About Me

My name is Paul, and on the interwebs I also go by Blue Shoe or Blue Kutsu. I'm originally from New York, currently living in Maryland and working in Washington D.C. My first real exposure to Japanese culture, aside from eating sushi and doing some judo as a kid, was studying Japanese in college. I studied abroad in Tokyo twice, graduated, and then went to work as an ALT on the JET Program in Hyogo prefecture, near Osaka. Since 2012 I've been working for a Japanese government-affiliated telecom policy research organization in Washington. I also do occasional translation work and am a board member for the DC chapter of JETAA.

About JADJ

I started JADJ in 2009 as a vessel for sharing my experiences while living in Japan and studying Japanese. There was a lot of weird/cool/interesting stuff that I was seeing on a near-daily basis, and I felt the need to send it all up to the Great Repository - the Internet. Since then, the aim and frequency of my posts have changed depending on what's been going on in my life. Rather than photos and anecdotes, more often these days I tend to focus on language, translation, and general cultural posts, along with other bits of interesting Japan-related junk.

If you'd like to contact me, please do so at blueshoe@jadij.com

Last updated: 1/4/2014


farelthegecko said...

I'm sorry, but I'm trying to learn Japanese and I'm having some issues figuring out what to focus on during learning.... you think you could maybe give me a hand? At least tips?

Blue Shoe said...

Hey Farel,

Studying can be especially tough when you're doing so by yourself. I think to a large degree what you should focus on depends on your level, what type of learner you are (visual, auditory, etc), and what your interests are.

I'd be glad to give you some more specific advice if you shoot me an email, but in general I'd say it's important to just expose yourself to Japanese as often and in as many different ways a possible, and make sure you don't burn yourself out. So yeah, use textbooks if you have them; watch Japanese videos on YouTube; anime, manga, and games in Japanese can have varying degrees of effectiveness, but if you enjoy them then at least that'll help to maintain a positive association with Japanese and keep you from getting too bored. Social media are good resources for learning these days. If you have Japanese friends on Facebook, follow their status updates and use Japanese in your own. Twitter can be even better because you can follow lots of Japanese accounts, even if you don't know the users.

I think the most important thing is to persevere and keep yourself exposed to the language as much as you can.

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