Read or Die with Tadoku – AGAIN

It’s that Tadoku time again everyone!

Remember when I blogged about the last Tadoku Competition? It feels like so long ago… but it was only a couple of months back!

This time I'll finish them...

You can check the Read More or Die blog to see how I did last time. In one month I logged 186 pages of Japanese read. Most of what I logged was from Kafka on the Shore. As you can see, that wasn’t an outstanding showing. I only ranked 57 out of 99 participants! My excuse? Well. I have excuses. But I won’t bore you with them.

This month it’s on!

I encourage you to get signed up and read! There’s no risk and no earthly reward… just the knowledge that you’re honing your Japanese reading skills with other Japan geeks around the world!

Follow @lordsilent for more information, and just tweet @tadokubot with #reg to get signed up! Be sure to read the Read More or Die blog to learn the rules and how to log your pages.

– Harvey

Tsuchinoko by Gaka

According to an article I read on BoingBoing, an art group called rakudasan created this video for a band called Gaka. It’s really good. If you’re the impatient type, I think this video gets better as it goes. The ending scene is really cool! Watch it to the end!

If you liked that video, then you might also like these other clips from the Japanese TV show called 欽ちゃんの仮装大賞, where the contests are based on a similar (yet different) style of performance.

Search for 欽ちゃんの仮装大賞 on youtube and you can see many more videos.

I guess the main difference between the rakudasan bit and the 欽ちゃんの仮装大賞 contest is that in rakudasan all of the actors are fully visible and they use the camera and their ability to stay in sync with each other against the black background to make the effect. 欽ちゃんの仮装大賞 is all about hiding “kuroko” against a black background and having them lift people, move objects, and create a visually surreal environment for the viewers. A bit different, but both are cool!!!

Originally spotted on BoingBoing

– Harvey

Ken Watanabe reads some Miyazawa Kenji

Ken Wataname reading 雨にも負けず (ame ni mo makezu) by Miyazawa Kenji.

This is a great poem, and you don’t need a super advanced knowledge of Japanese to understand it.
This poem screams GANBARU. This is worth working through if you’ve never given this poem a look.

You can get the full text of Amenimo Makezu here.

If you’re wondering, it’s got tons of Katakana because it’s old. (I don’t think that over simplified explanation is too far off…)

Here is the website for the sponsor, kizuna311. Kizuna means “bonds” or “ties” and 311 is for March 11th, the date of the earthquake and tsunami.

– Harvey

Genpatsu-kun has a stomach ache

[UPDATE 03/17/2011] The above version has English Subs!

This is the vanilla original Japanese version!

This is an extremely well done animation that attempts to explain the crisis at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima in a light-hearted yet informational way.

The following is a my 5 minute summary of what is going on in the video. It’s not a direct translation, and I did it extremely quickly, but I think you’ll get the gist from these even if you don’t know Japanese. I’m sure someone will post a version with translated subtitles eventually!

[Begin Video Summary]

Genpatsu-kun is the name of the character representing the Fukushima the power plant.

He has a stomach ache that was caused by the big earthquake.

んんん〜〜〜 おなかいたいよう〜うんちが出ちゃいそう! arrrgh my stomach hurts! poops is gonna come out!

His poop is very stinky and therefore dangerous. If it spills out moreru もれる then it will be big trouble. くさい kusai! Stinky!

However, どーん! (doonnnn) we heard a huge sound from Genpatsu-kun and everyone was surprised! Did his poop come out?

After taking some measurements they realized it wasn’t poop, but just a fart. But his stomach still hurts.

In order to fix it they’re giving Genpatsu-kun medicine. Including seawater 海水 kaisui and ホウ素 houso boron.

They ran out of medicine and it as kind of a close call, but anyway they’re working hard to keep him from pooping all over the place.

The smell from a fart will only last about a week, and isn’t so stinky, so no problem for people who live far away.

That’s what happend with 3-mile Island too.

But Chernobyl…

[YouTube Video Time 1:54]

He even pooped his pants in the classroom! And it was diarrhea! And he ran around all over the place just like that!!!

But Japan won’t be like Chernobyl.

Genpatsu-kun has a diaper. So even if the unchi comes out, it won’t travel far.

Big poop is heavy too so it won’t go too far.

In order to help out Genpatsu-kun the doctors are working hard. They are taking turns giving him medicine as to preserve their health. This method of giving him medicine isn’t efficient, but it’s vital to preserve the health of the doctors.

If in the news you hear, 注水が再開 (cyuusui ga saikai, water injection has started again), you know that they’re able to give Genpatsu-kun medicine again to cool him down.

If things get bad it won’t be as bad as Chernobyl, but people in Fukushima won’t be able to live around there… and plants and fish will die. It would be terrible for the people of Fukushima.

I order not to let that happen, everyone is working as hard as they can. These next two days (as of time this video was published) are key.

It’ll be alright. With time, Genpatsu-kun’s stomach will surely get better.

[End Video Summary]

– Harvey

Japan Fan encourages you to donate

There are many many ways to donate, but here’s another one.

If you buy this girl’s songs on Band Camp she’ll donate 100% of the proceeds to Red Cross.
She studies Japanese too. Her songs only cost one dollar. Support her dream, support Japan, support a JapanNewbie. What more could you ask for? Go young people go young people go!

Great to see people coming together!

Other ways to donate.
Txt “JAPAN” or “TSUNAMI” to 20222 to donate $10 (Save the Children Federation)
Txt “4JAPAN” or “4TSUNAMI” to 20222 to donate $10 (World Vision)
Txt “MERCY” to 25283 to donate $10 (Mercy Corps)
Txt “SUPPORT” to 85944 to donate $10 (ADRA)
Txt “MED” to 80888 to donate $10 (Assist International Medical Corps)
Txt “JAPAN” to 80888 to donate $10 (Salvation Army)
Txt “REDCROSS” to 90999 to donate $10 (American Red Cross)

A list of short codes to donate to Japan.

がんばれ all those people in Japan and those affected by the quake elsewhere!

– Harvey

Japanese News Earthquake Vocabulary

Image from Danny Choo via Wikipedia

Here’s a quick and dirty list of earthquake related Japanese vocabulary and their translations that often appear in the news. This is a work in progress. I will be adding more as I well, read more.

Hopefully this will help those people who want to keep up with what the Japanese media is saying about this incredible disaster.

Also, if you’re looking for a quick place to get some Japanese news stories, give a try.

You can download a zip file containing MP3 audio for most of the terms here. Thanks to the team at The Japan for doing the recording!


木造住宅 もくぞうじゅうたく homes built of wood
中層建物 ちゅうそうたてもの a mid-sized high rise building
空港 くうこう airport
みなと port
港周辺 みなとしゅうへん the area around the port
倒壊した家 とうかいしたいえ collapsed houses
倒壊家屋 とうかいかおく collapsed houses
建物の屋根 たてもののやね the roofs of buildings
瓦礫 がれき tiles and pebbles, debris


高濃度 こうのうど kounoudo High density
水位 すいい suii water level
計画停電 けいかくていでん planned power outage
核燃料 かくねんりょう nuclear fuel Link
使用済み用燃料 しようずみねんりょう shiyouzumi nenryou spent fuel (rods)
循環ポンプ じゅんかんポンプ jyunkan ponpu circulating pumps
循環させる じゅんかんさせる jyunkan saseru to make something circulate
核分裂 かくぶんれつ atomic fission Link
冷却機能 れいきゃくきのう cooling functionality
冷却機能が失われ れいきゃくきのうがうしなわれ reikyaku kinou ga ushinaware lost its cooling functionality
冷却水 れいきゃくすい cooling fluid/liquid
マイクロシーベルト micro sievert Link
電力不足 でんりょくぶそく lack of power
停電 ていでん power outage
発電所 はつでんしょ power plant
原発 げんぱつ nuclear power plant
東京電力福島第1原子力発電所1号機 とうきょうでんりょくふくしまだいいちげんしりょくはつでんしょいちごうき TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant No. 1 reactor
東電 とうでん Abbreviation for TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company)
燃料棒 ねんりょうぼう fuel rod (for a nuclear power plant)
燃料棒が全露出 ねんりょうぼうがぜんろしゅつ nenryoubou ga zenrosyutsu the fuel rods have been fully exposed
揚水発電所 ようすいはつでんしょ pumping-up generation
電力会社 でんりょくがいしゃ power company
蒸気 じょうき steam
節電 せつでん energy conservation, to conserve energy
供給不足 きょうきゅうぶそく insufficient supply
原子炉を冷やす機能 げんしろをひやすきのう the function to cool a nuclear reactor
格納容器 かくのうようき storage container (refers to the steel container housing the reactor)
容器を海水で冷やす ようきをかいすいでひやす cool the container with seawater
放射線 ほうしゃせん radiation (radioactive rays)
放射能 ほうしゃのう radioactivity
放射性物質 ほうしゃせいぶっしつ radioactive materials
発電施設 はつでんしせつ power plant facilities
ヨウ化カリウム ようかかりうむ Potassium iodide youka karyu-mu
イソジン いそじん povidone iodine (product name) isojin Link
ヨウ素 ようそ iodine youso
給水 きゅうすい water supply kyuusui

Rescue and damage

万人単位 まんにんたんい numbering in the ten thousands (people) Link
孤立 こりつ to be isolated Link
安否確認 あんぴかくにん confirmation of safety Link
安否不明 あんぴふめい unknown whether (they are) safe or not
安否確認が進まず あんぴかくにんがすすまず making no progress in regards to confirming the safety of…
炉心溶融 ろしんようゆう core meltdown Link
除染 / 除染する じょせん / じょせんする decontamination / decontaminate
爆発 ばくはつ explosion
爆発音 ばくはつおん sound of an explosion
水素爆発 すいそばくはつ hydrogen explosion
壊滅的な被害 かいめつてきなひがい devastating damage
救助ヘリコプター きゅうじょヘリコプター rescue helicopter
救助を待っている きゅうじょをまっている waiting to be rescued
被災者 ひさいしゃ victims/sufferers
被災地 ひさいち hisaichi disaster area
死者 ししゃ casualties
死者数 ししゃすう number of casualties
被害 ひがい damage
不明 ふめい unclear (missing people) 死者・不明1400人超 (more than 1,400 dead or missing)
行方不明者 ゆくえふめいしゃ missing persons
負傷 ふしょう injured
軽傷者 けいしょうしゃ people with light injuries
遺体 いたい dead bodies / corpses
遺体安置所 いたいあんちしょ mortuary Link
被曝 ひばく to be exposed to radiation
避難範囲 ひなんはんい evacuation area
避難住民 ひなんじゅうみん evacuated residents
救出活動 きゅうしゅつかつどう rescue operations
非常事態 ひじょうじたい hijyoujitai emergency situation
避難所 ひなんじょ hinanjyo evacuation site


東日本巨大地震 ひがしにほんきょだいじしん Literally… East Japan Great Earthquake Link
震度 しんど The strength of an earthquake (shindo, Japanese scale 0 to 7)
震度6弱 しんどろくじゃく Shindo 6 weak (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5弱, 5強, 6弱, 6強, 7.)
震度5強 しんどごきょう Shindo 5 strong (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5弱, 5強, 6弱, 6強, 7.)
大震災 だいしんさい Great earthquake
マグニチュード マグニチュード Magnitude
震源 しんげん The hypocenter (of an earthquake)
揺れ ゆれ to shake
地震 じしん earthquake
余震 よしん aftershock
津波 つなみ tsunami
山崩れ やまくずれ landslide
ほのお flames
白煙 はくえん white smoke
黒煙 こくえん black smoke
海水 かいすい seawater
真水 まみず fresh water
海面 かいめん sea surface
内陸 ないりく inland
沿岸部 えんがんぶ coastal area
水没している すいぼつしている to be submerged in water
水没した車 すいぼつしたくるま submerged cars Link
引き波 ひきなみ “Drawback” in tsunami context. Also, backwash, riptide, undertow.

Transportation and vehicles

乗用車 じょうようしゃ passenger cars (regular cars, as opposed to fire trucks, ambulances, etc.)
消防車 しょうぼうしゃ fire truck
船舶が座礁している せんぱくがざしょうしている ships have run aground

Government and organizations

気象庁 きしょうちょう Meteorological agency
自衛隊 じえいたい Japan Self Defense Force
国際原子力事象評価尺度 こくさいげんしりょくじしょうひょうかしゃくど International Nuclear Event Scale (INES)
警察庁 けいさつちょう National Police Agency

Place Names

宮城県 みやぎけん Miyagi prefecture
南三陸町 みなみさんりくちょう minamisanrikuchou (In Miyagi prefecture. Devastate by the tsunami.)
岩手県 いわてけん Iwate prefecture
福島 ふくしま Fukushima


〜が相次いでいる あいついでいる blah blah is occurring over and over again
恐れがある おそれがある may occur (something negative) e.g., 停電が続く恐れがある the power outage may continue.
半径3キロ はんけいさんキロ a radius of 3 kilometers
命を落とす いのちをおとす to die (to lose life)
待機 たいき to wait
状況の把握が難航しており じょうきょうのはあくがなんこうしており difficult to understand the (actual) situation Link
市街地 しがいち urban areas
拡大する見通し かくだいするみとおし expected to increase/expand
未曽有 みぞう unprecedented
必至 ひっし inevitable Link
甚大 じんだい serious jindai Link

I hope this is helpful! Let me know of other words that you think should be added in the comments!

– Harvey

Related Links:
This 実用日本語表現辞典 feed has useful vocabulary in Japanese with Japanese explanations. (Thanks @ClaytonianJP)

A translation of some key terms from the feed, by @ClaytonianJP.

If you need help translating the Hiragana into Romaji (English characters) try Thanks to @ChrisJValdez for the heads up.

For more romaji help you can also try this method. Go to and translate from Japanese to Japanese. Then hit “read phonetically”. Thanks to @koorogi for that tip!