Makoto Japanese e-Zine #22 December 2019 | Digital Download + MP3s

Makoto Japanese e-Zine #22 December 2019 | Digital Download + MP3s

Issue #22
December 2019

Makoto #22


Please note: We are providing the sound files from this issue openly, but to follow along and have full access to grammatical notes and the running gloss, please either purchase this issue at:


December 2019

Shinkansen-Slow Speed – Click here to download – DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Shinkansen-Normal Speed– Click here to download – DOWNLOAD AUDIO


IN THIS ISSUE: December 2019

NEW READER: Let’s Read! Island Country (Beginner-level) & History of the Shinkansen (Intermediates)

ž Laughs, Jokes, Riddles, and Puns
ž Vocabulary: Japanese Proverb
ž Prefecture Spotlight: Miyazaki
ž Etymology: Moshi Moshi Cool Anime / Manga Phrase
ž Haiku Basho
ž Kanji Spotlight: N5 Kanji with “sun”
ž Grammar Time! Dou Desu Ka?
ž Japanese Readers: Let’s Read! Island Country (Beginner-level) & History of the Shinkansen (Intermediates)

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Learn Japanese phrases from Attack on Titan 進撃の巨人 Shingeki no Kyojin

Learn Japanese phrases from Attack on Titan 進撃の巨人 Shingeki no Kyojin

Let’s look at 37 phrases found in Attack on Titan and break them down. You can also download a PDF of the phrases and the sound files that go with it here. Please let us know if you spot any errors or have better translation suggestions.

What is Attack on Titan? Well, if you are here, you probably know, but it is a manga series by By 諌山創 いさやまはじめ (Isayama Hajime). Here is how Wikipedia puts it:

“It is set in a fantasy world where humanity lives within territories surrounded by three enormous walls that protect them from gigantic man-eating humanoids referred to as Titans.”


Show them human power!

人類 jin rui – mankind; humanity

の no – (shows relationship: humanity's power)

力 chikara – power

を wo – (direct object marker)

思い知れっ omoishire – to realize (from おもう (think) + る (know)) [command form; the small っ represents a sudden stop, emphasizing the heat of the moment]


Target, one titan. Without fail, take it down.

目標 moku hyou – target; objective (enemy)

は wa – (topic marker)

一体 ittai – one body; one object (titan)

だ da – (simple form of です)

必ず kanarazu – without fail; always; certainly

仕留める shitomeru – to bring down (opponent); to kill; to shoot down

ぞ zo – (male ender adding force)


Remain calm and take shelter.

落ち着いて ochi tsuite – calm down and… [the て form makes it a conjunction]

避難して hinan shite – take shelter; evacuate

下さい kudasai – please (evacuate)


Furthermore, as I am sure you know, deserters will receive the death penalty.

なお nao – furthermore; still…

承知している shouchi shite iru – knowing; being aware

であろうが de arou ga – (I)'m sure (you know) [from the formal or literary copula である and the が particle]

敵前逃亡 tekizen toubou – desertion in the face of the enemy; deserting under enemy fire

は wa – (topic marker)

死罪 shizai – capital crime; death penalty

値する atai suru – to be worth; to deserve

死罪に値する shizai ni atai suru – to merit capital punishment


Everyone let's be willing to offer our lives.

みな mina – everyone

心して kokoro shite – with all one's heart/might; carefully

命 inochi - life

を o – (direct object marker)

捧げ sage – lift up; offer; sacrifice

よ yo – (sentence ender for emphasis)


This is a moment of humanity's extinction.

人類 jinrui -humanity; human race

滅亡 metsubou -extinction; destruction

の no -of

危機 kiki -crisis; danger

だ da -plain form of です (be; is; means a word that links subjects and predicates)

ぞ zo -(sentence end) adds force; indicates command


Strike them at once from every direction.

全方向 zenhoukou -all directions

から kara -from

同時に douji ni -at once; simultaneously [the に makes it into an adverb]

叩くtataku-strike; hit

ぞ zo-(sentence  ender adding force; indicates command)


Titans have broken through the gate and are coming!

巨人 kyojin-titans; giant

が ga-a particle that marks the grammatical subject of a sentence

門に mon ni-the gate

突っ込んで tsukkonde-through      

来る kuru-come

ぞ zo-(sentence end) adds force; indicates command


(I) won’t let one remain in this world.

この世 kono yo-this world

から kara-from

一匹 ippiki  -one (counting animals or, in this case, titans)

残らず nokorazu-without exception; entirely; not (one) left

オレおれにはゆめがある… 巨人きょじん駆逐くちくして、このせま壁内へきない世界せかいたら…そと世界せかい探検たんけんするんだ」

I have a dream. I'll destroy the titans and once I've escaped this small world inside the gates, I'll explore the outside world!

「」 (quotation marks)

オレ ore-me; I; myself

には ni wa-in regard to

夢がある yume ga aru-have a dream

 巨人 kyojin-giant

 o-a particle which indicates direct object of action

駆逐して kuchiku shite-destroying 

この kono-this

狭い壁内 semai heki nai-inside the narrow wall

世界 sekai-world

出たら detara-if (you) go out

外の世界 soto no sekai -the world outside

探検する tanken suru- explore  

んだ n da-it is that… [used when explaining things]


An untold number of titans have already occupied this area.

この kono-this

街 machi-area; town

は wa-topic marking particle

もう mou-already

無数 musuu-countless

巨人に kyojin ni-by giants

占領される senryou sareru-be occupied


Switch to the vertical maneuvering equipment!

立体 rittai-solid; tridimensional (3D)

機動 kidou-mobility

に ni-to

移れ utsure-switch


I will exterminate you!

駆逐して kuchiku shite-exterminate; expel; drive out

やる yaru-do


I will pray that the (forward) squad will fight bravely.

先遣班 senkenhan- (forward) squad

の no-of

健闘 kentou-fight bravely

を o-(a particle which indicates direct object of action)

祈ります inorimasu-will pray


We will be the decoy.

囮 otori-decoy

は wa- topic marking particle

我々 wareware-we [literary]

が ga-(a particle that marks the grammatical subject of a sentence)

引き受ける hiki ukeru-accept; take; assume; undertake


The triumphal return of our heroes!

英雄 eiyuu-heroes

の  no-of

凱旋gaisen-triumphal return

だ da-plain form of です (be; is; means a word that links subjects and predicates)


All hands prepare for battle!

総員 souin-all hands; total staff

戦闘 sentou-battle

用意 youi-ready


On that day, humanity remembered the terror of their rule.

その日 sono hi-that day

人類 jinrui-humanity

 wa- (topic marking particle)

思い出した omoidashita-remembered

やつらに yatsura ni-of their; by them

支配されていた shihai sarete ita-ruled; dominated

恐怖 kyoufu-terror

を o-a particle which indicates direct object of action [this is a way to put the main point (fear) at the end instead of before the verb; poetic]


We cannot confirm the titans have intelligence like humans.

巨人には kyojin ni wa-for titans

人間 ningen-human being

のような no youna-like (humans)

知性 chisei-intellect; mentality; intelligence

wa- (topic marking particle)

確認できず kakunin dekizu-cannot confirm


The titan’s sole behavioral principle is to eat humans.

巨人のkyojin no-titan’s

唯一 yuiitsu-only; sole

の no-of

行動原理 koudou genri-behavioral principle

は wa- topic marking particle

人 hito-person; human

を o-a particle which indicates direct object of action

食らうこと kurau koto-must eat [old-fashioned; now it would be う]

だ da-plain form of です (be; is; means a word that links subjects and predicates)


It (failed mission) was completely by my own judgement.

すべて subete- all

私の watashi no-my

独断 dokudan-one's own judgement; decision made without consulting others

だ da-plain form of です (be; is; means a word that links subjects and predicates)


For the victory of humanity!

人類 jinrui-humanity

の no-of

勝利 shouri -victory

のために no tame ni-for the purpose of


This is treason against the kingdom.

これは kore wa-this is

王政 ousei-monarchy

に ni-to (monarchy; regal government)

対する tai suru-against

反逆 hangyaku-rebellion; defiance

だ da-plain form of です (be; is; means a word that links subjects and predicates)


I hate pointless deaths.

無駄死に mudajini -pointless death; die for nothing

は wa-for

嫌い kirai-dislike; hate

だ da-plain form of です (be; is; means a word that links subjects and predicates)


If a person doesn't have something to lose, he cannot change anything.

何も nani mo-anything; nothing [used with a negative verb]

捨てることができない suteru koto ga dekinai -cannot get rid of [Verb (dictionary form) + ことができないis used negatively to say one cannot do something]

できない人 dekinai hito-a person who cannot

は wa- (topic marking particle)

変えることができない kaeru koto ga dekinai -cannot change [Verb (dictionary form) + ことができないis used negatively to say one cannot do something]

できない dekinai-cannot


I will destroy the titans. Not one will remain.

俺 ore-me; I; myself [rough, male pronoun]

は wa- (topic marking particle)

巨人 kyojin-titan; giant

を o-(a particle which indicates direct object of action)

駆逐して kuchiku shite-destroying; drive out

やる yaru-do

一人 hitori-alone; one person

残らず nokorazu-not be left


(I'll) take responsibility and fix the mess we're in.

落とし前 otoshi mae -to compensate somebody for someone; pay money [originally, this was used as a code for employees to lower the price. Eventually, it came to also mean to take responsibility for a loss]

付けろ tsukero-front

よ yo-a sentence ending particle which is used to make the listeners become aware


Never forget the essence of the mission.

作戦 sakusen-mission; operation

の no-of

本質 honshitsu-essence; whole point

を o-a particle which indicates direct object of action

見失うな miushinau na-don’t lose sight



撤退する tettai suru-pull out; retreat

ぞ zo-(sentence end) adds force; indicates command


Is there anything more important than fulfilling one's desire?

自分の jibun no-own

欲求 yokkyuu-wants; desire; cravings

を o-a particle which indicates direct object of action

満たす mitasu-satisfy; fulfill

こと koto-means “must (fulfill)”

より yori-than

大事な daiji na-important

のか no ka-it means a question with a requirement for an explanation


Move out. Pass the word to the various squads.

ただちに tadachi ni-immediately

移動 idou-move

だ da-plain form of です (be; is; means a word that links subjects and predicates)

各班 kaku han-various teams; squads


伝えろ tsutaero-tell; convey; pass the word


Stay sharp.

警戒 keikai-vigilance; alarm; watch out

o-a particle which indicates direct object of action

怠るな okotaru na- do not neglect


Move out!

出発する shuppatsu suru-go forth; depart; move out

zo-(sentence end) adds force; indicates command


And the reason is?

根拠 konkyo-basis; ground; evidence

は wa- what (is the evidence)? [topic marking particle]


I see. (I'm) not getting through (with my point).

説得力がない settoku ryoku ga nai-no persuasive power

こと koto -the act of (not persuading) [creates a noun phrase]

は  wa- (topic marking particle)

わかった wakatta-understood; knew


Because the world is a cruel place.

世界 sekai-world

は wa- (topic marking particle)

残酷 zankoku-inhumanity; cruel

なんだから nan dakara-because


Battles are not won with willpower alone.

戦い tatakai-battle; warfare; fight

は wa- topic marking particle

気合 kiai-spirit; willpower

で de-with

何とかするもんじゃない nan to ka suru mon janai-isn’t something (you) do…

でしょ desho-(I) think; don’t (you) agree?

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Japanese Idiom 夢見る少女 yume miru shoujo A Girl with Romantic but Somewhat Unrealistic Dreams

Japanese Idiom 夢見る少女 yume miru shoujo A Girl with Romantic but Somewhat Unrealistic Dreams



  • (ゆめ) yume—dream)
  • ()miru—to see
  • 少女(しょうじょ) shoujo—a young girl)



  • (わたし)watashi no—my
  • 将来(しょうらい) shourai—future
  • wa—(topic particle; uses hiragana "ha" but pronounced "wa")
  • バレリ(ばれり)() bareri-na—ballerina
  • それとも soretomo—or perhaps…
  • 姫様(ひめさま) ohimesama—princess 
  • ああ aa—ah
  • ()められない kimerarenai—(I) cannot decide
  • wa—(feminine ender showing emotion)
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おやじギャグ Old Man’s (Flat) Jokes in Japanese

おやじギャグ Old Man’s (Flat) Jokes in Japanese

An oyaji gyagu means a “boring pun” or “an old person’s (flat) joke.”

おやじ means “one’s father” or “an old man.” ギャグ comes from “gag” and while the English word can indicate an act (e.g. a practical joke), ギャグ in Japanese is usually verbal speech.

Here are a few classic and corny おやじギャグ. Use at your own risk!


“I got it! I’ll drink soda.”

Okay, none of these work in English. The word play involves そうだ (casual of そうです) and ソーダ which means “soda.”

そうだ is used when remembering something or deciding on something. “That’s right!”


“I like skiing.”

Another innocent sounding English translation becomes an awful sounding pun in Japanese. ()き, to like, sounds like スキー, to ski.


“The curry is spicy!”

Curry is カレー and (から)~ is a slang form of (から)い meaning spicy hot.


“Is the watermelon cheap?”

スイカ means “watermelon.” (やす)い means “cheap” or “inexpensive.” か is the question ender: suika yasui ka.


“A country with no kanji, Canada.”

The pun comes from the Japanese word for “Canada” which is カナダ. This could also be かな (kana, hiragana and katakana) + だ (plain form copula). The country without kanji is the country with only kana.


“Are there dolphins?”

イルカ is a dolphin. いるか is asking if (dolphins) exist. Useful for your next beach trip.


“There’s nothing here but deer.”

鹿 means deer and しかない means “nothing but (deer).” It kind of works in English as a rhyme.

アリが(とう)さん、 ハエが(かあ)さん

“An ant is my father; a fly is my mother.”

アリが父さん sounds like “thank you” but means “an ant is (my) father.” Use a fly to represent the mother. This is from a Crayon Shinchan manga.

(うめ)()めぇ 。

“The plum is delicious.”

Plum in Japanese is “うめ.” “うめ” is also slang for うまい which means delicious.


“The cat slept.”

寝ね込こむ means to “stay in bed” from exhaustion or sickness.

()(しろ)(いぬ)がいました、()(しろ)い 。

“There was a totally white dog. His tail was also white.”

()(しろ)い」 (tail is also white) sounds like おもしろい which means “interesting” or “amusing.”

和食(わしょく)きらい? わーショック!

“You don’t like Japanese style food? Shock!”

“わしょく” means Japanese food. “わ” is an exclamation like “wow.” ショック is “shock.”

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Good Tastes in Japanese

Good Tastes in Japanese

How do you say sweet, sour, or spicy in Japanese? Let's take a look at a few tastes words.

()っぱい suppai—sour


That pineapple was so sour, I couldn't eat it.

Vocabulary and Grammatical Notes

その sono–that
パイナップル painappuru–pineapple
wa–(topic particle)
酸っぱくて suppakute–sour and… [from 酸っぱい suppai–sour; this is the て form which acts as a conjunction. It is sour and (therefore) I cannot eat it.]
食べられなかった taberarenakatta–unable to eat [from 食べる taberu–to eat]



After the meal, I want something sweet to eat.

Vocabulary and Grammatical Notes

食後に shokugo ni—after eating

何か nanika–something

甘いもの amai mono—sweets; something sweet

ga—marks the object wanted to be eaten

食べたい tabetai—to want to eat [~たい means “want to”]

Here is an idiomatic use of あまい similar to how it is used in English.

He seduced her with sweet words.

Vocabulary and Grammatical Notes

wa—(topic particle)
甘い言葉 amai kotoba—alluring words; sugared words; flattery
彼女 kanojo—she; her [can also mean “girlfriend”]
o—(direct object marker)
誘った sasotta—tempted; seduced


Bitter medicine works better.

Vocabulary and Grammatical Notes

wa—(topic particle)
苦い nigai—bitter
ほうが houga—is more than; is better; (bitter is more effective)
効く kiku—works; has effect

He overcame a bitter experience and became an adult.

Vocabulary and Grammatical Notes

苦い経験 nigai keiken—a bitter experience
乗り越えて nori koete–overcame
大人 otona—adult
になった ni natta—became

(から)karai—spicy hot

Indian curry is spicy.

Vocabulary and Grammatical Notes

インド indo—India
カレー kare– – curry
インドのカレー indo no kare– – Indian curry
辛い karai–spicy

おいしい oishii—delicious

Japanese food is delicious.

Vocabulary and Grammatical Notes

日本 nihon—Japan
食事 shokuji—food
日本の食事 nihon no shokuji—Japanese food
おいしい oishii—delicious

うまい umai—tasty

This restaurant's sushi is tasty.

Vocabulary and Grammatical Notes

この kono—this [used before nouns]
すし sushi—sushi
この店のすし kono mise no sushi—this restaurant’s sushi
うまい umai—delicious; tasty

And here is another idiomatic use for うまい.


Vocabulary and Grammatical Notes

うまい話 umai hanashi—too-good-to-be-true stories (scams; frauds)
には ni wa—as for (too-good-to-be-true stories)
気を付けた ki o tsuketa—take care [use the た form of verbs before ほうがいい]
ほうがいい hou ga ii—better to

まずい mazui—unsavory; not delicious

This ramen is horrible.

Vocabulary and Grammatical Notes

この kono—this (goes before a noun)
ラーメン ra-men—ramen noodles
まずい mazui—not delicious

Like うまい, まずい can be used idiomatically also.

This is a raw deal.

Vocabulary and Grammatical Notes

これは kore wa—as for this, it is…
まずいこと mazui koto—a bad thing
になった ni natta—became

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いっしょにあそぼ! Let’s Play – Japanese Phrases for Children

いっしょにあそぼ! Let’s Play – Japanese Phrases for Children

You may not have known this, but Japanese children, like any other children, like to play games together. Here are a few phrases to get your inner child a-playing in Japanese.

いっしょにあそぼ! Let’s Play – Japanese Phrases for Children

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issho ni asobo!
Let’s play together.

あそぼ should have a う at the end, but it is often dropped in speech, making it a shorter sound.


nani shite asobu?
What do you want to play?

Literally, “what-do-play,” this is a common way for kids to start play.


nanika shiyou yo
Let’s do something.

When nothing seems to be happening, this is the question to ask the gang. The final よ is for emphasis.


asobi ni ikou
Let’s go play.

When suggesting to go to the park or pool, this is the phrase to use. The に is used to show the reason (to play) for going (ikou)


​Pay attention to me!

From 構う kamau meaning “to mind” “to care about” or “to be concerned for”


  • かくれんぼ kakure​nbo -- hide and go seek
  • 鬼ごっこ oni gokko -- tag
  • フルーツバスケット furu-tsu basuketto -- Fruit basket turnover (game) Learn more here.
  • なわとび nawatobi -- jump rope
  • かけっこ kakkeko -- race; sprint
  • じゃんけん janken -- Rock, paper, scissors
  • けん玉 kendama -- kendama; ball and cup. See here.
Playing in Japanese
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