November 1, 2010 3 Comments Chad Nilep Roundup ,

There hasn’t been a Roundup post made since September, and I have a horrible sinking feeling that the person who was meant to post the missing Roundups was me. So with apologies and without further delay, here is Roundup #15.

As I mentioned last month,  I am now living in Nagoya. As a result, I am learning new things daily about life in this part of Japan. In that spirit, this Roundup is dedicated to blogs and other web sites related to Japan. A couple of these are sites that I have been reading for some time, but most are sites that I have just discovered.

Society and anthropology related blogs

  • Visual Anthropology of Japan is kept by “reluctant blogger” Steven C. Fedorowicz, an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka. In addition to Fedorowicz’s photos and posts, his blogroll is a listing of his students’ visual anthropology blogs.
  • Frog in a Well Japan is a blog commenting on Japanese and East Asian history and society. The site’s main contributors are history scholars in Japan, the US, and elsewhere. There are related Frog in a Well projects related to Korea and China, and blog’s name alludes to the Chinese proverb, 井底之蛙, “A frog in a well (doesn’t know the sea).”
  • Japan Focus is an open-access journal of Japanese culture, history, and politics. It is peer reviewed and indexed, and its contributors come from a variety of disciplines. They also feature translations of scholarly articles written in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, or other languages.
  • The editor’s blog at Japan Echo features analysis and opinion on Japanese society, politics, and economy contributed by the editors of Japan Echo, a journal sponsored Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs but featuring an independent editorial board. Most content is translated into English (and Chinese) from Japanese-language originals.

Language and society blogs

There are a number of Japanese-language learning sites on the web. A few of them feature blogs written by their developers or other contributors. I have not used any of the language-learning systems and cannot vouch for them, but the blogs seem interesting.

  • Japanese language and culture blog by Nihongo Up. Nihongo Up is a language learning and translation site with a monthly subscription fee which, as I said, I have not used. Their blog contains a lot of announcements about the educational site, but in among those posts are observations on Japanese culture and travel, many of them penned by Philip Seyfi, a Russian-born member of the Nihongo Up team.
  • Transparent Language Japanese blog. Transparent Language is a company selling language-learning software in multiple languages. This Japan-related blog is kept by a contributor called Ginny. Like Nihongo Up, it advertises the commercial language-learning products, but also features Ginny’s comments on Japanese society.
  • Hungry for Words: Mostly Japanese is an independent blog, not related to any commercial language service. It is kept by a Japanese-born woman now living in Switzerland, and features her thoughts on Japanese language and culture.