Japanese Reader Collection Vol 2: Momotaro, the Peach Boy

Momotaro, the Peach Boy

Newly updated and soon to come out in paperback, Japanese Reader Collection Volume 2 now includes a revised Momotaro story and The Tortoise and the Hare. A download link for the MP3s of the story is also included.

Just for fun, see how CJ Martin went from this:


to this:


Click to read about the process on his blog.

(The Temporal, a thriller by CJ Martin and in English is FREE now for Kindle.)

Brand New TheJapanesePage.com

TheJapanesePage.com has a new face!  If you have been a regular visitor to TJP you know we’ve been trying to improve the site for quite some time now–over three years.  We’ve tried several web design firms and spent waaay too much money (for a free site), but nothing seemed to work the way we wanted–I’m sure a lot of this is because of my poor managerial skills.

Thanks to Phreadom (a long time member and maestro web designer), we have a new look:

TJP TheJapanesePage.com

This time, I think we have a keeper.  There are still a few issues to work out, but take a look at the new TJP.  Kick the tires and let us know if anything falls off.

Free Japanese Related Downloads at TJP

I was looking at the stats for the download section and was amazed to see how many people have downloaded files.

The average file rating is 4.042 out of 5 stars
There are 47 files in the database
There has been a total of 57,555 downloads
The newest file is Japanese Beginner Phrases Podcast 9
The highest rated file is Chapter 5 with a rating of 5 out of 5 stars
The lowest rated file is Listening Practice #2: Golden Week with a rating of 2 out of 5 stars
The most downloaded file is Grammar PDF: Hou ga ii with 4,339 downloads
The least downloaded file is Japanese Beginner Phrases Podcast 9 with 12 downloads
The average number of downloads each file has is 1,224.574

Note: The links above are direct links, but it is ‘prettier’ to find them through the main download page: HERE

We have 47 files for download. Many of these are ebooks with audio, but there are a few PDF lessons and other miscellaneous items.

Brian Franklin and the Shakuhachi

I’ve been working with Brian Franklin for the past few weeks on creating an article for TheJapanesePage.com and listing his new CD at TheJapanShop.com.

The 尺八 shakuhachi is a Japanese bamboo flute often heard at festivals and recently on TV and film–The Last Samurai, for example.

His article finally went live a few minutes ago here.  And I listed his brand new CD earlier today here.  So I feel pretty good about a days worth of work.  🙂

If you are at all interested in Japanese traditional music, please checkout both the article and the CD.  Brian does much to introduce the instrument to his Western audience.  If you like his work, please consider supporting him by buying his CD or giving him a holler at his website.

New TJP launched, but…

There is a performance issue. This means, the site is running a heavy load all too often. It is the same server as before but with different software and databases.

We think it has something to do with the new forum. The techs will work on optimizing the forum database and we’ll see…

Other than that and a few other small glitches, it looks pretty good. I’ll wait until we figure out the performance issue before making a formal announcement. 🙂

In the mean-time, check out the new (possibly slow) site: http://www.thejapanesepage.com

TJP Pending Upgrade

I’m sitting here biding my time and biting my nails waiting for the two developers to fill me in what’s happening. They are working hard at backing up, converting, and then restoring user data, blog data, group data, and forum data. This is a huge and complicated job, but it looks like it will be done tonight! We should have a brand new TheJapanesePage.com very soon!

More to come…

Busy, Busy, Busy: TJP 3.0 Coming Soon

I haven’t posted much here, because… we are upgrading TJP (again).

Back in January (of 2008) we completed an ‘upgrade’ of The Japanese Page. We are working hard on doing another upgrade now.

Some people have asked why I would want to essentially make a TJP 3.0 so soon after TJP 2.0. The January update was easier to manage from an administrative point of view, but frankly it was ugly, disorganized, and I hadn’t a clue about how Drupal (the backbone software) really worked. I am pretty sure for the end user, the old site was far superior.

A few months ago, a few of the site admins and myself decided it was best to start over–literally. We have taken every single page (hundreds and hundreds of them!), polished them, fixed broken links, added content & images & audio, and literally rebuilt the entire site page by single page.

Now that I know a little about Drupal, I spent an incredible amount of time setting it up so that everything is organized precisely how I want it. Now whenever an article is created, I simply choose the corresponding categories and–shazam!–the title and teaser appear in the correct categories page(s).

Drupal is very powerful and flexible–both of which mean there is a huuuuuuge learning curve. I wouldn’t recommend Drupal for someone new to it unless you don’t mind investing a lot of time learning its ins and outs–still it is an amazing CMS.


(Click for larger image)

  • The three column layout is only on the front page. All other pages drop the third column and expand the middle column
  • Hundreds of broken links were fixed (恥)
  • Forum is much more integrated now including new posts listed on every page
  • Wagawiki, our in-house wiki, will be integrated too by launch
  • Video, Audio, and other media is also all integrated–before we had links here and there and required separate logins…
  • Every article has been graded as fit for beginner, upper beginner, lower intermediate, and intermediate and above
  • Photo Gallery has been upgraded to the newest version
  • We will be working on the Groups to help people find study partners
  • Dozens of brand new videos, podcasts, and audio lessons
  • It’s all free! (except links to the store and friends of course…)

That’s what we’ve been working on. It is still a work in progress and we still don’t have a solid date for the upgrade, but it should be very soon.

Frank Sinatra Sale or… Mistake?

I found a GREAT deal at iTunes. I’m not a big fan of iTunes: it seems buggy at times, it is VERY sluggish, and Apple requires it for the iPhone (I don’t like being limited like that even though I understand why)

But if you are a Sinatra fan (who isn’t?), you can’t pass up this opportunity: 97 great hits for only $9.99! I don’t know if this is a mistake on iTunes’ part or if it is just a great deal, but Amazon has it for almost $30!

The Best of the Columbia Years 1943-1952
Frank Sinatra

Including great songs like: Saturday Night (is the Loneliest Night of the Week); Ol’ Man River; Embraceable You; Someoe to Watch over Me; Nancy; Guess I’ll Hang my Tears out to Dry; and… well, you get the picture.

RSS Feed for TJP Forums

The one and only Prof. Breen chimed in yesterday (thank you!) about the strange RSS feed at TJP.  Right now the front RSS button only feeds blogs and group posts.  This isn’t very useful and Phreadom (our super admin) quickly installed a RSS feed for the forums.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work with many feed readers.  Phreadom is working on that.  It does, however, work very well with Firefox’s Live Bookmarks.  If you use Firefox, please give it a shot!

1) Log into TJP.
2) Go here (or go to the forums and click on the RSS button at the top right)
3) Choose which forums you would like to subscribe to (or choose all) and press ‘Submit’