Japanese pop-culture, like anime, manga, and J-pop, is attracting global attention, and this trend has boosted interest in the Japanese language. The Japan Foundation has just released the results of its Survey on Japanese-Language Education Abroad 2015, but even the results of the 2012 survey shows that there are already nearly four million Japanese-language learners around the world. In fact, this does not include learners studying Japanese alone using television, radio, the Internet and other means, so the actual number of people studying Japanese must be considerably higher. So what motivates foreign people to study Japanese, and what learning methods do they apply? Also, what is their impression of the Japanese language? In order to find answers to these questions, we asked three foreigners fluent in Japanese--musician Marty Friedman (the U.S.), manga artist Carolin Eckhardt (Germany), and voice actress Jenya (Russia)--about their approach to studying Japanese and the reasons they felt attracted to it.
Japanese rap has been experiencing a massive boom in recent years, not only among hip hop fans, but among the general public. But what is hip hop? What is rap? DARTHREIDER, an active rapper in today's Japanese rap scene, is someone who should be able to answer these questions. He has written about the history of hip hop and the present boom in Japanese-language rap.
The Taipei Fine Arts Museum is a famous cultural institution best known for hosting the Taipei Biennial, but to me, for many years, it was just a white wall that I saw at night from the windows of my uncle's car as he drove my family around. I always felt fascinated by the view of the brightly lit-up white wall.
The Japan Foundation organizes the Japanese Studies Fellowships Program and gives preeminent foreign scholars in Japanese studies an opportunity to conduct research in Japan. One of the 2015 fellows, Mr. Andrew Campana, who has carried out his research "Poetry Across Media in 20th Century Japan" at Keio University has contributed an essay titled "Poetry? In Postwar Japan: Literary Experiments Beyond the Page."