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.

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.

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

Three New Videos on Japanese Idioms

It is kind of plug and play–hope you don’t mind, but I uploaded three new Japanese Idioms videos last night:


This is used when someone speaks only a little or is very quiet. The antonym of this expression is 口が軽い。 kuchi ga karui. One’s mouth is light.
Literally, “mouth is heavy.”


kuchi wo waru
confess; spill the beans; tell all

hannin wa, youyaku kuchi wo watta.
The criminal finally spilled the beans.


kuchi ga katai
tight-lipped; able to keep a secret; lips are sealed

kare wa, kuchi ga katai node, himitsu wo hanashitemo daijoubu da.
He is pretty tight-lipped, so even telling him secrets is fine.

Japanese Proverb: 猫に小判 To Cast Pearls Before Swine


[ねこ に こばん neko ni koban]

Cast Pearls Before Swine

[audio ]

 This is a useful and common Japanese proverb that is similar to the biblical “cast pearls before swine.” Literally, this means to give a cat a koban.

A koban was an oval-shaped coin used in the Edo Period. Being valuable, giving one to a cat naturally would be foolish.

Koban. Image from



  • 猫に neko ni (give) to a cat [に shows direction]
  • A 小判 koban was an oval-shaped gold coin used during the Edo period.
  • 豚に真珠 buta ni shinju Pearls to a pig. This proverb from the Bible is also often heard in Japanese and means basically the same thing as 猫に小判.



 houseki ni kyoumi no nai hito ni daiyamondo wo agetemo, neko ni koban da.
For someone who has no interest in precious stones, even giving that person a diamond would be casting pearls before swine.

 [audio ]

  • 宝石 houseki—precious stones; gems
  • 興味のない人 kyoumi no nai hito—a person not interested in…
  • に ni—indicates the 興味のない人 is the receiver of ダイヤモンド
  • ダイヤモンド daiyamondo—diamond
  • 上げても agete mo—even if you give (him a diamond)

This lesson is found in our Kotowaza, Japanese Proverbs and Sayings book. It is available in ebook and paperback formats. To learn more, go here on Amazon and here at