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Scott Writes Stuff Posts

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 kanji with the longest readings 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five kanji with the longest readings.

I love doing articles on “the most ___ kanji ever” because I used to get asked those questions so often by my students. And back then I didn’t really have any answers besides what Google brought up, and that wasn’t always the most reliable source.

But now, thanks to my readily-available references in Japan, I can write articles to give any enterprising Japanese students the answers they desperately need. Which kanji are the most difficult? Which kanji are the strangest?

We now know the answers to those very important questions, and now the answer to which have the longest readings can be yours to know too.

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 confusing Japanese hand gestures 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five confusing Japanese hand gestures.

A few months back I did the top five hand gestures that Japanese people don’t understand, which people seemed to like. So it felt like time to do the reverse of that and show off some Japanese gestures that we have trouble understanding.

There’s a couple of gestures on this list that are either identical or very close to gestures we do outside of Japan, so it’s fun to see how they have different meanings in another culture

Although even better than those are the gestures that simply don’t exist outside Japan and confuse the heck out of anyone seeing them for the first time.

What are they? Find out!

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 most difficult Japanese tongue twisters (with videos!) 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five most difficult Japanese tongue twisters.

Even if you don’t know any Japanese, it’s still fun to try out tongue twisters in another language. After all, it’s not like the tongue twisters themselves make a whole lot of sense anyway, it’s just sputtering the sounds out that counts.

In fact, since your non-native tongue is trained in different ways, it may even make it easier! …or not!

Either way, there’s only one way to find out.

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 strangest Japanese home goods 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five strangest Japanese home goods.

Every country has some daily-use items in the house that would confuse the heck out of any foreign guests, and Japan is no exception.

Whether it’s doing familiar things in unfamiliar ways, or doing completely foreign things in foreign ways, you can prepare your eyes to be less confused if you see these things in a Japanese friend’s house.

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 most famous pet dogs in Japan 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five most famous pet dogs in Japan.

When I started planning this article, I originally wanted to do “top five most famous pets.” That was a mistake!

There were way too many famous cats, dogs, hedgehogs, monkeys and more for me to fit them all in one article. I didn’t want to cut any of them short and do another “top fifteen” either, since these pets all deserved to have plenty of pictures and videos posted of them in the article.

So I decided to go with the category that had the most members: dogs. If people like this one then I’m sure we’ll see the lists for other species someday, but for now we’ll start with these furry, easily-excitable friends.

Not much else to say except get ready to follow a few more animal accounts!

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 kanji used to represent foreign countries 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five kanji used to represent foreign countries.

While Japan often refers to countries using the Japanese-ified version of their names (like Furansu for France), they can also refer to them using just a single kanji.

Since it’s only a single kanji, this is most often done in writing, particularly in newspapers and headlines where wordcounts are at a premium. Why bother writing our Furansu as four whole characters (フランス) when you can just write the single kanji to represent France instead (仏)?

There are many more interesting country-kanji out there, some of which have strange stories behind them… especially America.

Read the article here.

Keiko – Good Stories Drawn Badly Ep. 01

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to show off my terrible MS Paint skills. The last chance I had was with a series at RocketNews24 called Learn Japanese through Ridiculous Manga. It was a lot of fun to create, but ultimately didn’t result in enough views/interest to justify the incredible amount of time I had to put into it every week.

But recently, about a year later, I thought about once again breaking out the old mouse and MS Paint canvas to draw something new. I’ve always been a fan of stories with illustrations, so I thought why not illustrate one of my short stories?

I started with Keiko, the shortest of my published stories, to try it out. It took a long time to draw, record and edit, but it was fun, so maybe I’ll do it again with another story in the future.

So if you like good stories that are drawn badly, check it out here on YouTube!

W.T.F. Japan: Top 15 most disturbing Japanese prefecture mascots 【Weird Top FIFTEEN】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top 15 most disturbing Japanese prefecture mascots.

Oh yes, top fifteen. When I started doing my research for this, I quickly realized that there were far too many horrifying mascot creations to limit it to only five. I could’ve divided it up into three articles, but I feel like I would’ve been selling the readers short by leaving out some of the best ones each time.

So I did what I had to do: I cranked the W.T.F. to fifteen!

To make up for the extra length, each entry is a little shorter than usual, so it didn’t end up reading like a dissertation. If you’ve never heard of Japanese prefecture mascots then you’re on for a treat, and even if you have, you may learn something about why they look the horrifying way they do.

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 biggest Japanese food challenges 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five biggest Japanese food challenges.

Originally I wanted to do my article as the “top five most dangerous Japanese foods,” but after doing a little research it turns out that actually dangerous food in Japan is extremely rare.

In fact the #1 spot on that last would have been mochi, soft and squishy rice cakes, which hospitalizes/kills some people in Japan every year. But almost all of those cases are elderly or extremely young children who just didn’t chew it well enough, so anyone with a properly functioning mouth would be in basically no danger.

With the rest of the items on the list being even less exciting, the topic was changed to “biggest food challenges” instead to hopefully present some items that are a bit more interesting.

So what are the hardest/riskiest foods in Japan to get down? There’s only one way to find out!

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 Japanese words with cool ancient origin stories 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five Japanese words with cool ancient origin stories.

Everyone loves a good etymology, but the ones I find the most interesting aren’t just words passively being passed around from one language to another as it happens to often – I like the ones where there’s some kind of action.

Every language has cool word stories like that, even English with words like “clue” or “jumbo” that have pasts you wouldn’t expect out of them, and I wanted to showcase some Japanese ones this week.

There are of course plenty of other cool Japanese words out there with great etymologies, so if people like this one then maybe we’ll see some more in the future!

Read the article here.