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Archive for the 'Media Coverage' Category

Top 5 pop culture things/icons you need to know about Japan

Japan is a country rich in pop culture that has started to gain recognition and popularity throughout the world. As popular culture changes quickly and drastically, we focus this lesson on the most recent pop culture.

Popular Music

  • Japan boasts the second largest music industry in the world after the United States.
  • Pop music is especially popular in Japan, although you can find all sorts of music in Japan done by Japanese artists-including rock, rap, hip-hop, reggae, and more.

Popular Movies

  • Recently, the popularity of domestic Japanese movies has been on the rise, with the annual box-office revenue for domestic movies hitting an all-time high in 2008.
  • Of the top Japanese films of 2008, the highest-grossing title was the animation film Gake no
  • Ue no Ponyo (“Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea”)
  • Hayao Miyazaki directed this movie as well as other popular animated titles such as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away, which was the first anime film to win an Academy Award.

Popular Television

  • Variety shows, true to their name, feature a variety of different content-cooking segments, comedy segments, skits, and quizzes are just some of what you’ll find on a typical Japanese variety show.
  • Variety shows often feature a large panel of currently popular celebrities and sometimes a studio audience.
  • Quiz shows that feature contestants (who are almost always celebrities) answering questions on numerous subjects, such as science, history, math, the Japanese language, pop culture, and so on, also enjoy great popularity.
  • Japanese dramas are also very popular among Japanese people of all ages.
  • Many current dramas’ running in Japan are adaptations of popular movies, comics, or animated shows.

Popular Foreigners in Japan

  •  Jero, is an African-American singer who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • He has gained popularity singing enka, a traditional type of pop music that is especially popular among older people.

Popular Japanese Men/Women Abroad

  • Actor Ken Watanabe became a recognized name after appearing alongside Tom Cruise in the 2003 war film The Last Samurai.
  • Issey Miyake is the most well-known Japanese designer in the world, and he is considered the first Asian designer to gain worldwide recognition.

Popular Sports Figures

  • Ichiro Suzuki joined the Seattle Mariners in 2000, a move that many watched with great interest, as he was the first Japanese position player to play regularly for a Major League Baseball team.
  • Shizuka Arakawa made headlines when she received a gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics, a first in the event for a Japanese skater.

Metropolis Picks JapanesePod101 as Site of the Week

Metropolis, Japan’s No. 1 English magazine, selected as its first ever Website of the Week. Metropolis is a weekly English Magazine for foreigners with a focus on entertainment, events, and Japanese culture.

Metropolis - Website of the Week

Five Podcasts Worth Downloading – PC Magazine

PC Magazine, the most important technology publication in the world, selected as one of five podcasts worth downloading in their Favorite 100 Blogs 2007 Series.

“Languages don’t come much more difficult than Japanese. Thankfully, this Tokyo-produced podcast offers a painless—and free—way to bone up on the language and culture of the Land of the Rising Sun, offering the sort of relevant real-world preparation that you won’t get in a classroom or on a CD-ROM.”PC Magazine

PC Mag Interviewed on Podcast411 was recently interviewed by Rob Walsch of Podcast411. Click on the button below to listen to the interview.

 Click to listen to our interview on podCast411

Podcast411 is the leading Interview show focused on Podcasting. Past guests include Senator John Edwards, Adam Curry (co-inventor of Podcasting), Walt Mossberg from the Wall Street Journal, Phil Gordon from the Bravo Channel, and many other big names in the Podcasting community. Featured on PodFinder UK

As featured on PodfinderUK

PodFinder UK is an innovative mix of podcasts, video shows and new media programming produced by PodShow UK. Each week the video show Podfinder UK, hosted by the lovely Josephine Laurence, reviews six of the best podcasts and video shows on the web.

This week’s Episode 17 features JapanesePod101. The show can also be viewed directly here in mp4 format.

Attention Listeners from the Sydney Australia Area!


Do you listen to and live in or near Sydney, Australia? If so, our friend Barrett Newkirk from the “Sydney Morning Herald” can use your help! Barrett is doing some research on foreign language podcasts for a possible newspaper article and would like to speak to Australian listeners.

If you’re interested and would like to participate please email and we’ll put you in touch with Barrett.

Yoroshiku onegai shimasu. in Newsweek!

Newsweek Cover was featured in a Newsweek article by Technology Correspondent Brad Stone about learning languages through podcasts. Brad-san and his wife Jennifer Granick, Executive Director at the Center for Internet and Society, came to “headquarters” earlier this month, and we walked – actually ran – them through a usual day at Meeting Brad-san and Jennifer-san, two extremely down to earth people for all they have accomplished, has been one of the highlights of the entire project. They made our day by sharing stories of using Japanese they learned from our podcasts and how the resulting experiences added to their trip. Brad-san and Jennifer-san, hontō ni arigatō gozaimasu!

For anyone wondering what an average day at is like, Brad-san captured it and put it into writing. When I was reading the article, it was as if I was reading about any given day at the office. For those of you who can’t make it to Tokyo, you can now read about what goes on at the office.

In addition, we talked in detail about on-demand training and the role of podcasts as a language learning tool. Brad’s article talks about our revelevant and fresh content, which is made possible by being located in Tokyo, Japan and being immersed in Japanese culture and society. Compare this with a Japanese teacher located overseas, who can, at best, keep up through second-hand information. This advantage allows us to keep in touch with culture and events that influence the language, and share experience and knowledge gained first-hand. We also had the chance to talk about how we started and about our friends at

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you – the listeners! Thank you for all of your support and everything you do for! You truly are the source of our energy. Hontō ni arigatō gozaimasu! In case you missed the link above, the article can be found here.

Calling all Brazilian Listeners!


Are you from Brazil? Do you listen to If so, we need your help. Our good friend Filipe-san from the Brazilian newspaper, “O Estado de S.Paulo” is writing a piece on learning languages with podcasts. He would like to interview some Brazilian listeners for his article.

Please email us at if you would like to participate. We’ll forward your information on to Filipe-san.

Yoroshiku onegai shimasu. Nominated for 2006 Podcast Awards


We have some big news! We –, our subscribers, our community, our listeners, everyone who makes what we do possible – have all been nominated for the 2006 Podcast Awards in the Education category!

The 2006 Podcast Awards contest is a second annual event that recognizes the best podcasters in the world by allowing the people (listeners and podcasters) to nominate, and then vote for their favorite podcast. Thank you so much for everyone who nominated and provided all of US with this opportunity!

Voting opens at 00:01 HST on Friday, July 28th, 2006 and closes at 23:59 HST on Friday, August 11th, 2006. Each person can vote once a day in each category. Contest award winners will be announced during the Podcast and Poratble Media Expo in Ontario, California on September 29, 2006.

We know how much everyone already contributes and how busy you are, but if you could find a few minutes a day to vote for we would be truly grateful.

Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.

Ranked #61 on US Itunes Music Store!

Learn Japanese with! Thank you everyone!!!! It was brought to my attention yesterday by Sergio-san that we are currently ranked in the US Apple Music Store’s Top 100 Podcasts!!! At last glance we were #61!!!
We want to thank everyone out there for making this possible. 本当に有り難うございます!