caleb zone

A Japanese learner, etc.

If you live in the United States (米国) then happy labor day! I decided to take the day off and with my day off I’ve been doing the usual like studying Japanese, doing chores and playing… video games! It’s not too often that I do that but today is the day.

Bullet hells are one of my favorite types of games and an older game I got reconnected with is 虫姫さま (むしひめさま). It’s a fantastic shmup from Cave about a princess that rides on a powerful insect killing other super insects. Due to my long absence from practicing the game I’m horrible haha. There’s so much chaos sometimes that the framerate greatly reduces and things begin crawling (just like a ). Those moments however give you the advantage of more easily tracking where your hit box is. Witnessing all of the wonderful bullet patterns makes the game stunning. It takes lots of practice to get your brain adapted to some of these recurring bullet patterns though. One day I’d like to play some other bullet hells in Japan. That would be so cool!

Okay that’s it for today. Enjoy your day wherever you may be and why not try out a shmup?


The seasons. 🌻❄️🍂🌱 How wonderful they are when you get to experience all four. Summer time is on its way out and autumn is slowly creeping in. I’m very excited to start enjoying cooler weather again! It will however make my running I do through out the week a bit tougher due to how cold it will be. Extra layers, face covering and gloves needed! Thankfully, I have many weeks of enjoying the transitional period where the mornings are getting cooler. This morning I had a great 8.5 mile run and I’m happy with how my training is progressing. Feel great now and I don’t even feel like I ran today! Taking running very slow and steady has been helping me continually improve and not hurt/burn myself.

I spent a bit of time to learn all of the season names in Japanese. Autumn is (あき) which I love because it contains the Kanji for fire (ひ). Here are the other seasons:

  • (はる) – Spring
  • (なつ) – Summer
  • (ふゆ) – Winter

I hope you’re able to enjoy the four seasons where ever you live and I would like to someday enjoy them in Japan. I know summer time there is incredibly brutal but it’s manageable since millions of people live through it every year!


忙しい 忙しい!

I really like that word and use it daily haha. It means to be busy. I believe the very first time I heard that word is when I was watching a video from Tanaka san. Here’s the video:

It’s one video apart of her Kanji Anime series. They’re all fantastic little shorts and I definitely recommend a watch. You may learn a new word!

Happy 金曜日!


Ah YouTube. Such a great platform to learn or potentially waste lots of time. I thankfully use it for mainly learning Japanese and watch some occasional leisure videos but I think I have a fairly good balance. The “Not Interested” button is something we’ve all used to calibrate what we’ll be recommended to us next so I’m happy to finally have learned the Japanese equivalent:

Changing the YouTube UI to show Japanese has been a bit hard at times but it’s making me learn new words. I like this one since it gets used the most by me and thought I’d talk about it. The word is 「興味なし」. I’m sure you’ve guessed but it means not interested. You can also use the word outside of YouTube, of course. Someone wants to sell you some spoiled 訳そば? Just tell them 興味なし!

Ok that’s the lesson of the day. 😂



Hope your weekend has been going well. I just finished doing chores around my house and also finished doing my reviews from WaniKani again. I reached level 7 today which is always big news! I really like the email that gets sent to you once you level up. The email normally includes a quote from a user that has reached level 60 which is the highest currently. Nice motivation and now I get to look forward to the level 8 email.

As I get older my desire for playing video games has decreased and I no longer spend that many hours per year in a game. However, there are games that occasionally surface that really grab my attention. A video game I’m looking forward to playing is called Shashingo. It’s a nifty game about learning Japanese vocabulary via taking photos of different objects around town. The setting looks great and I think it will be a useful tool to make learning new words fun and different. It’s not yet out but I’ve added it to my wish list. A big goal I have is to one day play video games completely in Japanese. Like Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Dragon Quest 8. It will happen some day as long as I just don’t stop studying Japanese!

That’s all for now and I’ll leave some photos from the game Shashingo.



Another Friday is here and another week of Japanese study completed. I’m about to level up to 7 in WaniKani soon! Maybe tomorrow I’ll get there if I don’t fail my reviews. I don’t do too many lessons to make sure I can actually remember the Kanji and vocabulary I’m being taught. 少しずつ!

I heard a phrase again yesterday that I’ve noticed a couple of Japanese teachers use from time to time. It’s「がんばりましょう」which means “let’s do our best!” Fun to understand and know that now because I remember when I first heard it and thought it was overwhelming to comprehend! Just gibberish haha but now I’m starting to hear things more clearly. Just have to keep listening to lots of Japanese daily.

Well not too much else to say at the moment. All there is to do is keep up my daily habits and then see where I am in a week. I may go running tomorrow morning and of course that’s the best time to listen to Japanese!



This is a new time of the day to write a blog post but I figured I do another. Today was a bit of a surprise with my brother’s dog Emma, a golden lab, having a seizure again. We quickly took her to the vet this morning and learned that she most likely has brain cancer. Really sad and tough to have to face. We feel bad for her since she’s no longer acting once like she used to. Hopefully the meds prescribed will perk her up a bit in the coming days. My brother and sister-in-law are keeping a close eye on her now to watch for anymore seizures. Maybe they’ll stop but no ones for certain yet…

Japanese study has been progressing like always. Learning new vocabulary everyday and listening as much as I can to natives speaking. I’m starting to hear more words get repeated quite a bit. Over time I’m sure I’ll notice even more common vocabulary that gets repeated a lot during extended conversations. It’s tempting to keep looking around online for “improved” and “better” ways to become a Japanese speaker but I think I need to trust my routine. I know it’s for sure better than doing nothing!

I learned my normal 5 new words today from WaniKani but picked up an additional new word from the Nihongo con Teppei podcast. 「応援」is the new word which means support, cheer or assistance. I’m sure I’ll hear it elsewhere in the future if I can remember it lol.



Yesterday was a bit of a struggle doing my normal Japanese listening. I picked up a few cool new words, but doubt is getting to me. I feel better I think today but I start wondering if my current studying routine is even helping me get better at Japanese. Getting discouraged is really easy somedays. I had some good days last week where things were exciting but then like today it feels blah. I’m probably going to have lots of these sadly. This is the tough reality of language learning. Anyway, the words I learned were「そうでした」and「大好き」. The first word I learned from listening to a discussion on YouTube and it means “Oh, I remember now” and the second is from the Nihongo con Teppei podcast and it means to really like something. Ok that’s it for now.



Can’t believe I’m writing yet another blog post this many days in a row. I’m sure there will be some quiet days, but I wanted to share how cool it was to listen to this new podcast from Noriko interviewing Fumi.

(1) Japanese Podcast Season 3-3 @SpeakJapaneseNaturally のFumiさん #日本語ポッドキャスト – YouTube

Fun to hear them talk together and I picked up a new word that finally clicked. I’ve heard it often I feel but never paid much attention. The word is「本当に」. It’s used to emphasize the truth of a statement. Pretty cool!

Also, last night while meditating to the Nihongo con Teppei podcast I learned another great word 「鼻水」. What do you get when you combine your nose with water? Nose water aka mucus! So cool how Kanji is combined.


Running is something I do often and I really enjoy it. I’ve been consistently running for about 10 months now. To make sure I could sustain the activity and actually like it I started off VERY slow. I carefully monitored my heart rate and pace to make sure I was never going too fast. My target the majority of the time is to be running in my zone 2 calculated for my body which is 142 – 157 bpm using The Karvonen formula. Since taking it slow and only gradually increasing my pace when my body is ready I’m now starting to run around a 10:40 minute mile. Feels nice to finally be getting faster!

Running is a wonderful opportunity to listen to Japanese podcasts so I can immerse while exercising. Great combination! I had a fantastic 7.2 mile run this morning and listened to the Nihongo con Teppei podcast for over an hour. I use bone conduction headphones so I can always hear what’s going on around me and be aware.

If you do any sort of routine exercise like running, cycling or weight lifting I hope you’re taking that time to study a language! 😆


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