“Tonoharu: Part One” Paperback Glamour Shots (plus Amazon pre-order!)

tonospine

Here are some pictures of the new Tonoharu: Part One paperback, as well as a few notes about them:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152572833478913.1073741828.594318912&type=1&l=b6a020eb9c

You can order a signed copy of the new paperback right now, and I’ll ship it out this week:
http://larsmartinson.com/get-the-tonoharu-part-one-paperback-a-few-weeks-early-order-now/

Or if you prefer, you can pick it up at your favorite retailer this fall. In fact, Amazon pre-orders are now open if that’s your preference!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0980102367/

Get the “Tonoharu: Part One” Paperback a Few Weeks Early—Order Now!

tono1pbcover

Exciting news! I finally got my hands on some advance copies of the Tonoharu: Part One paperback, and it looks great! But don’t take my word for it–here’s your chance to get your hands on a copy a few weeks ahead of the official release in September!

I’ll have a very limited number of copies I’ll be bringing back to the States when I head back for a visit this week. Right now I’m thinking I’ll be bringing back about 20 copies. If there seems to be enough demand I might bring back as many as 30, but I probably won’t have room in my luggage for more than that.

I’m coming back this Thursday, July 17th, so copies ordered by then will be sent out by Saturday July 19th via first class mail.

Cost
For books shipping within the US: $20 USD ($15 for the book plus $5 for shipping)
For books shipping internationally: $30 USD ($15 for the book plus $15 for shipping*)


Shipping:




As I say supplies are severely limited, so if you want a copy order now!

*Note: If you live in Japan and don’t mind waiting until mid-to-late August for a book, it might behoove you to hold off on your order; I’ll probably have some copies for sale when I return to Japan for a lower shipping cost.

I’m Home, Empty Room!

The Japanese language has stock phrases that are always used in certain situations. Before you start eating a meal, you say “Itadakimasu” and when you’re done you say “Gochisosama deshita”. These phrases are so entrenched that Japanese people even say them when they’re by themselves and no one is around to hear them.

There are also stock phrases for when you leave and return home. When you go, you say “Ittekimasu!” (I’m leaving) and the whoever’s still at home says “Itterasshi” (Have a safe trip). Then when you come back you say “Tadaima” (I’m home) and whoever’s home says “Okaeri” (Welcome back).

I was surprised to hear from a Japanese friend who lives alone that she still says “Ittekimasu!” and “Tadaima”, even though there’s no one to hear her and offer the reply phrases. I couldn’t help but laugh, because imagining doing the same thing in English comes off as a little sad.

tadaima

Pet Peeve: Cardinal Directions on “You Are Here” Maps in Japan

Anyone who’s had the misfortune to see me navigate knows I have a terrible sense of direction. East/West/Left/Right… just can’t keep them straight.

So one thing that really drives me nuts is how free-and-easy they play with the cardinal directions on the “you are here” maps at train stations in Japan.

To my mind, north should pretty much always be “up” on a map, especially if it’s a map designed for people unfamiliar with an area (i.e. anyone using a “you are here” map). But in Japan, north can be any damn direction you can think of.

map1
On this map, north is what would traditionally be northwest, thereby making all the streets unnecessarily slanted.

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Here’s a map where north is what would traditionally be west.

map3
And finally, here’s a map where north is pointing straight down (pardon the crappy blurry photo). What possible reason could you have to design a map like this? For the one where north is pointing left, maybe they had a landscape-orientated map but wanted to show more to the north and south. Still a bad idea, but I can at least I can imagine a justification. But to have north pointed towards literally the opposite direction you’d expect? What the hell Japan?

Immortal Mountain Fairy

1511053_10152360322023913_6136997578168569964_nI’m currently studying for the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. The test is intended for non-native speakers, so even though it’s the “highest” level, you really only need the reading comprehension of a typical Japanese high school grad to pass, and most of the vocab and kanji seem pretty practical.

That said, it’s sort of hard to not feel like I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel of when I’m studying the kanji for “immortal mountain fairy”. Oh well, at least it will come in handy for all the Japanese language “Twilight” knockoffs I’m intending to write!

The Soy Song

I’ve lived in Japan off-and-on for a total of eight years now. At this point I’m pretty desensitized to weird Engrish and wacky Japanese tv shows and such, so I rarely find them amusing like I did when I first got here.

But once in a blue moon, something comes along that’s bizarre in just the right way to really tickle me. The Soy Song is a prime example.

One of my elementary schools inexplicably decided to have English lessons centered around beans. The above song was the centerpiece of the lesson. It was one of the few times in class that I’ve had to fight with all my might to stifle my laughter.

Here’s what they’re singing in case you can’t make them out:
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Source: https://www.kenko-hyogo21.jp/daizu.html