The Japan shop
Japan Shop dot com has the BEST
selection of JLPT study materials of any online store that I've found to date. They sell books that contain the correct answers of real JLPT tests from last year, and study material for all four levels. Japan Shop goes far and beyond JLPT material too! They sell electronic dictionaries, gift items, magazines (Mangajin, Nihongo Journals, Hiragana times), music, software, and lots more.
Uwajimaya - Asian groceries & gift store.
If you live in Seattle, Bellevue WA, or in Beaverton Oregon (a satelite city of Portland), then you're lucky because you live near an Uwajimaya store! At this store, I've bought solution manuals for past JLPT tests. As always, Uwajimaya has a nice selection of language textbooks.
It's such a great store that it's nearly impossible to visit
without spending more than five bucks. The store in Beaverton makes a delicious bowl of curry rice! Also, be sure to visit Uwajimaya's "Japan Festival" in September.
The Hiragana Times
A bi-lingual, cross cultural magazine for all nationalities. Kanji comprehension isn't necessary with Hiragana Times, because the editors use furigana (which is hiragana printed over kanji) and there's always a vocabulary list nearby.
Aside from language learning, it's probably the most popular magazine among the "gaikokujin"
(foreigners) because it's the best source for what's going on in Japan: apartment listings, employment opportunities, language schools, social gatherings, and the like. A fine classified section, too!
In addition, Hiragana Times also features articles written by its readers which are mostly views on Japan. No world news or celebrity gossip here, just personal thoughts and ideas which are then translated into English (or Japanese). So with a vocabulary list and a Japanese/English version of each story in place, it's great for translation practice (if you're at the JLPT level one or two) while the available furigana makes it something that everyone can use for reading.
Remember when I wrote at the beginning of this website that thousands of people apply for the JLPT? Well, here is an online forum where you can communicate with fellow test takers.
Thank you for visiting my JLPT page. I also enjoy reading all of the emails that I've received from fellow Americans and others from around the world (India, Mexico, Hong Kong, Brazil, to name a few). So if you have found the JLPT page to be helpful, I hope you'll let me know. Best wishes to you all!
Comparing yourself to others will only lead to disappointment or arrogance, neither of which will be of positive value to you. Instead, focus on being better than yourself. Make today an improvement over yesterday. And when tomorrow rolls around, find a way to improve even more.
- Excerpt from Ralph Marston's "Daily Motivator" (Aug. 18, 2003)
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joepark01 [at] yahoo [dot] com
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