Tara Kamiya


What does this say?
What does this say?

So today I sat down to do some videos. Taped a few…….then the SD card runs out of space.

No idea how to switch it or correct the issue because the video camera is in Japanese. I want to cry, instead of uploading all night I am blogging. Not horrible, but not what I had planned for this evening, especially since I have not put up a video in a while.

All of this frustration taking place today made me feel even more frustration over my illiteracy. There is no way in the world I can go on not being able to read and write in this country. I have no idea how people do it. There are quite a few people who live here or rather have lived here for years and cannot read or write. Not the kid. It is maddening. Not knowing what is in the food you buy or being able to buy books. I don’t even get to enjoy all of my high-tech appliances because I have no idea what setting to choose or what options I have. Sometimes I can read and cannot understand. Hiragana/Katakana understanding means you can read the word, but if you cannot find it in a dictionary well…..you just end up on the floor, in the corner, in tears.

The other day I had a breakdown in front of my husband. I had explained to him that I did not even know how to write the kids’ names and no idea what their Kanji looked like to even recognize it. My fault, but with all the other things I need to do this one got past me. It is just a lot.

The nerd in me is angry! So what to do. Well I do have learning materials here and since my children are still taking naps I have to push through the agony of being up damn near 20 hours a day so that I can progress. My newborn is lovely and right now she does sleep quite a bit. My 2-year-old is lovely as well and I have a few more days of daycare for him. I missed the window to get him in preschool. Sad Face….what was I thinking?

The good news is……and there is always good news, is that I can drive, and where there is a will there is a way. I am going to start little by little teaching myself what I can all over again. Soon I will be able to go to school like my other friends who have their kids in preschool. So another 2 years. It goes by quickly. In the meantime you will have to wait for your videos.

Have a great day. I am thinking of you.

4 thoughts on “Illiterate in Japan

  1. I think I have the same washing mashine than you. After my daughter’s birth I was suppose to go hospital and could not remember the kanji for her name either ! Anyway another way is to study online. I study with Japonin , it is cheap and convenient with children around you activate the mic only when it is your turn 🙂

  2. I’m sure they might have some inexpensive language schools nearby.
    Also, since you have a new born, studying online is great way or having an online tutor (that is what I do) since I live in America. But your husband is Japanese so, I wouldn’t waste money on an online tutor. I would go to the library and get myself some books to self study and ask in laws/husband any questions if I was in your situation.

    I’m 19 years old now and started studying Japanese when I was 13 years old. It takes time, but slow and steady wins the race. 🙂


  3. I use a dictionary app on my iPhone called imiwa. When I am out in public and I need a definition I can find it without using my phones Internet. I can also get the definition of the kanji as well as other useful information such as how to write the kanji. At home I used jisha.org. It has been a while since I used it but I believe it offers the same thing. Ofcourse I assume time is your biggest enemy, but for the moments it is on your side maybe this can alleviate some stress.

  4. Thanks! Any advice is helpful. Be Well. These are good suggestions. I will check it out.

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