New Ninja Penguin Cartoon: All-you-can-eat Buffet!

It’s a bit silly, but I woke up with this idea and I just had to sketch it out. Ninja Penguin is the character that introduces Japanese prefectures in our book aptly titled, Ninja Penguin Talks Japanese in Japan.

4-strip-smPlease check out the book and let me know what you think.

Intro for Future Ninja Penguin Videos

We just released Ninja Penguin Talks Japanese in Japan in paperback and eBook format. We have an iPhone/iPad game in the works and I also plan to create some educational (and some… less-so) videos staring our penguin friend.

[youtube: that in mind, I made this intro video that will begin the videos. Any comments and suggestions about this or ideas for videos staring the penguin would be appreciated.

Ninja Penguin Talks Japanese in Japan–new in Paperback and eBook

Here is our newest video about our newest product:

Ninja Penguin Talks Japanese in Japan!


Learn about the 47 prefectures of Japan while mastering 500 important beginner level Japanese words. MP3s totaling over one hour of audio lessons are also included for FREE.

Penguin’s dream of completing Ninja Academy has finally come true…


One test remains: he must journey to the far frigid shores of Hokkaido in order to become a true Ninja Penguin. Besides, it is simply too hot in the sub-tropical Okinawa. Hokkaido, in northern Japan with its far more reasonable climate, sounds REALLY nice to a penguin who had been training many seasons in the Okinawan heat.

This book chronicles what the penguin experienced as he toured the forty-seven prefectures that make up Japan. He learned much about Japanese culture and geography while picking up more than 500 useful vocabulary words. You too can learn these important beginner-level words with the helpful hints and puzzles found throughout this book. As you work through each lesson, we invite you to listen to the especially formatted audio files.

  • Learn many interesting facts about the 47 prefectures of Japan.
  • Master 500 useful beginner level Japanese words.
  • Listen to MP3s to help learn the vocabulary words–totaling over one hour of audio lessons.
  • Download (found on the last page of the book) includes PDF version of the book, eBook, and MP3s.
  • Includes many fun cartoons featuring the penguin’s journey through Japan.

Check out Ninja Penguin today at Amazon.

Japanese Phrases iPhone app

And we just got a great review for our Learn Japanese Phrases iPhone app:

5 stars all the way! – This is the BEST Japanese app I’ve ever paid for. Before I knew about this app I was stuck with google translate which didn’t really do anything for me. Then I got the demo version of this app and after a while decided it was time to buy the full version and I do NOT regret it at all!



There are currently three main textbooks for those who have completed beginner level textbooks such as Genki, Japanese for Busy People, and Minna no Nihongo. I should mention that Minna no Nihongo also has intermediate textbooks, but I’m focusing on three other books since users of that textbook will probably just continue with the series.

The three books are:

Both An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese and Authentic Japanese Progressing from Intermediate to Advanced are newly revised and include two CDs for free. Tobira is a fairly new textbook first published in 2009 and while it does not include a CD, it does have online content the student can download.

First, the targeted level according to each book’s introduction:

  • IAIJ: 240 hours Classroom time
  • Tobira: 250-300 Classroom time
  • Authentic: If you are around JLPT N2-N1

Let’s look at the first chapter of each book individually. Jump to the textbook you are interested or scroll down:

Tobira Gateway to Advanced Japanese

Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese

Authentic Japanese


Tobira’s goal: “to solidify the grammar, vocabulary, and kanji foundation built during the students’ study at the beginner level, and second, to expand their four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) and the socio-cultural knowledge they need for communication.”

Tobira Chapter Structure: (most chapters follow this basic pattern)

1) Getting started–pre-reading section introducing the chapter’s topic.

2) Reading + Vocabulary List–longer text with full vocabulary list

3) Dialogue/discussion with Vocabulary List–Topics covered through dialogues

4) Conversation–exercises in speaking

5) Grammar Notes

6) Kanji List

7) Language Notes

8) Culture Notes

(The first chapter didn’t have Culture Notes section, but cultural notes are peppered throughout the book)

All chapters follow the basic patter above.

Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese

Chapter Structure: (most chapters follow this basic pattern)

1) Culture Notes

2) Conversation

3) Reading

4) Vocabulary

5) Kanji List +Kanji Parts

6) Grammar Notes

7) Practice

8) Listening Practice

9) Speed Reading with Proverbs or Haiku at the Bottom

Authentic Japanese

Chapter Structure: (most chapters follow this basic pattern)

1) Before you Read–questions and light exercises for introducing the topic of the chapter.

2) Reading–1-2 Page essay with questions

3) After Reading–several pages of questions and examples based on the reading

4) Important Expressions–introducing important expressions with examples.

5) Grammar and Vocabulary Exercises


To download larger images of all the scans (sorry for the poor quality), click here.

Japanese Reader Momotaro, the Peach Boy Video Review

Momotaro, the Peach Boy is now out for Kindle (soon for Nook and elsewhere!) and paperback. Here is a video showcasing the paperback.

Only $3.99 USD for the ebook and $8.99 for the paperback.

Japanese Reader Collection Vol 2: Momotaro, the Peach Boy

Major update to Momotaro, the Peach Boy


In an effort to make our backlist a greater value, we are doing full edits and also creating paperback versions of each one.

We just completed editing Japanese Reader Collection Volume 2: Momotaro, the Peach Boy.

Originally, this book was actually two ebooks: Momotaro and The Tortoise and the Hare. Now, for the same price as one, we’ve combined them and did a total reedit.

Plus, CJ Martin of The Temporal (FREE RIGHT NOW!!) and Tanaka fame did the cover. See a step by step blog post on how the cover was created. A Cartoon-style Book Cover from Start to Finish: Momotaro, the Peach Boy

Double Plus! It will be free tomorrow and thursday at Amazon.

Kotowaza, Japanese Proverbs and Sayings Paperback + FREE MP3 Download

We are happy to introduce our totally updated and expanded Kotowaza, Japanese Proverbs and Sayings in paperback. As with the ebook version, we are including, free of additional charge, MP3s–but also, the PDF and ebook versions too!

Right now we are selling the paperback for JUST $6.99 at and For a 118 page book covering 50 important proverbs plus media extras, we feel this is an amazing deal. I don’t know how long we can keep the price this low.

  • 108 Pages covering Fifty Useful Proverbs
  • Literal English translations and similar English proverbs given
  • Helpful notes explain grammar and background
  • An Example sentence shows how the proverb is used
  • Vocabulary defined for every Japanese word
  • For Beginners up FREE MP3s (download link found on the last page)

Get it today at or