Study Aid Links

A list of some links to materials that can help you study Japanese.

Reading Materials
  • Aozora: Japanese Literature Online
    • This is a great resource for those who want to get their hands on some Japanese reading material. Aozora is an online library full of books from all periods of time. Because of copyright issues, you may not find newer authors' works on here, but with some browsing you're sure to find something interesting. You can download the texts, or read them online, which makes difficult kanji a snap to look up.
  •   Japanese Magazine Scans
    •  This is a Chinese site, but it has quite a few Japanese magazines that are scanned and viewable online. Check out the selection to see what you might be interested in, but I would advocate buying the magazine, though it may be expensive to have it shipped to America, because although the scan is useful it's a bit difficult to read (and after all, that's what's legal).  If you aren't set on having the latest issue, you can probably find people in the US getting rid of their old Japanese music/fashion magazines. Magazines offer a look into current or popular language, which may not be available with the mostly older texts available on Aozora.
  •  Minwa: Japanese Folklore (written passages) 
    •  The folktales on this page are separated into both days of the year, and by region (the links by region is what is linked here). The fact that there are folktales in place for each day of the year can help you create a good habit of reading some Japanese everyday. The texts are simple and culturally interesting. Also, there is a lot of other reading material besides folktales available.
  • Parallel Texts
    • So useful!  Here you can find Japanese translations of Western novels, side by side with the originals. This is useful not only because you can cheat a little when you really have no idea what the text says,  but because you'll be able to compare sentence structures and vocabulary. Remember that things don't always translate exactly, though. Try reading HG Wells!
  • Yahoo Free Japanese Comics Online
    • Get your manga fix here, for free. You can even sample some of the manga that isn't free, if you were thinking of buying a volume but were afraid to do so before you knew what you were getting into. There is quite a large selection to choose from
Writing/Kanji Materials
  • Elementary Kanji PDF COLOURING BOOK Sheets
    • This is mostly just for fun. Kanji can irritate and frustrate the best of us Japanese students, so when the going gets tough, just turn to some soothing colouring books. It doesn't even feel like studying! 
  • JLPT Kanji 
    •  Kanji and vocabulary flash cards to aid your quest to pass the JLPT. See my blurb about them.
    •  Lang-8 : Help from Native Speakers
      • A site that I use very often. Write your entries and native speakers will correct them for you. Return the favor by correcting entries for all of the English-speakers there. The community is extremely friendly, and you will learn a lot. Currently, it seems the Lang-8 widget in the sidebar isn't working, but my user name there is Ananat; friend me and お互いに日本語の勉強を頑張りましょう!
     Audio Materials
    • Konami Radio (Japanese for the video game enthusiast)
      • Konami's Hideo Kojima, creator of Metal Gear Solid, etc, has a podcast. You may not be able to understand everything, but that bits that you do catch are always of the cool, funny, or interesting variety. If you are into video games, this can help you stay motivated to study. 
    • Breaking Into Japanese: Free Audio 
      • This is part of a book series which you have to buy, but the audio bit online is free for you to take advantage of.  
    • TBS Radio
      • If you don't have iTunes you can look through the RSS feed for the audio of the various radio shows available through TBS. News, entertainment, comedy, all available to you. If you're interested in television personalities, you may find one of your favourites here. Recently I've listened to Takamiy's Voice.
    •  VoiceBlog (Japanese audio on hundreds of subjects)
      • Not always professionals like TBS, this is a site of various pages full of podcasts in all kinds of categories. Foreign study, television, diaries, food, music, sports, high school... There are probably thousands of users uploading things here, so you're sure to find something that catches your interest, but you may have to slog through it a bit. There are also a lot of abandoned podcasts (podcasts that are no longer updated). 
     Visual Materials 
    • Potapota: Old Japanese Tales 
      • A Youtube channel with some older manga strips narrated for your enjoyment. Sometimes the audio quality isn't that great, but it's definitely an interesting channel.
    • Doramano (Japanese television links)
      • This website offers a collection of links to various Japanese dramas not available on English sites. If you like a drama, consider buying it once it goes on sale - links are available to on the site.
    Grammar and Vocabulary
    • J-Gram
      • A database for Japanese grammar which is maintained and edited by members of the forum. Provides example sentences and more!
      • Teniwoha (by Lang-8's Masamuneさん)
        •  Still a work in progress, this is a helpful site by the user Masamune from Lang-8. There are example sentences and audio which should be helpful to the beginning level learner, and for more advanced students he also has the site てにをは.
      • Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
        • A great free resource  to the writing system, some basic grammar, and more advanced sentence structures of Japanese. It's extremely well-organized and a great refresher for those who've already studied the structures it contains. If you are not an native English-speaker, this guide has been translated into several other languages as well. It is one part of the Complete Guide to Japanese, which is also available for free. Check back often, because it is a work in progress.  

       Online Classrooms/Link Rolls
      • Nihongo eな
        • A website from the The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute in Kansai. Use it to practice  your Japanese reading skills. Provides links to learning materials. 
      •  MIT OpenCourses
        • Take advantage of Open Courses to practice Japanese with college level resources. You can download materials, tests, and syllabi for actual courses in Japanese (or Japanese culture, or some other foreign language/culture)! This is just one school that offers this option - try searching Google for more.