This blog is 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.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

米国 v 日本, Part II

Zさん:"It's playoff time in America. Over the past few years, the MLB has been incorporating more and more video replay rules. Managers can challenge rulings on the field. On a challenged play, the refs pour over video, frame by excruciating frame, to determine if a fielders glove did in fact tag out a runner, for example.

"I once saw a baseball (or, 野球, if you will) game in Japan. At one point there was a runner on first, and the batter hit the ball to deep left field. The runner tried to make it all the way home, but the outfielder made an amazing throw to home plate.  The catcher caught the ball before the runner arrived, and tried to tag him out. The catcher's mitt (with the ball) missed the tag by a good 6 inches.  The runner was obviously safe.  But the umpire ruled him out.

"No one complained. No one booed.  There was no video review. No one kicked dirt onto the shoes of the umpire.  Everyone just accepted the call matter-of-factly.

"I have two possible theories why this happened. One, sometimes what should have happened, tells a better story than what actually happened, and Japanese people adjust the truth accordingly. Or two, it is really, really, engrained in the Japanese psyche to never challenge authority figures."

Saturday, October 5, 2019



Friday, September 27, 2019


Zさん:"It looks like Japan is the core market Nestle uses to trial run crazy new KitKat flavors. There's Strawberry KitKat, Sake KitKat, Roasted Tea KitKat, ... and look at this! Peach Mint*!"
Aさん:「Peach Mint, huh. I wonder what's in Peach Mint.」
Zさん:"... well... all you have to do is read the U.S. Constitution."

* This is a real thing!

Saturday, September 21, 2019


Zさん:"So I see you are fixing the broken chair."
Aさん:「Yeah. Can you get me the screwdriver?」

ミスタースパーコル:"Mmm...  鶏肉..."

Zさん:"Not sure why, but I have a sudden craving for ケンタッキー..."

Friday, September 13, 2019


Eさん:「Hi, Zさん, I would like you to meet my grandson, Dくん, 孫です。」
Zさん:"Not a magical bloodline, huh."

Saturday, September 7, 2019

米国 v 日本, Part I

Zさん:"In America, there are singing competition reality TV shows. Prospective stars compete before an audience both live and in people's homes. Through survival of the fittest, it is pretty much guaranteed that the winner will be a very talented singer.

"In Japan in the 90s, there was a boy band called SMAP. Their leader was a guy by the name of Masahiro Nakai. He was charming, witty, and handsome. However, he could not sing at all -- completely tone deaf. But because he had the personality of what the leader of a boy band was supposed to have, he got the job."

Friday, August 23, 2019


Zさん:"Hi, Bさん. Wow! That's a beautiful tattoo on your hand!"
Bさん:「Thanks! Yeah, it is an Indian design. Henna Tattoo です。」
Zさん:"... well, it is a little unusual, but I wouldn't go that far."

Friday, August 16, 2019


Zさん:"... so this song is about taking a spaceship to a distant star cluster and bringing back souvenirs?”

Friday, August 9, 2019


Zさん:"The kanji for 包む makes me smile. It's like two つ's wrapped up together."

Friday, August 2, 2019

Emotionally Weary

Zさん:"Question: How does one go from 疲れた to 疲れはてた?"
Aさん:「I don't know.」
Zさん:"Add 'hate'."

Thursday, July 25, 2019


Zさん:"Watch out! Our boss, Ms. Smith, is pissed because our team missed the deadline."
Zさん:"Not just Lee, she may kill all of us!"

Friday, July 19, 2019

Particle Man

先生:「... and as we know, through the use of the Large Hadron Collider, scientists proved the existence of the Higgs Boson Particle.  Now, would someone please explain the function of the Higgs Boson, as arguably the most important particle... Mr. Z?」
Zさん:"Um... 私 Higgs Boson Mr. Z です。"
先生:「Once again, Mr. Z, you are as insightful as you are reverent.」

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Is There Anything They Can't Do?


Zさん:"Aさん!久しぶり!How's life in Japan?"
Aさん:「Great! But the weather is changing. Spring was beautiful and refreshing, but summer...」

ミスタースパーコル:"Mmm... Donuts..."


Friday, July 5, 2019


Aさん:「That Japanese actor is on all the TV talk shows recently.」
Zさん:"Yeah, he's the latest end of the eagle's foot."
Aさん:「... end ... of ...?」
Zさん:"Talon Toe"
Aさん:「... Rest assured, one does not become a talon toe by creating extremely lame puns.」

Friday, June 28, 2019


Xさん:「... yeah, so since my wife and I are just too busy with work these days, we will have to hire someone to watch the kids. You know, a nanny.」
Zさん:"A what."
Xさん:「A nanny.」
Zさん:"A what."
Xさん:「A nanny.」
Zさん:"A what."
Xさん:「I ... don't ... 」
Zさん:"Third Base."

Friday, June 21, 2019

If Japanese People Had Invented Hexadecimal


Friday, June 14, 2019


Aさん:「How is planning for your trip going?」
Zさん:"Ok. The only flight I could get was with a layover in Boston.  What is the name of the airport there?"
Zさん:"... as in the pilots are old and have bad eye sight? That does not fill me with confidence."

Friday, June 7, 2019

Zurui Onna?

Zさん:"Hi, I'm Z. And you are...?"
女:"My name is Sharon Quimby, but my friends call me 'Sharon Q'."
Zさん:"... Bye bye, Arigatou, Sayonara!"
女:"Either you are really old, or that is like the worst pick-up line ever."
Zさん:"It's both."

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Road Trip

Zさん:"Man, driving across New Jersey is taking forever. Are we almost to New York?"
Cさん:「...Yes... after we cross... タッパン・ゼド」
Zさん:"...? ... We're going to New York, not Canada."

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Friday, May 10, 2019

Read the Room

Zさん:"... the marital aid?..."

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Pairs Well

Bさん:「The typical Japanese person eats eel with eel sauce, okonomiyaki with okonomiyaki sauce, tonkatsu with tonkatsu sauce, tempura with tempura sauce, and so on.

You put ketchup on everything.」

Zさん:"... what ..."

Friday, April 26, 2019


Aさん:「Aw, man! I just bought this loaf of bread at the supermarket today, and it is already moldy and gross! This is terrible パン!」
Zさん:"... well... this sentence is an even worse パン!"
Zさん:"See what I did there?"

Saturday, April 20, 2019

A Rose's Nourishment by Any Other Name

Zさん:"That's a beautiful flower arrangement!"
Bさん:「Thank you!」
Zさん:"So what is that liquid you are pouring on the flowers?"
Bさん:「It's a special solution that has the exact nutrients the flowers need.」
Zさん:"So... it's はなみず。"
Bさん: 「... seriously? ...」

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Oy Vey!

男:"Are you ready for Passover?"
女:"Not quite, I have more food shopping to do."

Zさん:"... I think that woman is a Jew."
ドナルド:"Nah, she's a 七, or 八 tops."
Zさん:"Dude, Uncool! What is wrong with you!"

Friday, April 5, 2019



ミスタースパーコル:「Mmm... Italian Risotto...」

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Cookin' Prep

Zさん:"玉ねぎ? 寝ないで!"

Friday, March 22, 2019


テレビ:"Love. It's what makes a Subaru, a Subaru."

Zさん:"... well ... that and a particular cluster of stars in the constellation Taurus."

Saturday, March 16, 2019

How Do You Like Them Bananas

Zさん:"What? How dare you!  Those bananas bust their butts studying every afternoon after school!"
Aさん:「Yeah... that's true... and I would like to see them get into a good college. 」

Friday, March 8, 2019

Sounds Like a Flower

Zさん:"... what a beautiful... nose?"
Aさん:「No, I meant "flower". In Japanese, the words for nose and flower are both pronounced "hana".」
Zさん:"... so... they're... 'hana-phones'? "
Aさん:「... what?... 」

Friday, March 1, 2019


Aさん:「I was reading online about this guy who lives in Alaska.  After several blizzards, he was snowed in to his house, and could not get out for months.  He died because of ... well... cabin fever.」
Zさん:"Wow... so you're saying... vases are not only infectious, but also deadly?"

Saturday, February 23, 2019


Zさん:"Wanna hear a joke?"
Aさん:「Yes, but I doubt you could supply one...」
Zさん:"... anyway... what is Cinderella's favorite song?"
Aさん:「I don't know.」
Aさん:「... ha! and her love interest is Prince ジャニー。」

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day

テレビ:"Every Kiss begins with Kay!"

Zさん:"Every kiss begins with 「エ」"
Zさん:"Well it does."
Bさん:「Some people are hopeless romantics.  You're just hopeless.」

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Buzz

Zさん:”Hey look, a bee hive! ... so what is Japanese word for ‘bee’ anyway?”
Aさん:「ハチ、just like the number 8. That’s because bees communicate with each other by dancing in a figure-eight pattern. Pretty cool, huh?」
Zさん:"I guess, but 無限大 would be even cooler.”

Friday, February 1, 2019

Name That Season

Zさん:"There was a blizzard last night! We're snowed in!"
Aさん:「Aw, nuts!」
Zさん:"... or more accurately, 'Aw, 冬!' "

Friday, January 25, 2019

Pretty Woman

Zさん:"Look at the pretty blonde woman over there.”
Aさん:「You should go talk to her!」
Zさん:"You know, I think I will.”


Zさん:"Hi, I’m Z.”
女:"I’m Kim Potts.”
Zさん:”Yes. Yes you are.”

Saturday, January 19, 2019



おなべの中から ボワっと
インチキおじさん 登場

いつだって わすれない

Zさん:"... Zさんは えらい人!"

Friday, January 11, 2019


Aさん:「Yeah... don’t forget to check your チーズ。」

Friday, January 4, 2019


Zさん:"This Japanese shrine is pretty cool. What are these two dog-lion-thing statues at the entrance?"
Aさん:「狛犬です。They are said to ward off evil spirits.」
Zさん:"Wait... why does one have its mouth open and the other have its mouth closed?"
Aさん:「One is saying 'あ' which is the first character in the Japanese syllabary, and the other is saying 'ん' which is the last character.」
Zさん:"So another way to look at it is ... the alpha and the omega?"
Aさん:「... you just blew my mind ...」