"There's Some Ginger." One gaijin's attempt to learn Japanese through mnemonics, puns, and general linguistic absurdity.

Looking for Fractalsmith Games? Sorry, but Ed Siewert, the creative force behind Fractalsmith has decided to focus his efforts on making cheesy Japanese puns instead of cheesy computer games.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Sleeping Similes

Zさん:"...? You slept like you were dead? That seems a bit morbid."
Bさん:「Hmm. I never thought about it before, but that Japanese phrase could be considered a bit morbid. But it is more accurate that the English phrase 'slept like a baby'.  Babies wake up 5 or 6 times a night crying and screaming.」
Zさん:"... true... true... but at the end of the day I think I'd rather be a baby than dead."
Bさん:「"Death has a dignity all its own."」
Zさん:"Well, I guess we, with our respective similes, can agree to disagree."
Bさん:「... and neither babies nor the dead can do either.」

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Present

Aさん:「Wow, look at all the presents you received. That's quite a haul.」
Zさん:"I agree.  This one present has me confounded, though, I am wondering what it could be.  The box is a wide flat circle."
Zさん:"... Come with me if you want to live..."

Friday, September 16, 2016


Zさん:"Hi, I'm Mr. Z."
April: "Mr. Z? That's an interesting name.  Nice to meet you, my name is April."
Zさん:"Hi April.  You know, if you translated your name into Japanese, you would be known as 四月."
April: "...She...guts...zoo...?"
Zさん:"Yes, that is the literal translation of 'Month #4'.  The names of the months in Japanese are of the form 'Month N' where N is a number between 1 and 12, inclusive.  It is actually a rather practical and logical system..."
April: "Um... I gotta go... away..."
Zさん:"... Wait, I didn't get a chance to explain how the Japanese words for the number 4 and death are homophones..."

Friday, September 9, 2016


Aさん:「Have you heard? Yさん is underwater on his home mortgage and has crippling credit card debt.」
Zさん:"借金? Shocking!"
Aさん:「In this very serious situation, I find your wordplay levity actually quite refreshing.」

Friday, September 2, 2016

Mighty Mouse

Zさん:"Remember that old American anime, Mighty Mouse?"
Aさん:「Yeah, I do!」
Zさん:"... and the theme song? 'Here I come to save the day!  That means that Mighty Mouse ... 参ります...'. "
Aさん:「。。。Ha! I see what you did there.  Clever mnemonic device, although it is not exactly grammatically correct, and unlike the original lyrics, it does not rhyme.  'A' for effort though.」
Zさん:"... thank...you...?"
Aさん:「... you...are...welcome...?」