Counting Things Not Mentioned in Japanese Textbooks

ちょっと汚い話ですけど・・・ I should say the warning in English too – The following is a little nasty, but as they say – it is easier to apologize after the fact than to ask permission before.

Yesterday, while on our daily 散歩, we passed by some doggie poop. It was a long, single piece of poop. I asked Yumi if we should pick it up to keep the road clean (we carry our pooper scooper with us), but I quickly answered myself by saying something like, 「一本だけなら大丈夫かな。」 (Well, it’s only one piece.)

Yumi let out a chuckle after hearing 「一本」, so I asked, 「ウンチの数え方は何でしょうか?」 (How do you count poop?)

I mean, it’s not like I’ve ever seen how to count poop in a textbook. But usually long, slender objects use 一本、二本 (ippon, nihon…) and this particular poop fit the description.

Yumi replied, 「一個。でも普通、ウンコなんか数えません。」 (ikko. But normally I don’t count something like poop.)

I concurred with 「そうだね。」 (Yeah, I suppose so.)

One would think that would be the end of it. But one would be wrong…

Our tireless investigative team found a reference in a highly respected journal supporting the counting of ウンチ and more importantly, validating Clay’s choice of counter. Well, ok. It wasn’t exactly a highly respected journal, but it was the next best thing: a クレーヨンしんちゃん manga:
Crayon Shinchan #8 Page 98*

Reading from right to left:

チャンスよ ひとりで いるわ chansu yo hitori de iru wa
This is our chance! He is by himself

イッキに さらうわよ ikki ni sarauwa yo
All at once, let’s grab ’em!

ばっ ba!
[Sound of surprise]

おわっ owa!
[Another sound of surprise]

やだっ ウンコ中よ こいつ yada! unko chuu yo koitsu
Ouhhh! He’s pooping, that brat

おっ 福引きの おかまさんたち o! fukubiki no okama san tachi
Ah! The transvestites from the lottery.
(the sales lady and her companion on page 93 had tried to sell Shinchan’s mother something through a lottery ticket; Shinchan thinks this lady isn’t a real lady – hence the おかま reference)

げっ 一本 ぶらさがってる ge! ippon puransagatteru
Ouhhh! One piece is dangling!

Notice the 「一本」



ちょっと汚い話ですけど・・・ chotto kitanai hanashi desu kedo – It’s a little dirty, but…
散歩 sanpo – (a) walk
「一本だけなら大丈夫かな。」 ippon dake nara daijoubu kana – It’s ok if it’s just one piece, right?
「ウンチの数え方は何でしょうか?」 unchi no kazoekata wa nan deshou ka? – How do you count poop?
「一個。でも普通、ウンコなんか数えません。」 ikko. demo futsuu, unko nanka kazoemasen. – ‘ikko’ But normally I don’t count something like poop. [The なんか helps to show the absurdity of the question and means something like ‘something like’.]

クレーヨンしんちゃん kure-yon shinchan – Crayon Shinchan, the manga star

* Of course I had to censor the manga a bit on account of Shin-chan’s pants being a bit too low.

Email Subscriptions

I’ve been reading a blog called


The author is Tim Schroeder who in his About page has this to say:

I’ve been making a six-figure living online for the last 4 years and dabbling with various internet business projects for the last 10 years. It was always a dream of mine to work for myself and the internet gives anyone that opportunity.

I’m probably most known as the owner of the 30,000+ member webmaster forum,

Wow. Our TJP currently has 22,703 members – of course the vast majority rarely if ever visit after signing up – That being said, we certainly don’t have a six-figure living.

Reading his entries, I can see this is one smart cookie. Not only does he give excellent advice, but the advice is practical and well researched. If you have a blog, I would highly recommend keeping up with him.

Anyway, I write all this to mention I’ve added an email subscription function to as recommended by Mr. Schroeder. Now at the bottom of every single page (click on the title of any entry), it will say this:

Did you enjoy this post? Please Subscribe via RSS or email.

The big question is why and what is this blog about anyway?

I’ve been thinking about that. Originally 1Nichi1Kai (one a day) was to notify the public of daily sales at our Japanese Bookstore. Then I decided to install WordPress on it after a few months of the URL collecting digital dust.

Since then the posts have been quite eclectic, but usually relating to Japan or the Japanese language — Oh, and of course Makoto, our son! It will be interesting to see what direction the site goes a year from now.  Until then, it is one wild ride!

JLPT 3 and 4 Kanji Email Lists

At we have an email list for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level 3 and one for 4 (the easiest).  It sends out one kanji a day by email with meanings, readings and example sentences.

Well, the server had trouble three days ago and stopped sending the emails BUT it continued to update everyone’s kanji number for each day.  It is fixed now.  However when it sent out today’s email (for the first time in three days), it sent out three kanji ahead of the last received email.

If you are a subscriber and would like to be pushed back three kanji, just email me – clay AT will work.  I’ve been taking requests since yesterday 🙂

Wow.  Looking at the stats, we  have 2,343 active subscribers for 3 kyuu which is pretty nice since it is only a few months old.   But we have a whopping 20,367 people getting 4 kyuu kanji every day and many, many more who have graduated from the 104 kanji that is the 4 kyuu kanji email list.  

$0.67 Richer Today!

In an earlier post, I mentioned I’d let you know if the videos on Revver actually earned any money.  This morning, it says I have earned .67 cents.


The above table shows which videos worked the hardest.  This is pretty nice considering I wasn’t planning on getting even a cent for any of the videos and now I’ve done 67 times better than that!

I’m slammed today, but I’ll try uploading more videos to Revver and signing up for the other site.

It would be nice if Youtube would do something similar.

Mac and Mak

“When I say ‘go’, we go. But don’t let Frank catch ya!” – Mater

It’s been a while since I’ve added to the 親バカ Files file. So here we go.

Cars is a great movie.


Makoto loves it. He will say ‘car’ and hand you the remote for the DVD player. We don’t have a universal remote. We have a remote for the TV, the satellite receiver, the sound system, the Xbox, etc… And out of all the choices, he knows which one makes the DVD player happy.

Yesterday we went a-Wal-Marting (a new word meaning to go to Wal-Mart for one item and end up spending at least 60 minutes looking for it). While doing so, I spotted a toy car in the shape of Lightning McQueen (fig. 1). It bore an uncanny resemblance to the real, live movie star. I showed it to Makoto and he grabbed it with both hands.

Yumi managed to get him to let go of it that night… as he was fast asleep.

Mac and Mak


However, there was a major problem. You see, the toy car speaks lines from the movie and then spins its wheels. Makoto found this profoundly disturbing. Simply removing the batteries fixes this problem. It’s funny, the manufacturer didn’t mention this in the manual.


About 28 minutes into the show, a Japanese announcer announces:
hai.  makkui-n senshu wa genzai yukue ga wakaranai toiu jouhou ga haitte kimashita.
This just in. The Racer McQueen’s whereabouts is unknown.

I don’t need a map! I have the GPS. Never need a map again, thank you.

There are No Exits

While ウェブサーフィン a bit I came across this site which seems to be similar to Yahoo Answers. Experts (presumably) answer questions on many topics.

The page I landed on had this question:


Which is correct: 「づつ」 or 「ずつ」?

I wasn’t too interested in the question since I have never seen ずつ written as づつ, but since I’ve dragged (or is it drug*) you thus far, I’ll continue.

Both are correct but ずつ is by far the more popular in modern usage. The づつ reflects an older way of writing kana. You can still see this in spellings like いなま (lightning) and (I didn’t know this) せかいゅう (all around the world)

This reminds me (Don’t ask me why. It would be a very, very long post if I explained) of a sign on the back of the seat in front of me while on a train. Ignoring the English place names, the main English you read is:

“Information of the Exits”
“There are no exits.”

There are no Exits!

Of course, the Japanese makes it clear it means there are no exits on this side of the train.

ウェブサーフィン uebu sa-fin – web surfing

*Dragged is the past tense of drag. Drug as a verb means to intoxicate someone with a narcotic. So in ‘proper’ English we should look at what the cat dragged in; not drug in. Man, teaching pets English just isn’t easy.