My ‘Road to Japan’


Though I’m not exactly what one could call a ‘weeaboo‘ I have always had a fascination with some aspects of the Japanese culture.

My best guess is that seeing movies like Akira and Laputa: Castle in the Sky(not to be pronounced in Spanish) at an early age on the BBC inspired me, along with video-games and the occasional rental of well known Manga movies/series like Ghost in the Shell, Wicked City and Dominion Tank Police. I never went for the Manga magazine’s though. (I was too busy buying vinyls.) I remember there was an Anime on the Dutch TV show: ‘Telekids‘. Though I never found out what it’s name was. (And please, feel free to comment if you do!)

On this page I’ll post updates about my “roadmap to Japan”, as I plan too travel there for my internship for the Academy of Popculture. This plan started with meeting a new friend at school; Leonie Peerboom. A very talented singer. We both like Japanese culture, and her idea for an internship made me think about the possibilities of going there for mine as well. Japan is one of the many countries I want to see, but one of the few countries that are high on my priority list.

As a big added bonus, I always wanted to learn ‘a hard language’. And latin did not do the trick for me… Watashi-wa Nihongo-ga wakarimasen, demo, sukoshi wakarimasu.

That’s a lot more then I can say in most other languages! (I’m already helpless in France, and that’s just a few hundred kilometers away!)

So far, I’ve learned the basic Hiragana (no dakuten or anything fancy yet), some basic sentence structure and a few words to describe people, objects, countries and other ‘stuff’. Though learning the language without romaji is nigh on impossible, I can already say: Start learning Kana early. Hiragana and Katakana are not that hard to learn, but Kanji is best described as; ‘nightmare mode’! (No cheats, little ammo and no save games.) So make the step early, you’ll have a nice advantage once the proverbial feces start hitting the fan.

On this page you’ll read how this plan unfolds…


I noticed something; Katakana is in fact a little harder for me to learn. I could see a lot of resemblance between the different Hiragana. But I see less similarities between Katakana ‘symbols’. I do really like the tight drawing of the kana. I look forward to understanding it, and best off all writing them. I’ve got the basic hiragana covered by now, but I must say; I easily screw-up some similar kana like ‘ne’ ね & ‘re’ れ & ‘wa’ わ, ‘ru’ る & ‘ro’ ろ and ‘nu’ ぬ & ‘me’ め.

To help me learn Japanese I bought the following books:

– “Japanese for Busy People I ” Published by AJALT, available in just about any bookstore, I guess.

– “Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary


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