Martial Arts Series 3 - Aikido

Posted on June 25, 2017 | genkijacs

Today we will be looking into one of the more recently developed martial arts or武道(ぶどう)of Japan.

※Disclaimer: we do not claim to be experts at any of the martial arts we will be exploring on this blog. This information is to be taken as a guide only.


Brief History


合気道 was created in 1920s! That’s right, 合気道 is less than a hundred years old. It was developed by 植芝盛平(うえしば・もりへい)who was influenced by a much older Japanese 武道 school called 大東流合気術(だいとうりゅうあいきじゅつ). The school was a predecessor to a number of martial arts and the current version of 合気道 is one of them. The older version was called 合気柔術(あいきじゅうじゅつ). It combined various `soft` and `hard` techniques of fighting.

Additionally 植芝先生(うえしばせんせい)was also influenced by the Shinto religion, which promotes peace, harmony and compassion towards others. So 合気道 became a `soft` martial art where instead of harming an opponent, the energy of the attack is redirected and used to resolve conflict without harming anyone. The ultimate pursuit of an 合気道 practitioner is not to become technically perfect or even in their physical development, but in working towards improving her/himself as a person.

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The Practice

As in many of the martial arts, the practice of 合気道 can only be done in pairs. An attacker or 受け(うけ)and a receiver or 取り(とり) will typically perform practiced movements together in order to learn different aspects of one or another technique. There are a great number of throwing and falling techniques a practitioner has to be introduced to and master before moving on to the `multiple attacker` practice.

There are slight variations in the way each particular school of 合気道 approaches the basic teachings of 植芝先生, but they all follow the same principles which makes 合気道 an ever evolving 武道 that appeals to millions of people world-wide.

合気道着 (あいきどうぎ)- uniform

As in other Japanese Martial Arts, a practitioner of 合気道 will normally progress through the 級(きゅう)grades before being tested for the so-called 初段(しょだん)level. At 級 level they wear a white tunic and loose pants, with a colored belt according to their level, very similar to the standard karate uniform. When they reach 段 level a pair of black, wide trousers or 袴(はかま) may be permitted to be worn by the 1st Dan practitioner, though this may vary on a school-by-school basis.

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大会(たいかい)

Because 合気道 promotes peace and harmony, most schools do not support the idea of competitions. That being said, there are some branches of 合気道that do hold competitive events. Their argument is: competing is not the same as fighting, but just another way of learning about oneself.

If you would like to find out more about this particular martial art, please follow some of the links below:

• https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aikido
• http://www.blackbeltmag.com/daily/traditional-martial-arts-training/aikijujutsu/daito-ryu-aikijujutsu-vs-aikido/
• http://www.aikikai.or.jp/eng/

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Words used in this Article:

• 合気道(あいきどう)→ Aikido
• 武道(ぶどう)→ Martial Arts
• 合気柔術 (あいきじゅうじゅつ)→ Aikijutsu
• 受け(うけ)→ An Attacker (In this instance this particular word has a number of meanings)
• 取り(とり)→ A Defender (as above in this instance)
• 合気道着 (あいきどうぎ)→ Aikido Uniform
• 級(きゅう)→ Level or Grade
• 初段(しょだん)→ First Dan Grade
• 袴(はかま)→ Wide trousers
• 大会(たいかい)→ Competition

A better, more Genki school

Posted on June 20, 2017 | genkijacs

One of the very special things about GenkiJACS compared to other Japanese schools is that we're always actively improving. This month alone, we've added projectors and a digital teaching system to all our Fukuoka classrooms, added a reading library in our Fukuoka lounge, and replaced most of the desks and chairs with much more comfortable ones.

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But today we want to highlight another special thing we do: bringing in guest teachers for special lessons. Since we began offering long-term student visa courses a couple of years ago, we've tried to bring in guest teachers every so often, to give students a bit of extra excitement. In recent weeks, we've had special lessons from some very exciting people:

1. A former sumo wrestler!
Mr. Takahashi Keiji (高橋圭二) came to school to talk about his former life as a sumo wrestler, how he got into the sport, his training regimen, and how eventually he got out. He has since been running a restaurant in Fukuoka called Hakata Tomoki 博多とも喜 (はかたともき). Mr Takahashi also treated our students to Chanko-Nabe (ちゃんこ鍋), the main dish of sumo wrestlers!

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2. A famous TV chef!

Ms. Mako Araki, who appears regularly on the NHK show "はっけんTV", and on RKB's "たべごころ", taught our students how to make some of the most basic and most important of Japan foods, including miso soup and onigiri. After all the cooking was done, our students had a chance to ask her about her journey to becoming a master chef. Ever since she was little, she has been striving to create beautiful and delicious dishes, and the students witnessed her passion for the craft of cooking first-hand! Fun fact: Mako-San`s favourite dish is Tamagoyaki 卵焼き(たまごやき).

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3. The former president of JR Kyushu!
That's right, in a couple of weeks, Mr. Ishii (石井), the former head of JR Kyushu, one of the main train companies of Japan, will visit the school to tell students all about his former job, and about the business world in Japan. It should be extremely informative! We will make sure to update you as soon as we can!

These lessons are an incredibly rare opportunity for our students to meet Japanese people from very different walks of life, learn using real Japanese, and hear about experiences they otherwise might never come across. It's just one more way that Genki Japanese School is different from and, dare we say it, better than most other schools!

Listening Practice Advice for Beginner/Pre-Intermediate Level Learners

Posted on June 19, 2017 | genkijacs

Studying Japanese is fun, but it is also hard. As we strive to make it as easy as possible for you, here is a little introductory article of how to start practicing your listening skills in Japanese.

Unlike with reading and writing practice, listening is not as easily accessible to those not residing in Japan. Listening to your textbook’s audio files is fun, but only to a point. So let us look at some of the learning materials to get you started. You may find them useful as well as entertaining.

NHK Easy News
It is free and they provide you with a great variety of topics and even keep you up to date with the current events. The language is aimed at a beginner/pre-intermediate level learner and every article has an audio file attached to it.
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/

NHK World Lessons
Another NHK-run website providing Japanese lessons. You will be following Anna, an international student, in Japan. The Lesson Structure is easy to follow and there are hours of audio files to keep you engaged. Click on the link below and see if it is something you may be interested in.
https://www.nhk.or.jp/lesson/english/learn/list/1.html

JapanesePod101
If you like practicing your listening on the go then the world of podcasts is for you. JapanesePod101 gives you a good way to start listening, learning and improving your Japanese. You can download the free episodes and use your phone to listen to their casual yet culturally relevant content wherever you are. There are also printable materials and other learning supporting tools on their web page, check it out.
https://www.japanesepod101.com/

Have a look and a listen, and keep an eye on this page as we will be posting more on the topic in the future.

Martial arts series 3 - karate

Posted on June 12, 2017 | genkijacs

空手 (からて)空手 or 空手道 (からてど)means the Way of the Empty Hand. It is named that way because traditionally no 空手家 (からてか)or Karate practitioner would use weapons to fight. Another reason for it to be named so is the fact that it was originally written 唐手(からて)or the hand of the Tang Dynasty of China and due to Japan's history this had to be changed.

The art from itself originated in (沖縄)Okinawa in the early stages of its development, which arguably can be traced back all the way to 1300s. But unsurprisingly, it is incredibly difficult find out the real origin of the art form in this era. The reason why there is no real use of weapons in Okinawan 空手, according to the popular belief, is that after the ban on weapons in the 1600s, people were encouraged to learn how defend themselves using just their hands as a weapon.

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There were three distinct styles of 空手and they are believed to have originated from 首里手(しゅりて), 那覇手(なはて)、and 泊手(とまりて)。The styles were named after the cities they were mostly practiced at.

At the turn of 20th century 空手 was allowed to be introduced to public schools in Okinawa. One school that adopted the practise early on in 1902 is 糸洲安恒 (いとすあんこう) school.

船越義珍(ふなこしぎちん), one of Itosu's students, further expanded the art form to the rest of Japan. He is also credited to changing the older name of 唐手 into 空手 as we know it today in order for it to be accepted into the 大日本武徳会(だいにっぽんぶとくかい)or Japanese Martial Arts Association, which was introduced in one of the previous blog posts. These and many other changes have lead 空手 to become accepted as a traditional 武道 (ぶどう)or Martial Art by the Japanese.

Practice

Different styles of 空手 all have various 基本 (きほん)or foundation movements and 型 (かた)which is, like in many martial arts, a set of movements codifying them into a pattern. It is supposed to simulate a defensive and offensive situation. There is also a sparring part of 空手 between two practitioners called 組手(くみて)and it can be seen during a normal practice as well as during competitions.

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Belt System

There are slight variations of belt systems in 空手 but generally if you are beginner, you are expected to wear a while belt or 帯 (おび). As you progress through the ranks you will attain: Red, Yellow, Orange, Blue/Green. Purple, Brown and finally Black. One thing to note is that Black belt has a number of so called 段 (だん)grades that are there to mark the skill of a 空手家 as they progress further.

空手 Now

These days 空手 is practiced as a sport and a martial art all over the world and is even recognised by the Olympic Committee. There are many 空手 organisations and discussing them in detail goes beyond anything that we can realistically discuss on this blog. Millions of people are practicing one or another style of 空手 throughout the world.

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If you are interested in discovering more for yourself, please do check some of the links below. Some of the information was taken from these pages and they are worth a read.

http://www.historyoffighting.com/karate.php
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karate
https://www.wkf.net/
http://jka.or.jp/en/

Vocabulary Covered (Excluding Cities and Names):
空手 (からて)→ Karate, Empty Hand
空手家 (からてか)→ Karate Practitioner
唐手(からて)→ Karate`s Old Name. Meaning the Hand of Tang Dynasty
基本 (きほん)→ Basics, Fundamental Movements
型 (かた)→ Practiced Movement Patterns
組手(くみて)→ Sparring
帯 (おび)→ Obi or a Belt
段 (だん)→ Dan grades will follow after a practitioner attained Black Belt Level.


Martial arts series 2 - archery

Posted on June 05, 2017 | genkijacs

Continuing our series of martial arts, today we will be briefly introducing the subtle and relatively calm art of Japanese archery or 弓道(きゅうどう, "kyuudou"), which literally means the way of the bow. Much like the previously discussed 剣道(けんどう), this particular art form came from the warrior culture of Japan.

※Disclaimer: we do not claim to be experts at any of the martial arts we will be exploring on this blog. This information is to be taken as a guide only.

A bit of history

The bow has been in use in Japan for millennia, with some mentions of this particular tool dating back more than two thousand years. With this it can only be expected that this particular weapon was used in warfare. The bow that the warriors were using was and is called 弓(ゆみ, "yumi").

During the warring period in Japan, the art of the bow or 弓術 (きゅうじゅつ, "kyuujutsu") became a very important part of Samurai training, using 弓 especially while on a horseback. Much like during any time of any conflict, constant warfare during the warring states in Japan, 弓 and 弓術 saw a rapid development, and at that time numerous schools of archery were established.

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As to be expected, when the Portuguese brought matchlock rifles to Japan, the decline of the 弓 began and eventually the newly developed Japanese-style rifles were used in most conflicts in Japan and the bow became obsolete. However during the Edo period when the Tokugawa Shogunate held the power over Japan, the all-out warfare was practically stopped. At this point the Bushi 武士(ぶし) or the warrior class, otherwise referred to as 侍(さむらい), found themselves to be holding more administrative roles in the government and consequently fighting less and less. As a result the practice of archery came to hold more of a ritualistic meaning, slowly integrating the ideas of Zen Buddhism where the inner world of the practitioner was sometimes considered more important than the fact that arrow might not hit the target. Though the views on this differ from school to school.

The development of 弓道 continued uninterrupted until another big step in Japanese history: the Meiji Restoration/Revolution 明治維新(めいじいしん) when the samurai class was banned and as such the number of Martial Arts 武道(ぶどう) practitioners fell significantly. Though according to the International Kyudo Federation, after the establishment of 大日本武徳会 (だいにっぽんぶとくかい)or Greater Japan Martial Virtue Society the practice of 弓道 was encouraged along with other 武道 styles up until the end of WW2.

But shortly after the WW2 the practice of 弓道 was revived and even became a regular extracurricular activity in Japanese schools, alongside with other forms of marital arts.

This brings us to now.

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Practice and Equipment

The principals of modern 弓道 are well established and codified and the same can be said about the equipment that is used in the practice.

The bow 弓 (ゆみ)stands way taller than the person wielding it, which makes it one of the longest bows in the world. It is traditionally made out bamboo and requires a lot of maintenance work. Obviously these days the 弓 can be made out of alternative materials. One remarkable thing about using the Japanese bow, is that unlike it`s counterparts from all over the world, the use of the Japanese bow is asymmetrical which means that the arrow is not placed in the middle of the shaft before release, but rather around 1/3 up the shaft from the bottom nock.

The arrow 矢(や). Also traditionally made of bamboo and requires a lot of maintenance work. It is very similar to arrows that most you have seen before.

The glove 弓掛 (ゆがけ). As expected this particular glove is worn by the practitioner in order to make the drawing of the bow string or 弦 (つる)easier and less stressful for the hand of the archer. The gloves are made of tanned hide and held together by glue and stitching. There are three different types of 弓掛: 三掛(みつがけ)、四掛(よつがけ)and 諸掛(もろがけ). These roughly mean three, four and five finger gloves though there are other variations to choose from.

Traditionally, while practicing 弓道 practitioners tend to wear 弓道着 (きゅどうぎ)a white top and black wide trousers called 稽古着 (けいこぎ)and 袴 (はかま)respectively. However, on more formal occasions, they tend to wear 和服 (わふく)a more formal style of traditional Japanese clothing.

Competition 大会

Competitions in 弓道 are very formal and involve a lot of rules regarding etiquette 礼儀 (れいぎ)very similar to the practice of this martial art. However, unlike the everyday practice goals, where the practitioner is not necessarily hitting the target, but rather working towards achieving the state of oneness with the arrow and the bow. During the competition it is the fact that they hit the target that counts, very similar to archery competitions around the world.

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Words Used in this Article

弓道 (きゅうどう)→Japanese archery
弓(ゆみ.)→Bow
矢(や)→Arrow
弦 (つる)→Bow String
弓掛 (ゆがけ)→The Glove
弓術 (きゅうじゅつ)→The art of the Bow
江戸時代(えどじだい)→Edo Period
徳川時代(とくがわじだい)→Tokugawa Shogunate
武士(ぶし)→Bushi (warrior)
侍(さむらい)→Samurai
明治維新(めいじいしん)→Meiji Restoration/Revolution
武道(ぶどう)→Martial Arts
大日本武徳会(だいにっぽんとくかい)→Organization to promote martial arts.
弓道着 (きゅどうぎ)→Clothing worn during Kyudo practice
稽古着 (けいこぎ)→Practice Clothing
袴 (はかま) →Wide Trousers
和服 (わふく)→Traditional Japanese clothing

For more information check the International Kyudo Federation Web page

Martial arts series 1 - kendo

Posted on May 29, 2017 | genkijacs

Today marks the beginning of GenkiJACS' own martial arts series. Here we will be introducing some of the more famous martial arts that originated in Japan or, at least, the ones that have been practiced here for long enough to become a staple in this country. We will also look into some of the lesser-known ones as they may also be of interest to some of you.

※Disclaimer: we do not claim to be experts at any of the martial arts we will be exploring on this blog. This information is to be taken as a guide only.

We have decided to start with one of the more popular and quintessentially Japanese martial arts (known as "武道" - ぶどう) - Kendo (剣道) which roughly translates into The Way (道) of the Sword (剣).

History

Kendo originated from an older form of sword fighting that was collectively called Kenjutsu (剣術), which means the Art of the Blade. Now, one thing needs to be said: There was no one particular school of fencing in Japan. Rather, there were many schools that taught their own particular way of wielding a sword. Most of the schools were established during the Muromachi Era (室町時代) (1333-1573) as it was one of the more violent periods in Japanese history, and the refinement of fighting styles happened mostly on the actual battlefield. The more effective the style, the more likely it was to be passed, much like the idea of the survival of the fittest.

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Further, during the Edo Period (江戸時代) (1603-1867) the idea of the warrior being more than just a skilled fighter was being developed. That is where the idea of Bushido (武士道) or the Way of the Warrior was born. It is a philosophy that considers the warrior to lead their life in pursuit of service to their master, perfecting of the art of fighting, and most importantly, the art of dying.

As the time moved on, protective practice armor and a bamboo sword were developed, which resulted in a less dangerous way of training. Throughout the years more developments and improvements were made to make practice a little safer.

After Meiji Revolution or Restoration (明治維新) (1968), depending on which side of history you choose to see the world from, the Samurai class was banned and the Bushi's signature long- and short swords (Katana, 刀 and Wakizashi 脇差) were also prohibited, but unsurprisingly the philosophy and practice of 剣術 and 武士道 survived the change.

Ah, the tumultuous 20th century. Here the standardization of the different techniques started happening and we can see a more codified and formal version of Kendo being born. Even with the temporary ban after WWII, Kendo is still practiced by millions of people. Maybe you are one of them?

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How to Kendo

There are a few general striking points:

Top or sides of the head → Men (面)
Wrists/Forearms → Kote (篭手)
Sides of the body → Do(胴)
Thrust to the Throat → Tsuki(突き)
Thrust to the Chest → MuneTsuki(胸突き) Not really used in competitions.

During the competition, two Kendo Practitioners or Kendoka (剣道家) enter the Shiai Jo (試合場) and fence until one of them scores either two points, or wins by Hansoku (反則) or foul play.

That is pretty much it, for more information, please check out numerous resources around the world wide web, but we hope that this little introduction gave you a little taste of what Kendo is like today.

Vocabulary used:
剣道 → Kendo, Way of the Sword
武道 → Budo, Martial Arts
武士道 → Bushido, Way of the Warrior
剣道家 → Kendoka, Person Practicing Kendo
試合場 → Shiajo, Place where competitions take place.
剣術 → Kenjutsu, Art of the Sword
室町時代 → Muromachi Jidai, Muromachi Era
江戸時代 → Edo Jidai, Edo Period
明治維新 → Meiji Ishin, Meiji Restoration/Revolution
刀 → Katana (Need we translate?)
脇差 → Wakizashi, Short sword
面 → Men, Mask
篭手 → Kore, Wrists, Gauntlets
胴 → Do, Body armour
突き → Tsuki, Throat Thrust
胸突き → Mune Tsuki, Thurst to the chest

Please stay tuned for more information about martial arts from this side of the world. We hope that it sparked your interest in Japan and it's many art forms.

大和言葉 (やまとことば) – Let’s Go Back to the Roots

Posted on May 22, 2017 | genkijacs

Every language has its own history. Languages adapt to the changing situations of their countries of origin. It might be that new words are needed to describe something that had not been discovered before or that the language is being influenced by other languages. That is why, when reading ancient texts, we often have problems understanding them, even if we are a native speaker. Japanese is no exception to that.

Have you ever heard of the 大和言葉 (Yamato Kotoba)? Some may consider it a language in itself; others would describe it as “Ancient Japanese”. It refers to the language spoken in Japan during the Yamato period between the years 250-710 AD. Around that time, Japan only consisted of a variety of tribes. However, for the first time, one tribe became exceptionally powerful and soon ruled the country. This was the Yamato tribe. In order to differentiate between the predominant ethnic group from minorities, the word 大和民族 (“Yamato Minzoku”, Yamato People) was used often, though today it is considered racist. Their language was the 大和言葉 or 和語 (Wago) , which still is part of the modern language in Japan.

Just like many European languages are widely influenced by Latin, the 大和言葉 was subject to many changes due to the Chinese influence of that time. When the Yamato period ended, the Chinese culture became very popular. In order to emulate them, Japan even adapted its writing system using their Kanji characters. Due to that fact, Japanese became more and more Chinese. Nevertheless, 大和言葉still represents an important part in today’s language, e. g. in terms of grammar.

Despite that, the English influence in Japanese (like probably everywhere in the world) is getting wider and wider. Maybe, in a few hundred years, there might be just as many English words in Japanese vocabulary as there are ancient Chinese ones nowadays.

To cut this long story short: Today’s Japanese a mixture of 和語 or 大和言葉, 漢語 (Kango), meaning words derived from ancient Chinese and even Western languages, 外来語 (Gairaigo).

Even though this new insight might not necessarily cheer you up when studying all those many different Kanji readings or getting confused over the various counting systems, at least now you know the reason for it.

Fathers on Wheels

Posted on May 15, 2017 | genkijacs

Ever heard someone mention a "papa-chari" (often followed by a mildly-derisive giggle?)

The term パパチャリ is derived from the combo-word ママチャリ (mama-chari). This particular term refers to the bicycles ridden by primarily mothers with their children sitting in a special child-friendly seat at the back of the bike. These modes of transport tend to be tailored to traditional feminine tastes. They are so widespread that there are bike dealerships that sell exclusively these types of bicycles.

パパチャリ or papa-chari is nothing really mysterious at all, but rather something of a trend that has recently started gaining popularity. To understand what it actually relates to, we first need to see where the word actually comes from.

パパ (Papa) Is pretty self-explanatory. (But just to make sure, it means father.)
チャリ (Chari) Is slightly less clear in its origins. There are a bunch of related words that may have given us this word. It could have derived from the word Chariot (チャリオット) and our further research online produced another interesting result: some evidence suggests it might originated from the word "チャリンコ" (charinko), which is another word for bicycle that originated around the sound of a bicycle bell ("charin"). (In ye olden times, "charinko" was also what you would call a child pick-pocket (a la Oliver Twist), but we don't think this would go over too well with modern mamas).

Now that is the true origin of パパチャリ - basically a ママチャリ converted to appeal to traditionally masculine tastes. (Because of course, no パパ would be caught dead riding a traditional ママチャリ. Gotta look out for that frail masculinity!)

There are also other types of so-called "チャリ":
ババチャリ ("babachari") – Granny Bike.
ジジチャリ ("jijichari") - Grandad Bike.

With this trend, we wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing other types of チャリ in the near future.

How about a 寿司チャリ (sushi chari)?

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Or maybe an 愛犬チャリ (aiken chari/puppy bike)?

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猫好き 

Posted on May 08, 2017 | genkijacs

Here at GenkiJacs we are Cat People or 猫好き(ねこずき). (That being said, please let us know if they open a dog café any time soon....)

Our Pop Culture course includes a variety of exciting activities, including visits to various themed cafes. So off to the Cat Café we went. Surely you have heard of places where you get to drink your tea or coffee and pet one of these:
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Fukuoka has a number of such places and going there is always very adorably relaxing experience.

Cat Cafes or 猫カフェ are great for a quiet afternoon in the middle of the city. These cats are always very well taken care of by the friendly staff members that work very hard to keep these cafes clean and the cats happy.

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(He looks a bit nervous, but we can promise this student enjoyed himself immensely.)

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SO if you like cats or just would love to do something different, please join us next time!

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Any questions?

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JapanesePod101 "1 week free study with GenkiJACS Tokyo" 's competition winner testimonial

Posted on April 30, 2017 | evankirby

In February our partner JapanesePod101 did a contest where the winner could study 1 week for free at our Tokyo school. The winner, a very nice student from Thailand, just finished his study with us and he kindly did a little testimonial in order to share his experience with all the future Japanese students:)

"- Why you are studying Japanese?
In Thailand, we know a lot about Japanese cultures since there are many cartoons and animes in our childhood. The reason I am studying Japanese is that I want to be able to understand Japanese in cartoons, games and TV programs. I also want to make a lot of Japanese friends!

- Why you chose JapanesePod101?
I have heard a lot about JapanesePod101 since I started self-studying Japanese. It is recommended by many people because JapanesePod101 has literally tons of useful studying resources and studying tools. There are also price discount campaigns throughout the year which I thought it was worth my investment so I decided to join the Premium Plus membership to gain full access of this learning platform.

- What do you like about JapanesePod101?
What I like about JapanesePod101 is that there are audio lessons categorized by your Japanese levels. As for me that I have some basic Japanese, I can start right at the beginner level or the low intermediate level instead of absolute beginner level. Another feature that I enjoyed is the personal teacher (available in the Premium Plus membership) which allows you to chat with the native Japanese teachers. Based on your level, you can just type in English to ask your Japanese grammar questions or you can also practice writing in Japanese and let them check your grammar for you! And lastly, the personal teacher regularly sends me Japanese assignments every week and evaluate my skills. It is very helpful.

- How you felt about winning the competition?
In the past months, there was a competition to win 1 free week of Japanese class in Tokyo at GenkiJACS. I joined the competition and I won! The moment I found out that I won the competition I felt very excited and happy because this was my first time to really study in the language school with the real Japanese teachers! I knew it was going to be the great experience in my life!

- How you enjoyed your 1 week with GenkiJACS?
Even though it was only 1 week with GenkiJACS, I learned a lot of new grammars and vocabularies. I realized that self-studying was not enough for me because when I was in the language school I had to interact with native speakers which helped improving my listening and speaking skills. All of the staffs and teachers are all kind and helpful. Besides, my classmates from various countries are really nice. It was a short but very fun week. I hope that I will return to study with GenkiJACS again in the future!"