Kanji Chart for N5

This kanji chart may be useful to Japanese language learner. Print it in a large paper and hang in your toilet!

Download pdf version of kanji chart here


Whaling in Japan

Japan was an isolated country till 1850s. There were almost no foreigners in this country with exception of few Dutch who were living in isolated island of Nagasaki. However, in 1850s, US came to Japan with her military ships to Japan to force her to open up her land to foreigners. The main reason for US to force Japan was to help US whaling industry to expand. Whaling industry was very big and powerful on those days. These industries were killing whales all over the world. The ocean of Japan had high population of whales. But the problem was, this place was too far from US and it was difficult for these whaling ships to replenish their fuel and supplies. Realizing that the land of Japan was most suitable place to anchor their ships and refill it, US senate decided to send warships to Japan and start diplomatic relation with her.

Few days ago (19Sept2014) BBC reported that Japan is violating international law and has started to kill whales in name of research. US is one of the leading countries who wants to stop Japan from killing whales. Shouldn’t US see mirror of her face before making any comment on Japan? It is shameful that US is accusing Japan without any concrete proof. Today’s international law restricts US to come to Japan with warships. Even if US wants to do research in this area, they need to take permission of Japan and surrounding countries to send their team. Therefore, instead of accusing Japan for killing of whales, it is more appropriate for US to send their research team to collaborate with Japanese team and save the whales that their forefather has killed to the verge of extinction.

Financial side of Akashi-Kaiko bridge

Akashi-Kaiko bridge is world’s longest suspension bridge (total length= 4km; suspended length=2km ). It is located in Japan connecting two main islands called Honsu and Sikoku. Recently I had chance to visit this bridge. Yes, as a civil engineer I can say this bridge is awesome, magnificent and beautiful. During construction, this bridge suffered a big earthquake that increased its span by about 0.80m than original length.  Thanks to Japanese high tech and safety measures, only 6 injury occurred to build this bridge and no one lost life during 10 years of construction works.

Besides its technical marvels, i was also interested in hidden parts – financial and economical side of this bridge.

Wikipedia mentions – “The total cost is estimated at 500 billion yen, and is expected to be repaid by charging drivers a toll to cross the bridge. The toll is 2,300 yen and the bridge is used by approximately 23,000 cars per day. At 2300 yen/car annual revenue would equal 19.5 billion yen. Given the interest expense on 500 billion yen, this bridge will never be repaid. But annual revenue is around 4% of investment, so with near zero interest rates in Japan, the bridge will pay for itself in 30 years, plus enable the growth of the overall economy in the region.”

I had doubt on the wiki’s statement. So, I did some research with authentic publications. After some study i found that, wiki is partially correct.

The bridge was build during the times when roads and trains were under Japanese government control. 67% of the investment for the construction of this bridge (and the related highway) was done by central government and rest were divided between 10 other local governments. Interestingly, all the government investments were at 0% interest rate.

In addition, loans were taken in the form of government guaranteed bond, private sector bond and pure loans. Similarly, Japan Railway also had small investment (although there is no train way in Akashi-Kaiko bridge, there is train ways in other bridge connecting two islands which same company operates, hence the loan).

How the investment will be paid back?
In 1990s, there was change in government policies and many government bodies were privatized. This resulted in complicated system of revenue collection and payment system for the bridge. Railway has to pay to the Highway company for leasing the train ways. In addition, the highway itself collects the toll. The total revenue is to be split up for loan payback and maintenance and operation of bridge.

Figure below shows the summary of payment method.

As wiki mentioned earlier, the cost of bridge is so huge that even with cumulative traffic tolls, the revenue will not be sufficient to payback  the normal interest rate. However, as most of the investment was done by government at 0% interest rate, the pay back period of this bridge is estimated to be about 45 years (including cost of highways).

The fact remains that investment by government in such massive projects becomes mandatory if we want to develop the society as a whole.

Just side note: Government of Japan has taken massive loans from World Bank for infrastructure development. However, most of the loans were re-payed in 1990s and now there is almost no loans left to be repaid.


Japanese grammer notes

In this post i will try to simplify the essence of Japanese grammar rules. The verbs and adjectives are the core of Japanese grammar. These verbs and adjectives take different forms depending upon time(past, present,future), conjugation and level of respect shown.

An attempt will be made in this post to show all the rules in single place so that it can be grasped easily.

1. Japanese Language has basically three forms of verbs

Group I verb In this group, the last sound of the ます form is that of い line e.g. かきます; のみます
Group II verb In this group, the last sound of the ます form is that of え line e.g.たべます; みせます; みます*
Group III verb Verb of this group ends at します and noun denoting action +します e.g.

2. Japanese Language has basically two types of adjectives (い & な)

3. Verb has different forms viz. plane form, dictionary form, ない form, masu form etc

4. Rules to change to Te(て) form for verbs

Group I verb Depending upon the sound, the て form varies as follows e.g. かきます; のみます
Group II verb Replace ます with て e.g.たべます; みせます; みます*
Group III verb Replace ます with て e.g.

5. Present continuous tense (V-ing) form is represented as Vーて  います

To memorize some Japanese words go here.

my heart will go on guitar tab

Celine Dion from the Hollywood movie Titanic.
You May Also Like : My Heart Will Go On Guitar Chords

Flute Part 1

Flute Part 2

Every night in my dreams, ,

I see you, I feel you

That is how I know you, go on.

Far across the distance,

And spaces between us,

You have come to show you, Go on…

Near, Far, Wherever you are,

I believe that the heart does, Go on.

Once more, you opened the door,

And you’re here in my heart,

And my heart will go on and on.