September 14, 2016

Nihongodict rises from the dead

Last weekend Nihongodict went off the air. The URL was parked by GoDaddy. And I feared the worst, because I use it a lot.

I sat down this evening to write an obituary, and tried it one last time AND IT WAS BACK AGAIN! YAY!

Probably someone forgot to pay the registration fee for the URL, and fortunately it wasn't instantly grabbed by SEO vultures or porn spammers. I guess GoDaddy gives you a grace period before auctioning it off to the vultures.

An SEO vulture tried to buy "" from me one time; they contacted NuNames who forwarded the offer to me, such as it was. Anyway, I've got it paid up to 2022.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 07:08 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 120 words, total size 1 kb.

July 10, 2016

USS Archerfish

In my never-ending search for cheesecake I ran into this post. It doesn't really count as cheesecake but I thought it was noteworthy anyway.


USS Archerfish was an American submarine in the Pacific during WWII, and it is particularly noteworthy because it sank IJN Shinano.

Shinano was the third hull of the Yamato series. Yamato and Musashi eventually became battleships but while Shinano was still in construction the decision was made to turn her into an aircraft carrier. She was commissioned in November 1944 and was being moved from Yokosuka to Kure when she was spotted by Archerfish.

Archerfish stalked Shinano for six hours and finally achieved a nearly ideal firing position. 4 out of 6 torpedoes hit, causing flooding which Shinano's rookie crew could not stop. She eventually capsized and sank.

So I think it's pretty remarkable that this Japanese artist honors Archerfish in this way, since although cartoony (and clearly based on KanColle) it's really rather respectful.

I guess you could claim that they do the same with USS Iowa, but that's not really the same. First off, Iowa is being drawn mostly as a fan service object. Second, Iowa is a ship you can get in Kancolle. I don't think there are any submarines in that game. (I could be wrong. There are no submarines in World Of Warships but there might well be some in KanColle. It's easy to get the two confused.)

That same post also includes a picture of USS Albacore, which is noteworthy for having sunk IJN Taihou during the battle of the Philippine Sea. Sadly, Albacore didn't survive the war and was lost with all hands (the most common fate for an American submarine). Her fate isn't known for certain but she probably struck a mine.

Time heals wounds and I guess a modern Japanese can look back and honor a gallant foe (by putting her in a stars-and-stripes bikini).

Other notes: CV-2 is the first USS Lexington, which was sunk at the Battle of Coral Sea. CV-16 is the second USS Lexington, which survived the war. The Japanese carrier they're shown fighting is Zuihou, which participated in Coral Sea and was sunk at Leyte Gulf by American carrier air strikes, including planes from the second Lexington.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 12:32 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 377 words, total size 3 kb.

May 23, 2016

This is sad

"J-Pop Idol Mayu Tomita Stabbed by Fan in Tokyo"

He stabbed her 20 times, including once in the neck. The only reason she didn't die immediately is that he was using a pocket knife. But there isn't anything else good about it. Depending on what he hit in her neck, it may be impossible for her to fully recover. With that many wounds it may be impossible anyway, and even if she can it'll take a long time.

Anyway, according to the report she hasn't regained consciousness, which is never a good sign.

(Note: there are apparently two idols with this name. This isn't the one who is in AKB48; this is the one who starred in the show "Secret Girls".)

UPDATE: Of course, there isn't anything new about rabid fans; ask John Lennon or Jodi Foster. But it's still sad when it happens.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 06:27 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 147 words, total size 1 kb.

May 16, 2016

Japanese -- firing mode


This frame comes from the second-to-last episode of GATE. Paratroopers are about to relieve the Rose Knights defending the Jade Palace and this soldier is about to open up on the legionaries. And we see him flip that switch to its upright position.

That rifle has a triple-burst mode (we see Kuribayashi using the triple-burst mode in the last episode) and clearly that's what the "3" means. It's the other symbol, on the top, I'm curious about. What is that symbol and what does it mean?

It's possible it's タ ta in katakana. It's also possible it's 夕 which is a kanji that seems to be pronounced yuube and means "evening". But I'm not sure about either of them because they aren't exactly the same as what's in that image. I'm assuming the symbol on the rifle means "full auto" but I can't figure out how to get there from that symbol.

Anyone know?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 02:19 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 158 words, total size 1 kb.

March 01, 2016


In Gate there's something Itami says a few times that means variously "Move out!" "Fire!" or more generally "carry out your orders!" It sounds to me like mae and I assume it's the imperative form of some verb, but I can't figure out what it is. Anyone have any idea?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 01:14 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
Post contains 51 words, total size 1 kb.

February 11, 2016

Coming soon to a futuristic anime near you: The Sky Mile Tower

There are plans and then there are plans. Sometimes "plans" are little more than trial balloons to see if investors are interested, and I suspect that's what this is.

If approved the huge tower would be the tallest building in the world, dwarfing the current record-holder, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai which is half as tall at 2,717ft (828m).

Located in Tokyo Bay, an inlet southeast of the city proper, the plan — dubbed Next Tokyo — wouldn't just be a single massive building, but if approved would emerge as a mini city designed to combat climate change.

The proposed high-high skyscraper would house up to 55,000 people - the size of a large British town.

Envisioned as part of Tokyo's effort to protect itself from rising tides, Next Tokyo would feature a chain of man-made, hexagon-shaped islands.

They would form a barrier to protect Japan's capital from flooding as well as provide the foundation for homes for some 500,000 people. They could be connected by Hyperloop, Elon Musk's high-speed transit system. (SCDB: Yeah, right. I'll believe it when I see it.)

The centerpiece of the plan, is the 5,577-foot-tall skyscraper slated for completion in 2045. It's currently being called the Sky Mile Tower and is similarly hexagon-shaped for optimal wind resistance.

The engineering challenge is obvious just from the proposed height. The fact that they want to build it in an active earthquake zone, which regularly gets powerful typhoons, makes it all the more interesting.

And some of the things they're talking about: As for elevators? They'll be ones of the cable-free variety, which can move both vertically and horizontally.

So I don't expect this thing to actually happen.

But it's a nice dream. How soon before it shows up in a fighting anime and gets demolished?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 06:22 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 310 words, total size 2 kb.

January 02, 2016

Honorific "chi"

Is "chi" an honorific? It's not listed in the Wikipedia page about honorifics. And as I was looking at that, I suddenly realized that I had heard it several times, but only in various parts of the Nanoha canon.

In the second episode of Strikers, when the aces are helping to fight the fire at the airport, at one point Hayate is going to put out the fire in a big section by using her magic to freeze it all. Obviously she can't do that if there's anyone in it, so she recruits a couple of guys who are in her unit to make sure it's clear. One of them calls to her, "Yagami-chi, onegaishimasu!"

In the Vivid manga, during the investigation in the Infinity Library, it gets used twice that I noticed: once for Corona and once for Vivio. Both times, the girls are being treated with respect.

Which makes me wonder if it's a variation on "chan" which is more respectful. And it also makes me wonder if it's something the author invented.

So is it a real thing, or is it unique to the Nanoha canon?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 12:51 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 191 words, total size 1 kb.

November 17, 2015

Yozakura quartet language usage

There are two peculiar things about the dialog in Yozakura Quartet I've been curious about.

First, a lot of the characters (and particularly Hime) greet each other with something that sounds like maidou instead of something like konichiwa. "Maidou" isn't a word but "Maido" means "thank you for your continuing patronage". It's something a clerk in a store would say to a customer. Is that really what she's saying?

Second is more complicated to explain. One of the youkai in the show is named Rin. She works for a ramen shop and does deliveries. She is a zombie.

She doesn't stagger around and say brainz brainz and in fact if you weren't told she was a yousei you wouldn't know it. Regardless, Akine calls her Rinoji. In the show's wiki, that means "Rin-shaped person".

OK, so I got that "ji" means "person". But how do you get "shaped" out of that? Is it Rin no ji that he's saying?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 09:33 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 163 words, total size 1 kb.

August 19, 2015

Engrish as she is spoken

This is part of the cover of a doujinshi, offered without comment:


UPDATE: I can't resist: "Close but no cigal."

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 08:12 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 25 words, total size 1 kb.

July 07, 2015

What is this character?


I've got everything else in that balloon but I can't figure out the first character (i.e. the upper right). It says


...I think... But I can't make any sense of it without knowing what that first word is. I keep running into this character in the Japanese version of the Vivid manga, and it's always a roadblock.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 10:12 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
Post contains 62 words, total size 1 kb.

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