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‘Never Too Late to Learn!’


I’m sure everyone is waiting in anticipation to hear who the next Mailbag Contest winners are, but until we decide the final results I’d like to introduce another listener.

This week’s story comes from Richard Murabayashi, age 71 in Hawaii.  Murabayashi-san shared a story with us about how he started studying Japanese and how he currently studies.

“I’m a soon to be 71 year old nisei and sansei, born and raised in Hawaii.
Though I picked up some Japanese as a child, after the war broke out I didn’t have
a chance to study any longer. After that it was one thing after another, and
Japanese was on the back burner until I retired at age 64. I started with 3
adult education classes in Japanese.
And that was right about the time I also started listening to your podcasts.
Thanks to your podcasts, I think I’m up to 700-800 kanji and think my
vocabulary is up to about 2000 words.
I like to listen to your podcasts for entertainment value, if nothing else.
I especially liked some of your intermediate lessons, such as the one where
a teacher was talking to her class about preserving the environment. I went
over that one several times to learn the new kanji and vocabulary.
Unfortunately, I don’t have anyone to converse with, so I’m mainly
concentrating on listening and reading. That’s what is so great about your
I’m happy with the level of Japanese that I’m at now, but will try to keep
learning because everything else will be gravy.”

Murabayashi-san has quite a fascinating journey in learning the language!  Studying Japanese certainly is a lifelong task and so that makes me feel really great to hear that he can continue studying with the podcast and also get a kick out of the team and their antics 😉

For those of you who may not know what the terms “nisei” or “sansei” mean, it refers to the generation of Japanese born outside of Japan. So “nisei” would be second generation and “sansei”, third generation.
Keep those stories coming!