(no subject)

Hello all !! Are there still people hanging around ? I was all thrilled when I found out that there actually was a community dedicated to classical japanese, but it would seem it's been dead for a while... :(

Anyway, let's try to revive it, shan't we ? :)

So, let me introduce myself : I'm graduating in japanese (3rd year, taking the last exam tomorrow), in Bordeaux (France). I started classical japanese this year, and due to some problems in the department (lack of teachers and stuff), I had three different teachers, with of course three different ways of teaching - and two different periods (we studied some poems and a tale written in early classical japanese (Heian), then some prose by Bashô (late Edo), then back to Heian with Makura no Sôshi by Sei Shônagon).

I didn't find the grammar difficult at all (there's a lot of things to understand and remember at the beginning, but once it's done, all is well ; but then, I've studied classical japanese for only a year, so I've still got a lot of things to learn !), but understanding was something else - poems are difficult ; Bashô's prose and the Heian tale were really easy to understand (globally) at first reading, without analysis ; Makura no Sôshi was just a tad more difficult.

I'm dropping japanese studies (for now), but I'm planning on improving at classical japanese by reading manuals and trying to analyze other texts and poems by myself.

We could post here some things we learnt during classes, sentences we analyzed and whatnot ; or find some other text and try to understand it together, or exchange about what we were taught and the way we were taught, etc. Well, that's if there are still some of you lurking around here... ^^'

(no subject)

Hey! I was wondering if any of you had any links to good translations of 徒然草 (Tsurezuregusa). I have the one done by Keene but would like to cross-reference his with another. Doing 137 only! Actually, I would be grateful for any links to a clear version of the text. Some of the kanji on mine are illegible.

Thanks in advance.
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(no subject)


Hi, anyone there? I'm a sophomore in college, Japanese and something-else double major, and I've completed 4th year Japanese. Right now, I'm teaching myself classical to tide myself over until the course is offered again. My main interests are Saikaku, haikai and kanbun kundoku.

Now I'll cut to the chase. I'm planning to write my senior thesis on Saikaku and haikai, but I don't know anything about classical Japanese in the Tokugawa period. Someone gave me the impression that it was pretty different from Heian Japanese. Can anyone enlighten me on this? Also, if you know of any books on later classical Japanese (instructional materials, Japanese linguistics books, anything) please let me know. I plan to do some reading over the summer vacation. Thanks in advance! And nice to meet y'all =)
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(no subject)

Hi, I'm a Japanese minor at Queens College. I've finished 3rd year Japanese(the highest my school goes up too) and Classical Japanese 1. I've always used games as a major source of Japanese study.

For CJ semester 1, we covered the first 10 chapters of:
Shirane's book still isn't on sale at, so my teacher some how got ahold of a prototype version and photocopied the chapters for us. Is anyone else also using the prototype of this book? Do you also take 2 semesters to finish it?

From what I've learned in class, I've come across the following in games:
連体形 of adjectives, e.g. 白き翼 黒き翼

たる、なる adjectival verbs

Do these show up because they're still used in Modern Japanese or because games just like to use Classical Japanese for some reason?


Okay, who's really serious about learning GRAMMAR...

As I tell my students, most of bungo is a bunch of regular rules. There are very few irregulars. If you know modern Japanese, you know that there are only three irregular verbs. THREE! ある, する くる. How many does English have? 10? 20? 100?

The problem with Japanse--if you can call it a problem--is that there are sooooooooooooo many rules. But once mastered, then it is just a matter of plugging in the vocab you need to insert and conjugate away. Of course, if you really get into Japanese, you will learn that the nuances can become a bit irregular, but the basic grammar is very regular.

And so it is with bungo... the only problem is that there are even MORE rules! In Modern Japanese, there are two different regular verbs: ichidan and godan. In classical there are two different ichidan, two different nidan, and then there is the yodan. That makes five regular verbs...

So who's really serious about mastering this shit?

Well, I was, and I love it to this day. Althought I will fully admit that I still need to learn a lot to master this, something my students know because... well, I tell them. How stupid would it be to pretend that I know something when I don't. Students are not idiots... well not all students anyway. hahahahah.

Kyo whore credit majikaru_me


Well I guess I should introduce myself, since I created this community and all. I didn't do it earlier since I didn't think anyone would join :x

I've just finished the 3rd year of Japanese Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. I'm waiting to see if I passed the 3rd year, results are out tommorow but since there was the bombings in London today it's not a good idea to go in and see if you've passed. :x

But anyway myself and Kogo...well I started studying it last year because it was a compulsory unit for Single subject Japanese students. At first I thought it wouldn't be so bad...but I was kinda wrong...cos Cummings hates teaching and can barely be bothered. And I swear he's not quite a natural at kogo as he may want us to ask him a question which he hasn't prepared for and he looks a bit lost...

To be honest I'm not a big fan of Heian literature. I had a year to read the Tale of Genji and got 200 pages in and couldn't force myself to read the rest. But I still managed to write a decent Essay on it...ahem. But it's not all bad. I DO actually like Edo period literature and drama, Ishihara Saikaku, Kabuki, Bunraku etc...I just find it a bit more playful and easier to get into than earlier lit.

And I have signed up for the Pre-Modern Drama for the 4th year, so my stuggles with Classical Japanese haven't ended yet...providing I have passed the 3rd year ;) But yeah I really need to go through the kobun manual or something :x

So for this Com...Well I was thinking of writing up some very basic lessons as an introduction to Kogo, if anyone's interested in that...let me know! Or the lecturer hanging around should (!!!)



I just joined to see what joining a community was all about. I actually teach Classical Japanese at the college level. And it is a bitch. Or at least that is what my students tell me.

Anyway, I just thought I'd leave a message to introduce myself. While I have a blog here on LJ, my main blog is on Xanga. If you're interested,

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Here is my intro. to the group...
I'm 15, and I'm learning modern japanese, but I'm in love with classic... I'm reading "Tale of Genji" now, I'm about halfway through, and at first it was a little boring, but now I love it. I know a lot of people who are learning japanese are doing it because they are obsessed with anime... But I'm not, lol. I like anime, but I don't watch the cartoons and read all that stuff. Like I said, I'm in love with classical Japan...