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Hey there! I’m Scott and I’m a Japanese translator/tutor who also attempts to sometimes write things. I blog about writing, Japan, and a surprising amount of Harry Potter.

If you’d like to see my fiction work, click Short Stories off to the left.

If you’d like to see my translation/non-fiction work, click SoraNews24 Articles.

If you’d like to see my blog posts, just scroll down.

Thanks for visiting and I hope this site is everything you dreamed it would be!

Japanese company tries to create motivational poster, accidentally creates demotivational poster

My pick for the SoraNews24 article this week is the depressing: Japanese company tries to create motivational poster, accidentally creates demotivational poster.

Sometimes the way Japan comes up with solutions to problems is hilariously sad. Nobody having children? Let’s have meetings until all hours of the night and discuss ways to fix it. Want students to all have “natural” hair color? Force the ones with naturally not-black hair to dye it black.

And here we have another example. When upper management is displeased with how their subordinates handle the last-minute changes that they demand, how do they fix it? By looking into themselves and seeing what they can do to create a better environment for the workers who look up to them?

Nah, just blame the young people!

Take a look for yourself by reading the article here, and at least take solace that most Japanese people found it as sad as we did.

Top image: Twitter/@katokato 

Documentary on North Korean schools in Tokyo sheds light on bizarre, hidden part of Japan【Video】

My pick for the SoraNews24 article this week is the unusually enlightening: Documentary on North Korean schools in Tokyo sheds light on bizarre, hidden part of Japan【Video】.

Over the years, I’ve always heard about the North Korean schools in Japan. But I always assumed they were small, isolated, and put into Japan by North Korea themselves as a sort of spy unit.

But this documentary completely changed my view. The North Korean community is huge, and they’ve been part of Japan ever since they were forcibly annexed by the Japanese empire.

Their history is long and complex, as is their current situation. Funding for North Korean schools is obviously a divisive issue, but at the same time these are actual children who just want to go to school.

Check out this crazy, mostly-hidden part of Japan yourself by reading the article.

Top image: YouTube/Vox

Doki Doki Literature Club is the best horror-game-disguised-as-dating-sim that you need to play

My pick for the SoraNews24 article this week is one of the best surprises I’ve had all year: Doki Doki Literature Club is the best horror-game-disguised-as-dating-sim that you need to play.

It takes a lot for me to play through a video game these days. When I was younger I’d play most games whenever they came out, finishing them to 100% completion no matter how bad they were.

But as I’ve gotten older I’ve unfortunately had less and less time to devote to games. If a game doesn’t grab me and hold my interest right away, then I’ll probably put it down and move on to something else after just a few minutes.

So I was shocked when this game, Doki Doki Literature Club, had me hooked from the very first screen, before the game even technically started.

Doki Doki Literature Club is both a visual novel and a dating sim, two genres which I’m not a fan of, and yet it’s become my favorite game released in 2017.

How did that happen? Read the article and then try out the game for yourself. It’s free, short, and will stay with you for a long time.

Foreigners misreading Japanese kanji of “two men one woman” is too pure for Japanese Internet

My pick for the SoraNews24 article this week is something that a lot of Japanese-language learners can probably relate with: Foreigners misreading Japanese kanji of “two men one woman” is too pure for Japanese Internet.

Anyone who’s studied Japanese before has probably tried to “sound out” kanji before, that is, attempting to read a kanji you’ve never seen before by deducing its meaning through the parts that make it up. Sometimes they can make sense (“person” plus “tree” equals “rest”) but more often than not they don’t (“sun” plus “sound” equals “darkness???”).

And when misreadings occur because of assumptions, they can have hilarious results, just like the example in this article. I won’t spoil what the Japanese-learner read the kanji composed of “man-woman-man” as, but let’s just say it’s pretty far from the actual Japanese definition.

Read it and find out for yourself here!

Top image: PAKUTASO (edited by SoraNews24)

Japanese Twitter can’t stop laughing at this JLPT listening question straight out of Evangelion

My pick for the SoraNews24 article this week is the article that I had a one-in-a-million connection with: Japanese Twitter can’t stop laughing at this JLPT listening question straight out of Evangelion.

A few days ago I was looking around the Japanese Internet, seeing if there was an article I could do. I stumbled upon a tweet of someone showing off a listening question from a past JLPT test that was basically taken from the anime Evangelion.

That sounded really familiar, in fact a little too familiar, so I did a little searching and saw that the test was administered in December 2009, the date when I took the test myself! I remember how that question (which was completely out of place on the test, the rest of which was 100% SAT-like serious) made the entire class burst out laughing.

I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be have taken the same level test on the same day in the same year, so I took it as a sign and had to write the article with my own personal perspective. Check it out here.

Featured image: PAKUTASO

Japanese Internet can’t agree on what to call this color, what do you think it is?

My pick for the SoraNews24 article this week is the pupil-perplexing: Japanese Internet can’t agree on what to call this color, what do you think it is?

Color differences between languages and cultures has always fascinated me. Sometimes the colors that we use to refer to every day things (like grass, the sky, or apples) can vary slightly between languages. Maybe in another language the grass isn’t green, but “blue,” or maybe apples aren’t red, but “orange.”

It’s something that we take for granted, and then when it gets challenged, can be quite jarring. And if you want to see a great example of another culture having a problem with a color that you may not think is so difficult, be sure to check this article out.

Nintendo releases official, free online PDF of EarthBound player’s guide for anyone to read

My pick for the SoraNews24 article this week is the nostalgia-inducing: Nintendo releases official, free online PDF of EarthBound player’s guide for anyone to read.

EarthBound on the Super Nintendo was not only my favorite video game as a kid, it still is my favorite game to this day. And now with the release of the SNES Classic, even more people get to relive playing it, or try it themselves for the first time.

And to make it even better, Nintendo put up PDFs of all the SNES Classic games’ instruction manuals on their website. But since EarthBound never had an instruction manual, we get the entire strategy guide — over one hundred pages of gorgeous artwork, hilarious writeups, and of course, info on the game.

This isn’t your typical strategy guide. The EarthBound strategy guide is a legitimate work of literature, which may sound weird to hear about a video game guide, but it’s true. Why? Well check out the article and find out for yourself.

Featured image: Nintendo

Hole-y crap! Instagram makeup artist Mimi Choi transforms her face into surreal works of art 【Pics】

My pick for the SoraNews24 article this week is the terrifyingly amazing: Hole-y crap! Instagram makeup artist Mimi Choi transforms her face into surreal works of art 【Pics】.

I’m not usually one to get excited about makeup pictures, even the ones that are out of the ordinary, but these hole-in-the-face photos from Mimi Choi literally made me gasp out loud.

I don’t want to give any more away, so really just prepare to be blown away and check out the article here.

 

Featured image: Instagram/mimles

Kim Jong-un’s “little red book” of quotes is the worst joke book you can buy for 500 yen

My pick for the SoraNews24 article this week is the emotionally-confusing: Kim Jong-un’s “little red book” of quotes is the worst joke book you can buy for 500 yen.

Everyone knows about the Little Red Book of quotes put out by the Chinese leader Mao Zedong. And now it seems that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is not going to be outdone by his tyrant predecessor, creating his own “little red book” with nearly double the number of quotes.

While we didn’t get to see all of of the quotes in this Japanese translation, I think we get more than enough.

Want to see what goes on inside Kim Jong-un’s head? Then give the article a read here!

Featured image: Twitter/@huruya2100

How to Make a Horcrux: Deducing the “Horrible” Act

I recently re-read all seven Harry Potter books to see if my opinion of them had changed in the past decade. I’d always loved the first four, but could never quite get into the last three. They felt like they were missing the magic (wop wop) that the first four had.

And this time around too, unfortunately I didn’t like Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, or Deathly Hallows much more than I had the first time I’d read them. Although there was one thing I did enjoy more about them this time: Voldemort’s Horcruxes.

They were certainly a lot more interesting
than the “mystery” of who the Half-Blood Prince was.

In my opinion, the Horcruxes are the best parts of the sixth and seventh books. Up until their reveal, we never knew how Voldemort survived being hit by the killing curse. Learning that he used actual, concrete magic to do it, rather than just ambiguous magic like “magical willpower” or “the impermanence of evil” gives the stories more depth and makes them feel more real.

But one thing struck me as odd. Even though we learn all about Horcruxes in books six and seven, we never learn one of the most obvious things about them: how do you make one? Yes, we know you need to commit a murder, thereby “splitting” your soul, and then put that “split” part into a container, but there’s more to it than that.