Tag Archives: Japanese

New Game in the LRC: Hit Manga!

Hit Manga is a multiplayer card game that can be played in both English and Japanese. Players are provided with 50 red cards (cards for taking), 50 gray cards (cards for reading), 4 yellow cards (negative points), and 4 blue cards (new rules that can be added). Before starting the game, all of the red cards are laid out on the table, a gray card for each player is set aside, and the rest of the gray cards are placed face down in the middle of the table as a stockpile. The directions specify that the “biggest Manga fan” takes his/her turn first. The first player up takes one gray card and imagines a situation for the scene on the card, describing where the person is, who the person is, what the person is doing, etc. He/she then acts out what the person on the card may be saying and doing, while the other players look at the red cards and try to determine which card the player is describing, taking a guess as soon as possible. When you think you have the correct card, show it to the first player. If the cards match, you both get one point, which you keep track of by keeping the cards. If your card doesn’t match, your chance is over and the other players take their guesses.

Be careful! Each player only has one guess per round! If no one finds the correct card, the player whose turn it is gets a yellow card, indicating that he/she has negative one point. The next player then picks up a gray card and tries to act it out and the game continues until the stockpile of gray cards runs out, or until all four yellow cards run out. The winner is the player with the most points. If there is a tie, the winner is determined by who has less yellow cards.

To change things up, players can use blue cards to add new rules to the game! These include communicating only through onomatopoeia, mimicry, and sound effects, communicating only with gestures, using your turn to build on the story of the previous player, and communicating using a rule you made up. The blue cards offer both an English and a Japanese explanation and the game comes with directions in both languages as well. Hit Manga can be an exciting way to strengthen your language by using it in situations you may not have before, or it can just be a fun game to play with friends!Hit Manga (1)

International Flash Mob

This past spring, I had the incredible opportunity to be a part of a flash mob with students from all over the world. While studying abroad at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan, I heard that some of the local Japanese students wanted to put on a flash mob with the international students. To say I was excited would be an enormous understatement. Having been active in musical theater all through middle and high school and nostalgic for those days, I jumped on the opportunity. At least twice week we would meet in groups of 10-20 to learn and practice the choreography. Often we were further broken down into groups of 3 or 4 to teach each other. At first this was a real challenge because, while there was normally at least one Japanese student who spoke English well enough or one international student who spoke Japanese enough, we were all very hesitant to try to speak to each other for fear of making mistakes or being misunderstood. This didn’t last long though; dancing and laughing together made us all more relaxed and comfortable with each other. When you’re all messing up the same dance moves it’s hard to care about messing up a conjugation or particle.

Laughing and dancing together, we all became friendly quickly. Since the Asian Studies program (the one for the international students) and the International Professional Development program are housed in completely separate parts of the campus, it is likely that many of us would not have met if it weren’t for the flash mob.

One afternoon at the beginning of the semester, not long after signups for the flash mob had happened, but before rehearsals started, I met a group of Japanese students who invited me to have lunch with them sometime. As excited as I was to take them up on their offer, we ended up parting ways without getting each other’s contact information. At a school with over 10,000 students, finding a few individuals who you only know by first name is no easy feat. Luckily, I saw two of them again the next week at the first practice. Through the flash mob, we all got to know each other better and became friends. Or, as we liked to say, in reference to one of the songs we danced to, family.

Becoming friendly with the Japanese students  and attending dance practices was also a great way to improve my language skills. We would talk in both Japanese and English, both clarifying what we were trying to say in our second language and correcting each other so we all learned. At practice our leaders would often give instructions in both languages as well, giving us great listening practice with a concrete way to check our understanding.

Besides all the learning, participating in the flash mob was a great experience simply because it was fun. Even though the dance practices were often exhausting, every second was worth it. We talked, we learned, we danced, we laughed, and at the end we all cried a little knowing it was over. If you ever have the chance to work with people while abroad in a fun way, I strongly encourage you to do so. Although we were all different, we truly became like family.

See also the making of video for interviews with the leaders of the flash mob and behind the scenes footage of our practices!

Japanese 303 Students produce their own drama!

Japanese Studies majors Adriana Alecci, Gabriela Lisboa, and Kathryn Hanson created this drama as part of their final project for Japanese 303. It begins with three friends, an otaku, a gold-digger, and a crazy cat lady, meeting in a cafe to talk about their crazy ex-boyfriends. As they dream about their perfect men, in walk three super-attractive guys. The boys also have relationship troubles. One’s girlfriend is overly clingy, another’s is abusive, and the other’s acts like a child constantly.

For those who don’t speak Japanese or those who do but might not understand everything, there is an English translation of the script here. Have fun watching!