. I hadn’t heard much about what Shibata had done since then, though, due to no longer following the company, so I was very shocked to find out that this match against Orange was going to be his third match since returning.

Apparently Shibata specifically wanted to fight Orange Cassidy, of all wrestlers (the other AEW wrestler he wanted to fight was Bryan Danielson). This fact made a lot of fans very angry because of Orange’s gimmick, which is that he’s very lazy and doesn’t like to wrestle if he can avoid it. Some fans think that he’s making a mockery of the entire sport and that he’s going to turn casual fans away in droves because of it. But from my experience, non-wrestling fans LOVE Orange Cassidy and prefer watching him to other wrestlers because he’s extremely entertaining and his matches are really funny. He’s actually my mom’s favorite wrestler because she likes watching him even though she doesn’t like wrestling.

Shibata’s gimmick is just about as opposite as you can get from Orange Cassidy. He’s very serious about what he does, and he fights super stiff, and his nickname is simply “The Wrestler”. Despite not wrestling for years, he’s still very beloved by fans all over the world, especially in Japan, but in the US, too.

Orange Cassidy vs Shibata was an utter delight. Orange did his own version of several of Shibata’s moves, which was funny, and Shibata did some of Orange’s usual spots, which was even funnier. It was a perfect combination of what makes both of those guys so good.

My mom actually wanted to watch this match with me, because I told her about Shibata and got her interested. When their entrances played, she was like, “Oh, this almost gives me chills! I see why you like this so much.” She’d never even seen Shibata before, but just seeing him enter, she felt the gravity of that moment, and it was so cool to me that that had been conveyed.

Japanese and English-speaking fans alike were moved by it. I saw a blog post from a fan translator who translated a lot of reactions from English-speaking fans into Japanese so that the Japanese fans could see how beloved Shibata was among the English-speaking fanbase, too.

AEW does these kinds of matches so well. I think it’s really their strongest forte as a company, that they can offer this kind of stage for things like this. Sometimes I just think about all of the immense history and unique cultural context behind all of the many different pieces that make up the world of pro wrestling, and how it has these moments where somehow it all comes together and all of these disparate parts are universally understood and appreciated, and I get so overwhelmed with emotion.

On a note that isn’t specifically Japanese related, but it’s related to topics commonly talked about on my study log, haha, it looks like AEW finished up their investigation of the whole CM Punk/Elite mess. From what is being reported, it seems unlikely that CM Punk will be staying with the company. The Elite seem to be on their way back, though. They at least made it back onto AEW programming, albeit in a few very cryptic video packages wherein they are basically being erased from AEW’s history. It’s one of those interesting wrestling things where the storyline is mirroring basically what was happening in real life (AEW didn’t even wish Kenny happy birthday while he was suspended…). I’m curious to see how it’s all going to resolve in storyline, since it looks like a real-life reconciliation between the three of them and Punk is going to be impossible. I’m anxious to see Kenny back in particular, especially since I’ve been waiting all this time for him to finally wrestle in DDT again…

On the other half of the Golden Lovers’ side, judging from his recent tweets, it looks like Kota Ibushi is going to be waiting out his NJPW contract, and he’s also still waiting for his shoulder to heal. He still has plans to bring about a revolution in the industry, though.

In sort of related news, I really hope that twitter doesn’t go under because there is simply no replacement for it that is used so widely all over the world, and it devastates me to think about what would happen to the global wrestling community without it. On twitter, we regularly have English-speaking, Japanese-speaking, and Spanish-speaking fans, companies, and wrestlers all interacting with each other and sharing in the collective storytelling that is this weird as heck medium, and I don’t want everyone to splinter off to separate sites in different languages. It just feels like so much cultural exchange would be lost, and that’s heartbreaking to me.

So I’m hoping for the best, but I’m trying to prepare myself mentally for the worst…

みんなの日本語 Lesson 43 – Lesson 44

I don’t know if I really have anything to report on from lesson 43, or the lesson 44 vocab? I’m still trucking along! One thing I am looking forward to when I get to Tobira is the increase in reading exercises, because my favorite MNN exercises tend to be the reading exercise at the very end of the chapter. Tobira seems to have a lot more of this type of exercise.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 44 kanji!


Spanish (Reading: Antes de Ser Libres)

I am very, very close to finishing the book! I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to read next, though, because I’m going to be losing access to the library’s collection of Spanish books when I’m no longer working here. I’m going to look for one that is a shorter/easier read, I think, to finish out the month. Then I’ll be on my own again and will have to rely on my own collection… I guess it might be a good time to try reading some of the harder books I have again? I’ve probably improved enough to make them at least a little easier.

I’m still keeping up with the read every day challenge in both Spanish and Japanese! Had a bit of a rough patch when I was most depressed over the job stuff, but even then, I read at least a little every day.

I also managed to read half of chapter six of volume three of 大海原と大海原 during a lull in my translation work. I’m going to try to stay caught up on the translations so that I can hopefully get a bit more of the manga read.

I finished three TJPW show translations:

2022.10.14 TJPW 夢プロレス-dream on the ring- — (17 words added)
2022.10.21 TJPW CITY CIRCUIT AUTUMN~遠藤有栖地元凱旋興行~ — (7 words added)
2022.10.29 TJPW The Mountain top 2022 — (9 words added)

A stranger on twitter made a meme based on my last translation, which was a new experience for me! Naturally the meme got far more likes than the actual translation that I (and rodan) put so much work into, but that’s just how it goes :sweat_smile:.

As I said last time, I added no new cards to my circulating Anki deck! The cards that I added from these shows will get added to my main deck eventually, though. My workflow is probably going to shift after December, because I’m going to find myself with suddenly a lot more free time, but I’m not quite sure what that will look like yet.

New resources:

None, I don’t think? Sorry!

Next steps:

I’m buckling down for another couple weeks of NaNoWriMo, continuing my conversational Spanish class, doing the TJPW translations, keeping up with the read every day challenge, and trying to survive an increasingly awkward and depressing work environment :grimacing:.

Telling myself that there are better things on the horizon, so I just have to focus on getting through these next couple of months, and then I’ll be able to relax.

Onward to level 49! 行くぞ!


Sorry to hear about the job stuff, but I am excited to see you shoot up there in Japanese ability! Show me just how quickly it can really be done :smile:

Yeah that’s been on my mind a lot too. I’ve gotten into the site a lot more recently, for Japanese content and it being kind of the only decent place for a wider Splatoon community that I know of. The associated subreddits are pretty bad. Guess there are discords but I always feel uncomfortable in a more live chat environment like that beyond a certain size, and I don’t like the very temporary nature of things there (yeah that’s true of Twitter as well but at least the latter is curated to your follows and whatnot). Plus those are fragmented for pros having their own scrim servers, it was nice to get the thoughts of the really good players from Twitter.

It’s also enormous in Japan in a way few other sites are. Dunno how much attention is being paid to the whole debacle outside English-speaking circles, but signs point to the site circling the drain fast. As funny as it is seeing that guy get forced to follow through on the deal he really didn’t want and lash out in every direction as he makes everything worse for himself… if things go badly it’s going to be a huge loss culturally, harm a lot of people who rely on the site to support them in making money or any other community activities, and cause me to see fewer pieces of good art and funny nonsense :wink:. Kinda feels like one person on a whim shouldn’t be able to wreck the equivalent of a global town square. :thinking: