Twitter TJS Coupons and Free Shitajiki

I have been giving out coupons and deals through Twitter for the past few weeks now.  I really like it since it isn’t as intruding as email and I can send out as many coupons as I want without feeling like a spammer–I really hate spam!

The latest one seems to be popular: Spend over $6 and get a free shitajiki.

  1. Add the shitajiki to your cart:
  2. Then add $6 or more of anything else.

No coupon; no mess; just 100% pure fun!  But the fun ends some time tomorrow.

Anyway, I am posting this as a plea for more followers! Muwahahaha (sorry)

And I’m also posting this to let you know we will be posting an even better freebie later today on Twitter.

101 Common Japanese Idioms iPhone App Released!


Apple finally released our second iPhone app today.

This one is on 101 Common Japanese Idioms (just in case you didn’t read the title of this blog post) and is best suited for upper beginners up. However, even beginners can use the romaji and extensive notes.

This app uses mostly the same architecture as the original one but with a few improvements.

It includes:

Button 300+ audio recordings
Button Recorded by a native speaker
Button An introduction to Japanese Idioms
Button Organized into logical and useful categories.
Button Interactive multiple choice quizzes for every category
Button Flashcard Function for all words and phrases
Button Bonus- free $5 coupon good for any instant download reader or lesson at TJS!
Button Works even without a network connection

Please check it out!  I don’t have a free version for this one, but the price is only $1.99.

To learn more and see a few screenshots (and eventually a video!), please click here.

Get Genki Answer Key half off

We are running a promotion at where you can get the Genki Answer Key (has all the answers for both volumes of textbooks and workbooks) for half price with the purchase of ANY other Genki item.

The Genki series has got to be the most popular Japanese textbook series out there.  Textbooks seem to be like PCs and Macs–you either hate one and love the other or you love one and hate the other.  It is rare to find someone who likes both.  But I have yet to find someone who dislikes the Genki series.  Japanese for Busy People or Minna no Nihongo can bring out strong feelings on both sides of the fence, but everyone seems to love the Genki series.

If you are a beginner and are thinking about a textbook, checkout the Genki series.  Or if you need the workbook or CDs, pick up the Answer Key for half price!

Tea, Cheese Please

Makoto (the three year old) could drink Apple Juice™ all day long if we let him.  That is why Yumi was very surprised to hear him ask for “tea.”   We like to get him to drink tea or milk when possible and this was our chance!

She made him repeat the “tea” a few times before asking where his cup was.  Then he said, “No cup!”

Ok, now we were confused.   How could he drink tea without a cup?

Then Yumi realized he had asked for “Cheese.”  Cheese is another item he could eat all day long if we let him.  But we don’t.

Finish This by Clicking 'X'

click xMakoto, the three-year-old, was wanting to go to the supermarket (probably thinks he will get a toy Monster Truck).  I had a little bit of work to do on a spreadsheet and told him, “Let me finish up and then we will go.”

Makoto grabbed the mouse and replied, “Makoto finish up.  Click X!  Click X!”

I stopped him in time, but he knew just what to do to help me ‘finish up.’

Learning Patience with an iPhone App

Having spent months planning and producing our iPhone app, it is kind of hard not to take non-constructive negative reviews personally. I know it is stupid and unbecoming of me, but it’s hard. There have been a few two or three star reviews by people with constructive suggestions–I deeply appreciate that. (Although, admittedly, I prefer 4 or 5 star constructive suggestions)

I just spent $750 on an update which added three new categories to both the paid and free versions, fixed a few bugs, and added an option to choose which language to display first in the flashcard section.

This morning I noticed Version 1.2 had been approved by Apple!   Yippie!  The first reviewer found a rather glaring bug and was kind enough to let me know (three stars but totally warranted).  I immediately got the developer on it and within a few hours we had a corrected version.  (Apple will probably approve it sometime next week…)

Well, I updated the iTunes page with a notice about the bug and that it will be fixed as soon as Apple approves the app and I mentioned that the Paid version did NOT have the bug in question–which was true.

Here is the one-star review that got my yagi:

“The much dreaded ‘FREE’ version.  Also, LOVED the way you threw out the hooks, ‘paid version doesn’t have the crash bug so why not upgrade.’ something about that seems insanely crooked.  Way to be guy… Delete.”

First, I was only persuaded to do a free version on the condition it could stand on its own as a decent language learning app.  It isn’t crippled and has over 450 useful phrases with sound in dozens of categories.  There are comparable paid apps out there.

I have a feeling this guy didn’t even try it out.

Second, why shouldn’t I want people to upgrade?  Why is that a bad thing?  Not only do they get double the phrases, but also a $5 coupon (which is more than the price of the app) at our Japanese online bookstore.

I’ll feel better after the weekend…  Ugh!