Unseen Japan: A wild theory about how the Japanese word for ‘I’ was corrupted by Allied occupiers leaves Japanese Twitter users shaking their heads.

I’m not 100% sure why I’m including this story. I think it’s a combination of interest in the idea that misinformation turns up in the oddest places, and an interest in how it’s refuted by crowd action. Anyway, Unseen Japan: A wild theory about how the Japanese word for ‘I’ was corrupted by Allied occupiers leaves Japanese Twitter users shaking their heads.. “Languages evolve constantly. I’ve discussed this evolution in past articles – e.g., the drift from ‘nippon’ to ‘nihon’ for the name of Japan. Many times, this influence is just a natural, internal progression. But sometimes, it happens through outside influence or even force. In Japan, one story about a supposed forced change in the way that people spell a simple Japanese word recently made the rounds on Twitter. However, in this case, the ‘change’ appears to be nothing more than a post-World War II conspiracy theory.”

Asahi Shimbun: Multi-database search system for old kanji a 1st for researchers

Asahi Shimbun: Multi-database search system for old kanji a 1st for researchers. “Archaic forms of kanji that are difficult to decipher in the modern age are being compiled into an online image retrieval system so scholars and others can gain a better grasp of what people were writing about in bygone times. Six research institutes were involved in developing the Multi-Database Search System for Historical Chinese Characters, the first of its kind that collates old kanji from various regions and periods in history.”

Nippon: New Site for Learning Practical Japanese

Nippon: New Site for Learning Practical Japanese. “On June 1, the Agency for Cultural Affairs launched a new website for learning practical Japanese through video content. It is aimed primarily at people who have just moved to Japan and are learning the language for the first time or those who live in the country but have had no opportunity to study. Explanations and dialogue translations are available in English, simplified Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.”

Asian and African Studies Blog: Jesuit Mission Press ‘Feiqe monogatari’ now online

Asian and African Studies Blog: Jesuit Mission Press ‘Feiqe monogatari’ now online. “One of the most important items in the British Library’s Japanese collections is a small, rather ordinary-looking, leather-bound volume, generally known as Feiqe monogatari (BL shelfmark Or.59.aa.1). Despite its appearance, it is, in fact, a remarkable work in a number of ways. Firstly, it was one of the earliest books printed in Japan using movable type rather than the traditional woodblocks, secondly, it is the first non-religious text printed in colloquial Japanese transcribed into the Roman alphabet, offering valuable insights into the phonology of the Japanese language in the 16th century, and thirdly, it is the world’s only extant copy.”

Ubergizmo: Google Lens Picks Up Support For Japanese

Ubergizmo: Google Lens Picks Up Support For Japanese. “Google Lens was introduced back in 2017. It can simply be described as a real-life reverse image search where users rely on their handset’s camera to identify objects in real life. Lens enables them to learn more about the things around them. It’s particularly useful for translating languages you don’t know and if like me you can’t read Japanese, you’re going to like the fact that Google Lens now has support for Japanese.”

Libraries and Archives Canada: How archives can protect human rights

Libraries and Archives Canada: How archives can protect human rights. “When asked to name one of Canada’s fundamental democratic institutions, how many people would immediately say ‘Library and Archives Canada’? Yet, a nation’s archives preserves in perpetuity the evidence of how we are governed. From the story of Japanese Canadian Redress, we can learn how records held by Library and Archives Canada (LAC)—combined with crucial citizen activism making use of these records—have contributed to holding the federal government accountable for now universally condemned actions.”

Google Blog: Google Fonts launches Japanese support

Google Blog: Google Fonts launches Japanese support. “The Google Fonts catalog now includes Japanese web fonts. Since shipping Korean in February, we have been working to optimize the font slicing system and extend it to support Japanese. The optimization efforts proved fruitful—Korean users now transfer on average over 30% fewer bytes than our previous best solution. “

Libraries and Archives Canada: Images of Japanese-Canadians from the Second World War now on Flickr

Libraries and Archives Canada: Images of Japanese-Canadians from the Second World War now on Flickr . “December 8, 1941—Canada invokes the War Measures Act and declares Japanese-Canadians and recent immigrants as enemy aliens to strip them of individual and property rights. Over 1,200 fishing boats owned by Japanese-Canadian fishermen are confiscated off the coast of British Columbia as a defensive measure against Japan’s war efforts on the Pacific Front.” Small collection. I had not realized that Canada also put its Japanese-descent citizens in internment camps.

Asahi Shimbun: Genome index could help study on rare diseases among Japanese

Asahi Shimbun: Genome index could help study on rare diseases among Japanese. “Scientists have created a genome database with samples of 3,554 Japanese citizens, which identified genetic characteristics unique to Japanese. The database, one of the world’s largest, will help in studying the genetic characteristics behind rare diseases only a few in every 10,000 people develop, according to the team who announced the achievement July 18.”

Google’s Live Translate Feature Adds Japanese

Google’s live translate feature now includes Japanese. “Thanks to Google’s live camera translation feature, all you have to do is point your phone’s camera at the text in question, wait a little bit, and then watch in awe as Google translates it for you on the spot. And now, Google Translate has added support for instant English to and from Japanese for this feature.”

Now Available: Database of Japanese Literature Translated and Published in English

Now available: a database of Japanese literature which has been translated into English. “My site contains a database of Japanese literature that has been translated and published in English (just as the name suggests). This was something that I myself wanted–a resource that was very user-friendly–and so I decided to create it. It’s a bit of a challenge to keep it up to date–I’m afraid I’m behind on adding some important titles–but I welcome suggestions from anyone.”