Fallynleaf's study log

Made it to level 52!

Technically I made it there before the end of 2022, hence why this post is before the promised yearly wrap-up post! It is also very, very late! Oops :sweat_smile:! The reason is a combination of me trying to finish up my last few weeks of work while also having family visiting and then going right from that into watching a billion Japanese wrestling shows during the first week of January…

In any case, this post is here now! And the next one will be here soon? Ideally? :sweat_smile:

I spent just over fourteen days on the last level. I’ve contemplated speeding up a bit after other things in my life calm down for me, but I’m currently leaning toward just continuing at the rate I’ve been doing. I’m not in any real rush to finish WK, at this point.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 4964 (and 3663 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

To kick off イッテンヨン week, one of my friends organized a stream of rare Golden Lovers matches that aren’t currently available on streaming sites (my friend got some of them from buying limited run DVDs). He also subtitled parts of the matches, which was really, really fun. Parts of the Golden Lovers lore have sort of been lost over time, at least in the English-speaking fandom, due to a combination of the non-archival nature of wrestling storytelling on top of the language barrier. It’s really the work of fans helping keep the story alive over so many years.

I didn’t know, for example, that the infamous Kota Ibushi vs Kenny Omega vs Michael Nakazawa vs Danshoku Dieno match where the Golden Lovers have their first kiss was actually an Ibushi produce match (so he was the person who planned/booked it). Basically, Dieno (who employs a lot of forced kissing in his moveset) wins the match by forcing Kenny and Kota to kiss each other, and then while they’re “distracted”, he hits his finisher on Nak and pins him. Afterward, the Golden Lovers kiss each other again, willingly, haha. Then Kenny high fives Dieno on their way out, which is hysterical.

Dieno gets maligned a lot by western fans due to his gimmick (weaponized gay sexuality, basically, including moves that look a lot like sexual assault), but he’s a wrestler whom my own opinion on has changed a lot as I’ve learned more Japanese, and as I’ve been able to understand more what he’s actually trying to do with his wrestling. A lot of western Golden Lovers fans get hung up on the fact that their first kiss in that match was technically nonconsensual, but I don’t think that’s exactly what was going on there, and isn’t how it was meant to be read.

Dieno wrote a book actually, which just came out, and my friend has been reading it, and he described it to me in such a way that it made me really interested in checking it out. More on that in a bit, haha.

I actually had another sort of small breakthrough while watching Dieno’s 20th anniversary show at the end of 2022, which was a VOD show, so I had no live translation for it, and had to rely on just a summary of the event from a fan account plus my own listening comprehension. In that show, they had a match where Sanshiro Takagi, the 大社長 himself, fought in a handicap match against like five wrestlers, and there was a stipulation where every number counted in each pin attempt (plus counts outside of the ring and any other count in the ring…) got added up and whoever lost the match would have to buy that many copies of Dieno’s autobiography. I was proud of my ability to actually hear and understand the cumulative count totals that they announced periodically throughout the match! It was a very entertaining show that ended with both of the men in the main event, Dieno and Muscle Sakai, getting pinned by Dieno’s beloved dog Haku, who was then declared the winner of the match.

In any case, watching old Golden Lovers stuff is fun and nostalgic because they get up to so much nonsense in DDT, but it’s also sort of like slowly digging a knife in your chest, knowing where things end up going for them. Stuff like Kenny saying a bunch of mushy stuff in Kota’s 10th anniversary show in 2014 and talking about how he’ll follow Kota wherever he goes (shortly before Kenny himself leaves DDT to follow Kota to NJPW). Reminded me of the comment Kenny made in NJPW years later in 2018, a few months before he left for AEW, wherein he said that no matter where he goes, no matter which country he goes to, the Golden Lovers will always fight with the same emotion and one heart. And, well… :smiling_face_with_tear:

We ended the stream by watching the Golden Comeback video that NJPW put out, which is basically about the Golden Lovers starting to work together again after reuniting (in 2018). At the beginning, Kenny takes out a rare Kota Ibushi shirt that he got by bidding in an online auction, which Kota is amused and touched to see. He and Kota wear matching versions of that shirt (in opposite colors) to their first match back as a tag team. That shirt actually just reappeared years later in AEW in their last show in 2022. Kenny wore it to the falls count anywhere match he was in, making Golden Lovers fans cry all around the world, haha.

Moments like that, you realize that Golden Lovers fans are actually getting an entirely different experience than normal people, watching his work. All of these little details that are completely pivotal to the actual intentional story he’s telling, but so easy to miss if you don’t look for them.

I watched SO MANY other shows, but I will try to restrain myself to only talking about Japanese breakthroughs, haha. One of them that was very fun was the BJW and DDT 年越(としこ)し crossover show which happens every December 31. I normally don’t watch these because they don’t air on Wrestle Universe, but a friend found this one, uh, elsewhere, and another one of my friends was actually at the show in person, haha, so I watched it on a whim, and it was extremely entertaining, and I think it might be one of my favorite shows of the year? I was almost entirely on my own, as far as translation went, but I was able to translate the rules for the matches for my friends, and even caught a few lines on commentary and such. I couldn’t catch Antonio Honda’s ごんぎつね story, but I could tell that the story Jaki Numazawa countered him with was an 浦島太郎(うらしまたろう) story, haha.

It was my last day of work, so I was especially feeling the 年越し spirit. I really like that word for the concept, honestly! I think it embodies the feeling very well.

The first wrestling show that I watched in 2023 was NOAH’s New Year show on January 1. This show was part of Keiji Mutoh’s retirement tour, and had a bonkers main event wherein the Great Muta faced WWE’s Shinsuke Nakamura. Normally WWE doesn’t let their wrestlers do things with other companies, so this was a treat. I had a lot of fun watching the show because I realized that my kanji knowledge had gotten good enough, I could read most of the wrestlers’ names now, and could read most of their Abema rating scores without having to screenshot them and look up kanji/words.

The Muta vs Nakamura match was a lot better than I was expecting. Nakamura’s entrance was amazing and beautiful, and it made me so sad that he was going to be headed back to WWE afterward :pensive:. The match itself had an incredible finish, wherein Nakamura, well… he, uh, kissed Muta and sucked Muta’s poison mist spray out of his mouth before Muta could use it on him, then he misted Muta with his own poison and got the win. This kind of thing just happens sometimes in wrestling.

Unfortunately the match itself got somewhat overshadowed by Muta’s post-match comments, which were in English, and which featured a homophobic slur. There was a fair amount of debate online about what he had actually said, but it’s fairly unmistakeable if you actually watch the video. I got curious and looked up what shupro had for their transcript of what he said, and it is, uh, not entirely accurate, I don’t think.

Here’s a clip of the promo (warning: slurs!), and here’s what shupro had:


Going from the high of that kiss to getting slapped in the face with the reality of homophobia was not exactly the most fun mood whiplash of my week, but, well, Mutoh was already my least favorite still active old man in プロレス.

My next show after that was DDT’s January 3 show, which was a blast. I think I caught part of one of Antonio Honda’s Gon the Fox jokes, haha. Yuki Iino kept getting wheeled out of the match and wheeled back in wearing increasingly less clothing (he started from open back underwear and went even less clothes from there, somehow), and Honda kept telling his Gon the Fox story (it’s always a dirty joke. I can understand it maybe about 5% of the time), and in the last part, he talked about お年玉(としだま), only I think he pronounced it おとしたま. I was pretty sure it was meant to be the same たま that’s in 金玉(きんたま), and sure enough, when they wheeled Iino out again, he was wearing nothing except for an お年玉 envelope that was covering up… well… :sweat_smile:

On イッテンヨン (1.4, January 4) proper, I watched two shows! The first was TJPW’s former biggest show of the year, which was just a total joy from start to finish. I’ll talk about this one in much more detail when I finish translating it, but for now, the biggest highlight for me is that we’re getting part two of my favorite feud in TJPW, Yuka Sakazaki vs Mizuki. This was basically exactly what I was hoping for, so I’m thrilled! I love tag teams! I love it when tag partners love each other! I love it when they have to fight each other anyway, but still love each other…

The other show I watched was NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom show. It was my first time watching NJPW since, well, what the company did to Kota Ibushi last year. He was actually at the very center of the Kenny Omega vs Will Ospreay match, even though he wasn’t actually there. The build to the match had a lot of stuff going on (some of it better executed than others), and on the surface it was about Kenny leaving NJPW to Ospreay (and Jay White, and Kota) when he left for AEW, and Ospreay failed to live up to his expectations, so Kenny came back to “save” the company. But the actual core of the matter was that Ospreay had injured Kota in their Wrestle Kingdom match four years earlier, which meant that he and Kenny never got to say goodbye to each other before Kenny left.

Kenny did some of his comments before the match in Japanese, continuing to use his connection to the country and to the Japanese fanbase to get one over Ospreay. There was a funny moment when he asked the translator to translate them into English for Ospreay, haha. Lots of opportunities for me to get a little more Japanese practice in, though I’m looking forward to him facing someone I actually like next time. With Ospreay, I’m not that motivated to want to put in the extra effort haha.

Kota Ibushi tweeted his support (link is to a translation) at Kenny before the match, which completely bodied me while I was watching TJPW and almost made me cry, haha.

Kenny’s entrance in the match was incredible. He entered to 片翼(かたよく)天使(てんし), which is of course the namesake for his finisher, though I don’t think he had ever gotten the chance to enter to the actual song until now. I tried to read the words onscreen during his entrance, but it was a little hard to read them, so 片翼の天使 was the only thing I could read, haha. Apparently the rest of the Japanese text was lines from Sephiroth in the game.

In the match itself, Kenny came down on Ospreay like a vengeful angel. It was extremely brutal and I had a hard time watching it, my dislike of Ospreay notwithstanding, but the finish of it was one of those wrestling moments that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Kenny hit Ospreay with a kamigoye (Kota’s finisher), and then went from that right into a one-winged angel (fitting!) for the win. It felt explicitly like he won by getting vengeance in Kota’s stead (and hopefully bringing Kota some closure for the NJPW chapter of his career).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the match was instantly a critical darling and is currently getting rated extremely highly, which is both a blessing and a curse to me because I can’t stand Will Ospreay. I do appreciate, though, that once again, you can’t watch any of Kenny’s best work without getting the Golden Lovers story deeply intertwined at the very core of it. He’s the best wrestler in the world, and all of his best matches are about the power of gay love (and sometimes gay vengeance). As I heard someone once say, “in wrestling, you can choose to be whatever you want to be, and Kenny Omega chose to be in love.”

I passed out at 6am haha and woke up to two really sappy tweets from both of the Golden Lovers. Here is what Kota said in response to the match/finish, and here was Kenny’s response (links to translations). And here, at last, the actual reason I started learning Japanese is paying off :sob: :pleading_face:.


“待ってて” and “俺はいつまでも待てる” might be one of the most romantic exchanges I’ve ever seen in my entire life?? And the “ゴールデンラバーズは終わらない” :sob:.

I guess in a weird way, there is one positive that it has taken this long for them to be able to get back together. I got into the Golden Lovers story (and from there got into pro wrestling as a whole) in 2019, started learning Japanese at the very end of 2020, and have only just started to reach a point with the language where I feel like I can actually genuinely appreciate things in the original Japanese.

I saw this fanmade Kenny Omega trivia quiz on twitter by one of the popular English to Japanese fan translator accounts. I did it on my phone the night after Kenny vs Ospreay without using Yomichan or any dictionaries or lookup tools (though I did look up the Japanese names to a few of the answers that I knew in English), and I managed to get 8/10 correct, haha :sweat_smile:. The only question that I couldn’t figure out was number 8, but that’s because I never watched Kenny’s twitch streams. And I straight up didn’t know the answer to number 10, though I could read the question just fine. Once again, my domain-specific vocab knowledge was the only thing that saved me here. I saw a few more quizzes of this type done by other Japanese fans for their favorite wrestlers, but the only other one that I tried was an AEW one, and the trivia was too hard for me (genuinely an impressive feat, considering how much AEW content I’ve watched and how much background company knowledge I have) so I did quite poorly :joy_cat:.

The day after イッテンヨン is NJPW’s New Year Dash show, which has traditionally been a pretty fun one, because it sort of sets up all the storylines for the near future. I watched this show, too, though I still don’t have plans to tune into NJPW more than occasionally in the future. The show had a mystery card (so we didn’t know any of the matches going in), and the main event ended up having a really fun surprise, which was that Kenny and Kazuchika Okada teamed up together!

I’m not sure how to convey just how strange and unlikely that duo was, but trust me, it’s not something that felt like it could have ever happened before that exact moment in time. It was really cute, though, because they’re clearly friends in real life, despite their characters having one of the most famous rivalries in wrestling and being opposite in alignment for most of their careers. They both looked really happy to do that match together, and there was a particularly fun moment where Kenny called him “Kazuchika” and the fans audibly reacted to that haha (despite not being allowed to cheer).

They won their match (unsurprisingly!), but Kenny left before they could close out the show together, which made me sad. Next time, maybe. またね!

I’m hoping that 2023 has only good things in store for both of the Golden Lovers. We’re certainly off to a good start, though!

みんなの日本語 Lesson 47 – Lesson 48

I… did not finish lesson 47, unfortunately! I was way too busy. I’m going to try to catch up soon, though! After this week, things should be much calmer, and I’ll have a lot more free time. My current goal is to finish MNN by the end of February, and I think I’m on track to do that!

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 48 kanji!


Spanish (Listening: Frontera Verde and Bob Esponja) (Reading: Sí, sí es contigo)

I finished Frontera Verde! Overall, I think I liked the show, though I definitely had parts where my comprehension was only so-so, haha! It didn’t help that the ending was a little bit strange, but, well, I’m not sure that understanding more of the series would have helped me there. I also watched the behind the scenes feature that Netflix had for it.

I started reading Sí, sí es contigo by Calle y Poché, which is a book I had earmarked for adding to the library’s Spanish language collection before I left. I saw it on recommended lists of LGBTQ books in Spanish, and it looked like it would have a lot of everyday vocabulary and be a bit less, well, literary, for lack of a better term, haha, which might make it more accessible to me. I haven’t read enough of it to have formed a real opinion of it yet, though.

I completed my fall listen every day challenge with a perfect score for both languages once again! Still have not yet officially signed up for the winter read every day challenge, though I’ve been informally doing it every day on my own. Hopefully going to set up my summary post in there soon!

I slightly cheated on 大海原と大海原 volume 3 by reading 女装してめんどくさい事になってるネクラとヤンキーの両片想い 3巻 instead. Oops :sweat_smile:! I’ve been reading it much more extensively than I’ve been reading 大海原と大海原, and I guess my brain wanted something lower effort, so I gravitated toward that manga instead.

Here are all the TJPW translations I completed:

2022.12.15 TJPW Angel and Rabbit — (7 words added)
2022.12.24 TJPW せ〜の、メリークリスマス!2022 — (7 words added)

Currently working on translating TJPW’s イッテンヨン show, and then I will have two (much shorter) VOD shows to work on immediately afterward, haha.

My wrestling deck contains 1,173 words now. Though 173 are still not in circulation yet, haha. But I finally did it! I officially learned 1,000 pro wrestling words by the end of 2022! It’s amazing how much of a difference even that few words makes, in terms of overall comprehension of that particular domain. I’m glad I didn’t give up on mining words in Anki, though I remember having moments near the beginning of 2022 where I was tempted to.

New resources:

As I mentioned earlier, I’m thinking about eventually getting a copy of Danshoku Dieno’s book! It’s titled “イロモノの野望 透明人間と戦ってわかった自分の商品価値の上げ方”, which I saw translated as “The Eccentric’s Amibiton: What I learnt from fighting the Invisible Man on How to Increase my Value”.

According to my friend who is currently reading it, it reads more like a self help guide than an autobiography (he said “doesn’t feel scammy…yet”), and there’s “a lot about Dieno’s identity as a #gaymer and his brand and all that, and how you really need to stick with yourself in wrestling as an openly out queer wrestler because otherwise you will just be annihilated.”

I was a little surprised to find out that it actually gets into the LGBTQ stuff, though I think that’s super cool. Apparently Dieno also just openly breaks kayfabe all throughout it, haha, which I guess makes sense if he’s talking about this as a business, but it’s also a bit shocking for me, considering how protected kayfabe typically is in Japan, and how other Japanese wrestler autobiographies usually skirt a very fine line with the topic.

My friend said the difficulty is a little easier than other wrestlers’ autobiographies because it’s broken up into chunks with checklists and underlined stuff and such, and is meant for a less attentive audience than a more in-depth book. There are sections that are only like a paragraph long and then it’s onto the next part. So that sounds promising! I’ve tentatively marked this down for buying and reading in 2024, but who knows, haha, I might get curious and start reading it earlier, or progress faster in Japanese and feel ready to read it sooner than I expect.

Next steps:

My goal right now is to finish catching up on all the stuff I fell behind on while I was so busy! I’m prioritizing the translations and progressing in MNN, in addition to the usual steady progress in WK.

I’m also going to hopefully get that 2022 retrospective post up soon! I’ve been looking forward to writing it! :blush:

Onward to level 53! 行くぞ!


Here it is! My big retrospective post for 2022, and some plans for the year ahead.

As I’ve discussed throughout my study log, 2022 was maybe the hardest year of my life so far. I struggled with the worst depression of my life, and a bunch of distressing job stuff happened to me while distressing job stuff was also happening to my favorite wrestlers, and for a good chunk of the year, I wasn’t sure we were even going to get more of the Golden Lovers story at all, which is the entire reason I started learning Japanese.

And to top all of that off, I was trying my best to do the impossibly hard task of filling in for my favorite wrestling translator after he left, and if I couldn’t do it, I’d probably have to give up watching my favorite wrestling company, because even if I could roughly understand what was happening on my own, I’d lose the community connection I get by following these storylines alongside my friends and countless internet strangers, which is like half of the entire point of watching pro wrestling, anyway.

So I was simultaneously feeling the pressure of “I need to be fluent now; there’s no time to waste” and “what’s even the point of learning the language if the thing I’m learning it for isn’t even going to be around anymore?”

Somehow, I managed to redirect my energy into my studies and keep going. I had days where I really, really didn’t want to do it. I had days where I saw my translation workload and just cried. Days where I looked at Anki and almost just deleted my entire pro wrestling deck because I felt like I was just repeatedly failing the words and nothing was sticking and I was never going to be able to learn what I needed to learn if I wanted to actually do this.

But I told myself that the beginning is the hardest, and it’ll get easier from there if I just tough it out. I reminded myself that プロレスは諸行無常, and all I could do was appreciate what I had when I had it, and even if we never got any more Golden Lovers content, there were still plenty of other wrestlers that I love, and despite how awful the industry can be, it’s somehow capable of producing some of the most exquisitely beautiful art I have ever seen in my life.

As it turned out, studying Japanese was about the best distraction I could find. Even though everything else in my life felt like it was falling apart around me, I at least had this one thing that I could do.

Despite everything, I made it through the year after all.

I’m going to once again extend special thanks to @rodan for the continued support and extensive help with the translations. Thank you, too, to the rest of the folks who have liked my posts and commented here. You have all seriously helped me so much more than you could possibly know, at a time when I was not really getting much support from anyone in my real life.

Goals for 2022

I’ll be honest, I completely forgot that I had set any, haha. But sure enough, I had made a post in the 2022 goals thread. Here’s what I had listed:

  • Reach level 50 in WK :white_check_mark:
  • Complete MNN 1 and get most of the way through 2 :white_check_mark:
  • Keep up with Anki and Kaniwani reviews :white_check_mark:
  • Continue reading and engaging with the language while immersing :white_check_mark:

(I posted a short reflection in this thread already, but I’ll migrate it over here as well.)

It’s amazing how easy it is to meet your goals when you don’t set very ambitious ones :sweat_smile:. As I said when I set them, the goals listed above were more or less what I would achieve if I just stayed on course each day. And sure enough…!

I did have one 2022 goal that I only alluded to in the other post, because I wasn’t sure at the time what my year was going to look like. I had just tentatively started fan translating for DDT Pro Wrestling after their official translator left the company. Sure enough, DDT ended up hiring a new person a couple months later, letting me off the hook. However, I ended up picking up Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling instead, and they still have yet to hire a replacement to do it officially, so I’m still doing translations.

That goal was essentially:

  • Keep doing fan translations for DDT/TJPW as long as there is a need for them :white_check_mark:

And boy did I manage to complete it! Succeeded far beyond my imagining, honestly. I’ve translated easily a novel worth of Japanese over the past year, and even took the translations public, when I got fed up enough about how much misinformation was circulating, haha.

I didn’t set any specific goals for immersion in terms of number of hours or page numbers or books/episodes or whatever, but then I ended up joining my first read every day challenge, and whatever expectations I’d had in mind for my immersion, I ended up far exceeding them.

Read/Listen Every Day Challenges in 2022

Here are all of the challenge threads I participated in:

The summer listen every day challenge thread is actually the first of its type here. Basically from that point onward, I decided to focus on the reading challenge during the main two months of the challenge period, then do the listening challenge on the off-month.

I also started out just focusing on Japanese, but part of the way through the first winter reading challenge, I decided to challenge myself to attempt to read in Spanish every day as well.

As you can see below, once I made my mind up, I never once wavered.

= Japanese
= Japanese and Spanish

:books: Jan
Week 00
Week 01
Week 02
Week 03
Week 04
Week 05
:books: Feb
Week 05
Week 06
Week 07
Week 08
Week 09
Week 09
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
Week 13
:books: Apr
Week 13
Week 14
Week 15
Week 16
Week 17
:books: May
Week 17
Week 18
Week 19
Week 20
Week 21
Week 22
:sound: Jun
Week 22
Week 23
Week 24
Week 25
Week 26
:books: July
Week 26
Week 27
Week 28
Week 29
Week 30
:books: Aug
Week 31
Week 32
Week 33
Week 34
Week 35
:sound: Sept
Week 35
Week 36
Week 37
Week 38
Week 39
:books: Oct
Week 39
Week 40
Week 41
Week 42
Week 43
Week 44
:books: Nov
Week 44
Week 45
Week 46
Week 47
Week 48
:sound: Dec
Week 48
Week 49
Week 50
Week 51
Week 52

Total days spent reading Japanese: 243
Total days spent reading Spanish: 195
Total days spent listening to Japanese: 84
Total days spent listening to Spanish: 84

Obviously those numbers only account for when I was actively tracking my reading/listening during a challenge. I was reading in Japanese pretty much every single day regardless of whether or not I was doing a reading challenge at the time, and I did a lot of untracked listening practice throughout the year.

“Books” finished in Japanese:

  • 大海原と大海原 volume 2
  • 62 translations for DDT Pro Wrestling/Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling

Books started in Japanese:

  • 大海原と大海原 volume 3
  • 新日本プロレス英語入門
  • 世界が広がる 推し活英語

Books finished in Spanish:

  • Wonder (La lección de August) by R. J. Palacio
  • parallel text book in Spanish and English about local history
  • Antes de Ser Libres by Julia Alvarez
  • Redbone by Christian Staebler and Sonia Paoloni and illustrated by Thibault Balahy

Shows/films finished in Spanish (watched with Spanish subtitles):

  • La Casa de las Flores (34 episodes)
  • La Casa de las Flores: La Película
  • Elisa y Marcela
  • Frontera Verde (8 episodes)

“Shows” started in Spanish (no subtitles):

  • Duolingo Podcast (63 episodes)
  • Bob Esponja (16 episodes)

Misc. other media:

  • Wrestling shows in both languages
  • Magazine articles in both languages
  • Tweets and other scattered internet content in both languages
  • Translated 32 senryu poems

I didn’t have a minimum word count or amount of time I aimed to practice each day in order to count it for the challenge. I counted any amount of deliberate practice, no matter how small. Sometimes I read only a page or two or listened to only a couple minutes of audio. I did not count reading or listening to any textbook material. My main goal was to just do some sort of practice with both of my languages every single day.

And I succeeded at that beyond my wildest imagining!

Seeing how much I improved in both languages really taught me the value of forming a consistent habit of practice. I’m going to try to keep this up for the rest of my life. Not necessarily checking a box for every single day of the entire rest of my lifetime, but trying my best to always have some media I’m engaging with in all of my languages, and never have long periods where I’m not practicing one of them.

As Spanish and Japanese get easier for me, extensive reading/listening becomes more and more doable, which means that practicing them is less of a strain. The ultimate end goal is to reach a point where immersion is nearly effortless so that I don’t need challenge threads to give me that extra push to practice, haha.

But, well, considering how I’m not there yet, and also considering that I am freshly unemployed and my 2023 is wide open, I want to go above and beyond what I did last year…

Goals for 2023

  • Keep doing fan translations for TJPW as long as there is a need for them
  • Complete Minna no Nihongo 2
  • Reach level 60 in WaniKani
  • Start and finish Tobira
  • Keep up with all SRS reviews (WaniKani, KaniWani, Anki)
  • Complete alternating read every day and listen every day challenges with a perfect score, 365/365 days, in both Spanish and Japanese

Yes, you read that last one correctly—I’m aiming for a full 365 day streak in terms of practicing daily immersion. Zero missed days. Honestly, considering how well I did in 2022, despite everything, I don’t think this will be too hard for me.

2023 is going to mark a departure from the rigid scheduling I’ve been doing so far, since I’ll be completing WK soon, and Minna no Nihongo even sooner. I don’t know what my schedule will be for Tobira yet, or how much I’ll be ramping up my Anki workload. I am definitely going to have some schedule of some sort, though. It’ll just look different from how it has looked in the past because I’ll be changing tools!

Media-specific goals:

(adapted somewhat from the schedule I had laid out in this post)

  • Finish 大海原と大海原 volume 3
  • Start the 大海原と大海原 video game
  • Finish 新日本プロレス英語入門
  • Finish 世界が広がる 推し活英語
  • 小説 ミラーさん -みんなの日本語初級シリーズ-
  • Read Real Japanese Fiction
  • Read Real Japanese Essays
  • よつばと!
  • 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

I’ll be reading and listening to a lot more media besides what I listed above, but I do want to commit to getting that list done at minimum because those are all books that I already own in print, and I don’t want my collection to get too far ahead of me :sweat_smile:.

At the same time, I don’t want to over-commit, since the translations have to take first priority, which reduces the amount of time I can spend on other stuff. So I’ll start with just this list, and hopefully I’ll greatly exceed it and get a bunch more stuff read and make it look like I had an extremely productive year when I reflect back at the end of 2023, haha.

Here’s hoping that 2023 is a better year for all of us.


You’ve made pretty amazing progress!! Congratulations!

I think a funny thing about learning to read is that the sense of it having been difficult melts away more and more as you go - like, it’s essentially pulling your brain from “this is literally incomprehensible and means nothing” to “it just looks inherently like it means XYZ - what, it doesn’t to everyone?”

And anyway, that’s just to say it’s been really cool to see that process happen in realtime as you make progress, and more and more things go from seeming dauntingly, impossibly difficult, to totally achievable! (sometimes after you’ve achieved them)
Sometimes, with a headstart (and without any of the sense of responsibility), it’s easy to catch myself thinking like, “ah, before long the all-English promos will be disappointing instead of a relief, since they’ll be less interesting and the Japanese ones will be no sweat anyway!” or like “hey, no official translation is an opportunity not an obstacle!” but that doesn’t at all do justice to the work and drive that you’ve consistently put into it from the start! Which is all the more impressive to me since I wouldn’t have considered taking on myself such an impressive project as your translations at any level, and my kneejerk reaction to being able to understand wrestling storylines on my own is more “great, now I don’t have to pay attention to internet wrestling fans!” than to think to actively give back and make that scene a little better.

So anyway, congratulations on the progress so far and good luck in 2023! Don’t get too hung up on 365/365 exactly, just in case something unavoidable happens! (I got bit by that real bad once in high school) But I’m positive that you’ll make great progress in 2023 regardless!


I’ve found that for me at least, there are many internet wrestling fans whose opinions I do not care about in at all the slightest haha and whose posts I never want to see, but then there are the internet wrestling fans I’ve met in tighter knit communities who are positively wonderful people, who I really enjoy talking to. I’m in a couple good discord servers, and I really like the little community we’ve fostered here on this forum a lot.

So I guess I mainly want to do it for those people. I want to be able to keep discussing storyline stuff with my friends, and seeing strangers putting out really cool TJPW fanart, and people giffing the cool moments in the shows, and all that. And for all of that to happen, there needs to be a wider community beyond just me, haha, which keeps me motivated!

Something I think about a lot was Kenny talking about how much it meant to him that the fans kept the Golden Lovers story alive (before their 2018 reunion). He was so touched by the fact that people knew the story. The fans remembered them! Despite how many years it had been, people had followed the clues and compiled all the details and shared it and spread it so that other fans would understand. Wrestling is such a weird artform in that the fans themselves are part of the entire fabric of it, and I think that’s really cool, honestly. Fans and wrestlers alike are all part of that performance.

Actually, I just learned something kind of interesting a few days ago from a friend who met Mr. Haku at Natsu Sumire’s bar while visiting Japan (Mr. Haku was doing free translation for Natsu this week haha). Mr. Haku told my friend that Maki Itoh’s ring work had improved because when she went to the states, she made enough money off of her simp army that she could quit all of her side jobs.

That’s basically why Mr. Haku has been filming all of his interviews with wrestlers, because he’s trying to help other freelance joshi do the same thing (not necessarily setting up onlyfans accounts, but just getting their name out to English-speaking audiences so that they can get more bookings).

And it occurred to me that the TJPW translations are also probably helping the wrestlers in a similar way, honestly. Probably not to that extent, but I bet they help the wrestlers gain overseas fans. I don’t think TJPW would have had nearly as many overseas fans if it hadn’t been for Mr. Haku’s previous work over the years (I certainly would not have started watching without his translations!). So it’s something that I feel like everyone probably benefits from, fans and wrestlers alike.

But, yeah, I totally understand not wanting to pay attention to the IWC! There’s a reason why I didn’t have a public twitter account before I made the translation account, haha :sweat_smile:.

Haha, don’t worry! I feel like if I miss a day there, that’ll probably be the least of my worries with my studies. Missing a day with SRS is much more punishing :sweat_smile:. I thought about not aiming that high, but I already got there for more than half of last year, and I managed to get a 365 day streak on the forum in my first year being active here, so I thought if that was achievable, I could aim for something a little more productive. It felt kind of silly not to aim for it, considering the kind of success I’d already had in far more adverse conditions. But hey, even getting like a 360/365 or something would be pretty cool, so I’m just gonna 頑張ります!!


Oh, also, I finally got my Japanese shelf roughly organized! I added a photo of it to the end of my 2022 retrospective post :blush:. I had planned on including it when I originally published the post, but completely forgot, haha!

The shelf technically contains two books in Spanish, but the rest are either in Japanese, or are Japanese learning/reference books. I considered adding my wrestling books to the same shelf, but they wouldn’t all fit, haha. One day, my goal is to have a fully trilingual wrestling bookshelf. I don’t have any wrestling books in Spanish yet, though!

I also considered including my wrestling photobooks, which are technically “Japanese books” (in that they’re made in Japan, not that they contain much in the way of Japanese text…), but I wasn’t sure I was brave enough to have a book prominently displayed on the office shelf that was titled “Tetsuya in the NAKED” :sweat_smile:. When I bought that book, I was like “oh no! I can’t let my parents know that I own this or they might think I’m straight!”


Made it to level 53!

Once again, another fourteen day level. And once again, another late study log post, though it’s less late this time :sweat_smile:. I spent most of the past couple weeks trying to play catch-up after イッテンヨン week. Happy to report that I have pretty much caught up!

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 5078 (and 3746 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

Kota Ibushi blessed us with another Golden Lovers tweet (link is to a translation), which was a delightful thing to wake up to! He and Kenny apparently spent six hours together in a family restaurant, haha. He also used that #ゴールデンラバーズは終わらない hashtag again :pleading_face:. He’s lightly ribbing Kenny for getting a black eye in the Ospreay match, haha, which is only fair, after Kenny ribbed him for gaining weight in that shupro interview he did a few weeks ago.

Actually, I had one cool language learning victory here! I figured out that the “太った!?痩せます。。” in his tweet was probably in reference to what Kenny had said in that interview (he said that’s why he’d sent Kota the protein powder), which my friend had not picked up on. So for the first time, I actually corrected my friend’s translation of Kota’s Japanese instead of the other way around. And so the teacher has become the student :triumph:… Well, no, but it was nice to have one small victory, haha. 飯伏選手の日本語がわかるのはまだまだです… :sweat_smile:

Another Kota Ibushi thing I wanted to mention is this brief interview with him (make sure to read the correction in the quote retweet for the first part; that part in the original tweet was unfortunately machine translated, though the second part was translated by an actual human and is reliable). Unfortunately he seems to have confirmed that he probably won’t be able to reunite in the ring with Kenny as long as Kenny has the IWGP US championship and is still doing stuff with NJPW. So I’m going to be rooting pretty hard for Kenny to lose that belt every match he has with it, I guess! (We’re back to where I was in the early years of AEW, rooting for my fave wrestler to lose all his big matches… Golden Lovers fans are normal :sweat_smile:).

I did want to point out this line from Kota: “Because the tag team with him is more special to me than anything” (so he doesn’t want to tag with Kenny if it’s not absolutely perfect). It’s not often that Kota talks this openly about how much the Golden Lovers mean to him, though it’s obvious throughout his career. He implores Golden Lovers fans to wait for them, and, well, I’ve been waiting this long; I can wait a little longer.

I wish their relationship wasn’t so profoundly star-crossed, but at the same time, I guess that’s part of the whole draw to it, that these two people have spent the past fifteen years desperately wanting to be together, and despite the universe throwing every possible obstacle in their path, they still love each other and always find some way back to each other, even if they have to move heaven and earth to get there.

Only a tiny bit of that was actually about Japanese, but, well, it’s my study log; I can be a little selfish about what I write about… :sweat_smile:.

In other news, I was watching a Pro Wrestling NOAH show that featured a shuffle tag tournament consisting of tag teams that all paired a Kongoh guy with a guy from NOAH’s main unit, which was a lot of fun. Naturally, none of the teams were, shall we say, exceptionally cohesive, haha, though they got better at working together as the tournament progressed. At one point, things started breaking down for one of the teams (and then shortly afterward for the other team), and I learned the word 仲間割(なかまわ)れ from the fans reacting in the live chat on Wrestle Universe haha. Shortly after I moused over it with Yomichan and learned the word and the reading, I caught the Japanese commentary using the same term to describe what was happening onscreen.

Katsuhiko Nakajima won for his team in the finals, and I think I actually caught his first sentence on the mic. He said, “I don’t understand the reason for this tournament, but a win is a win.” Then he hyped his upcoming match with NJPW’s Shingo Takagi. I technically didn’t quite catch that last bit (I just heard “but I won”), but I got curious and looked up the shupro transcript to double-check my understanding, and hey, “but I won” and “but a win is a win” at least essentially mean the same thing haha.

I enjoyed this tweet shared on the Japanese AEW account, featuring Ruby Soho and Willow Nightingale backstage. Ruby appears to be crocheting, but I got a bit caught up by the caption using 編んでいます, which of course I learned as “knitting”. I wondered if the verb could be used for both, or if the person who composed the tweet made the classic mistake of confusing the two. I ended up going to the Japanese wikipedia page for crochet (かぎ針編(ばりあ)み), and sure enough, it uses 編む there as well! Interesting. I liked that ()(もの) exists as sort of a catchall for both knitted and crocheted material. I’ll definitely be going down this rabbit hole further in the future haha.

The Japanese AEW account also had Danhausen weigh in on the infamous きのこ vs たけのこ candy debate, which I have a distant memory of talking about in the very early days of this study log haha.

I enjoyed this thread from my fellow fan translator about recent story happenings in AEW’s January 11 show. As I mentioned before, I really like the way this person writes about wrestling stories. They have a way with words, and a skill for summing up wrestling storylines in a straightforward but also beautiful way. In this thread, they talk about how “time turned back, and the clock began to beat again” with regards to the story between Adam Page, Adam Cole, and The Elite, who are finally all back and in the same place for the first time since… quite a while ago. Lots of the individual pieces in this have gotten mentioned in my study log as they were happening, haha. There is actually another thread that didn’t get touched on in this, which is the thread between Kenny and Kota Ibushi, who is also tied up with the Young Bucks, and a little bit with Adam Page. Kota did say recently that he wants to team with and also fight Adam Page…

It’s kind of funny that most of the stuff I wanted to talk about this time is from AEW, which is an American promotion! But they’ve made a lot of strides over the past year or so towards increasing their Japanese-language content and reaching Japanese audiences.

Sidenote, but I was talking with one of my friends about the current AEW tag champs, the Acclaimed, potentially doing a Japan tour, and I remembered that I’d written a sort of “Japanese 101” rap for them as a joke (part of their gimmick is doing a rap when they make their entrance, usually touching on topical subjects, sometimes for good or for ill), because I was trying to brainstorm ways they could get their gimmick over if they were in front of an audience that doesn’t speak English, and I thought that this would be funny.

Here’s what I came up with:

Yo, yo, listen!
We need translators about as much as we need our appendix

Is it a good rap? Absolutely not, but it made my friend laugh, so in that sense, it was a success.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 47 – Lesson 49

Lesson 47 in one of the workbooks wanted me to write a sentence with によると about something I want to ask a Japanese person, and naturally the only interesting words my brain has in it are wrestling words, so here’s what I came up with, haha:



I shared it with my one friend who is fully fluent in Japanese (and who also happens to be a huge Kota Ibushi fan), and he only had one tiny correction, which amazed me, because I keep going for overly ambitious grammar in these.

This is probably the closest I’ll ever get to having any of my textbook exercises corrected by an actual 先生 :joy_cat:.

愛弟子(まなでし) was a new word for me (it means like “favorite pupil”), though I never would have guessed the reading! And wrestling, of all things, taught me 申し訳ございません. Thank you, Mahiro Kiryu, for your excessively polite apologies while also sitting on your opponent’s back.

I struggled a bit with the まとめ exercise in the workbook after lesson 48! It had me choose whether to use the 可能動詞, 受身動詞, ていただく, or 使役動詞 form of a few verbs in a selection of sentences, and it was a little tough! I was able to figure out why all of the answers were the right ones, but boy did I make a lot of mistakes!

When I added the lesson 49 vocab to Anki, I saw this one and did a bit of a double-take, haha. I wondered if the person who’d put together the Anki deck was playing a prank on me, so I double-checked the vocab list in the textbook, and sure enough, there it was. I don’t even know what this word means in English, haha :sweat_smile:.

Do I have to memorize this? Absolutely not. Am I going to memorize it anyway because I think it’s very funny? Absolutely.

A fun coincidence is that 胞 showed up in my very first batch of level 53 kanji, a mere day after I added the new set of vocab to Anki.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 49 kanji!


Spanish (Reading: Sí, sí es contigo)

I’ve been keeping up with my daily reading, but for most days, that has just amounted to a few pages! So far, the vocab and difficulty level of the book has been about what I expected and what I wanted to get out of it, so I’m happy with that. One annoyance is that I have it on kindle, but the ebook appears to be a scan of the print book, which means the text is not very adjustable and I can’t copy and paste anything. I usually do vocab lookups on my phone anyway, but I’d hoped by getting the book on kindle, I’d maybe streamline the lookup process a little, and apparently that is not the case…

I am officially on the board for the winter read every day challenge, finally! As I mentioned in my 2023 goals above, I’m aiming for not missing a single day (in either language) in these challenges for an entire year. So far, so good!

I read a teeny tiny bit of 女装してめんどくさい事になってるネクラとヤンキーの両片想い 3巻 during the very brief breaks I had between translations. I’m hoping to get back to 大海原と大海原 volume 3 after the translation workload quiets back down haha.

I did get back into translating senryu! Here are the two that I attempted:



I also went back and added the number of senryu I’d translated last year (32) to my retrospective post above. Look at that, I’ve honestly translated a fair amount of these poems!

TJPW has kept me very, very busy so far. Here are all the translations I completed:

2023.01.04 TJPW 東京女子プロレス ’23 — (14 words added)
2023.01.07 TJPW CITY CIRCUIT WINTER~神戸公演~ — (7 words added)
2023.01.08 TJPW CITY CIRCUIT WINTER~岡山公演~ — (7 words added)

I am proud of myself for somehow getting all three show translations done in time for TJPW’s next live show! I’m definitely getting faster. They’re doing six shows total in January, which is a lot, so I’m going to be busy for these next couple weeks! :sweat_smile:

The translation account is up to 300 followers now, which is scary! But I’m really glad that other people are enjoying them :blush:. I’ve made so many gains in comprehension that I’ve finally started to reach a point where I can understand occasional lines that aren’t transcribed in the transcripts.

New resources:

@pocketcat sent me a few issues of shupro! The main one I’m excited about is No.1971, which is from August 29, 2018, and which just so happened to feature Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi’s third (and currently last) singles match together :smiling_face_with_tear:. Here are a few highlights. I’m probably not going to attempt to actually read these for a while (I have more than enough on my plate keeping up with current wrestling…), but they’ll be fun to dive into when casually reading things becomes easier for me.

Thanks to rodan’s recommendation, I’ve added いやはや熱海くん to my to-read list! rodan described it as being about: “a boy who gets confessed to a lot by girls but crushes hopelessly on guys himself. It’s very mundane and lived-in, with a heavy emphasis on natural but sharp Kansai dialogue, and I love how laid-back and matter of fact it is. Less romance and more, like, friends quietly figuring themselves out. They shared the first chapter here.”

I also added 司書正 to my to-read list, because, yes, I am the kind of person whom “the unusual library of a fictional Chinese kingdom” appeals to, haha.

Next steps:

Once again, my main priority is keeping up with the TJPW translations, besides the usual stuff. It’ll be a slightly heavier workload than usual, but it’s okay, I think I can handle it!

This is only tangentially related to Japanese, but I finally did something that I had been wanting to do, which was start keeping a word document with all of my favorite wrestling matches and shows from the year! My ill-fated first attempt at this was at the start of 2020, when I went from being very excited about wrestling to being very depressed about wrestling when the pandemic started, and I abandoned my list from that point on… :sweat:

The list is largely an excuse to keep track of my favorite fan photographs (each one links to the source), as well as just keeping track of all of the matches and shows that left a big impression on me. I try to provide enough context that you can read it without extensive wrestling knowledge, though honestly I’ve already subjected my audience here to hearing me talk about most of this stuff in my log, haha.

I’m down to the last two lessons in Minna no Nihongo, so some part of me is considering trying to speedrun the rest of the textbook and maybe attempt to get it done by the end of January… I don’t think I’ll be quite done by the next time I level up, but maybe I can get close!

Onward to level 54! 行くぞ!


Made it to level 54!

Another fourteen day level! I was super busy for the first week, then a lot less busy for the second, so I’ve been able to relax a bit and work on some backburnered projects, which is nice!

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 5202 (and 3829 in KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

This one isn’t exactly a “fun” topic, but it leads into something that’s relevant for my log. On January 17, an American wrestler named Jay Briscoe died unexpectedly in a car accident. I had avoided watching his matches for years due to some terrible homophobic comments he’d made in the past, but after he died, a whole bunch of LGBTQ wrestlers came out with positive stories about how supportive and kind he was to them, and it truly seems like he genuinely had done the work and had changed as a person behind the scenes without advertising it, so I regret not giving him a second chance earlier. But, well, I figured I can still appreciate his older work now, so I found an old match of his to watch.

The match was an old Pro Wrestling NOAH match: Jay & Mark Briscoe vs Kota Ibushi & Katsuhiko Nakajima on September 6, 2008 (not technically a sanctioned youtube upload, but I’m pretty sure this one is not available on any official archive. A, uh, word of warning: the Briscoes made a very unfortunate choice with their entrance gear). This was about a month after Kenny and Kota had met each other and had their very first singles match, and I think Kenny had just left Japan after his first DDT tour :smiling_face_with_tear:. Nakajima is very different here from the evil tag-partner-betraying kick man we know and love today, and I thought it was cute that his adoptive mom Akira Hokuto was there supporting him.

I was pretty much on my own with this one! I didn’t have really any context for the match besides what I was able to glean from the Japanese commentary. I gathered that it was a Junior Tag League match, and Kota and Nakajima were at 8 points and needed this win to have a chance at making the finals. It’s a pretty fun match, though! Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kota was the person who stood out the most to me in this. It reminded me how thrilling and exciting his style is to watch.

It’s really neat to be getting to a point where I can actually understand some meaningful stuff from Japanese commentary instead of just catching random words.

Briefly getting back to the subject of Jay Briscoe, it’s always sad when someone dies so young like this, but it’s amazing to see how the whole wrestling world comes together to support each other. A few days after Jay died, Pro Wrestling NOAH and NJPW did a crossover show together, and they had a brief memorial for him there, since he had worked in both companies throughout the parts of his career that were in Japan.

I also watched the NOAH show the day afterward, which had the Great Muta’s last match. As you might guess from my last update, I was less enthused about this match than I was before new year’s, but, well, I got drawn in by the spectacle of it, despite my feelings about Muta.

Interestingly, a lot of this match was sort of about American pro wrestling history, since a big thread going into it was that Muta was the last wrestler of his generation still active in Japan, and Sting (who came from AEW to be in the match) was the last wrestler of their generation still active in America, whose own retirement loomed near. To me, the match itself felt like a glimpse at an era of wrestling that was long before my time, straight out of 90’s America at the peak of the wrestling boom, warts and all. Here was the painted face of this horrid and exquisite industry of ours.

The entrances in this match were truly incredible (there are a few photos and a slightly longer recap of this match as well as a couple others in my list of favorite matches). I also took the time to translate all of the Abema ratings for the wrestlers, though I don’t think Marufuji and Akira got any, unfortunately. But I got the other four (even Darby’s, though I considered just not bothering, but my curiosity got the better of me…).

Without exaggeration, this is legitimately one of the best perks to doing WK as a wrestling fan. You gain the ability to read these during NOAH shows:

10 写経 (hand-copied sutras)
10 念仏 (Buddhist prayer)
10 独創性 (creativity)

Great Muta
0 倫理観 (ethics)
10 反則 (foul play)
10 毒霧 (poison mist)

10 スター性 (star quality)
10 実績 (achievements)
10 ムタとの友情 (friendship with Muta)

Darby Allin
9 スピード (speed)
10 将来性 (future prospects)
10 命知らず (recklessness)

I took screenshots of all four of their stats so that I could make sure I got them all, but the window I had the show open in was a little small, so the 毒霧 in Muta’s stats was SUPER blurry, but I was able to figure out 毒 and extrapolated from my knowledge of Muta what the other kanji probably was from there, haha. Funnily enough, after I translated his stats, I actually noticed someone typo-ing the kanji for his poison mist attack in Japanese in the Wrestle Universe chat: “独霧”.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 49 – Lesson 50

The textbook teaches 敬語, finally! Lesson 49 introduces 尊敬語, and lesson 50 introduces 謙譲語, so I’m finally learning exactly what the difference is between them instead of just putting both of them into the same “respectful Japanese” box in my head. You don’t, uh, see a lot of this language get used in pro wrestling :sweat_smile:.

It actually just occurred to me while I was doing these exercises that there’s probably a bit of an intentional cultural joke there with how the DDT wrestlers interact with Sanshiro Takagi, the 大社長 of the company. It’s commonly joked that DDT is a company where you run into your president with a van. It’s quite the contrast from these MNN exercises carefully teaching me how to respectfully talk about 社長’s actions haha. I’ll have to try to pay more attention to the language the wrestlers use when talking about him or interacting with him to see if there’s an element of them playing this up (or not) for humor.

One thing I was very grateful for WK for was with figuring out which words are prefixed with お and which are prefixed with ご when showing respect. Generally, お is prefixed to uniquely Japanese words, and ご to words of Chinese origin, so knowing kun’yomi and on’yomi kanji readings is massively helpful here. I aced this section in my workbook!

I added the lesson 50 vocab to Anki, which means I officially have the entire vocab for the beginner series in circulation now! It felt a bit strange deleting my (now empty) deck of inactive MNN cards. I started on lesson 50, but haven’t got very far yet. I should have the entire textbook finished by the next time I update this study log, which is absolutely wild to think about!

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 50 kanji! The spreadsheet is now complete! :smiling_face_with_tear:. I’m planning on souping it up a little, but that’ll probably have to wait a bit longer.

I’m thinking of sharing the spreadsheet as well as some general tips for using MNN successfully for self-study in a separate thread. My study log talks about my entire process, but it’s spread throughout so many long posts, I’m not sure how useful it is, haha. Obviously the way I do it is not the only way or even necessarily the best way, but I’ve managed to get all the way from lesson 1 to lesson 50, so I might have some advice that could benefit at least one person.


Spanish (Reading: Sí, sí es contigo)

Sí, sí es contigo is going pretty well so far! The first chunk of the book was slow for me due to a combination of how busy I was (so I didn’t have as much time to read) and the narrative just not really hooking me, but I do have to say, recent chapters have changed that, haha. I got so drawn in last night, I ended up going to bed way later than I’d planned because I wanted to keep reading :sweat_smile:. So I’m glad that I’ve gotten good enough at Spanish that I could experience that!

I’m currently 43% of the way through the book. At the rate I’m going, I’ll probably finish it before the end of next month (and have to choose something else to read to keep up with the challenge), though I guess there’s still time for the book to lose me again and for my reading pace to slow…

I’m also considering trying to watch some of Calle y Poché’s videos after I finish their book, but I’ve gone my whole life so far without really getting into youtubers, and I’m not sure that I want to start, haha, so maybe that’s a bad rabbit hole to go down… :sweat_smile:

I have been keeping up with the read every day challenge so far! Though I didn’t really get much of any manga read, either 女装してめんどくさい事になってるネクラとヤンキーの両片想い 3巻 or 大海原と大海原 volume 3.

I translated one senryu (just today, actually!):

「時間よ」と 二度寝する妻 起きる俺

I finished two more TJPW translations. So far, this has been my busiest month yet! I’ve translated over 8,000 words (in English) in less than a month! :scream:

2023.01.15 TJPW 第3回“ふたりはプリンセス”Max Heartトーナメント (part two) — (16 words added)
2023.01.19 TJPW 第3回“ふたりはプリンセス”Max Heartトーナメント — (5 words added)

I added only a few dozen words to my circulating deck in Anki, since I had enough going on with the textbook vocab. So not a whole lot of progress on that front! Though now that the last of the MNN vocab has been added, I’ve started ramping up adding mined cards again.

I’ve been using my downtime between TJPW shows to work on another project, which is translating stuff for the BJW Shakespeare deathmatch shows! I’m bothering to translate them (and not just enjoy them on my own) for several reasons: 1) I’m going to be watching them with several friends who have very little Japanese ability and I want them to have at least a bit of an idea of what’s going on, haha, and 2) I want to get more information out there about these shows so that English-speaking Shakespeare enthusiasts (as well as other wrestling fans!) can know that they exist, since I think they’re something truly unique and special.

I’ll probably make some posts specifically about these shows in the pro wrestling thread once I’ve finished them and have had a chance to actually watch them. We’re aiming to watch King Lear this weekend, so I should have some notes on that in my next update!

So far, it has been a pretty research-intense process. I’ve been transcribing stuff from the back of the DVDs and the program for Romeo vs Juliet, and some of the people in the shows have been hard to find! I have a friend who is fluent in Japanese helping do some research on the people I can’t find names for. It’s an interesting look into some experimental artists and musicians who were performing in Japan at the time.

The matches themselves all have interesting names, often with some sort of pun, which really puts my Japanese ability to the test, haha. I’m a little bit obsessed with the title of act 2 of Romeo vs Juliet: “第2幕 パリステイオーの舞闘会”. As soon as I read 舞闘会, I had to take a moment because I was so filled with awe at how Japanese could make such a thing possible.

For folks who haven’t learned the word yet, 舞闘会(ぶとうかい) is a creative spelling of 舞踏会(ぶとうかい), which means dance or ball, and which I learned thanks to WaniKani! (struggle/fight) has the same reading as (step).

Japanese is so beautiful. Pro wrestling is so beautiful. Shakespeare is so beautiful.

I had to think for a while about how to even translate that act/match name. The nuance there is entirely lost in English… I ended up going with “Paris Teioh’s Ball/Brawl”, which feels so lacking in comparison, but, well, I don’t know if there’s really a way to do it better, haha.

As of right now, I’ve managed to translate the card/cast list for all of the shows, and have started working on some of the supplemental material, like the one program I have, which talks about some of what led to these shows happening, and describes the ~lore~ leading up to Romeo vs Juliet, haha. A friend found the guidebook for Macbeth for me while she was in Japan, so I’m currently waiting on that to arrive in the mail.

Sadly, the program for King Lear (which was the first of the plays to be performed) remains elusive, so we’re going to have to go into that one relatively cold. But I’m still super pumped for it, and think it’s really going to be a treat!

New resources:

One night, a Japanese Ammo with Misa discord server randomly popped into existence on my list of servers, and I discovered that she had made a discord for her patrons (of which I am one)! I’ve barely looked at it so far, but it seems to be a neat resource. Misa frequently comes on and answers specific grammar questions with clear and detailed responses. She’s really, really good at explaining specific nuances in a very clear and memorable way, with realistic usage scenarios if you are a nerd, haha, so I’m enjoying following along as she answers people’s questions.

Next steps:

Hopefully by the next time I update, I will have completed MNN and will have come up with a plan for tackling Tobira!

I also have a few non-Japanese projects I’ve been neglecting that I’m going to try to work on over the next couple weeks, but I’m going to try to get as much done on the deathmatch Shakespeare shows as I can, in whatever free time I have around my usual translation work. So I’m hoping I’ll have some cool stuff to report back on!

Onward to level 55! 行くぞ!


Made it to level 55!

Another fourteen day level, and a couple pretty huge milestones for me! I finished Minna no Nihongo!! Next up: 禁断のとびら! (That joke has such a tiny possible audience :sweat_smile:… If you’ve been reading my study log long enough to understand that reference, you’re a real one.)

Two thirds of the way there?

I also took a full-length practice N4 test (this one), and I think I passed pretty solidly? My vocabulary score was 91%, grammar/reading was 66%, and listening was 78% (my overall accuracy on the test was 78%). I have WK to thank for doing so well on the vocabulary section! The lack of kanji made the grammar/reading section harder, haha :sweat_smile:.

I had no trouble at all completing the test within the time limit. I actually had loads of time to spare on both of the non-listening portions, probably thanks to all the reading practice I’ve done. And with the kanji readings, I didn’t even bother to read the sentences for the most part because the readings came to me instantly as soon as I looked at the underlined word.

Just like with the N5, I found the listening exercises on the N4 to be much easier than the MNN listening exercises. The grammar exercises were the hardest for me. I didn’t know a few of the words, but the lack of kanji really exacerbated that, and the style of exercises being different than the MNN ones just really threw me off! I did extremely well on the reading part, though.

Overall, I’d say that if the real test is anything like this practice test, completing MNN 初級 1 and 2 should put you in a good position to pass the N4 safely. I didn’t do any test-specific study or practice beforehand, though I’d just spent several days doing pretty comprehensive reviews in the textbook.

With this, I’m considering myself to have officially graduated out of the beginner phase!

After I complete Tobira, I’ll probably try taking a practice N3 test? I don’t really have an interest in taking any of the lower JLPT levels officially, but it is admittedly nice to have sort of a framework to measure your progress. I’ll consider taking the actual N1 test if I manage to get that far, since I think that one is nice to have actual certification for.

With that aside, a few general comments on the past WK level:

I was a bit surprised that WK teaches (うなず)くand its accompanying kanji but does not teach (うなず)く and its accompanying kanji. 頷く is the one I’ve actually seen used in wrestling (I have it in Anki), and it’s the only thing that comes up when I type うなずく on my Japanese keyboard.

I was also blown away by the reading for ginkgo, 銀杏, being いちょう and not, well, ぎんこう (or ぎんきょう, I guess it was supposed to be!). I wondered why our word matched the standard kanji readings but the actual Japanese word didn’t, so I ended up going to google for answers, and according to wikipedia, “ginkgo” was apparently a misspelling of the Japanese readings for the kanji! It’s kind of amazing how language works like that.

Overall, level 54 ended up being a little more workload-heavy for me than usual because for some reason, my review counts ballooned higher than ever for a week or so. For the first time I think ever, my apprentice numbers were around 100, haha (usually they hover in the 70-80 range). I’m not exactly sure why? I might’ve just gotten unlucky and had a bunch of older stuff that I struggled more with all come back at the same time. I worried a bit about it, but after a few days, it seems to have passed, and things are back to normal now. Though even if that was the new normal, I think I’d be able to survive until 60, haha.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 5312 (and 3916 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

The biggest news by far is that Kota Ibushi’s NJPW contract ended on February 1, so he is now free!! He was immediately announced (literally immediately: they announced it the minute after midnight in Japan on the last day of his contract) to be appearing at a couple of American indie shows during WrestleMania week (it’s America’s イッテンヨン equivalent, basically), which will mark his return to the ring after a year and a half :sob:!

Kota’s return match will be on March 30 for Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport, where he’ll be facing Speedball Mike Bailey (!!), and then he’ll also be wrestling at Joey Janela’s Spring Break on the 31 (opponent still unannounced).

Kota vs Speedball is a match that I have been wanting to see for a very long time, haha, ever since I read this interview with Mao (who teams up with Mike Bailey as the Moonlight Express). As the interview points out, there are some parallels between Moonlight Express and the Golden Lovers, which are both DDT tag teams consisting of a Canadian nerd and a Japanese weirdo.

There are some great quotes in that piece, some including words that I think we’re discouraged from posting on this forum, haha. I do like this one: “Some fans call MAO “the second coming of Kota Ibushi” for his physical prowess—and also his affinity for nonsense.

Moonlight Express will actually be reuniting for a match the day after Kota vs Speedball! So I’m very much looking forward to that as well! (We are so close to getting the Golden Lovers vs Moonlight Express…)

It seems like Kota’s plans are to stay a freelancer and wrestle all around the world in all sorts of different places, sort of like what he did the last time he left NJPW. He’s also planning on starting a wrestling school in Japan! It seems likely we’ll see him in AEW at some point, though probably not anytime super soon.

Kota also has a brand new youtube channel! He has released a few short videos so far, which are all in Japanese. They have Japanese subs, but I was thrilled to see that he released a version of episode 3 which had English subtitles!!! Hopefully there will be more English support for his new projects going forward.

He had an interview (in Japanese) in shupro, which I did not try reading, but I did read the main points summed up in English. I’m just so excited to be getting so much content from him again, now that I’m slowly starting to reach a point where I can actually understand it :smiling_face_with_tear:.

In honor of his contract ending, I also finished a non-Japanese project that I’d been meaning to finish for a long, long time. It’s a gifset/essay (my gif blog returns!!) that’s basically a recap of the Golden Lovers side of Kenny’s AEW/Impact/AAA stories from 2019-2021. I’d meant to finish it at the end of 2021, but, well, a lot of other stuff happened in my life, and I just couldn’t get it together (I prioritized keeping up with Japanese and then taking over the DDT/TJPW translations).

There are a few rare gifs in there, haha. Including one of an instagram story with plot importance (as someone who cares about archiving this stuff, Kenny, why…), which I think I already shared here. There’s also an AAA promo from the era when all of AAA’s stuff was region-locked to Mexico, which the rest of us only got to see thanks to twitter user luchablog reuploading it. This study log got to hear about a lot of the stuff in that post as it was actively happening, haha. But I tried my best to sum up a lot of big stories with a lot of moving pieces and get to the core of it all. I think there’s a strong chance a lot of this stuff will get revisited…

I can’t stress enough that as niche as the Golden Lovers story might seem, the stuff in that gifset was essentially the A-plot of AEW and Impact at that time. Like a million Americans watched Hangman Page obliquely reference Kota Ibushi right at the climax of the story, and the crowd of thousands of people in the building totally understood who he was talking about, despite Kota never having even technically appeared in AEW or been mentioned by name there. It’s just cool to me that a story as complicated and as subtle as that can transcend language barriers and cultures and the passage of time and still persist despite everything.

The story covered in the gifset is in English (well, mostly), but as I’ve mentioned many times on here, one of the most unique things about the Golden Lovers story is that parts of it are only in English, and parts of it are only in Japanese. Judging from my own twitter timeline, I think every single one of those moments managed to reach at least the most dedicated portion of the Japanese fanbase for the Golden Lovers (largely thanks to the work of fan translators!), but I sometimes wonder what it’s like, coming at this from the other side.

I think we’re going to be headed into a really interesting era, where the story is once again getting told in a mix of English and Japanese, and we’re all having to navigate it through patchy translation, both official and fanmade. Well, I at least am more prepared than ever!

みんなの日本語 Lesson 50 – 終わり!!

I did it! I finished Minna no Nihongo!! All 50 lessons and all review exercises in both textbooks and all of my workbooks! :partying_face: :smiling_face_with_tear:

It took like double the time that I’d spend on a typical lesson thanks to all of the extra review exercises, but they were helpful! I did quite badly on a few of the review sections and needed to brush up on some of the old grammar, haha, but overall I did alright! I got 78% on the lesson 43-50 review in the 標準問題集 workbook, and 75% on the lesson 26-50 review (as always, I did them off of my own memory without looking up anything). Then I decided to do a more comprehensive review before finishing the exercises, and ended up rereading all of my physical notes on the grammar before completing the 総復習 exercises in the main textbook.

On the final review section, I ended up getting… 75% right, haha, so my score didn’t actually improve at all :sweat_smile:.

However, that last review was mostly not multiple choice, so it was a lot more demanding. You had to remember all of the verb forms and what you had to include (or not include!) with all of the nouns and adjectives to use them with different grammar elements.

The last exercise in lesson 50 asked me to: “お世話になった人にお礼のメールを書いてください”, so I wrote one for @rodan! (Don’t feel obligated to correct any of my grammar unless you want to, haha! I’m sure there are mistakes, but hopefully the sentiment comes across regardless :sweat_smile:).








上級へのとびら – Chapter 1

I found out that Tobira has premade Anki decks available for all of the chapter vocab lists on their website, which is awesome because it means I don’t have to download a deck made by some random person online which might come with errors. Their decks also come with audio, so I don’t have to add that manually, either. I didn’t really like the default look of the deck, so I slapped my custom CSS for my MNN deck onto the Tobira cards, and it looks much better now.

I already know almost all of the words on the cards I’ve gone through so far, largely thanks to WK. I tend to avoid the “easy” button on Anki, but I’ve been using it for these. I considered suspending known cards, particularly cards which might already be duplicated in the MNN deck, but honestly I feel like it’s less work to just mark them “easy” whenever they come up and let my card retirement addon take care of them eventually. I still treat WK vocab as sort of not really “usable” vocab until I learn it elsewhere, so I don’t mind duplicating those cards because I consider the textbook vocab (and my immersion vocab) essentially my working vocabulary.

I’m currently not planning on making a spreadsheet matching Tobira’s kanji up with their WK level. That was helpful for MNN when I was still in the process of learning all of those kanji myself, but now that I’ve already learned them, I don’t really need that resource for Tobira. Sorry!

(Small petty book artist complaint: I wish Tobira was as beautifully designed as MNN is :smiling_face_with_tear:. The textbook is fine and the design seems functional enough, but it simply does not spark joy… :pensive:)

I only just started reading the first chapter, so I’m still sort of learning the ropes, I guess, but so far it seems to be going pretty well? I haven’t had any trouble understanding what the exercises want me to do, at least on the first few pages. I’m planning on skipping the conversation pair work practice and the kanji stuff, but trying to do everything else that I can. I also have the grammar workbook.

It’s nice coming into the book with a decently high WK level because I don’t really have to worry at all about reading the kanji in the lesson text. I’m also used to reading exercise instructions and such that are all in Japanese thanks to MNN, so that part doesn’t require much adjustment.

My tentative plan is to complete one chapter about every two weeks. So ideally, I will have completed the first chapter by the next time I update this log! If the exercises end up being a lot harder than expected, I might slow down, but I’m going to try my best to find a good steady pace that isn’t too much effort to keep up with.


Spanish reading: (finished Sí, si es contigo, read a tiny bit of En el jardín de lirios, started Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis)

So, funny story: I thought this book was titled Sí, sí es contigo because that is what it says on the amazon page and the kindle file, but I got to the climax of the book, which had the title drop, and it said ”Sí, si es contigo”! I was like, hey, wait a moment, wasn’t it and not si? So I googled the book, and I found out that the amazon page is wrong! The title is actually Sí, si es contigo! It’s a small change, but makes for a much better title, I think, haha.

My reading pace picked up a lot as I got further into the book and more invested in the story. I’ve been trying to fix my terrible sleep schedule, but haven’t had a whole lot of luck, haha. One night, I started reading at 5:30am, telling myself that I’d just read a few pages and then go to bed, then ended up reading for TWO MORE HOURS :pensive:… I think that’s the first time this has ever happened to me with a non-English book? So on the one hand, it’s really cool that my Spanish has gotten good enough for a book to pull me in like that! On the other hand… it’s not exactly good for fixing my sleep schedule :sweat_smile:.

I ended up finishing the book much sooner than I expected, thanks in part to reading like 20% of the whole book that one night. Next, I tried picking up En el jardín de lirios, which is that academic study of GL media I linked a while back ago. I got through the prologue and am still interested in reading the rest of the book, but I had to do so many vocab lookups, I’m not sure it’s really worth trying to read it now. I’d look up words like “eje temático” and the dictionary would give me “thematic axis”, reminding me that I sure am reading academic theory :sweat_smile:. I ended up deciding to put it aside until my vocab is better.

I chose to read Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis instead, which was another book I had discovered on recommended lists of LGBTQ Spanish books when researching possible books to add to the library collection. I tried to look for an amazon preview so that I could see if the writing style looked to be at a good level for me, but they only had an audiobook preview. I listened to that and was able to understand a surprising amount, so I figured it was probably a safe purchase.

So far, I think that was a correct assumption! The book uses a lot of more literary words that I don’t know, but I found out the incredible benefit of reading it as a (properly formatted) kindle book is that I can use my kindle’s built-in dictionary to do instant look-ups, which is way quicker than having to look up words manually by typing them out. Currently, this is the most convenient media format I’ve found for reading in Spanish, and I’m really happy with it.

So, yeah, I’m going very strong on the read every day challenge so far!

I actually technically just finished my first novel in Japanese as well! After I finished lesson 50 in Minna no Nihongo, I started reading 小説 ミラーさん -みんなの日本語初級シリーズ-. I bought that book because I wanted to see what it would be like to be able to basically just read a novel in Japanese without having to stop and do lookups haha.

And sure enough, yeah, I know all the grammar in the book and basically all of the vocab! There are a few words in it that aren’t in the textbook, and some other words that I don’t remember getting taught in the lessons, but which I did learn from WK, but by and large, the only time I looked stuff up was just to double-check that I was on the right track with a trickier sentence. It’s pretty cool!

I’m only sort of half-counting it as my first novel in Japanese, since it is meant for learners and not native speakers. The quality of the actual writing is a little hard to judge. I wouldn’t say that it’s boring, but it’s definitely quite limited in scope.

I’m probably going to try to read the Read Real Japanese parallel text books next. Well, between all of the other reading projects I’ve got going on…

I did read a handful of pages from 女装してめんどくさい事になってるネクラとヤンキーの両片想い 3巻 (and nothing from 大海原と大海原 volume 3), but not enough to really count for much, haha.

I translated three senryu:


日記には上司の名前君付けで (this one was a fun localization challenge)


I also finished two TJPW translations, both of which were on the shorter end.

2023.01.29 TJPW 第3回“ふたりはプリンセス”Max Heartトーナメント — (1 word added)
2023.02.04 TJPW CITY CIRCUIT WINTER~大阪公演~ — (1 word added)

I’m honestly shocked by how few new words I added from those shows! I still have quite the backlog of added cards that haven’t entered circulation yet, though that number has been going down recently, since I’ve been adding more cards from immersion to make up for the lack of new textbook vocab over the past couple weeks.

My big reading/listening project for the first week of February was 大日本プロレス リア王 (Big Japan Pro Wrestling’s 2008 deathmatch King Lear production), though! Here’s a post with all of the info I managed to gleam about the show and some stuff I translated, as well as a bunch of screencaps from the DVD.

Next up, Romeo vs Juliet! There’s some more stuff I want to translate from that program before watching the show, so I’m not sure exactly when that will be able to happen, since I have to fit it around the TJPW translation workload. I’m also considering attempting to translate shupro’s recap of King Lear and including that in one giant blog post about the show. But that’s more of a stretch goal right now, haha.

New resources:

For reading in Spanish, I’ve discovered that a (properly formatted) book on my kindle is probably the most convenient format for reading practice, because my kindle grants me the ability to do instant lookups with practically the convenience of Yomichan. I’m unlikely to try reading books in Japanese this way, though, because I have a way to read ebooks in a browser with actual Yomichan, which is simply better :sweat_smile:. As far as I have been able to tell so far, the Spanish dictionary that my kindle has is great for looking up words, but isn’t much help for grammar. My Spanish grammar is pretty decent, so that’s not really an obstacle, but it would be for Japanese.

The Tobira website is pretty neat! I’ve only just started to poke around there, but it seems to have a decent amount of resources. As I mentioned above, I’m particularly grateful for the provided Anki decks. It actually has decks for the kanji it teaches, too, though naturally I have no need for those, haha.

Next steps:

Whew, that was a lot! After working so hard this past level, I’m going to spend the next couple weeks relaxing and—just kidding, I have a Korakuen Hall TJPW show to translate, and a new textbook to dive into, so it’s right back to the grind for me :sweat_smile:.

(I do actually genuinely enjoy studying, so don’t worry about me! This is literally what I’m doing for fun right now.)

My main goal for this next level, besides the usual stuff, is figuring out how to make the best use out of Tobira, and hopefully completing the first chapter? Ideally I’ll also make some progress on translating stuff for Romeo vs Juliet, but thanks to the aforementioned Korakuen Hall show, that might be asking a little bit too much.

Onward to level 56! 行くぞ!


申し訳ありません, but since I barely ever actually used the language to communicate outside of reading and watching stuff, I couldn’t correct the grammar if I tried! It looks good to me and I’m just happy to have helped as always. :blush: Thank you! And congratulations on officially not being a beginner! And putting aside your differences with a new textbook long enough to hold a copromotional PPV.

By the way, since you mentioned JLPT, I’ve been meaning to ask - I have a bunch of JLPT-themed study books that I don’t need or particularly want anymore (mainly N2/N1 Shin Kanzen Master and some lower level listening and grammar). Would you be interested in those (for free, not trying to sell them)?
I wouldn’t call them indispensable, but I found them mostly a decently-to-quite helpful outlet for the active studying drive after Tobira, and they might be better suited to your more regimented study habits than mine anyway.


Congratz on finishing Minna no Nihongo! It is super impressive to see the dedication it takes to go through a textbook like that all by yourself. I wish I was a bit less chaotic energy, and could do that kinda thing. :joy:

This one totally blindsided me too. I was like, ah Ginkgo, the reading will be eas—



Omg, thank you, yes I would be interested!! This is so kind of you :pleading_face:.

Would you like to have one of my handmade books? I have a few left over from an edition of 10 that I made in grad school (when I still had access to a book arts studio :smiling_face_with_tear:). They’re nothing too special, just half-cloth case bindings, completely blank inside (they were made before I learned how to make paper, so the paper is not handmade), but they are part of a very exclusive set, haha.

I was going to try to make some books out of my own handmade Japanese paper, but I am unfortunately a vat and some press boards away from being able to actually use my paper mould to make more paper, and I’m a paper cutter away from being able to make books right now, so a gift of a more thematically appropriate homemade book will have to wait until I get an actual book arts setup again :sweat_smile:.

I think we’re friends on Discord, so that’s probably the best platform for exchanging addresses, haha.

Thank you!! Honestly, I never thought I’d be able to do it either :sweat_smile:. I kept my old Latin textbooks with the intent of continuing them on my own after taking Latin I, but that never ended up happening…

Turns out what I needed was the strength of an intense special interest to keep me going. So obviously, all I need to do is get into Latin pro wrestling—


I guess gladiator fights were sort of the precursor to modern pro wrestling…


Great!! It’s no problem – if I’ve got 'em thanks to past me’s over-enthusiasm, they might as well go somewhere where they’re likely to be used.

Oh, sure! Thank you! I probably wouldn’t manage to use it for anything suitably cool, so don’t feel obligated! But I would certainly cherish the gesture if you felt inclined.

Yeah, I’ll follow up there! probably tomorrow since I feel like it’s less awkward when the other person isn’t around and so there’s no expectation of a timely response :sweat_smile:


Made it to level 56!

Another fourteen day level, and another slightly late update! I don’t have nearly as much exciting stuff to report this time, haha.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 5430 (and 4007 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

I’ve realized that my listening comprehension during wrestling shows has gotten good enough, I’ve already started to forget that some things that are understandable to me aren’t as understandable to some of my friends, haha. I was watching DDT’s 花より熱波2 show, the second 37Kamiina produce show, and Konosuke Takeshita (who could not attend the show in person) provided voiceover as a mysterious booker putting together different match configurations of his four stablemates in the main event.

My listening comprehension during wrestling varies a whole lot, but I’ve gotten pretty decent at understanding basic match layouts and stipulations (who vs who, what kind of match is it, etc.), though DDT likes to add unconventional stips in there that sometimes throw me for a loop, haha, so often I only get it partially correct. The new guy running the DDT English live translation account is a little slower than Mr. Haku used to be, so there’s a bit of a delay between the dialogue and when the translation shows up.

At one point, I was like: “Takeshita, you should make Mao and Yuki Ueno kiss,” and then literally right after I said that, I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard him announce that the next match would be a tag match where the wrestlers had to kiss their partner to tag in and out, haha. Sure enough, I’d heard correctly! Sadly, he retracted the stipulation right after, and it was just a normal tag match, but let the record show that Mao and Ueno were totally down to kiss, even though Shunma Katsumata wouldn’t kiss Toi Kojima :triumph:.

I also heard correctly that the last portion of that match was an elimination match, then felt bad when the friend I was watching with was caught off guard by the stipulation after the first elimination :sweat_smile:. I wish I’d thought to mention it, but it legitimately had not occurred to me that I’d understood and she hadn’t!

Also, while watching TJPW, I heard the Japanese commentary say what sounded like “姫様(ひめさま)()とし” when Himawari did one of her moves, and I wondered if that was what she’d named it (and if I’d heard correctly :sweat_smile:), and I glanced over at the chat, and I saw other fans posting that same word (and asking that same question), so I guess I was right! It makes sense as a move name, because she basically holds the other wrestler in her arms (“princess carry”, お(ひめ)さまだっこ. I learned this one from translating TJPW, see below), then spins around a few times before dumping them to the ground. I guess maybe you could translate 姫様落とし as Princess Drop?


That TJPW show also featured a performance by the SKE48 idol group (which Yuki Arai is part of) midway through. There was a conversation between the Japanese fans in the chat during that show that amused me. I think it was prompted by a couple comments from English-speaking fans who were acting a bit impatient during the idol performance. Someone in the chat wondered whether the foreign fans understand idols (sort of!), and someone commented that they have a hunch that foreign fans on Wrestle Universe are well-acquainted with SKE (well… beyond Yuki Arai, I would say not really). Someone commented that in the US, every sports halftime show is a flashy spectacle, and one would think that this is similar (good point!). Another person commented that the image that overseas TJPW fans have in mind might be Maki Itoh (honestly, probably not off base).

It was amusing to me that the Japanese fans were gossiping and speculating about the western fan perspective right there in the chat and the English speaking fanbase had absolutely no idea. People seemed to be both overestimating and underestimating the western fanbase, haha, which I suppose is probably just how it always goes.

Keiji Mutoh’s retirement show happened on February 21, and putting aside my opinion on the man himself, it was a very good show! I have a few gripes with the booking, but the matches themselves were pretty much all good for what they were, though I surprised myself by wishing that just about everything was longer. The TJPW offer match was particularly a highlight.

I found out after the fact that they streamed the first, like, half of the show for free on youtube, so go watch the TJPW match at least!! There is Japanese commentary, so it’s nice listening practice I, uh, did not watch it with Japanese commentary because I was watching it with friends. But the English commentary team was the NOAH commentary team, and they sure did not know any of the actual TJPW storylines…

I’m so proud of the TJPW wrestlers for getting to have a match in the Tokyo Dome :smiling_face_with_tear:. I wrote about that match and a few others from that show here in my list of best matches/shows of the year.

上級へのとびら – Chapter 1

Finished chapter 1! I technically started SRS-ing the vocab for chapter 2, but not enough to really count it for the purposes of this update.

I’m still figuring out the best strategy for tackling each chapter, but I think my current plan is to:

  1. Run through the vocab for the 読み物 reading in Anki while finishing up the previous chapter in the workbook
  2. Read the first half of the grammar section (covering everything that shows up in the 読み物)
  3. Read the beginning of the new chapter through the 読み物
  4. Skip to the 内容質問 section and do the 読み物 questions
  5. Run through the vocab for the 会話文 reading in Anki while doing the 読み物 reading and related exercises
  6. Read the second half of the grammar section (covering everything that shows up in the 会話文)
  7. Read the 会話文
  8. Do the 会話文 questions in the 内容質問 section
  9. Read the rest of the chapter and do any remaining exercises that aren’t conversation practice or kanji-related
  10. Do the workbook exercises for that chapter

There’s a bit of skipping around, haha, which might seem a bit confusing :sweat_smile:. It feels to me like each chapter introduces double the amount of grammar points and vocab that MNN introduced each lesson, so my two weeks per chapter pace is still doable, but it’s harder. I kind of wish Tobira was laid out in a similar way to MNN where the vocab and grammar lists are contained in a separate book that you could reference as you please, and then you could just work through the main textbook from start to finish without doing quite so much flipping back and forth.

Both Tobira and MNN seem to want you to try doing the reading first and then look at the grammar explanations, but I personally hate doing it that way because I feel like I get way more out of it if I read the explanations and then immediately see them in action. I’d rather come into it with all of the vocab already in my brain and the grammar fresh in mind, I guess. Then the reading is just solidifying and reinforcing my newly gained knowledge.

So far, my overall opinion on the textbook is positive! I like the amount of reading it asks you to do, and it introduces a lot of interesting cultural things, which is cool to read about. I don’t really like the style of the grammar explanations (I feel like MNN’s were much more in-depth and easier to read and understand), but the workbook gives ample opportunities to practice all of the grammar points, and I did feel like I understood them all by the end.

I laughed when I saw the page on あいづち at the end of the first chapter. I didn’t know the name for them until now, but these have caused me so much trouble while translating wrestling stuff (where naturally they come up all the time, haha, including every single one that the textbook tells me I don’t have to memorize)! I’ve struggled a lot with how exactly to translate them to convey the right flavor for each instance.

The Tobira workbook has a lot of open-ended questions rather than strict grammar drills, so that part is harder than the MNN workbooks, which usually had a few open-ended questions, but not nearly this many. I feel downright spoiled for getting English translations along with the instructions, though, haha, because MNN didn’t have that :joy_cat:. I think setting aside a full week just for the workbook is probably a wise idea, because I tried to squeeze it all into like four days and that was a bit tough.

The workbook asked me to write a sentence talking about something from my country using 〜は〜(こと)で知られている, and I amused myself by coming up with this one: “AEWは流血を使いすぎることで知られている。” (My friend joked that he fixed it for me: “ジョン・モクスリーは流血しすぎることで知られている。”)

I did start an extra Tobira deck for all of the words I come across in the textbook/workbook that aren’t in the vocab lists and which I haven’t learned yet from other sources. I’m also planning on learning any new kanji I come across that aren’t in WK or my existing kanji Anki deck. I just added my first one of those: , meaning heron, from 白鷺(しらさぎ), which Yomichan defines as “heron with all-white plumage (incl. egrets)”. I also added from the workbook, used for the extremely common word (かばん), with the kanji having basically that same meaning (bag). I was a bit surprised that WK doesn’t teach this one, honestly! But maybe it’s not actually as common as its use in an intermediate textbook leads me to believe? :sweat_smile:

In total, I ended up adding 34 extra vocab and 2 kanji for this first chapter. I’m not sure if I’ll be adding less words as I progress through the book or not, but I already felt it paying off, so I’m going to keep it up.


Spanish reading: (Cantoras)

I slowed down my reading pace a bit, so I’m currently only 22% of the way through the book, though it’s longer than Sí, si es contigo was. I’m not honestly sure what I think of the book quite yet. I think overall, I like it, and it’s definitely at least compelling enough to keep me reading, and I’ve had nights where I had a hard time putting it down.

The read every day challenge is going well still, though we’re about to wrap up in a few days! I’ll be starting a listen every day challenge for the off month.

No manga read this week! I did translate one senryu:


It has been quite the busy past couple weeks for TJPW! (And for me, the translator :sweat_smile:)

2023.02.11 第3回“ふたりはプリンセス”Max Heartトーナメント (part 2) — (6 words added + 1 kanji)
2023.02.17 TJPW press conference with Miyu Yamashita — (3 words added)

I’m close enough to the end of WK, I’ve started to add every non-WK kanji that I come across in my translations. I just added , from the word (つか)む, which in a wrestling context means to win or capture. I also added , meaning victory, from the very fun word 下剋上(げこくじょう) that I learned from Himawari, which means juniors dominating seniors, retainer supplanting his lord, etc. I find that word just very pleasing visually haha!

I’m currently about halfway through the Nagoya show, which was another long one, translation-wise. TJPW sprung two press conferences on me right before it, only one of which I finished, and then not only do I have the Nagoya show, but also the TJPW match in Mutoh’s retirement show to translate stuff for, and then two more press conferences the day after that, and a VOD show tonight… :sweat_smile:. So I have a very busy week ahead of me, haha.

New resources:

I wasn’t using Notion before, but I saw this cute template that bellynx made, and I totally couldn’t resist trying it out :sweat_smile:. The last things I need right now are more Japanese learning tools/distractions, but I did like the thought of having a more organized place to keep track of stuff.

I pro-wrestling-ified the template a bit:

I’ve currently filled out the main page and the 図書館 page with my reading goals and progress. If I have the time or, who am I kidding, if I get distracted enough when I should be doing other things, I’m hoping to compile a bunch of links to resources that I commonly reference during my studies (and a separate section for translation resources), and also go back through my study log and compile all of the media recommendations I’d earmarked for the future, but wasn’t ready for at the time.

I think this study log serves already serves a lot of the purposes that other people use Notion for, and I like having it because it preserves a record of my process and growth over time, but I had been thinking that I could benefit from having some sort of hub document that I can keep up to date with my current progress on the goals I’d laid out for myself at the beginning of the year, plus just keep track of media I wanted to read/watch, but hadn’t got around to yet. I have some stuff wishlisted on places like Natively, but I’d like a more medium-agnostic space where I can also include detailed notes about everything that’s on my wishlist. It might also be fun to have a page of all the senryu translations I’ve done, or at least the best highlights.

If I get the rest of my Notion pages together, I’ll share a link to it in a future update!

Next steps:

I’m hoping to get as caught up as possible on the translations over the next week or so, so that’ll probably be my main priority. I also have a few writing deadlines coming up at the end of the month, so I’m trying to finish three short writing projects by the end of February 28.

Between those two things, I don’t expect to have a lot of spare time over the next week, though I think I’ll still be able to keep up with my normal studies just fine.

If I miraculously finish all of that work and have time/energy left over, I’m going to try to get a thread started for MNN advice/resources so that I can just link to that when helping folks on the forum instead of linking them to billion word long study log posts :sweat_smile:.

I’m also going to maybe try to build out my Notion pages a bit more, which’ll involve combing back through this thread.

So, considering all of that, Romeo vs Juliet probably won’t be happening over the next few weeks, but hey, you never know…

Onward to level 57! 行くぞ!


Hey, just wanted to pop in and say hi since I’ve been away for a couple months on a break (only briefly mentioned it in the visual novel club cause I needed someone else to take over). Wish that didn’t have to happen, but life/health things got a little overwhelming. Finally getting back to reading again and wanted to see how you were doing. Very glad you’re still at it :slightly_smiling_face:


I’m so glad to hear from you again! I was worried about you since I hadn’t seen you around lately. I’m sorry life/health things got overwhelming, but I’m glad that you’re able to get back to reading!

And yes, I’m still at it! Coming up on my second anniversary on the forum, actually! Just realized a few days ago I gotta get on that year two overview post if I want to post another one… Still translating wrestling, and still going with WaniKani. Finished Minna no Nihongo, though, and now I’m on Tobira!


Made it to level 57!

I spent my usual fourteen days on the past level. I realized a few days ago that I was fast approaching my WK forum anniversary, and that that day was almost certainly going to coincide with my level-up day, so I wanted to get this post out as soon as possible so that I could post my year two overview (which should be coming very soon!).

Also, I’m going to be reducing my daily lesson count to 8 (3 kanji + 5 vocab) instead of 10. I came very, very close to running out of lessons at the end of this level, so I did a bit of math and realized that either I needed to do more kanji each day (and therefore level up quicker), or do fewer lessons each day and keep my two-week pace. I chose the latter because I think this is a better pace for Tobira, and I like using my WK level-ups to motivate me to stay on track with the textbook. The good news is it should lighten my review load a little bit, because I’ve had more older items coming back, and the latter half of the 50’s don’t tend to stick as well.

Last level was me sowing (neglecting my translations to work on some writing projects instead), so this level was me reaping (having to crunch extra hard to catch up on the translations before TJPW’s biggest show of the year) :smiling_face_with_tear:. I did kind of get into a groove with them, though, and they weren’t as hard as I was expecting! My stamina has improved a lot.

I tried timing myself for the first time, and I determined that at my current rate, it takes me about an hour to translate 600 characters. This includes the initial rough draft of the translation, researching the words and grammar I can’t figure out, watching the video and following along with the transcript, posting my questions in the pro wrestling thread, and then implementing edits and doing the final polishing.

So standard TJPW shows are about 2-4 hours of work, press conferences tend to be 4-8 hours (depending on if they have one or two parts), Korakuen shows are about 9-10 hours, and big shows like Wrestle Princess are like 15 hours. I’d estimate that maybe an average month’s worth of shows is about 20 hours (minimum) of translation work for me. This month is, uh, not an average month!

According to one of my friends, professional rates for a translator are like 500 characters an hour, which felt shockingly low to me, considering how so much of the time I spend on it is due to a lack of Japanese skill, which presumably a professional would not have to deal with :sweat_smile:. I think I still have plenty of room to get faster. I kind of wish I’d timed myself for some of the earlier ones, just to see how much I’ve already improved.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 5556 (and 4100 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

While watching a DDT show, I noticed these comments in the chat: “頑張れ電波!” “電波がんばれ”. I was like “Huh? Radio waves?” My immediate thought was that they were referencing ふりーWiFi (TJPW tag team consisting of Hikari Noa and Nao Kakuta. ビビビビビ!), but this was DDT, so that didn’t make any sense. Then I realized that the stream was bugging out, so the fans were trying to encourage the video signal the same way they’d cheer on a wrestler, haha! Here was another comment that made me smile: “このシングル楽しみだけど、電波…ファイト!”

I also was amused by this comment during a TJPW show from a fan who was remarking on Hyper Misao’s, er, way of schooling the rookies: “噓を教える悪いセンパイ” :sweat_smile:.

I found out that a friend I’d made in a pro wrestling discord is Japanese, though he’s not currently living in the country. He was incredibly charmed by the fact that I’m learning the language for wrestling, and that I’m attempting to translate TJPW. He also loved my senryu translations, and asked if I was familiar with kakekotoba (掛詞). I confessed that I wasn’t, so he linked me to this famous example. I’ll admit, it did my head in a little bit, haha!

This is another one that isn’t exactly “fun”, but the Pro Wrestling NOAH wrestler Daisuke Harada had to retire unexpectedly (after a 17 year long career) due to health concerns from a previous injury making it unsafe for him to keep wrestling. His retirement match was a one minute exhibition match with his longtime tag partner Atsushi Kotoge, who was also his debut opponent. Their tag team, 桃の青春, was one of my favorites in NOAH, so I was devastated to see Harada retire, but I was very touched that he chose Kotoge to be his retirement opponent.

They played a short video recapping Harada’s career before the match, and I think I understood almost all of it! It was mostly just a list of notable moments, with text in the corner of the screen giving the details, so it’s not a huge accomplishment or anything, but it was still nice to be able to fully appreciate the video. It’s amazing to me how Kotoge was there for practically every major moment in Harada’s career…


One of my friends found a Light/L Death Note doujinshi that I had stumbled across in a thrift store in Alaska and bought for her probably ten years ago. It occurred to me that I can in fact read Japanese now, so I asked my friend to photograph it for me so that we could finally understand the plot, haha.

I only had time to skim it for now, but I did burst out laughing when I saw this page:

It’s the Mother of Ultra!! Oh, sorry, the Mother of Ul*ra, ahaha.

I recognized her immediately thanks to having translated Kamiyu comparing Juria Nagano’s hairstyle to hers (see this post). I didn’t read enough of the doujinshi to get the full context for why she’s here, but I’m sure it’ll be an adventure.

上級へのとびら – Chapter 2

Managed to finish the second chapter, though it came kinda down to the wire. My translations have been keeping me busy, and there was a certain five hour AEW PPV last weekend… :sweat_smile:


私: 日曜日には長いプロレスのPPVを見ますから、普通より土曜日にはもっと勉強しなければなりません。

This is another one where I feel like a lot of what the chapter taught me, at least in terms of the reading (which was on 日本語のスピーチレベル), was stuff I’d either picked up on my own or had learned though Tofugu and this forum and the like. It did occur to me that with my translations (and manga reading, honestly) I’m getting quite a lot of practice with 話し言葉 and not quite so much practice with 書き言葉, so that’s probably something I should keep in mind :sweat_smile:. I already feel like I have a tendency to answer the exercise questions with language that I encounter in my translations, which tends to be 話し言葉. I’ll eventually even this out a little more when I have the time/energy/skill to dive into reading novels in earnest.

I did laugh when the 読み物 mentioned different speech styles and warned that if a woman says “俺も腹へった”, people will be startled. I remember Shoko referring to herself and the rest of the TJPW roster (remember, this is a pink princess-themed women’s wrestling company) as “俺たち”, and I’ve heard the wrestlers use tough guy speak on multiple occasions, though perhaps not as commonly as wrestlers in other companies use it.


Spanish: (reading: Cantoras) (listening: Bob Esponja)

I managed to get 29% of the way through Cantoras before the read every day challenge ended! I’m hoping I can finish it by the end of the next reading challenge.

I started watching Bob Esponja again for the listening challenge. I can’t tell if it’s any easier than the last time I watched some of it, though the difficulty usually varies pretty heavily depending on the episode. Some of the settings/themes are in areas where my vocabulary is a lot weaker, and my comprehension suffers as a result.

I finished the winter read every day challenge with a perfect score! As usual, I signed up for the listen every day challenge for the off-month. I haven’t really had to try at all to keep up with it with Japanese, since I’ve been really busy working on the translations and watching shows :sweat_smile:.

I translated two senryu!


衣食住 すべてそろった 偽装品

I finished… a lot of TJPW translations :sweat_smile:. The Nagoya show was already partially done, though.

2023.02.18 TJPW CITY CIRCUIT WINTER~名古屋公演~ (part 2) — (24 words added + 2 kanji)
2023.02.21 KEIJI MUTO GRAND FINAL PRO-WRESTLING “LAST” LOVE ~HOLD OUT~ (TJPW portion) — (0 words added)
2023.02.22 TJPW press conference (part 2) — (20 words added + 2 kanji)
2023.02.25 TJPW CITY CIRCUIT WINTER~蒲田公演~ — (9 words added + 2 kanji)
2023.03.02 TJPW press conference (part 2) — (13 + words added + 3 kanji)

From the Nagoya show, I added from the word 云々(うんぬん), meaning “and so on, and the like, etc.” (or “yadda yadda” as rodan put it), and I also added from the word (あふ)れる, meaning to overflow, to brim over, to flood.

From the first press conference, I added from the word (きずな), which means bonds (between people), (emotional) ties, relationship, connection, link, and I also added from the word 対峙(たいじ), which means confrontation, squaring off against, standing facing each other, etc. (I love this kanji!).

From the 2.25 show, I added (fief, allowance, pension, grant, happiness) from the word 貫禄(かんろく), which means “presence; dignity”. I’m guessing that this one shares the same phonetic component as (ろく), which makes it nice and easy to remember. I also added (waves, billows) from the word 怒涛(どとう)(いきお)い, which means “with great vigour; in leaps and bounds; with the force of surging waves”.

From the second press conference, I added (another one with a phonetic component that I think I can guess, since I just learned a few levels ago. And hey, looking at the keisei script on that page, it looks like I’m right!) and from the word 嫉妬(しっと), meaning jealousy or envy. Both kanji have that same meaning. I also added (dark, not clear) from the word 曖昧(あいまい), meaning vague; ambiguous; unclear. This is kind of a neat one because it looks like is the phonetic component (yep, checked the page, and sure enough!).

Very grateful for the keisei script for teaching me these things! And to rodan for the help as usual. I want everyone to appreciate their brilliant solution for translating the pun in Mahiro’s apology here: “睡魔”に負けて“すいま”せんでした” (“My falling asleep… was inexsnoozeable!!”).

New resources:

I finished getting my Notion page set up! It’s optimized for a smaller window, so it might look strange if you fullscreen it on a wide monitor. I even found a spot to feature my latest senryu translation on the main page. I compiled almost all of my senryu translations here, with the newest ones on top and the oldest ones on the bottom. I’ve done a lot more of these than I thought!

The 図書館 page has my progress on the actual books I’m reading (not a lot of activity there, as you could probably guess from all of the times I’ve posted about failing to make progress on my manga reading :sweat_smile:), and the 勉強 page is mostly just a compilation of quick reference links for my TJPW translations and Japanese resources in general. I was going to delete the timer, but I decided to try it out first, and I found that having a timer running actually did help me be more productive. The spotify playlist on the main page is a bit vestigial, though. I don’t listen to music while studying, and I don’t really use spotify, but I liked how it looked aesthetically, so I kept it :sweat_smile:.

The sticky notes page is basically a collection of odds and ends that don’t really belong anywhere else, like Japanese study resources that I want to hold onto but aren’t actively using at the moment, various projects that I want to do but currently have on the backburner, etc. I also went back through my study log and compiled all of the media that was recommended to me or which sounded interesting according to other people’s descriptions. The list is almost entirely recommendations from other people, or paraphrased descriptions from my friends on discord or folks on twitter. At some point, I hope to get around to actually reading/watching some of the stuff on there!

I’ll probably add and remove stuff from Notion over time as my own process shifts, and as I start to check out the things that have been recommended to me, so don’t rely on it as a stable resource, haha, but pretty much everything in there will remain immortalized in this log. Notion is sort of just a distilled down version of my study process that cuts out all the messiness in my study log and threads like the senryu thread, so it’s a convenient resource hub, but all of my actual learning happens in the messiness, so I think of Notion as like something nice to have but optional.

Honestly, I’m glad I only found it fairly late into my language learning journey, because I feel like as a beginner, I would have either gotten overwhelmed by it, or would have gotten way too distracted trying to figure out the perfect way to study, haha. But at this point, I already know basically what works for me and what I’ve got going on and where I’m headed, so I can remove all of the chaff and just keep the stuff that I actually need and let it be a nice supplemental tool rather than taking over my studies.

I found out that unfortunately, Yomichan is no longer being maintained. The good news is that it looks like TheMoeWay has forked it and will be rebranding it as Yomitan. So that will be a bit of a shift, but hopefully not a huge one.

I discovered YomuJP from Tofugu’s Winter 2022 resources. It’s another place to go for free graded readers (they have stuff from N6 through N1). As I think I said before, I’m reaching a point where I feel increasingly less of a need for graded readers, so I haven’t felt particularly inclined to browse these, but I thought I’d hold onto the link in case I changed my mind.

MissDagger is starting a book club for A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar! As one of the enablers who encouraged her to start it, I’m totally planning on participating! The goal is to very gradually read through all three volumes of the dictionary cover to cover, with people encouraged to ask questions and share examples from their immersion along the way. Conveniently for me (and inconveniently for anyone who hates pro wrestling), I have compilations of my wrestling translations saved in easily searchable master documents, so people might be getting some TJPW examples, haha.

I think the timing of the club might actually work out just about perfectly for me. If we make it all the way to the advanced volume, and if I stay on pace with my own studies, I think I’ll be studying advanced grammar by that point. I just ordered myself a copy of the third volume, so I’ll be ready :triumph:!

Next steps:

My immediate next step is finishing that year two overview!

Besides that, I’m about two (short) TJPW show translations away from being caught up, so I’m on track to finish those soon and then have a few days to rest until Grand Princess. Then I’ll, well, have Grand Princess to translate :sweat_smile:.

I think that’s enough to focus on for the time being.

Onward to level 58! 行くぞ!


Today is my two year anniversary of joining the WK forum! :partying_face: :cake:

As I mentioned last year, I consider this the day I started seriously committing to learning Japanese, so this marks two years of consistent study! This post is an overview of my journey so far, touching on where I’m at now and all of the main tools that have been the most helpful for me.

I’m still using most of the tools mentioned in the overview of my first year, so I’m not going to repeat the information in that post.

Where I’m at now:


I’ve reached level 57 on WaniKani, so I’ve learned over 1,900 kanji, including 32 kanji that I learned on my own which are not in WK.


I’ve completed book one and two (lessons 1-50) of Minna no Nihongo and the first three chapters of Tobira, and am somewhere between N4 and N3 in grammar ability.


I’ve learned over 6097 vocab words through WaniKani, as well as 1,073 vocab through Anki that I mined from native Japanese media. Additionally, I’ve learned 2,129 words (through Anki) from my textbook Minna no Nihongo, and 217 from Tobira, many of which overlap with WK, but many of which don’t. These are the words I consider essentially my working vocabulary, which I am comfortable using when producing Japanese.

What I can do:

  • Can read without feeling a need to use ichi.moe because the majority of sentences have few enough unknowns that spot-checking unknown words with Yomichan is sufficient, though reading without a dictionary is still impossible most of the time, except with some circumstances, like reading some wrestling content.
  • Can read a fair number of tweets without needing to use Yomichan (which I don’t have on my phone) or the auto translate, and can skim-read for wrestling information pretty efficiently.
  • Can read many manga sentences without any grammar or vocab lookups, though plenty of sentences still contain unknowns, and I can’t understand enough from context to be able to read without a dictionary.
  • Can follow along with a transcript for pro wrestling comments and promos and generally understand at least the gist of what is being said.
  • Can understand lots of scattered words and phrases in spoken Japanese, and occasionally catch full sentences, though I often make mistakes and miss nuance.
  • Can write fairly complex multi-part sentences about simple everyday things and pro wrestling, though my working vocabulary and grammar are limited enough, I’m not able to express much nuance.
  • Can handle short interactions in writing, though I’m very slow at composing my responses, and I’m still learning how to navigate what level of politeness is expected in different contexts, and which words are used only in text or only in speech. I also make a lot of mistakes, but usually my meaning still comes across regardless.
  • Can understand and translate senryu poems, for the most part.
  • Can understand and translate pro wrestling promos and backstage interviews as long as I have a transcript, though it’s rare for me not to make at least several mistakes.
  • Can recognize almost every kanji that I encounter. Reading without furigana is easy.
  • Can write a lot of kanji (poorly), but only a few from memory.
  • Can more or less guess the stroke order for most kanji, and can get the correct kanji to come up by drawing it on my Japanese keyboard IME pad 99% of the time.

What I can’t do:

  • Carry on a spoken conversation. I still have yet to try this, but I feel like I would struggle a lot and my answers would be incredibly stilted.

Essential tools

As introduced in my last post, I still use Yomichan, Anki, and KaniWani every single day! If you don’t know what any of these are, or are looking for resources for them, please see my previous post. I don’t really have anything to add there, except that Yomichan is no longer being supported by its creator, so I will probably eventually move to a different tool that does the same thing when another person inevitably takes up the mantle.

I do have one new Yomichan addon:

I no longer need ichi.moe, and I haven’t been practicing writing kanji lately.


I finished Minna no Nihongo (described in the previous post), and am currently working through Tobira. I also own the grammar workbook, though not the kanji one. I like Tobira so far, though I’m only a few chapters into it. I don’t feel that there was a large jump in difficulty after MNN, though I’m also coming at it from the perspective of having read lots of native material over the past year that is far more difficult than any textbook. Your mileage may vary if your only reading experience is from textbooks and graded readers prior to starting Tobira.

So far, I would say that Tobira has been useful for helping refine a lot of my slapdash knowledge that I’ve picked up by necessity through my immersion. The grammar workbook also has a lot of production practice, which might not be what everyone is looking for, but I think I’ve benefited from it despite finding it difficult in terms of the amount of time and mental effort it takes to produce sentences in Japanese.


This one is a translation resource, not a Japanese learning resource! Important distinction there. I felt compelled to mention it because it has been really helpful for me, but it’s obviously not necessary unless you want to full-on translate something and not just read it.

Smartcat is a CAT (computer-aided translation) software. 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 (I made a word list from the NJPW English book, for example). 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.

WaniKani userscripts

Again, see my other post for the full list! These are just the new additions that I’ve discovered since then.

For WaniKani itself:

  • Level Duration 2.0 — This one is not actually new! I just forgot to include it earlier in my study log, so it never made it into the one year anniversary post, and I didn’t notice I’d forgotten it until I had to reinstall everything. All this script does is show at the top of the dashboard how long you’ve been on a level. Handy!
  • Overall Progress Bars — This is another script for adding a WK progress bar to the top of your dashboard. This one has a bar representing each level, with different colors representing the SRS stages of all of the items in that level. There are three display options, and these two are my favorites:
  • WK Extra study mover — This script allows you to move the extra study UI (or hide it completely). At first, I wasn’t really bothered by the position of the new feature, but after having it for a couple weeks and ignoring it completely in favor of the self-study userscript, I started to feel like it was taking up valuable real estate, so I used this script to move it to the sidebar instead.
  • Dashboard Progress Plus — This script adds visual indicators of SRS stages of items, as well as a “90%” kanji box, plus gives you a popup with item information when you mouse over the items. I installed it pretty much entirely for the last thing, because sometimes I’ll prelearn the kanji a day or two before officially learning them, and this lets me check my memory by simply mousing over the items without having to open them in a new tab.

For KaniWani:

  • KaniWani: Disable Enter on Wrong Answer — This is a script for KW, not WK, but it’s handy. It won’t let you proceed with the enter key if you get a review wrong. I kept accidentally just powering past wrong reviews, which especially caused problems when I got marked wrong because of a synonym I hadn’t added yet. This script solves that problem.

For the WaniKani forum:

  • Forum: Details Keep Open State — This is a script for the WK forum that simply keeps the details tags open while editing. Just a small quality of life thing, but really helpful if you’re someone like me and are prone to making long posts, or editing wiki posts on a certain pro wrestling thread :sweat_smile:.
  • WaniKani Forums: Emoter — This script lets you upload your own custom emotes! I used it to import some favorites from a wrestling discord server I’m in.


Useful resources:

Again, these are in addition to the resources already listed in last year’s overview!

Notion is a note-taking and productivity app which I only recently discovered thanks to this cute template that bellynx made, and I totally couldn’t resist trying it out :sweat_smile:. I really like it so far, though! Click that first link to browse my Notion page.

Nihongo Stats is a stats aggregation tool that a WK user put together for Japanese language learning apps (Wanikani, BunPro, Anki)! It’s similar to wkstats, but has a different presentation and offers some graphs and data that wkstats does not have. My two favorite parts are the review accuracy and total items graphs. I don’t think other tools have offered visualization for this kind of data before, so it’s cool to see!

WaniKani History is another WK stats site with a heck of a lot of stats and other information!

昔話童話童謡の王国 is a website with a collection of 450 Japanese children’s stories with audio. I had fun listening to these as I read along for the listen every day challenge last year. They’re pretty accessible if you’re somewhere in the N5-N4 range and are equipped with Yomichan.

A Year to Learn Japanese is an in-depth guide to, well, learning Japanese that I really appreciate because it lays out different paths and gives multiple options without trying to claim that any one is the right way. I don’t really reference this guide much, but I did work through the pronunciation section last year and feel like I benefited from it a lot.

The Japan Foundation overdrive library is a digital library for US and Canada residents which consists 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! Many of these books aren’t in Japanese, but they do have some that are. Last year, I enjoyed reading Japanese–English Translation by Judy Wakabayashi.

Book Manager | ッツ Ebook Reader is a tool for reading epub files in the browser so that you can take advantage of Yomichan while reading. I haven’t done a lot of actual book reading yet, but just from trying it once, I could immediately see how useful this is, and am anticipating that I’ll be using it a lot going forward!

The daily senryu thread on this forum is a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to learn random new things about Japanese and/or Japanese culture! It took me a while to really warm up to the style of senryu poems to the point where I felt like I could understand and appreciate them, but now I’m quite fond of them. Don’t be afraid to just jump in and try your hand at translating the latest poem! I have a compilation of most of my senryu translations from this thread on Notion.

Also, I wrote a short guide to learning Japanese with a pro wrestling focus! There is probably zero new information in there if you’ve been following my study log and/or the pro wrestling thread. It essentially gathers the resources that have been most useful to me (minus the WK-specific ones, though I do mention WaniKani), which I wish I’d known about from the start. I’m sure that whoever comes after me will figure out an even better and quicker path, but hopefully it’ll help pave the way a little for other fans :blush:.

My current study routine

Disclaimer: I am currently unemployed and don’t have family commitments, so I have a lot more time to study than most people. Learning Japanese is currently one of my primary hobbies, along with watching Japanese pro wrestling, so putting this much time into Japanese is neither desirable nor achievable for many people :sweat_smile:.

I spend quite a lot of hours immersing myself in Japanese each day. A lot of this time is passive immersion that I don’t count as studying, though I am steadily picking up more and more in my passive listening. Sometimes I have partial translation, sometimes I’m completely on my own. It’s a lot of (unsubtitled) spoken Japanese as well as written Japanese on places like twitter and interviews and blog posts and such.

For active study, I have sort of a three-pronged approach which is only slightly modified from my routine last year, as laid out in the previous post:


  • I do at least three sessions a day, once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once at night. On most days, I break this up into smaller sessions if possible (it’s easier to do 20 reviews in one sitting than 50).
  • I do a consistent number of lessons every morning. For most of WK, I did 9 vocab and 3 kanji, but I’ve reduced the number in the later levels, since there are less radicals and vocab items, and I have more leeches now. In the latter levels, I would do 7 vocab and 3 kanji. When I run out of kanji, I do 10 vocab a day until I level up. As of a few days ago, I’ve gone down to doing 8 lessons a day (5 vocab and 3 kanji) to keep my two-week level pace. The first day on a new level, I do all radical lessons, and for the majority of the levels, I would generally do a few kanji and some vocab on those days, too.
  • After doing my lessons, I drill myself on the new material with the self-study quiz.
  • I fell out of practice with using the leech training script, but it would probably help me now, because I’ve picked up a lot more leeches over the past year! When I realize I’m confusing two kanji, I usually take a moment to compare the differences and figure out what was giving me trouble (the niai visually similar kanji script is helpful for this).
  • I’m also doing KaniWani to practice recall. I’m more lax with the SRS intervals on this, but I try to do my reviews at least two or three times a day. My KW is set up to only give me new items after they’ve reached guru on WK, so there are usually a few days of delay between me initially learning them and then practicing them here.


  • Tobira is currently my primary form of grammar acquisition. I’ve picked up a lot just through exposure with my translations, but my understanding is very slapdash and surface level, so I’m using Tobira to fill out my understanding of intermediate grammar. I try to complete one chapter each WK level (about every two weeks), though the chapters have more content than the MNN chapters did, so I have to push myself a little harder to keep up this pace with Tobira.
  • The first thing I do for each chapter is add the vocab for the 読み物 reading to Anki while I’m still finishing up the previous chapter in the workbook. I’ll have several days to run through the cards so that I’m ready to start the next chapter immediately. Then I’ll work through the chapter in this order:
  • Read the first half of the grammar section (covering everything that shows up in the 読み物).
  • Read the beginning of the new chapter through the 読み物.
  • Skip to the 内容質問 section and do the 読み物 questions.
  • Run through the vocab for the 会話文 reading in Anki while doing the 読み物 reading and related exercises.
  • Read the second half of the grammar section (covering everything that shows up in the 会話文).
  • Read the 会話文.
  • Do the 会話文 questions in the 内容質問 section.
  • Read the rest of the chapter and do any remaining exercises that aren’t conversation practice or kanji-related.
  • Do the workbook exercises for that chapter.
  • I try to make at least some progress on the textbook every day. Some days, this means more work than others! No matter what else I have going on, though, I always make sure I at least clear my Anki reviews.

Reading/active immersion/translation

I’ve told this story many times on the forum, and readers of my study log got to watch it all unfold in real time, but the short version is that my favorite wrestling translator, Mr. Haku, left CyberFight (an umbrella company for several pro wrestling promotions, including DDT Pro Wrestling and Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling) at the end of 2021, which devastated me. I was super depressed at the time for other reasons and cried a whole lot over this, but eventually dragged myself to my feet and decided that I would try to take up the mantle and translate as much as I could on my own, hoping that I would soon get replaced by someone who was actually qualified to be doing this.

Well, fast forward about a year and four months, and I’m still here! I started out translating for DDT, then took over from a friend with TJPW after DDT got an actual professional translator again. I took the TJPW translations public last summer after I got fed up with misinformation circulating due to bad machine translation, so there’s a bit of extra pressure, since I’m now doing this for hundreds of strangers in addition to the handful of friends I was translating for before :sweat_smile:.

I still can’t do everything that Mr. Haku could do (live translation on twitter is beyond me), but I’m doing the post-match comments now like he used to do. Slowly but surely, the quality of my work is improving, and I’m making a lot less mistakes. It is, however, a huge time suck with pretty much weekly deadlines (if I want to stay ahead of the next show), so I have to sort of fit the rest of my non-TJPW immersion around it whenever there are lulls in my translation workload.

I just calculated my average translation speed, and it factors out to be about 600 characters an hour (at least for pro wrestling. I imagine it would be slower for a domain I’m not familiar with, haha). This includes the initial rough draft of the translation, researching the words and grammar I can’t figure out, watching the video and following along with the transcript, posting my questions in the pro wrestling thread, and then implementing edits and doing the final polishing.

So standard TJPW shows are about 2-4 hours of work, press conferences tend to be 4-8 hours (depending on if they have one or two parts), Korakuen shows are about 9-10 hours, and big shows like Wrestle Princess are like 15 hours. I’d estimate that maybe an average month’s worth of shows is about 20 hours (minimum) of translation work for me.

I’m not sure I’ve ever posted my actual process for doing the translations before? I’ve refined it a lot since the early days, thanks to having better tools now and also a better grasp of the language. Here is basically how it goes:

  • I start by watching the TJPW show. Live if possible, if not, then I’ll wait for the VOD to come out (usually takes three days) before starting the translation.
  • If it’s a live show, I’ll wait until the next day for the transcripts to be up. If it’s a VOD show, I can get started right away. I’ll go to the TJPW results section of shupro’s (週刊プロレス, known primarily for their weekly pro wrestling magazine) website and view the detailed write-up of the show (this is only available if you have a subscription). They typically transcribe the post-match promos there, and all or most of the post-match comments. I’ll copy everything I want to translate into a word document.
  • Then I upload the raw Japanese text to Smartcat. Smartcat splits it up sentence by sentence, which makes it a lot less overwhelming to parse. It also has its own machine translation, which is more literal than DeepL, so sometimes it’s worse and sometimes it’s better. I have a wrestling glossary I’ve added, so it’ll bring up those suggestions when those words occur. I also usually paste the transcript of the dialogue into DeepL as I work through it, mostly for suggestions for some more natural ways to word some of the sentences.
  • I’ll work through the text sentence by sentence, spot-checking with Yomichan as needed. Often Yomichan won’t be enough to understand wrestling-specific uses of words ((ぎゃく)エビ(がた)め, anyone?) or other slang the wrestlers use, so I’ll have to try googling in Japanese. I’ll search for “[term] プロレス” or “[term] 意味”, stuff like that.
  • I keep a sort of master document of all of my translations (well, they’ve gotten long enough now, my master doc is split into several files :sweat_smile:) along with the original Japanese so that I can quickly go back through and search for previous instances of a certain word or phrase, or find examples of how I translated something in the past. I’ll highlight all of the lines in the original Japanese that are particularly confusing to me as I go through it, then un-highlight them when my confusion has been resolved.
  • When I come across words which contain kanji that I already know, I’ll add them (along with their surrounding sentence) via Yomichan to my main immersion deck in Anki. I decided to focus on words with kanji because I thought it’d be the best way to reinforce what I’m learning here on WK, since I only have limited energy for flash cards, and I often have an easier time memorizing kana-only words naturally over time without needing SRS. New cards get funneled to an inactive deck that I only add cards from when my regular Anki workload is low enough (so, when I’m not actively trying to learn textbook vocab).
  • I’ve also started adding kanji (and the words which contain them) that I come across during my translations which aren’t in WK. For these kanji, in order to learn them more thoroughly, I’m forcing myself to memorize how to write them. I don’t add every kanji I come across that isn’t in WK, but after I reach level 60, my plan is to add anything I don’t recognize to Anki.
  • Once I’ve finished the rough draft of the translation, I’ll watch the post-match interview videos on twitter (TJPW typically posts them there, so I’ll save all the links as I see them), following along with the transcript. Sometimes watching the video clears up my questions, because I’ll realize that there was a mistake in the transcript, or seeing the line with context will make it make sense to me suddenly, though my Japanese often isn’t good enough for me to catch a whole lot. For the VOD shows, I’ll watch them along with the transcript on my initial viewing, which is an interesting experience because I’ll catch a lot more of the dialogue that way.
  • When the draft for the comments are done, I’ll share them in the pro wrestling thread, along with all of my questions. This is a vital step! rodan has been very patiently helping answer all of my questions and give suggestions for how I can improve the translations, which really helps bring them to that next level and make me feel confident about sharing them.
  • I’ll edit the draft, implementing all of rodan’s suggestions to the best of my ability, and doing any additional smoothing over.
  • Then I’ll copy and paste the translation into a blog post on my wordpress blog. It takes a little bit of time to get everything formatted and tagged correctly. I’ll come up with a few bullet points to mention in a tweet promoting the link to the translation, then publish the post along with the tweet, and that’s it! It’s done!

Currently, pro wrestling is the only domain that I am actively mining additional vocabulary from, since it’s obviously my main priority right now. I do plan on eventually moving on to mining words from manga and novels and other sources, but I have more than enough on my plate with wrestling, so that’ll have to wait until the wrestling words have slowed to a tiny trickle, and I’ve gotten through the backlog of cards on Anki. I’m planning on ramping up my Anki workload after reaching level 60 on WK, so hopefully I’ll be able to actually clear that backlog soon. Also, believe it or not, a lot of the wrestling vocabulary shows up in other places, including my textbook, manga, and even senryu poems. And yes, putting in the time in Anki has absolutely paid off here.

I’ve also really enjoyed doing the read every day and listen every day challenges on this forum, but honestly I get more motivational benefit out of those with Spanish than I do with Japanese, because keeping up with the TJPW translations is pretty much daily work as it is :sweat_smile:.

Something important to note here is that yes, I’m aware that spending all of this time translating instead of merely reading and learning to process sentences in Japanese inevitably slows me down. Translating requires you to understand every single sentence, even the ones that are far above your level, and even the ones that are poorly phrased or riddled with typos or improperly transcribed.

But as much stress as it has brought me, it also brings me a lot of joy, and it makes each week an adventure. It’s a path I chose because I didn’t want to give up being able to watch TJPW with my friends who aren’t proficient in Japanese. I chose that over fast-tracking my own Japanese skill. Unlike with a medium like manga or a video game or whatever, I didn’t exactly have a choice in the timing. I couldn’t afford to wait.

So I guess if there’s any advice in all of that, it’s that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this path to anyone else, but it definitely was the right choice for me. Sometimes I think you have to make choices that let you actually use what you have now at this point in your journey, even if it’s inefficient and therefore pushes back that theoretical endpoint of fluency.

Next steps

I’m very, very close to reaching level 60! I’m definitely going to write up a way too long post synthesizing everything I’ve learned over the past 2+ years, so that should be coming within the next couple months. I’ve already started transitioning to using Anki to learn kanji that aren’t covered in WaniKani, and I’ll be ramping up my vocab mining there as well when I’m no longer doing WK lessons.

I just started Tobira, and at the rate I’m going, it’ll probably take me another six months or so before I finish it. I’m planning on using Shin Kanzen Master after that, though I don’t have a concrete plan in place for that in terms of scheduling.

I’m not planning on retiring this study log once I hit level 60! Obviously the format will shift slightly, since I won’t be able to time my updates with WK levels anymore, but the central structure will remain the same. I’ve really enjoyed tracking my progress and watching how it has evolved over time, and I’m hoping I can keep it up as I work through the intermediate level and beyond!

Here’s to another year! :blush:


Happy cake day! :cake:

It is impressive how far you’ve come in 2 years. The dedication and the consistency!

I wish I could say the same, but considering my own grammar study have basically been standing still since I left Japanese language school… I just don’t know how to study grammar in a way that would work for me. Maybe I’ll figure it out, or I’ll keep muddling along and remind myself to actually lookup grammar sometimes too, but I find that I do so many vocabulary lookups that I don’t want to slow down my reading even more to look up grammar unless I really can’t understand what I’m reading (and it seems critical). :woman_shrugging:

It isn’t something I’m worrying much about, but sometimes it does pop to the front of the brain and wave at me. xD

I recently installed this script, in fact I changed around a lot with my dashboard so it would be more useful for the little bit of info I can get from it. ^^

Anyway, just wanted to say hi and let you know I’m still here cheering you on!


Congrats on your year 2 milestone!
I really appreciate all the resources you listed. The pro-wresting one is so good!


Something that might help is getting a setup that makes lookups way quicker and easier? I know you enjoy manga (and I enjoy it, too!), but manga is notoriously difficult to do quick lookups with, which means extensive reading tends to sound a lot more appealing than spending nine million years trying to intensively read every page. I’ve found that I tend to let grammar go with manga a bit more because of that, whereas with my translations, since I’m working with easily copy-and-paste-able text, and in a browser with Yomichan, it’s way, way easier to do lookups, so I’m much more likely to actually do them (though I guess having the pressure of publishing my translations also encourages me to get it right… :sweat_smile:).

Maybe you could look for a novel in ebook form that you can use for intensive reading purposes? Or find a website with content that you like. Then you can keep extensively reading manga and visual novels guilt-free, haha.

I’ve had by far the most luck learning grammar through textbooks, but I am aware that this is directly the opposite of most people :sweat_smile:. For me, the scaffolding there really helps, where it slowly adds new grammar on top of what I already know so that I have time to get really familiar with the old stuff and can just focus on learning a handful of new grammar points at any one time. Then I don’t have to worry so much about not fully understanding some grammar in my reading, because I know I’ll get to it eventually in my textbook, so I can just try my best with my knowledge at the moment.

Thank you!! The continued support means a lot! :heart:

Thank you! I’m so glad to hear that the pro-wrestling guide is helpful! I put a lot of time into it trying to create the resource I wish I’d had, so I’m glad it’s helpful to others!