Fallynleaf's study log

Yeah it’s a real overload of such similar words. I was the same way briefly, though I am at least now super comfortable with that one level since I chose to play Ace Attorney. The kanji related to court, judgment, and the like are all pretty deeply ingrained for me now if nothing else.

But anyway, enough about me, mostly wanted to pop in and just say yeah, I’ve been through similar periods, and it can be really bad. Hope it relents for you soon enough, but at the least, you’ve got a few random internet strangers who want you to feel better, heh.

That said, much respect for keeping up with the studying. It can be hard to do absolutely anything at times, I’m sure.

That is a real shame about the loss of translations, like you mentioned before. It sucks that you won’t be able to follow the original Japanese on your own as soon as you’d like, but for whatever it’s worth, I’m pretty confident that eventually, you’ll get there. Your project sounds like a great way to keep practicing exactly what it is you care most about getting better at, so I think it’s a great idea.



I’ll sheepishly admit to just skimming much of this thread. The wrestling stuff is just beyond me.

(Forgive me for “fast-forwarding” through the 'rassling bits [to use my Dad’s term]. For what it’s worth, I’m sure some people enjoyed the 小野(おの)洋子(ようこ) “singing” in the [to me] otherwise utterly fantastic Get Back series about The Beatles. I had my thumb on fast-forward though.).

I’m truly impressed with all the reading you’re doing outside of WK already (I struggle to find time to read for pleasure or personal improvement — in any language — these days.

Some things leap out at me, though:

We’re all guilty of doing these sorts of calculations, but “finishing” really isn’t a thing with kanji … or even WK, for that matter (they keep adding items — which make me happy FWIW). And it really doesn’t matter how long it takes to get to level 60 or burn every item or finish every textbook or read every manga on your list. It’s all about the journey and dawdling along the way, not the destination.

Oh, man. This resonates. It’s SO much easier to create mental hooks for concrete physical objects than it is for conceptual things like this.

I literally burst out laughing recently when I first saw the WK meaning for (こう). I barely understood the English words, much less the concept!

I suspect that you’re entering the phase where I find myself now: it becomes much easier to remember readings than it does to remember meanings. And, weirdly, I start answering both meanings and readings correctly on auto-pilot. I’m often shocked at how well I’ve memorized the correct WK-provided meaning for a character out of Pavlovian recall. Sheer repetition (from frequent mistakes) is an awesome thing.

Quite literally, it’s usually best not to think about reviews too much: an incorrect answer is as valuable as a correct one (you’ve informed the system that you don’t know the item yet).

Just an off-hand thought: You mentioned the item inspector script recently. I’ve started using it over the past several months before every one of my review sessions to review Kanji and Radicals (not vocabulary) in the Apprentice 1 and 2 stages (using it to launch the Self-Study Quiz script). Getting “extra” reviews of early stage kanji has proved invaluable to me since I only study on WK once per day (missing the short-interval reviews).

IMHO, this is NOT cheating. The whole point is to review what you find difficult more frequently. At some point, the newly introduced characters are by far the most difficult, so it makes sense to review those items more frequently. The SRS will handle the other, later-stage stuff, but in the early days (or for things that have fallen back to the early stages) it just makes sense to get in as many reviews as possible.

I hope all is well with you and yours. I don’t know Mr. Haku, and I don’t know if he’s passed or simply withdrawn but I do understand loss. The D word is a heavy word.

From what I can see from your study log, you’ve got much to celebrate. I’m flatly amazed (and somewhat envious) at how much you’ve been able to accomplish in such a short time!

I second the thought: 頑張(がんば)れ!


Starting yesterday is better than starting today, starting today is better than starting tomorrow, and starting tomorrow is better than never starting. Try not to get too hung up on what-ifs, that you started at all is great


Thank you all for the support! It really does mean a lot.

Don’t worry, it’s totally fine! It’s mostly for my own benefit :blush:. If anyone else gets anything out of those parts, I consider it a bonus.

Honestly, the only reason I get so much done is because I don’t really read for the purpose of study outside of my textbook, haha! I’m just at a point where my special interest (wrestling) is so intricately tied to the Japanese language, I can happily spend hours each day completely immersing myself in it. The vast majority of the “reading” that I do is extensive reading/passive immersion and not a lot of active study, which makes it less of a mental strain, since I just notice what I can and let the rest go. But a consequence of that is that it doesn’t benefit me as much as more active study would, so I progress slower.

Yeah, I’m pretty aware that level 60 in WK is way closer to the start of the journey than the end. The main reason I want to get there, though, is so that I’ll be able to spend more time SRSing vocab and kanji from native media instead of doing WK lessons. WK’s method works really well for me, so I’m planning on sticking with it to the end, but I’m also looking forward to my WK reviews eventually tapering off, haha, and being able to put a bunch more cards into my Anki deck each day instead.

Same with my textbook. I see it more as the beginning stage to getting me to a point where I can read native media with less struggle, so that’s what motivates me to keep going. If I complete all 50 lessons of MNN and reach level 60 in WK, all I’ll have accomplished is that I graduated out of the beginner stage. But that in itself is a really exciting prospect, because that means that reading will be substantially easier, and I’ll have more freedom to customize my study according to the stuff I want to learn instead of trying to absorb a more general curriculum of knowledge.

I feel like my study log is all about the journey, haha! At least, that’s how I think of it. That’s part of why I let myself ramble so much about every small victory.

Unfortunately for me, readings are still harder for meanings, haha, though there are a few kanji that I consistently fail to remember the specific meanings that WK wants me to give :sweat_smile:

I did start doing some kanji reviews outside of WK’s SRS, but I started doing them in Anki, not WK. The main reason is because I wanted to force myself to learn how to write the kanji by hand from memory.

Here's a card I created for one of my leeches:

This one tests recollection (the information in red is the only stuff I force myself to remember when it comes up. The rest is just one example word containing the kanji, both readings for it that WK uses, and the radical that jisho gives for it):


And this one tests recall (it’s very bare bones, but basically it provides me with a prompt word containing the kanji I’m supposed to recall, but replaced with kana instead. I have to then write the kanji from memory. If I fail or struggle, back in the review pile it goes):


So far, forcing myself to learn how to write the kanji from memory does seem to do the trick, though of course it’s more time-intensive and I can’t do this for every single kanji that I learn. For leeches, though, it’s a great way for me to give them that extra attention they need to stick.

Thankfully, he is alive and well! He is just no longer doing the translation work that he used to do, which is unfortunate for the thousands of fans who relied on him to be able to follow DDT and TJPW’s stories. He used to live translate 2+ hour long shows on twitter, often multiple times a week (whenever the companies had a show that could be streamed live, basically), and would also translate press conferences, backstage comments, occasional tweets from the wrestlers, and even quotes from internet autograph sessions where the wrestlers would autograph portraits for fans.

Some of the translation work he did in an official capacity as part of his job with the company (his first paid translation with DDT was apparently “Loser Anal Explosion Deathmatch”, to give you just a taste of what DDT is like as a company), but the absolute lion’s share of translation work that he did was apparently just because he wanted to. So the live show translations, the backstage interview translations, etc., basically the meat of the stories and the stuff that makes the characters so compelling, none of that will be translated anymore going forward.

It’s kind of funny, but the thing that triggered my depression in the first place actually happened before Mr. Haku announced that he was leaving CyberFight. But that announcement a few days later was quite the bitter pill to swallow on top of what I was already feeling.

But, well, there isn’t really anything that can be done about it, so I’ll just have to try my best to make up for the loss of his translations.


I’m completely new to WK, but I’ve spent the past day or so reading through this thread—it’s been such a goldmine for learning resources, especially reading practice! I’m not yet at a level that I feel comfortable with reading Japanese, but when I’m ready to take the leap I feel prepared with lots to draw on :blush:

I honestly found myself fascinated with this whole thread. It’s super cool to see how you’re able to use wrestling both as a motivation to learn Japanese and as an active way to immerse yourself in the language.

Wishing you luck in your learning! I will happily follow this thread in the future— I’m looking forward to indirectly learning more about Japanese wrestling lol :slightly_smiling_face:


I’d always heard that you can eventually get pretty good at “guessing” the reading for many characters, but I never quite believed it. There is even the Keisei Phonetic-Semantic composition script to help you formalize the relationships, but I think sheer repetition is all it takes to start recognizing most of the patterns.

It’s definitely not a 100% thing, but I was very surprised after reaching a certain stage how often I knew the reading but not the meaning. Its a weird kind of intuitive feeling — I can’t always express exactly why I might know the reading, but my intuition is right more often than not. The exceptions to the “rules” are often even easier to remember because they are exceptions.

I’ll lay odds that you’ll eventually get to the same point. Sooner than you think, too.


Oh wow, thank you so much for this reply! And welcome to WaniKani!! I’m delighted that this study log has been so helpful for you, and that you took the time to read the whole thread! And I’m touched that the wrestling bits are part of its charm haha instead of being a turn-off.

One of the things I set out to do when I started this log was compile all of the resources I was finding along the way with the hopes of it helping other people in addition to helping me keep track of them, so it makes me so happy that this was useful to you!

Definitely feel free to pop in at any time if you have any questions :blush:. And if you ever decide to start a study log of your own, I would be happy to follow it! I think this thread has been a really useful part of my study process, and it has really helped keep me on track. I encourage you to find a space to talk about the things that you love, too, and the things that bring you joy during your studies. That’s the stuff that really keeps you going, I feel.


Made it to level 25!

Another twelve day level! Also another busy level, due to the holidays. I was remarkably productive, all things considered, though. Today also marks the one year anniversary of when I started using WaniKani!

I have a lifetime account now! I regret not buying it last year when I first started, but I have it now! I figured that if I reach level 60 in a year and a half from now, that’ll mean another six months to burn most of the items, so I’d be paying about as much for the annual subscription regardless. There’s a chance I could fall off of WK or need to slow my pace further, in which case the lifetime subscription would really come in handy, though I feel like that’s unlikely at this point.

In other news, I managed to bring my review accuracy back up! And look at that, my daily review count is back down to around where it was before:

Taking on a big translation project is definitely a bit of a trial by fire when it comes to Japanese language learning, but so far it hasn’t been too discouraging. Quite the opposite, honestly. I just try my best and try to learn what I can, and if I can’t quite figure something out now, it’s okay. In a weird way, I feel like I’m learning stuff that I wouldn’t have learned from Mr. Haku had he still been translating, since I’m very poor at recognizing wrestling moves and such, and I’m learning the names for some things just from reading the show reports. I’ve lost a lot, but I’ve also gained a few things, and hopefully I’ll continue to gain more and more as I get better at this.

I guess the one positive to a project like this is that wrestling is always happening, and even in the English-speaking wrestling world, I’m always missing things. Missing things is just part of how the medium works, since there’s so much happening at all times. You can’t follow every single wrestler on twitter, or watch every single wrestler’s vlog, or read every single interview, or follow every single storyline in every single company, even though they inevitably intersect.

So unlike trying to translate a novel or a manga or something, the most important thing is what’s happening right now, not what happened in a show months or years ago (though the past of course is always informing the present. But in wrestling, we are always in medias res). My translations can be imperfect and improve over time and there isn’t really any pressure to go back and fix the earlier ones later. It’s very freeing, honestly.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 1363 (and 871 in KW)!

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

While translating the DDT comments, I noticed that I now know all of the kanji in Jun Akiyama’s name, 秋山準! His name actually taught me the first kanji I ever learned, which I picked up purely from immersion before I started actually studying the language: 山. I didn’t know the meaning or the on’yomi reading, but I learned やま thanks to realizing that Jun Akiyama (秋山準) and Miyu Yamashita (山下実優) shared a kanji. I actually just learned the last kanji in Miyu’s name the same level! Jun Akiyama truly makes an excellent mnemonic for 準, though, because he’s a very highly regarded legend who wrestles a fairly traditional, straightforward style (in contrast with DDT’s company style). A standard indeed!

I loved this tweet (warning, it contains some photos from a hardcore match) from referee Kiso after Hyper Misao vs Shunma Katsumata in the 12.17 DDT show. He said that it was as though Misao was fighting not only Katsumata, but also the audience, the past, the future, the darkness in her heart, and something else that we cannot know. He thinks it’s excessively cool that she shed blood and put herself through so much physically just to shake the hearts of the crowd, and he says that the highest priority isn’t the euphoria of the performer, but bringing happiness to the person watching the work.

I also liked this tweet that Misao retweeted from a fan, which references a four-part documentary series that TJPW did which is currently beyond my ability to watch (though it does appear to have Japanese subtitles, so perhaps it’s closer in reach than I thought!). The fan singled out a quote, presumably from that video, and said that they thought Misao vs Shunma conveyed without words that the reason why Misao was fighting was “to save herself, and to save children like the one she once was.”

This tweet from AEW wrestler Hikaru Shida taught me (and her opponent Serena Deeb) a new word: 自業自得(じごうじとく). It means paying for your mistakes, suffering the consequences of your actions, reaping what you sow, etc.

I enjoyed this tweet exchange between NJPW wrestler El Desperado and DDT wrestler Chris Brookes. It’s fun to see them continuing to flirt on twitter, and I appreciate that the Japanese is fairly easy to read haha because Chris is still a beginner at the language.

My favorite match from the past couple weeks was Chris Brookes, Maki Itoh, and Minoru Suzuki vs Saki Akai, Kazusada Higuchi, and Yukio Sakaguchi in the 12.26 DDT show. I talked more about the lead-up to this one and linked an absolutely delightful video (with English subtitles!) in the pro wrestling thread. I loved the part at the end of the video where Chris bought some merch from Suzuki’s store and then asked for the receipt, and Itoh was surprised that he knew the word for receipt, haha! Thanks to WaniKani, I knew that one, too :blush:

In the match that followed, my favorite part was a spot where Itoh tried to climb up on the turnbuckle to do a signature move of hers where she asks the crowd who’s the cutest in the world (before covid restrictions prevented yelling, the crowd was supposed to shout “Itoh-chan!”), then she attacks her opponent. However, in this match, Suzuki didn’t understand what she was trying to do, and he kept attacking Sakaguchi with single-minded focus before Itoh could say her line. Itoh got really frustrated with his interruptions, but then Suzuki climbed up onto the turnbuckle the exact same way that she would, and Itoh and Chris excitedly yelled out Itoh’s line with Suzuki’s name instead. There’s a fantastic fan photo of the moment here.

The caption on that photo says 世界一かわいいのは? (which is Itoh’s signature line), but when I went back to listen to the clip again, I think she might’ve said かっこいい instead of かわいい for Suzuki. Either way, it was wonderful, haha!

Itoh posted a nice tweet about the match afterward, which doesn’t really say anything especially significant, but I just appreciated that I was able to read most of it from my twitter feed on my phone without having to look anything up.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 18 – 19

At long last, MNN introduces the dictionary form of verbs! Obviously this part of lesson 18 was not new information for me. The textbook is still hesitant to introduce informal speech, but at least we’re getting more mid-sentence verbs, which is handy.

My progress on the textbook was a little slower this past week due to the holidays, but I did manage to complete lesson 18! This was the easiest lesson in a while. I was very grateful for this, because I needed a bit of a break.

I was going through my Anki cards for the lesson 19 vocab during NJPW’s December 24 Korakuen Hall show, and literally right after I added audio to 乾杯(かんぱい), the KOPW 2021 End of Year Party Match started (in Japanese, 忘年会マッチ ウイスキーコース. There’s a WK word in there! These were the rules, and here’s a clip of the stipulation in action), and 乾杯 was said many times, haha. This was one I already knew, but it was a fun coincidence. That match was the most DDT match I have ever seen in NJPW, since DDT regularly does matches with a drinking stipulation, and NJPW does wild stipulation matches almost never.

葛󠄀飾北斎(かつしかほくさい) was one of the vocab words for lesson 19 (it’s the name of a famous Edo-period woodblock artist and painter). His name had a pre-existing card in the Anki deck I downloaded, but interestingly, it was labeled (FIX) by the person who put the deck together, and the furigana on the card didn’t match the furigana in the book. I looked up the word 葛飾北斉, the name on the card, and Yomichan actually brought up an entry: “Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) (incorrect kanji)”. I looked again, and sure enough, the last kanji on the card was wrong, and the correct spelling was the one listed in the book. I wonder why the incorrect kanji spelling has its own dictionary entry, and why the person who made my Anki deck noted that the card needed fixing without actually fixing it. It just seems bizarre!

Also, Hokusai’s name has a familiar non-WK kanji! Here’s 葛 again! I noticed that MNN used the abbreviated version, 葛󠄀, instead of 葛.

If you don’t recognize his name, Hokusai is the artist who printed 神奈川沖浪裏(かながわおきなみうら), The Great Wave off Kanagawa, and 凱風(がいふう)快晴(かいせい), Fine Wind, Clear Morning, as well as many other beautiful prints. Apparently he was also known by at least thirty names during his lifetime, and his name changes were so frequent, they’re often related to changes in his artistic style, and are used for breaking his life up into different periods (does this explain the “incorrect kanji” version of his name? I searched for it on his Japanese wikipedia page, wondering if there would be any clarifying information there, but it didn’t come up).

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 19 kanji! (Just a reminder that it’s possible to sort the chart by WK level or MNN lesson number, whichever is most useful to you).


I remain not caught up on 大海原と大海原, though I finished chapter 10, and am just a few pages away from finishing 11! If all goes well, I’ll make up a little bit of time over the next week, since the schedule gives an extra week to finish it because of the holidays.

I started translating post-match comments for DDT shows! I also started adding new vocab words to Anki that I’m learning from this translation project, with the qualifier that I’m currently only adding words that contain kanji that I already know (ignoring the kana-only words for now), and which I’m not going to eventually learn in WK. This should keep things from getting too excessive, and should hopefully help me build more of a wrestling-specific vocabulary over time.

Part of the reason why I’m bothering to SRS these is because Yomichan is almost too convenient. I’ve found that it allows me to read more easily, but at the cost of allowing me to get away without properly learning how to read a lot of words, since I have a tendency to learn to recognize words by sight without internalizing their reading. But if I put them in Anki, it tests me on the reading and constantly reinforces it through audio, which helps my auditory comprehension, which is actually more important than reading comprehension with wrestling!

My biggest fear with trying to translate DDT is that I’m inevitably going to miss out on a lot of the jokes. But, well, that can’t really be helped, so I’ll just have to try my best.

The links below go to more in-depth posts in the pro wrestling thread about some of the things that were funny, interesting, or confusing to me during my reading (including some free match links, if you’re interested/curious)!

TJPW 2021.12.10 Inspiration (see previous study log post) — words added: 路線

DDT 2021.12.12 Never Mind 2021 Tour in Shinjuku — words added: 直伝 秒殺 本部(席)

DDT 2021.12.17 Dramatic Explosion 2021 — words added: 先発 合戦 相打ち 入り乱れる 強引 軍団 電流 禁断 浴びせる 乗り切る 組む 不在 一戦 視界 連係(技) 持ち前 指折り 敗戦 手加減 一方 場外 本番 借りを返す 和解 実現 設置 持参 開戦 無数 画びょう 転じる 連発 感動

I also finally added 流血, despite first encountering this word ages ago. If I’m going to start a wrestling vocab deck, I might as well fully commit :sweat_smile:! All of the flash cards contain the context sentence I encountered the word in as well as the definition(s).

I added 38 cards in total this week. Some of them are already paying off, haha! 場外(じょうがい) especially is a very common word in wrestling when the wrestlers go outside of the ring. Just goes to show that frequency indicators aren’t really helpful for my purposes.

New resources:

I found out that jisho has a page that explains how to best utilize the search function, including a list of all of the tags it uses. This is a really helpful resource for getting the best use out of this dictionary!

I got the next set of MNN books (though it’ll probably be three months before I actually start them)! I also now own A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar. Just briefly flipping through it, it seems just as useful as the beginner volume, honestly maybe even more useful, since there’s a lot more grammar in the second volume that has already tripped me up while trying to read manga. I appreciate that the intermediate volume has furigana instead of romaji.

I’ll probably end up picking up the advanced volume at some point, but I think the beginner and intermediate volumes are fine for where I’m at now. I’m tentatively considering reading through the entire beginner dictionary after I finish MNN, partially as review, and partially as a way to sort of synthesize my knowledge. I’ll definitely be due for a rewatch of the Japanese Ammo with Misa absolute beginners playlist, too. I think it’ll help fill in some of the gaps, especially regarding casual usage.

I’m trying not to think too hard about my study plan for the intermediate stage, since it’ll be solidly over a year before I get there, haha. But I’m currently looking at moving to Tobira after MNN 初級1 and 初級2. MNN has an intermediate series, 中級, which supposedly brings you roughly to N2, but from what I’ve heard, it’s a slightly different style than the beginner series, and it’s harder to use it for self-learning, so Tobira seems like a better option.

I’m hoping that by the end of the intermediate stage, I’ll be able to be done with textbooks and also transition fully to a monolingual dictionary. Maybe that’s too ambitious, or maybe I’ll reach that point sooner than I think, but for now, I’m going to just work on slowly building up a solid base of vocab, kanji, and grammar, and see where that gets me.

Next steps:

This is the last study log entry I’m going to be making in 2021! I don’t really have a set list of goals for the next year, though I did end up making a post in the thread for goals for Japanese in 2022, which includes a little reflection on how much I managed to accomplish in 2021 (substantially more than I ever dared hope!).

My main concern, as always, is taking it day by day and week by week and focusing more on what I can do in the here and now rather than setting my sights on accomplishing some lofty goal. If I keep doing what I’ve been doing, I’ll continue to progress.

I do hope that 2022 is a better year for all of us, though.

Onward to level 26! 行くぞ!


Funnily enough - when I was progressing through Wanikani I used the Notes section as a place to write down a nonsensical personal mnemonic as I learned the kanji, pretty much entirely just as an excuse to type the sound as wanikani expected it and link some muscle memory in, and wouldn’t you know it:

I don’t think I knew literally anything about Jun Akiyama at the time except his name and that he ran AJPW or something. He wouldn’t be the only wrestler I unwittingly used as a mnemonic for a kanji in his actual name :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Congratulations on the lifetime membership and I’m glad the translation project is already showing its positives! The biggest leap I made in understanding was when circumstances caused something I was passionate about to draw me far forward out of my comfort zone (I wanted to play Yakuza 7 really bad before the English release date was announced), and I get the impression you’re capable enough (and DEFINITELY passionate enough) for the task, so good luck and I think you’ll get a lot out of it! (even if what brought it about is a bummer)

I would help more with bits you mention having trouble with but honestly I haven’t seen the need yet since your impression generally sounds good to me. :slight_smile:


Ahaha, that mnemonic is incredible! What a fun coincidence! I feel like DDT-era Jun Akiyama would appreciate this, since he’s shown himself to have quite the sense of humor over the past couple years, despite his reputation as being a very “stern” wrestler! I don’t know much about the classic AJPW guys, but as far as bald old ex-AJPW presidents in their 50s go, I like Akiyama better than Mutoh at least.

Thank you!! That is great to know, honestly! I worry constantly about getting the wrong idea about things, so it’s good to hear that I have a better idea than I think!


Made it to level 26!

It took 15 days, which is a little on the longer end, but I don’t really mind, because I had a lot of stuff to work on!

Mood-wise, it’s been a bit up and down still. But my enthusiasm for learning Japanese has not waned at all, thankfully! I’ve especially gotten a lot of reading done over the past couple weeks, and I’m pretty proud of that! Eagerly looking forward to the day when reading gets a lot quicker for me.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 1523 (and 965 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

In non-wrestling news, I just finished watching the short drama 消えた初恋. The version I found was subtitled in English, but the subs were fanmade, and I think they might be partially machine translation, because I noticed a lot of common machine translation mistakes, haha, like messing up the pronouns. I was surprised at how much I could understand from listening, though I definitely would’ve floundered without the subtitles.

There was also an instance where the subtitles used correct pronouns, but gendered the speech in a way that it wasn’t in the Japanese, and it seemed like a bizarre translation choice to me because one character did not react at all to another character using he/him pronouns for the person he was dating, and then that character later reacted with homophobic disgust upon finding out that the other character was dating a man. I knew enough about Japanese not to take the subtitled pronouns at face value, haha, but personally, I would have translated this differently!

In any case, the show was cute but didn’t have a whole lot of substance. It seems like a good candidate for practicing more everyday language, though, particularly language relating to high school and relationships.

I adored this tweet from Hyper Misao, the protector of love and peace in TJPW. She proclaimed herself an ally to all people who aren’t good at the atmosphere at the end of the year/beginning of the next, then said “一緒に怯えましょう!!!!”, or “Let’s be scared together!”

I laughed at this whole exchange between DDT’s Chris Brookes and NJPW’s El Desperado. The Japanese is very easy, which I appreciated. Maki Itoh wasn’t too happy with Minoru Suzuki after their tag match together, so she was not thrilled to hear Chris talking about being excited to be in Suzuki-gun now so that he can be in the same faction as Despy, haha.

Despy and Chris had another exchange a few days later after Chris’s match against DDT’s mascot Pokotan. I genuinely burst out laughing at this because Despy tweeted at him “you bastard!!” and Chris just said “仕方ないよ…” (along with the smiling emoji crying a single tear).

The first week of January is a very busy week for Japanese wrestling! I believe I’ve already talked about this, but it’s イッテンヨン week! I ended up watching a whole bunch of shows from a handful of different companies.

The best one was TJPW’s イッテンヨン show; highly recommend watching that one if you get the chance! I watched it with English commentary, though the video had an issue where it would briefly switch to Japanese commentary if it took too long to buffer. In one instance, I heard just a few words before it switched back, and I realized to my surprise that I recognized both: ()りを(かえ)す and 相打(あいう)ち. I had just added those to Anki from the DDT recaps, and it was already paying off! That felt pretty good.

I did learn one new word in Japanese from the show, thanks to Akki’s commentary! ムキムキ, which means muscular!

I also really enjoyed Pro Wrestling NOAH’s new years show. Go Shiozaki vs Katsuhiko Nakajima was awesome (though the match wasn’t quite as good as their last), and I got chills at the end of it when Katsu won and then proclaimed: “俺たちがノアだ”. It was a really cool way of taking Go’s words, “We are NOAH” (which, incidentally, Go now no longer can say, since part of the stipulation for the match was the loser giving up the ability to say “I am NOAH” or “俺がノアだ”), which drew on Go’s connection to the fans as the ace, and then transforming it into an inherently selfish thing, since Katsu was using it specifically to refer to himself and the other members of his faction Kongoh, not the fans. I’m interested to see where both of their characters go next, though of course there’s a part of me that is still somehow hoping the two of them will reunite as a tag team someday.

I thought that line was also an awesome way to subtly build up to one of the marquee matches in the NOAH/NJPW crossover show, since Kongoh was slotted to be in the main event vs NJPW’s most popular faction, Los Ingobernables de Japon, and most of the build to that show was between those two factions, with Kongoh’s leader Kenoh in particular doing most of the speaking for NOAH’s side of the crossover. However, NJPW had other plans, and Kongoh’s match ended up getting moved to the semi-main event :pensive:. Alas!

The sort of flagship イッテンヨン show, NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom, traditionally on 1.4, now expanded to 1.4, 1.5, and 1.8, was a little bit of a letdown this year, as I was expecting. The funniest thing to me, though, was that I ignored the beginning of Wrestle Kingdom night 2 to watch NOAH, and and then a couple hours after NOAH’s show wrapped, the entire NOAH roster showed up midway through the NJPW show to promote the crossover on January 8! It made me laugh because NOAH counterprogrammed the first part of a show that they then used to promote a crossover that they were a part of.

Oh, I think I forgot to mention this in the last update, but I was very amused by one of Kenta’s post-match comments leading to his match with Tanahashi on January 5. Kenta said that he deserves to be IWGP US champion more than Tana because he pronounces “Costco” the American way, and even pronounces “IKEA” incorrectly like Americans do. He says that he’s now more comfortable with miles and pounds instead of kilometers and grams, and he understands exactly what a gallon is. So, therefore, the US title is clearly meant for him! It was hands down one of the funniest promos all year. Sadly, in the actual match, Kenta both lost his title and picked up a few injuries, so it wasn’t the best day for him.

The actual NJPW/NOAH crossover show was fun, but a little underwhelming. I tried to buy the PPV through Abema, but made the mistake of ordering the ticket through the English language service (I was a little wary of Abema’s region blocking), then couldn’t get my ticket to work and wished I’d just bought it through Abema’s site in Japanese! I’m at a point where my Japanese is good enough, it’s not too difficult to navigate Japanese digital storefronts. I ended up watching via someone else’s stream, haha.

Any sort of NJPW/NOAH crossover these days is a bit loaded with skepticism and cynicism, considering how the relationship between both companies went in the past. I’m not sure this new show really did enough to dissuade those fears, though the last few matches in particular were a lot of fun. I’m hoping it leads to more in the future, because they sowed a lot of interesting story seeds. It’s always nice, too, for NOAH to benefit a bit from NJPW’s increased English language support, since not a lot of NOAH stuff gets subtitled, and fan translation leaves a lot out.

In other news, I loved this tweet from CyberFight president Sanshiro Takagi, containing a photo of Yoshihiko after his DDT match with Chris Brookes. I recently had the realization that I genuinely care about Yoshihiko (a wrestler who is quite literally a blow up doll) as a character, and I get worried for him when he loses big matches, just as I do for my favorite human wrestlers. Here in this photo, Takagi describes him as 黄昏(たそが)れる. This is a word that apparently means to fade into dusk, or to wane, or to look melancholic. The second kanji, 昏, is not in WK! I ended up adding both this word and that kanji to Anki. It’s a neat word, and if Takagi is using it, it’s probably worth learning for me.

Takagi is apparently very strongly encouraging the DDT roster to become fluent in English. He aims to increase the number of overseas subscribers from 30% to 50%, and to strengthen their relationship with AEW. It’s quite a different world from when Kenny Omega was there originally and the only person on the roster he could talk to was Michael Nakazawa, haha (well, and Kota Ibushi, but through “telepathy” and not words). If you ask me, the number one thing Takagi could do to attract more English-speaking fans would be hiring someone to do live translation on twitter as well as translating all of the post-match comments like Mr. Haku was doing. I feel like the company didn’t realize just how important that kind of work is for making their shows and their stories accessible to English-speaking fans. But, well, we’ll just have to see how things go for them!

Speaking of kanji that aren’t in WK, guess what I saw in my Hobonichi planner?

The 兎 here is read と just like the name of our villainous rabbit empire 兎津叉 in 大海原と大海原!

みんなの日本語 Lesson 19 – 20

I don’t think I have much to report on for lesson 19. I managed to get through it as well as complete 復習E afterward!

One thing that’s kind of funny to me is that I noticed my listening comprehension is often better with wrestling than it is for the textbook listening comprehension exercises, despite the fact that the textbook should be easier for me because theoretically I know all of the vocab. But the voice actors always seem to speak very fast, and wrestlers and commentators often speak much slower! I think it helps that real life conversations tend to have a lot more pauses, especially if you’re exhausted because you just wrestled for twenty minutes!

Lesson 20 has been going well so far! I got legitimately really excited when I looked at the grammar section and saw that we’re finally learning casual speech! I wish the textbook introduced this earlier, but I’m beyond happy that I’ve made it this far. Even though I already could recognize plain form verbs, I’m looking forward to getting more structured practice with them. I can already feel myself making another leap in understanding with the language as I start to fold this into my established knowledge. Sentences are just getting easier and easier to navigate.

My MNN Anki deck has just over 900 unique cards currently, and I’m feeling pretty good about that. There’s a lot of overlap with WK vocab, but I keep the two of them separate in my brain because I treat the MNN vocab as essentially my working vocabulary: these are the words I feel comfortable using in conversation, and I have a general grasp on when and how to use them. With the WK vocab as a whole, things are a lot spottier. I feel fairly confident in my recognition and recall, but generally hold off from using them when attempting to produce the language because I don’t understand the nuance and actual usage.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 20 kanji! (Just a reminder that it’s possible to sort the chart by WK level or MNN lesson number, whichever is most useful to you).


I signed up for the read every day challenge for winter 2022! I was already pretty much doing it, albeit informally, and I thought I might as well try tracking my reading every day to see how often I manage to meet that goal. The DDT translations have definitely been keeping me on my toes, so I don’t know if I really need the pressure of the challenge to motivate me to put work in every day, but I think it has helped a little bit.

I… did not manage to use the extra week to get caught up on 大海原と大海原 :sweat_smile:. I was too busy reading other things instead. I did finish chapter 12, though, and started chapter 13, so at least I didn’t fall further behind than I already was. I’m still enjoying the book, but on some level, I’m also looking forward to being done with it because I’m definitely not at a point where I’m reading fast/easily enough to be able to juggle manga and the DDT translations at the same time.

My picture books finally arrived! I wrote a review of all four of them, including some photos, and posted it in the read every day challenge thread. And wow, that thread gets substantially more traffic than this one, haha! People seemed to really like them. As I mentioned in that post, I read these extensively and not intensively, and I plan on revisiting them once in a while as I continue to learn.

DDT’s December 25 show was long as heck, and so was the recap for it! It took me a full week to translate it, and my translation ended up being a little less than 3,000 words! The January 3 show was shorter, and the recap for it was, too, but I still found plenty of new words :sweat_smile:. As usual, click the links below for full posts where I talk about the shows and mention things that I thought were really cool or beautiful, plus Japanese language questions I had while trying to translate them.

DDT 2021.12.25 Never Mind 2021 in Yoyogi — 66 words added (for a total of 104)

DDT 2022.1.3 DDT25周年開幕スペシャル!全席3000円興行!! — 36 words added (for a total of 140)

As I mention in the second post, another fan took up Mr. Haku’s mantle and started live translating the DDT shows! When I discovered that translation thread, I was so happy, I almost cried. It felt so good to once again be able to watch along and have a better idea of what was happening, especially the parts that aren’t mentioned in the text recap later.

I considered whether continuing my own translation project was really worth it if we have translations again, but I think I’m going to keep doing it. For one thing, I really want to have more complete translations of the post-match comments besides just summaries squeezed into tweets. Having the full comments (or as close to full comments as I can get, since they don’t transcribe everything on the website) is really important for really getting a sense of the characters’ personalities.

Also, there’s no guarantee that this fan will be able to keep doing this, so it’s really a good idea for me to continue improving my Japanese as much as possible in the meantime in case we lose another translator. We’ve learned that we can’t rely on DDT/TJPW translation continuing to exist. It’s best for me to prepare for a world where I have to do this on my own.

I can’t remember if I mentioned this last time, but a note on how I’m handling this influx of new words on Anki: I ended up making three separate Anki decks for kanji, my textbook vocab, and now the new cards from Yomichan. I’ve tried, at various points, to combine the three decks, but the thing that made it hard was the change in card formatting, honestly. My decks are aesthetically consistent, but they have different types and amounts of information, and that ended up being more frustrating than I anticipated, haha. It was hard for me to mentally switch gears back and forth while going through them.

The nice thing about having separate decks, too, is that it allows me to have a contingency plan if I ever get too overwhelmed. I’m prioritizing the textbook vocab above the rest on Anki, so if I need to, I can neglect the other decks.

So far, I think the wrestling vocab has added 15-25 minutes to my daily Anki study time. That’s not too bad, but it has definitely required a little adjustment! I also created a leech for myself by adding 実現 right after I learned 現実 in WK, haha! So far, I’ve been able to keep the meaning straight in WK, but I fail every other review for it in KW because I forget the order of the kanji :sweat_smile:.

New resources:

I tried to go looking for an Anki add-on that would auto-suspend cards once their due date reached a year or more, but it was surprisingly difficult to find one. I guess suspending cards after a certain time isn’t common practice like I had assumed? I did find out that if you do a search for “prop:ivl>=365” in the browse menu, it pulls up all of the cards with a review interval that long or longer, so I guess it wouldn’t be too hard to manually move them out of the deck, but then that raises the question of if you’d truly be saving time doing that instead of just clicking the “easy” button when the cards come up again, haha! I guess for now, I’ll leave things as they are.

Tofugu shared a bunch of new Japanese learning resources for winter 2021, and out of everything in this round-up, the one that stood out to me is KayoShodo’s calligraphy courses. I started following her on twitter because her account seems useful!

Next steps:

My main goal right now is to keep up with reading every day! My top priority is the DDT recaps, but I do want to finish 大海原と大海原 before the end of the month!

I’d also like to get back into reading more in Spanish, I think, but that will probably have to wait until I’m done with 大海原と大海原, so I won’t commit to anything else at this point.

Onward to level 27! 行くぞ!


Out of curiosity, what would your goal be with suspending those cards? For me it seems like if you get it right after a year or more, it’s likely going to get to three years or more anyway, and then after that even longer, and if you don’t get it right, then it maybe shouldn’t be suspended anyway, but perhaps there is something I’m missing in my thinking.


Well, my main line of thought was mostly with regards to making the most out of my time. I feel like my time is better spent looking at cards that I actually need to be studying. Once a card reaches a year or more, I feel like I’ve made the best use out of SRS for learning it, and either I’ll see it again in media somewhere and refresh my memory, or I’ll see it and realize I’ve forgotten it and then have to look it up in a dictionary again, thereby refreshing my memory, haha. Either way, at that point, I think I’d rather just let natural SRS take care of it. Words that I need will stick around in my memory, and ones that I don’t need can be looked up just like all of the English words I’ve forgotten over the years :blush:. But maybe this isn’t a wise way to use SRS?


Thank you for your answer! I definitely don’t know the wisest ways to use SRS, so if that works for you, that’s great. :+1:


Check out this extension. It’s essentially Migaku’s Retirement extension that I’ve used, but without the Migaku-specific parts.

This allows you to set retirement options separately for each deck. (The add-on isn’t updated for the newer Anki version’s options screen, so if you’re on the latest Anki, you need to hold shift when opening a deck’s options to get the old interface.)

Once set up, it will retire cards based on the conditions set in each deck’s options. You can set it to run this daily automatically, or only when you manually run it.

For me personally: If I have a card wait for over a year to come up, and I don’t remember it, it likely means I haven’t been seeing it in my reading. In that case, it’s not that important of a word for me to focus on, especially if there are many cards in my deck.


Thanks, this is basically exactly what I was looking for! And their reasoning for it seems to be the same as mine, which helps me feel more confident, haha!


I will have to read through this thread in its entirety. Watching Japanese wrestling and wanting to be able to read the tweets/articles and understanding the promos is my main reason for learning too!


This is interesting. I thought the concept of “burning” was somewhat uniquely WK, but I guess “suspending” is roughly the same. I never got too far with Anki.

Burning/suspending does give you some idea of progress (in progress and “done”), but I suppose even without it you could define progress as percentage of items that have reached some particular stage (say >8 months until next review).


You might be one of the few people that will actually appreciate the many long wrestling digressions in this thread :sweat_smile:. I’m not sure what kind of Japanese wrestling you like, but I watch a bunch of companies, so I think all of the big ones get talked about here besides Dragon Gate and AJPW, which I don’t watch. I also started a proper thread for pro wrestling at one point (if you read through my study log, you’ll find post after post of me talking about wanting to start it, then failing to. Well, I eventually did it!).

I love to talk about this stuff, so feel free to ask questions about my process/resources, or wrestling-specific stuff! Also feel free to post in the wrestling thread! Lately, that thread has mostly been used by rodan and I for posting about things we’re learning or find cool in our wrestling reading. It’s fun to have a dedicated place for that, especially since we can include match links or other fun stuff and discuss things without worrying about cluttering other threads.

Migaku talks a little more in depth about their thoughts on retiring cards. I don’t use Migaku, but I think I agree with their overall opinion here.

For me at least, it’s not really about measuring progress (I think my overall number of cards I’ve learned does a fine job of measuring that), but more out of concern for my time. I’m probably going to be adding new cards to Anki for many years in the future. I don’t really want to have to deal with a lot of extremely common textbook vocab circulating back through and having to click “easy” on hundreds and hundreds of cards that I already know extremely well.

I also think suspending cards on Anki is also a little more reliable than burning things on WK because Anki lets you grade yourself on how well you know something. If you’re not ready for a card to be suspended, you can always have it show it to you again at a lesser interval without it automatically knocking it back to a way earlier set interval like WK does. It’s a lot more forgiving.

I view SRS as sort of a stopgap, anyway. It’s a way to keep a bunch of words in my memory at once until I’m able to properly learn them. My ultimate goal is to eventually be able to move beyond SRS entirely, and learning to let go of individual cards is good practice for that, I think. If I ever get to a point where my active Anki deck has barely any cards left in it, at that point, I’ll probably be fluent enough to learn new words the same way I pick them up in English, haha!


The only US company I watch is AEW but watch New Japan and Stardom quite regularly. Stardom become my favourite company over the past year. There is just an emotion to it that I think sets it apart.

I used to watch Tokio Joshi a lot a few years back but fell far behind… I really liked that too. It’s not too serious and I just liked seeing everyone improving and it was just fun to watch. To be honest it was after watching their shows (and Hyper Misao especially) that I decided I had to finally learn Japanese.

I have decided to give DDT and Noah more of a go this year as well. I never watched Dragon Gate but am very tempted to try it out and haven’t seen an All-Japan card since the 90s… I’m old.