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こんにちは!(Konnichiwa) Whether you're new to this blog or a regular reader, I'd love to hear from you if you have any questions or requests as to topics you'd like to see me cover here - or potentially elsewhere, such as…

Posted: 15th Feb 2024 Back in 2020, I was put in touch with film director John Maclaverty, who was looking to translate a 45 minute video interview with Japanese producer Yoshio Kō. Sometimes known as 伝説のプロデューサー (densetsu no purodyuusaa -…

Posted: 18th Jan 2024 Video Script みなさん、こんにちは!明けましておめでとうございます!(Mina-san, konnichiwa! Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu!) Hi everyone and happy new year! At the start of each year, I tend to write a post on my blog about what you can expect from Ippo Ippo…

Posted: 15th Dec 2023 Hello! Yesterday was the last day of classes in 2023 (can you believe it?!), meaning Ippo Ippo is on winter break until Wed 3rd Jan. 2023 has honestly been full of ups and downs, but it's…

Posted: 15th Dec 2023 Christmas is nearly upon us! While New Year (お正月 - o-shōgatsu) is the main event at this time of year in Japan, you will still come across plenty of reminders of Christmas - be it elaborate…

Posted: 30th Nov 2023 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This Week's Word Is... お尻 In hiragana: おしり In rōmaji: oshiri While I've mostly written お尻 using kanji in this post, it does also…

Photo credit: Element5 Digital Updated: 23rd Nov 2023 Original post: June 2023 As anyone taking the JLPT this summer can (hopefully) tell you, the exam is taking place on the 2nd of July: this Sunday! In 2018, the Japanese Language…

Updated: 20th Nov 2023 Did you know I recently did a video interview with Meika-sensei? The video of our conversation, in which we talk about my experience of learning and teaching Japanese, is now live on YouTube: Unfortunately we've not…

Posted: 9th Nov 2023 Exciting news: the Free Resources that were previously hidden away in my website's Members-Only Zone are being made public! Check back in 2-3wks to find out why... For now: click the button below to download this…

Posted: 9th Nov 2023 Exciting news: the Free Resources that were previously hidden away in my website's Members-Only Zone are being made public! Check back in 2-3wks to find out why... For now: click the button below to download this…

Posted: 9th Nov 2023 Exciting news: the Free Resources that were previously hidden away in my website's Members-Only Zone are being made public! Check back in 2-3wks to find out why... For now: click the button below to download this…

Posted: 9th Nov 2023 The other day, I was working with a new student. As they would be using their internet browser to navigate some homework tasks I'd set, I recommended installing an extension called 10ten Japanese Reader to help…

Photo credit: David Clode Posted: 8th Nov 2023 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! As I'm currently suffering from a slight wrist injury, I haven't been able to do much longer form blog writing…

Photo credit: @wellerhassan Posted: 3rd Nov 2023 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! As I'm currently suffering from a slight wrist injury (the inspiration for the topic of this post), I haven't been able…

Posted: 2nd Nov 2023 If you enjoyed my video interview with Meika-sensei, you may be excited to hear we also recorded a podcast episode together! Meika-sensei has put together a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to listen: a fully…

Posted: 19th Sept 2023 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This Week's Word Is... ド田舎 In hiragana: どいなか In rōmaji: do-inaka* Or "do inaka" - I prefer to add the hyphen to show the…

Photo credit: Christin Hume Posted: 7th Sept 2023 Hello! This post comes to you from me (Elly) plus a special guest: Hitomi Kobayashi. Together, we host Edinburgh's Japanese Book Club, which launched in December 2022. Our book club is a…

Photo credit: Cris Saur Posted: 31st Aug 2023 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This Week's Word Is... へとへと In rōmaji: heto heto Before We Begin None of the links in this post are…

Photo credit: Maddi Bazzocco Posted: 23rd Aug 2023 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This Week's Word Is... ご褒美 In hiragana: ごほうび In rōmaji: go-hōbi Before We Begin None of the links in this…

Posted: 18th Aug 2023 Ever struggled with how to pronounce the Japanese "r" sound? Compared to many languages, Japanese has a relatively simple sound system (pitch accent aside). However, the "r" sound is something that can trip many people up.…

Posted: 11th Aug 2023 Exciting news! This month, I'm doing an interview with Meika-sensei. If you've ever had Japanese lessons with me, there's a pretty high chance you will know who Meika-sensei is, as I'm a massive fan of her…

Image credit: Immo Wegmann Posted: 10th Aug 2023 Hello hello! This is a quick update on the "3 Fun Facts" series I've been running since the start of 2023. Each month, I've been gathering together different fun facts about life,…

Image credit: Lindsay Henwood Posted: 10th Aug 2023 In my work as a Japanese teacher, I come across a lot of people wondering how to get started with learning Japanese. What are the best study methods and materials? Should you…

Posted: 21st July 2023 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! As longstanding followers of this series may have gathered, this has for some time not been a weekly feature of my blog, but more…

Image credit: Ken Toma Posted: 27th July 2023 Welcome to the latest post in this series about Japanese cultural events, traditions and more throughout different months of the year! As someone who is most definitely 暑がり (atsu-gari - bad with…

Posted: 21st July 2023 If you're an avid follower of all things Japanese on YouTube, there's a chance you'll have stumbled across ReenBenkyou, a channel possibly most notable for its great intros to Japanese study materials from beginner to intermediate…

Posted: 4th July 2023 Welcome back to my Student Interview series! As you all seem to enjoy hearing from students at Ippo Ippo, this month I've invited Cathy to chat about her experience of learning Japanese, as well as her…

Image credit: fempreneurstock Posted: 30th June 2023 Hello! As my blog has been going for a while now, it occurred to me the other day that newer readers may not have seen many of my more popular posts from previous…

Posted: 30th June 2023 Welcome to a post I've been brewing up for a while! Ever since I started learning Japanese back in 2012, one of my favourite ways to gain exposure to the language has been through watching TV…

Posted: 29th June 2023 If you're signed up to my newsletter, you may already be aware of an exciting development: Ippo Ippo Japanese's foray into the big bad world of YouTube! Having recently decided to interact much less with social…

Image credit: Fred Rivett Posted: 28th June 2023 Welcome to the latest post in this series about Japanese cultural events, traditions and more throughout different months of the year! Due to how exceptionally hot and humid it can get, summer…

Posted: 22nd June 2023 If you've been following Ippo Ippo recently, you may have already heard about the Japanese Book Club. Beginning in earnest in December 2022, the Japanese Book Club(日本語ブッククラブ)is a regular event run in collaboration with the wonderful…

Posted: 9th June 2023 If you've ever visited a Japanese shrine or temple, chances are you will have spotted stalls selling some colourful items known as omamori (お守り). As Ippo Ippo has got together with wonderful Edinburgh maker and Japanese…

Posted: 6th June 2023 Hello there! Just a couple of weeks back saw the end of Pre-Intermediate Japanese Conversation, a fortnightly online course that began all the way back in February of this year. As hinted at in our class…

Image credit: jeshoots.com Posted: 2nd June 2023 Hi there! If you're preparing for the JLPT, the title of this post may or may not have struck fear into your heart. That's right: the exam date is now precisely one month…

Posted: 29th May 2023 Welcome to the latest post in this series about Japanese cultural events, traditions and more throughout different months of the year! As you may have guessed from the title, this month's post includes one fact that…

Photo credit: Kelly Sikkema Posted: 15th May 2023 おはようございます! Ohayō gozaimasu - good morning! It's Monday morning as I write this, and while I'm yet to dive into the pile of lesson planning that usually occupies my the bulk of…

Pictured: the "Congrautulations" cake my partner got me to celebrate my diagnosis. The people at the cake shop were more than a little confused by the spelling. Posted: 26th Apr 2023 In case you haven't heard, April is Autism Acceptance…

Pictured: Bent in Asakusa Posted: 27th Apr 2023 Welcome to the latest post in the Ippo Ippo Japanese Student Interview series! If you've been following the series, you'll have already heard from Hannah, Gina, Eleanor, Jack and Holly. I've been…

Posted: 20th April 2023 Welcome to the latest post in this series about Japanese cultural events, traditions and more throughout different months of the year! Things have been pretty busy of late, so I've been a bit sneaky and decided…

Posted: 14th Apr 2023 Thinking of sitting the JLPT but aren't sure whether the test will be accessible for you? The good news is that you can apply for Special Testing Accommodations. Before we get into today's post, I want…

Posted: 7th Apr 2023 Hello! This is me popping in with a very quick update on all that's happening at Ippo Ippo Japanese. For those of you who've been following what I do for a while, you'll know that Ippo…

Posted: 6th Apr 2023 Welcome to the latest post in the Ippo Ippo Japanese Student Interview series! So far we've heard from Hannah and Gina, both students getting ready for N5 of the JLPT via my Prep for N5 course,…

Posted: 3rd Apr 2023 Happy belated Trans Day of Visibility! I'll be honest: I had a post planned for the day itself (Friday 31st March), but my website logged me out of my blog and lost half of what I…

Posted: 31st Mar 2023 Did you know one of the very first blog posts I made on this site was about podcasts? While that post was for beginners, today we're going to jump ahead a bit and talk about podcasts…

Posted: 22nd Mar 2023 Welcome to the latest installment in the Ippo Ippo Japanese Student Interview series! So far we've heard from Hannah and Gina, both students getting ready for N5 of the JLPT via my Prep for N5 course,…

Posted: 21st Mar 2023 Did you know one of the very first blog posts I made on this site was about podcasts for complete beginners? As someone who's always enjoyed learning Japanese by listening (I used to listen to vocab…

Pictured: Eleanor in a rental kimono at Fushimi-Inari Shrine, Kyoto Posted: 15th Mar 2023 Welcome to the third post in the Ippo Ippo Japanese Student Interview series! So far we've heard from Hannah and Gina, both students getting ready for…

Posted: 2nd Mar 2023 Before we begin: this post contains some info that only applies to the UK (e.g. about available test centres), but broadly speaking, advice on how to register should be relevant pretty much wherever you are in…

Pictured: Gina at the New York Nintendo Store. "I can't wait to see the other two stores in Japan this year!" Posted: 2nd Mar 2023 Welcome to the second post in a new series in which I chat to some…

Pictured: Hannah in the bamboo forest at Arashiyama, Kyoto Posted: 24th Feb 2023 Welcome to a new series on my blog in which I chat to some Ippo Ippo Japanese students to find out more about their experience of learning…

Photo credit: @michaelsum1228 on Unsplash Posted: 22nd Feb 2023 Did you know that the 22nd of February is 猫の日 (neko no hi): Cat Day? While International Cat Day apparently falls on the 8th of August each year, in Japan, people…

Photo credit: Rian P. Adi Posted: 16th Feb 2023 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This Week's Word Is... 偶然 In hiragana: ぐうぜん In rōmaji: guuzen Before We Begin None of the links in…

Photo credit: EEA IKEDA Posted: 15th Feb 2023 Welcome to the second instalment in my new Japanese culture blog series for 2023! If you missed the first post about January, you can find it here. While I often write about…

Posted: 26th Jan 2023 Hello and welcome to a slightly different post from usual! Despite being a huge lover of travelling in Japan, it's not something I've written about much on this blog till now. Today, I've decided to rectify…

Posted: 19th January 2023 Hello Babur and thank you for joining me for an interview today! Could you introduce yourself and your connection to Japan? Hello Elly! Thank you for your time today. Sure. My name's Babur and my connection…

Posted: 12th Jan 2023 As a Japanese teacher, I'm often asked which textbooks are best for learning the language. The answer is: it depends! While textbooks certainly aren't a must when it comes to language learning (I personally tend to…

Posted: 6th Jan 2023 Welcome (or welcome back) to the Ippo Ippo Japanese blog! Today I want to address a question that I think occurs to many language learners, but in particular to adult learners no longer in formal education.…

Posted: 5th January 2023 Greetings from a chilly Edinburgh! As I sat in my office earlier this week having a think about what my students said they'd like to study this year, I began to notice a common theme: everyone…

Posted: 3rd January 2023 Happy New Year! Or in Japanese... 明けましておめでとうございます!(Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu!) In this post, I want to talk a bit about the past year as well as about what 2023 holds for Ippo Ippo. Before we get into…

Posted: 19th December 2022 Today is my last day of work before the end of 2022, and it feels really nice to have a little extra something to celebrate before logging off later today. That something? A special mention of…

Posted: 15th December 2022 As we're getting very close to the winter holidays, today I'm releasing something a bit different: a Japanese Christmas and New Year quiz! While New Year (お正月 - o-shōgatsu) is the main winter celebration in Japan,…

Posted: 8th December 2022 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This week's word is... めんどくさい (mendokusai) What does it mean? めんどくさい (mendokusai) has many possible English translations, including: Bothersome Tiresome Tedious A pain in…

Hello and welcome to a slightly different post from usual! Over the past few months, I've been spending a good deal of time immersed in N2 grammar while prepping and teaching materials as part of my Intro to N2 Grammar…

Posted: 3rd November 2022 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This Week's Word Is... うまい (umai) Before We Begin None of the links in this post are affiliated, which means I don't make money…

Posted: 27th October 2022 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This Week's Word Is... 初耳 In hiragana: はつみみ In rōmaji: hatsu mimi Before We Begin None of the links in this post are affiliated,…

Posted: 20th October 2022 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This week's word is... お大事に!(o-daiji ni) What does it mean? Technically more an expression than a word, お大事に (o-daiji ni) simply means "get well…

When I first started teaching Japanese, my lessons were intensely focused on the language, with little space left for exploring the cultural side of things. The more time I've spent teaching, the more I've come to realise that this is…

Over the last few weeks I've been spending some time compiling helpful resources for students in my Japanese for Beginners and Prep for N5 courses to use while learning - or revising! - hiragana and katakana. If you've not come…

Photo credit: @seiya_maeda on Unsplash As I write this, we have just officially entered autumn of 2022! In Japan, this was marked by 秋分の日 (shuubun no hi): Autumnal Equinox Day, which this year took place on Friday 23rd September. I…

Posted: 22nd September 2022 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This Week's Word Is... 猫舌 (neko jita) Before We Begin None of the links in this post are affiliated, which means I don't make…

Ringing the bell at a shrine just outside Tokyo's old Tsukiji Fish Market during my second ever visit to Japan, summer 2013 CW: mental health; burnout A couple of months ago, I realised I was on the cusp of a…

Recently, I've been talking a lot about all the different things going on at Ippo Ippo. But what's it actually like to learn with me? If you'd rather hear directly from my students, click here. However, if you're curious to…

Posted: 13th July 2022 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This week's word is... ぼちぼち Bochi bochi What does it mean? To find out the meaning of ぼちぼち (bochi bochi) and how to use…

Welcome to a very special guest post from my friend Tokie Tanaka, Osaka local and tour guide extraordinaire. Tokie is a runs tours and local activities all over Japan via her business, Localests, and speaks not only Japanese and English,…

Last updated: 19th June 2023 Sitting the JLPT this July? Or perhaps December? If the test's drawing near, now's a great time to quiz yourself and see what gaps you might have to fill in before the exam. In this…

In celebration of Pride Month, I wanted to put together some tips on LGBTQ+ inclusive teaching that I've been thinking about for a while. If you haven't seen my first post in this series, click here. It's not essential reading,…

To go with my post about 5 Tips for LGBTQ+ Inclusive Teaching, I thought I'd put together a quick guide on how to add your pronouns on Zoom, as well as how to select the option to give you a…

If you've been learning Japanese for a while, you've almost certainly come across the JLPT: the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test. The JLPT comes in five levels, with N5 being the easiest and N1 the hardest to pass. This page has more…

I have to admit that until last year, I hadn't clocked that there was a whole month dedicated to LGBTQ+ pride, but here we are, and I'm super excited! This time last year - and from quite a while before,…

Posted: 20th May 2022 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This week's word is... うち Uchi What does it mean? うち (uchi) has a lot of meanings! Today we are going to focus on…

Thank you to all of those who came along to yesterday's Language Exchange! It just so happened that we had a wonderful match of levels, and I was really impressed with everyone's conversation skills. If you've been following the Ippo…

Posted: 5th May 2022 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This week's word is... 休み Yasumi What does it mean? 休み (yasumi) means a break, day off, holiday or vacation. How is it written?…

Posted: 21st April 2022 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This week's word is... 冷たい Tsumetai What does it mean? 冷たい (tsumetai) means 'cold'. Pretty straightforward, right? However... If you've ever looked up the…

Have you heard of tadoku before? Tadoku is an innovative approach to learning via reading, and one of the things I really like about it is how it helps us question traditional ways of approaching learning a language. Up till…

Posted: 7th April 2022 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This week's word is... バタバタ Bata bata What does it mean? バタバタ (bata bata) has a few meanings, so we're going to focus on…

Recently, I caught up with Hitomi Kobayashi, with whom I'm running two Tadoku Taster events this April. Hitomi-san has been teaching Japanese for over 20 years, and is a published author of Japanese textbooks! Find out about her work here,…

This week is Autism Acceptance Week, and I'm getting in there at (almost) the last minute to share what this means to me! Autism is something I've had an awareness of for a long time, but it was only last…

I'm going to be honest: I've been learning Japanese for nearly 10 years now, but I can count on one hand the number of Japanese books I've read all the way through. From when I was very young, I loved…

Fran is a Japanese teacher based in Brighton, where she runs the fantastic Step Up Japanese language school. As Fran and I have recently got together to put on Explore Japanese, two events for anyone looking to get their first…

Posted: 17th March 2022 Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This week's word is... ~放題 ~ほうだい / hōdai Although a dictionary will throw up a whole list of definitions, the main meaning of 放題…

Posted: 8th March 2022 Hello again and welcome to the second round of the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week! This week's word is... 青信号 あおしんごう / ao shingō This is the Japanese word for "green traffic light": simple…

Posted: 3rd March 2022 Welcome to the first Word of the Week on the Ippo Ippo Japanese blog! This is something I've previously shared on social media, but I thought I'd move it over here to make this series a…

If you've started learning Japanese recently, you may be looking for something a bit more entertaining than the pages of your average textbook. If you already enjoy listening to podcasts, why not delve into some series aimed at Japanese learners?…

Happy New Year! 明けましておめでとうございます!Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu! In case there hasn't been enough to celebrate these past few weeks, today marks the official two year anniversary of Ippo Ippo Japanese. I decided to go full time as a tutor at a…

Welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese blog! This is something I've been wanting to get going for a while, and apparently the very end of 2021 is finally the time to do so! On this blog I want to share…

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