Format Archives: Aside

JapanDave 6.0 Coming!

I know updates have become somewhat sparse lately. The reason for this is that I have been spending nearly all my free time working on the next version of JapanDave. Balance is not always my strong suit, so I’m afraid the result’s been my ignoring the current site. I’ll try to rectify that in the coming weeks.

At any rate, be on the lookout for the 6.0 update. Among other things it will include:

  • Some fancy javascript to fix the footnote problems on this site
  • It should be a lot faster as I am rewriting some php files for more efficiency and also eliminating nearly all WordPress plugins
  • I am going back to the drawing board and redesigning the four major posts types I do here — quotes, links, photos, and long-​​form articles about Japan — to make them more consistent, easier to read.
  • To the last point, for example: Currently no date shows up for link posts or news posts (like this one). I am fixing this.

I daresay I am mostly finished with any major changes, the only holdup is minor things that I want to get perfect. How soon the update shows up is probably directly related to how much I am able to suppress these perfectionist urges.

Notes: An Update

It’s been a while since I posted, so I wanted to take a few minutes to give a small update.

First, as you can see with the previous post, I am starting a new interview series called The Photogs in which I shoot a few questions to a photographer about a wide range of stuff. These won’t be long interviews; they are intended simply to introduce you to other good photographers who you may not be aware of.

Next, there is a reason for my slowed output with photo posts. Unfortunately I can’t quite say what that is yet, but I will share the reason soon enough. In the meantime, I will do my best to post more.

Finally, I have a big announcement coming next[1]… Stay tuned.

Edit: He’s up, and there goes my writing time. But I’m almost finished with the post. I’ll try to find time to finish it tonight (Japan time), so look for it in a few hours.

  1. Next being hopefully within the hour, assuming my son doesn’t wake up from his nap screaming before I’m finished… Fingers crossed ^^  ↩

How to Pronounce Japanese

Have you ever come across an unfamilar Japanese word and wondered how to pronounce it? Japan has worked its way into popular culture and we are surrounded by Japanese words. Words such as: Pokemon, Matcha, Sakura, Geisha, Samurai, Karaoke, Manga, and so on. When these words come into English, we nearly always retain the Japanese pronouncation, and this can be quite different than you may expect if you are strictly going by English rules. With this in mind, let’s take a few minutes to learn how to pronounce Japanese correctly.

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Happy Birthday to me!

It’s my birthday! A fact I actually wasn’t aware of until my wife and Facebook reminded me. I must be getting old and forgetful to not realize the day on my own.


As celebration, I am discounting all photo prints in my store by 50%. If you’ve been waiting to order any prints, now is the time to do so!

Simply use the coupon code “DavesBirthday” (without the quotes) at checkout for 50% off. The code will be good from today (July 6) to July 12th.

Here is a link to the store: http://​japandave​.smugmug​.com


There seem to be some issues at Smugmug right now, so photos on this site may be up and down for the time being. I’ve sent them a note asking for news, but haven’t heard back yet. Since sending the email, photos have gone up, down, up, and down again. This would seem to say to me that they are having server trouble.

Hopefully by the time you read this, all will be ok. But if you do see any broken images, this is why.

Merry Christmas!

From me and my family here in Japan, best wishes to you and yours. Thank you so much for being japandave readers, for sharing the stories with your friends, for all your kind emails, and for giving me comments on Facebook and Twitter. I couldn’t do this website without all of you reading it. Thank you!

Haiku, Tanka, and Japanese Poetry

Although for much of my high school and college years, I listened to The Writer’s Almanac on NPR and enjoyed Garrison Keillor’s poetry readings, I can’t say I was ever really drawn to the form. I can appreciate a good poem when someone tells it to me, but with few exceptions, I never really sought them out. However, when I came to Japan and started reading haiku and later tanka, I was really drawn to the forms and enjoyed what I read. I’ve since bought and enjoyed several books.

Lately I’ve been posting some of them to lead off photo posts. What do you guys think of this? Enjoyable or weird? Let me know your thoughts.

If you are looking to get into Japanese poetry, try →here to read a few from a master.