Alias: Xcomp Lecrosse
About this blog
I decided to name it “Yuuenchi (遊園地)” which is pronounced you-eng-chee and means “amusement park” in Japanese because, most of what I was going to write was about what I enjoy the most – games and Anime. No matter if it was just news or thoughts, I wouldn’t be restricted to rules in a forum or, a certain theme or schedule if you were maintaining a full blown website. Just a place where I can write about whatever I want and when I want although I am trying to keep to an entry per day.
The idea behind shooting pictures of my import purchases and reviewing them is really to give people an idea of what the products have to offer. I buy quite a number of Japanese products but find it hard trying to find any previews of what they actually contain. The reviews on Amazon aren’t of much use since they don’t really give a detailed insight into their contents such as what kind of artwork the fan or art books contain. It could contain a whole bunch of images used as magazine ads for all I know so it’s been much of a gamble.
Yes, thanks to widespread high speed internet connections you can download anything that can be digitalised but, I like to show my support for works I like. After all, how can you be a fan if you don’t even support the company’s work? It’s fine if you’re a kid who depends on your parents for buying you stuff but as someone who has their own ways of income, there’s really no excuse.
Besides, you’ll have a good looking collection and don’t have to remember which DVD-R or hard drive you stowed it away on. Grabbing a book and flipping through pages isn’t so easy either.
How and why did you learn Japanese?
Quite a lot of people ask me this question so here’s how it began. Ever since I was a child I was fascinated with Japan. Watching all the TV documentary shows, my idea of the country was a beautiful green land with exotic structures and the edge of technology. So later I thought to myself, “It would be great if I could work there and have a few Japanese friends.” That’s when I decided to pick up the language.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know of any place around here that taught Japanese at the time so I decided to go out and find some books. There’s quite a selection in the book stores. I ended up picking up a book named, “Japanese in Three Months” by Hugo and it was a great book. It teaches through the basics of Japanese using Romaji (romanised Japanese) with small exercises and actual real-life conversations. There’s also a Kana chart at the end if you wanted to pick up on the main Japanese script. I ended up finishing the book in about a week.
After that, I had to find a way of putting what I learned into practice. I decided to find a Japanese Penpal from Japan Guide and got a reply. Internet technology at the time wasn’t cheap. It was a pay by minute service so not everyone could afford it. My penpal was one of those people and was only borrowing someone else’s computer to write. Thus, we began exchanging letters. I wrote to her in Romaji and she wrote to me in English.
A few letters later, I decided to write my letters in both English and Japanese so that she would have some examples of English to refer to help improve her language skills. She found it very helpful and I could see her English sentences improving. In return, she decided to start writing in Japanese using the actual script and Romaji. This was when I started to pick up on Kana and Japanese Kanji. I never did stare at a table to learn the Japanese alphabet. Seeing the characters repeatedly allowed me to remember them naturally.
Since then, I bought myself Oxford’s Japanese Mini Dictionary and started to use the Japanese Online forums which were very helpful at the time. There were keen Japanese learners there and also Japanese people who wanted to improve their English. Anything I didn’t understand, I would ask there and the responses were quick. In return, I would help and give examples of English the Japanese users didn’t understand.
In the end, I spent about a year focusing on learning the language with limited material while corresponding with various Japanese penpals. Some of them I still keep in touch with even now.
These days I don’t spend as much time learning new phrases and vocabulary but thanks to the affordable cost of broadband internet connections, it’s much easier to get exposed to new material. I’m not so sure about actually working in Japan any more because living there and going for a holiday are two different things ^^;