What the Japanese Deem Romantic

Japan and the Moon

blogphoto3K and I were walking through the streets of Beijing.  We were with a loud, rowdy mix of foreigners and Chinese, and the feeling of summer was fresh in the air.  The district we just passed through was famous for Sichuan cuisine and outdoor eating.  The whole road was lined with red lanterns and hundreds of tables on the sidewalk, each filled to the brim with steaming hot fish, boiling red pepper hot pot or stir fried vegetables and meat.  The floor was littered in peanut and sunflower seed shells, the official snacks of China.  The street was loud, but in a good way, the way that makes a city feel alive.  Whole. read more

Eric X. Li: A tale of two political systems 二政治体制の物語

Interested in how the Chinese government works?  Want to hear this guy appeal to the masses about a one party system?

Do you want to read about it IN JAPANESE!?

Knock yourself out

*This is a personal translation, not a professional one.  If my Japanese is incorrect or incomprehensible, please do not hesitate to comment.


Good morning, My name is Eric li and I was born here.  But no, I wasn’t born there.  This was where I was born:  Shanghai at the height of the cultural revolution.  My grandmother told me she heard the sound of gunfire along with the sound of my first cries. read more

Taking the JLPT Test in China

The Horrors of Taking the JLPT Test in China

I took the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) N1 last Sunday.  I won’t even go into the logistics of the test.   Like, who says あるまじき anymore?  Whatever.

What I want to complain about is: The test center.  I signed up for the nearest testing location in Shanghai, which  was deep in the-middle-of-nowhere subrb.  I get to the university (testing location) and ask the nearest guard about the JLPT test, and she’s oblivious.  She points me to a nearby sign that has some stuff on it.  Lo and behold, it lists all information about the JLPT–except where to actually take it. read more