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Category: Ramblings & Ravings

Happy Thanksgiving!

We might not have much turkey in Japan, but we’ve still got plenty of awkward get-togethers, naps, and smelly leftovers that you eat anyway.

Enjoy the stuffing, everyone!

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.

Kana Kinyobi: Hiragana う (“u”)

Hooray, it’s kinyobi (Friday)! That means it’s time to look at another kana from the Japanese alphabets. Today we’re looking at う (pronounced “u” as in “uber”).

little-hiragana-u

This one’s easy. There’s a “u” right there, just chillin’ on its side. Here, I’ll show you!

hiragana-u

Now you’ll know う whenever you see it. Awesome! Come back for next week’s Kana Kinyobi when we’ll take a look at the next hiragana: え (“e”).

Kana Kinyobi: Hiragana い (“i”)

Hooray, it’s kinyobi (Friday)! That means it’s time to look at another kana from the Japanese alphabets. Today we’re looking at い (pronounced “i” as in “Nintendo Wii“).

little-hiragana-i

Just pretend there’s two little circles on top of the lines and you have what looks like the letter “i” twice.  That makes it twice as easy to remember, right?

Here’s my attempt to illustrate this idea below (P.S. I TRIED REALLY HARD):

hiragana-i

Are you an い master now? Awesome! Come back for next week’s Kana Kinyobi when we’ll take a look at the next hiragana: う (“u”).

Kana Kinyobi: Hiragana あ (“a”)

Hooray, it’s kinyobi (Friday)! That means it’s time to do something that alliterates with kinyobi and learn some Japanese kana!

Even though I’ve retired my Learn Japanese through Ridiculous Manga series on RocketNews24, I still had a lot of fun making the kana mnemonic pictures, and I’d like to keep posting them here until I’ve completed all of the hiragana and katakana.

Hiragana and katakana are the two Japanese alphabets (or “syllabaries” if you want to be technical, and we always want to be technical here). Once you’ve learned to read them you’ll find that you can read a surprising amount of things in Japanese.

So to start, let’s take a look at the first hiragana: あ (pronounced “a” as in “father”)

little-hiragana-a

This guy is easy to remember because there’s an actual “A” inside of it. It’s like those ancient Japanese scribes wanted to give us English speakers a break. Take a look at my horrible attempt to illustrate this idea below:

hiragana-a

Got it? Awesome! You’ve taken your first step to learning how to read Japanese. Come back for next week’s Kana Kinyobi when we’ll take a look at the next hiragana: い (“i”).