Skullclutter's Log

One thing I liked about my old log on Koohii was being able to look back at my progress.

With that in mind, I’ll copy some of the intro, and then summaries for 2017, 2018 and 2019 to date.

I’m a web developer, and I’ve been working on branching out into game development. My goal is to be able to create translation patches for old games that were never localized, and I want to be able to read materials on game design and development written by japanese developers. And, of course, partake in any other japanese media that strikes my fancy.

I started my log in August 2017. At the time I was just starting Genki, chapter 5, and was transitioning from using my own Genki vocab deck to using Core10K. I was considring buying KKLC but hadn’t gotten it yet.
Studied fairly regularly until mid-December. In that time I finished up to Chapter 10 in Genki 1 and up to #60 in KKLC

It took me a month after the holidays to get back into the swing of things.
Finished Genki 1 by the end of February and then took the JCAT two weeks later:

Listening: 22
Vocabulary: 34
Grammar: 26
Reading: 42
Total: 124

Did part of Chapter 13 and got up to KKLC#82 before getting caught up as a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding. Picked things back up again at the end of August. Signed up for Japanese classes in September and studied regularly the rest of the year. By the end of December I was up to Chapter 19 in Genki 2 and KKLC#156

With Class to keep my studies in my mind, and got back to studying right after New Year’s. With the end of Genki in sight, I’ve started to collect native material to try my hand at after I finish. Still averaging about 0.5 Genki chapter and 8 KKLC entries per week.

Last Entry: February 19, 2019
Finished Chapter 22
Next Week: Chapter 23.

Got 4 done.
Next Week: 8 new Kanji
Currently At: #228

Working on Tobira Ch 2 vocab
Mature: 2055 +71
Young & Learn: 349 -27

I’ll pick things back up from here with the normal update on Monday.

It feels good to be able to log again, I really missed last week!

Anyway, the end of Genki is in sight! I’ve got the grammar section done, in both the Textbook and the Workbook, so I should have it done by mid-week. I ended up getting the Tobira grammar workbook, Kanzen Master N4 grammar book for review, and I picked up Shadowing! Let’s Speak Japanese on the recommendation of a classmate. They’re sitting there on the shelf, teasing me.

For Class, last week we shadowed the Chapter 16 dialogues again and did the first two grammar points. The school is going to be running a speech contest in May, so I’ve signed up under the beginner category. No idea what I want to talk about yet (The topic is wide open), but I’ve got some time to think about it. Wasn’t able to go to class this weekend due to a family commitment.

Lastly, I felt that I was getting too many anki cards wrong and decided to take a week off of new cards. I ended up not getting to Anki all weekend, so after I’ve caught up again I’ll start adding the Tobira chapter 2 dialogue vocab.

Finished Chapter 23 Grammar
Finish Chapter 23, start Tobira

Got 6 done over the last two weeks.
Currently at #234

Working on Tobira Chapter 2 Dialogue
Mature: 2130
Young & Learn: 306

First of all, I finally finished Genki 2! I need to sign up for the JCAT again to see how much I’ve progressed from Genki 1, but in the meantime I couldn’t help but jump right into Tobira. My plan is to take about 3 weeks per chapter:

  • Week 1: Go over the grammar, add cloze delete sentence cards for the example sentences to Anki
  • Week 2: Do the grammar workbook exercises
  • Week 3: Go over the reading and sample dialogue. Really take my time trying to understand as much as I can, and try to be able to follow the audio even without reading along. Check out any other web resources Tobira has.

If anybody’d be interested in the Anki deck when I’ve finished, I wouldn’t mind sharing.

As a reward for finishing Genki, I created a new user account on my Switch and started Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee in Japanese (kanji mode). I’ve had to look up a lot of words, and sometimes the dialog scrolls by too quickly for me to read, but between the fact that I’ve played every incarnation of the Kanto games to date, and pokejisho, It’s been playable. I also want to start loading some easier manga onto my kindle to try and read over lunch.

No class this week, since it was the start of March Break.

Finished Genki Chapter 23!
Started Tobira chapter 1, studied up to grammar point 7.
Next Week: Finish studying Tobira Ch1 grammar points, start on grammar workbook.

Got 4 done.
Currently at #238
Next Week: 8 entries

Working on Tobira Chapter 3 vocab
Mature: 2186 (+56)
Young & Learn: 294 (-12)


Kind of a so-so week for me. Didn’t end up getting around to re-registering for the J-CAT, and while I did work on Tobira and KKLC, I didn’t get as far as I wanted. No pokémon this week, either.

On the plus side, my run distance is now up to 3.25km. I might be able to sign up for a 5K this summer.

Class resumed this week - we went over the reading passage for Chapter 16. My script for the speech contest is due next week so the teacher has time to correct it before the final deadline.

Studied chapter 1 grammar points up to #11
Next week: Finish studying Tobira Ch1 grammar points, start on grammar workbook.

Got 6 done
Currently at #244
Next Week: 8 entries

Working on Tobira Chapter 3 vocab
Mature: 2202 (+16)
Young & Learn: 306 (+12)


Great job on the running! I’ve also slowly worked back up to my fitness regimen in the past month, and this weekend, took a 28 mile bike ride from the Seattle suburbs to the city and back. It felt good.

Sometimes some things are more important than studying.

That’s a good long ride! Honestly, I think taking the time to work out helps me make better use of my study sessions since I’m more mentally alert and less stressed out.


I agree. I’ve tried to “save time” in the past by skipping workouts, and I end up just feeling more tired and less engaged overall. It’s best to strike a balance.

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心身一如 :smiley: :smiley:

Had another busy week with work so studying had to take a backseat. Tried my best to keep up with Anki, but I haven’t had a chance to use that since Saturday, so I’ve got a bit of a backlog to go through.
Handed in the rough draft of my script for the speech contest. I need to revise the concluding sentence and then re-send for Sensei to correct things more thoroughly. After that, it’s just a matter of practicing it.

Wasn’t able to improve my run distance this week but my laps are a second or two faster on average, so I’ll take that.

Got absolutely nothing done
Next week: Finish studying Tobira Ch1 grammar points, start on grammar workbook.

Got 4 done
Currently at #248
No promises this week

Started on Tobira Chapter 4 Vocab
Mature: 2221 (+19)
Young & Learn: 293 (-13)


Did pretty well this week. Finished going over the grammar from Tobira Chapter 1 and making cloze-delete flashcards, and sent the second draft of my speech off to Sensei. Got the corrections back in class, so now I just have to practice.

Didn’t get any Kanji studying done. I think that two sets of vocab might be too much right now, especially since I want to write out the KKLC vocab when I do the flash cards. I’m thinking about just going over the keywords first RTK-style, and then going back to the KKLC vocab once I finish the Tobira vocab. The KKLC vocab has been very helpful for learning readings, but it can’t help if I’m not studying KKLC at all.

Finished going over the Tobira Chapter 1 grammar.
This Week: Chapter 1 workbook.

Nothing done.
Next week: Don’t worry about keeping up with KKLC vocab for now. Gonna try for 8 new Kanji at first.

Still on Tobira Chapter 4 Vocab.
Mature: 2265 (+44)
Young & Learn: 267 (-26)

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Only finished about half of the Tobira workbook pages I wanted done (just doing the ones with definite answers for now), but I made good progress with KKLC. I’ve been reluctant to cut out the vocab as they’ve been really helpful for learning the readings. I decided to update my card template for the KKLC vocab cards to allow text-input answers, so I can review them faster and this seems to have helped.

Since so few people showed up for class this week, we spent the first half hour talking about how we felt things were going - was it difficult? Do you think you’ll repeat the level? Apparently, once you get into Tobira, the classes are taught exclusively in Japanese, with more focus on speaking (since by that point you have basic grammar down). So that’s something to look forward to. We did the last two grammar points in Genki Chapter 17, so the reading & writing is next week. She wants to go over my speech after class next week, so I really need to get more practice in.

I also started reading Yotsubato this week, did about two chapters. Did a bunch of dictionary lookups, and read through the discussion thread on WaniKani, but was pleasantly surprised how much I understood. I think I’ll need to take an evening to add a bunch of manga to my kindle.

Did half the Tobira Chapter 1 grammar workbook
This Week: Finish Chapter 1 workbook, study reading passage.

Studied 12 Kanji.
Currently at #260

Genki/Tobira Vocab
Working on Chapter 4 Dialogue vocab.
Mature: 2271 (+6)
Young & Learn: 305 (+38)


Once again, slow, but at least did something.
Didn’t finish all the workbook pages. Got one or two left to do, still. I spent a couple of nights working on my speech, but when I went over it with Sensei after class, it was still too long, so we cut it down. I tried registering for the J-CAT, but it doesn’t seem to have gone through.

For class this week, we did the reading & writing section of Chapter 17. I think my reading aloud is getting better, but there’s still parts where I’m getting tripped up.

Didn’t make it through any more of Yotsuba this week, but I read an article in NHK Easy News every other day. We’re going up to my parents’ place for easter weekend, so I plan on spending some time loading some manga onto my kindle.

Finished all but the last workbook page for Chapter 1
This Week: Finish Chapter 1 workbook, study reading passage

Got 6 done
Currently at #266

Genki/Tobira Vocab
Working on Chapter 5 reading vocab
Mature: 2288 (+23)
Young & Learn (

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Had another bad week. Did NOT want to do any studying last week. Managed to get myself to read the passages from Tobira chapter 1 without audio once each, and spent some time going over my speech, but that’s about it.

I’ve got to have the speech memorized in two weeks, though, so I think my focus until then will have to be on that. I created a filtered deck to pace myself going through the backlog of reviews, so hopefully by the time the speech rolls around, I’ll be caught up.

Read the reading & dialogue passages once, didn’t finish the workbook.
This Week: No goals

Nothing done
Currently at #266

Genki/Tobira Vocab
Working on Chapter 5 reading vocab
Mature: 2222 (-66)
Young & Learn: 335 (+5)

Was able to get back to it this week. I spent about four evenings this week working on the speech. I don’t have it memorized yet, but I can say it smoothly. Went over it with the TA after class this week - was able to say it in the time limit, and he corrected my pitch accent on a few words. Next Saturday is speech day, so it’s gotta be my focus again this week.

The other evenings I spent going over the reading passage for Chapter 1 in detail - sentence by sentence, cross-checking vocab and grammar and making sure I understood it. Gonna do the same for the dialogues once the speech is over. I’m thinking of ditching the workbook and just doing this + SRS the example sentences going forward.

For Anki, I’ve done about 200 or so reviews per day, and my backlog has been cut in half since last week.

In class, we did another dictation exercise, and practiced the dialogues from Chapter 18 of Genki.

Went over Chapter 1 reading in detail, no audio


Genki/Tobira Vocab
Working on Chapter 5 Reading vocab
Mature: 2363 (+141)
Young & Learn: 185 (-150)

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Made it through Speech Day! I spent every free evening last week working on the speech. I wrote the whole thing out in romaji so that my husband could help, and went over it a few times with the TA before the speeches. I was a bit nervous, since the last thing I was struggling with was with mixing up particles, but he came by afterwards and said I’d got it right. I’d say my accent was better than some, but my fluidity and expressiveness not as good as others, so a solidly average showing.

Started going over the Tobira Chapter 1 dialogue passages in detail on Sunday - did about half of the first one. Once I finish the intensive reading, I want to try it a few times with the audio.

Got rid of the post-easter Anki backlog, so I’ll be adding new cards again this week.

Lastly, my registration for J-CAT went through, so I’m going to try taking it again this week. It’s been just over a year since last time, so it’ll be interesting to see how far I’ve come.

Started on intensive reading of Chapter 1 dialogue.
This week: Finish up Chapter 1


Genki/Tobira Vocab
Working on Chapter 5 Reading Vocab, should start Chapter 5 Dialogue vocab this week.
Mature: 2364 (+1)
Young & Learn: 238 (+53)

Read Yotsuba Chapter 3, and about 3 NHK Easy articles this week.

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Overall, had a pretty good week. Finally finished Tobira Chapter 1 and added the audio to my immersion playlist, and I finished going through the Chapter 5 reading vocab, so I need to unsuspend the Chapter 5 dialogue vocab today. I also spent a bunch of time loading manga onto my kindle and figuring out how to zoom in. Was planning on taking the J-CAT on Sunday, but I just could not be assed to do ANYTHING. Guess I just needed a recharge day. Lastly, I used some of my audible credits to buy a bunch of Japanesepod 101 lessons for extra listening practice.

In class, we went over the first two grammar points of Genki Chapter 18. I’m thinking of skipping the next level (that covers the second half of Genki 2) and going straight to level 5 next year (Which covers the first half of Tobira)

Finished Chapter 1.
This week: Grammar points, Chapter 2

Studied 8 Kanji this week
Currently at #274

Genki/Tobira Vocab
Starting on Chapter 5 dialogues
Mature: 2359 (-5)
Young & Learn: 277 (+39)

Read Pokémon Special chapter 1 and 2 NHK Easy articles this week

Bought two “Upper Beginner” Japanesepod 101 packages on Audible, listened to one.

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It’s Victoria Day up here in Canada, so I’ve got today off, and there was no class on Saturday.

Studied half the grammar points in Tobira, chapter 2, so I should be able to finish this week. I also finally bit the bullet and decided to hold off on the KKLC vocab until after I finish the tobira vocab, so instead of studying 4 kanji cards and 4 vocab cards for KKLC, I’ve upped it to 10 kanji cards, which I’m able to get through easier thanks to the mnemonics. So my anki mix is now 10 tobira vocab, 10 KKLC and 5 grammar clozes per day, with weekends for review only. So far, it seems to be working.

There’s a town about 45 minutes away that has a couple of Asian malls, one of which has a Japanese bookstore. I’d never been since high school, so we decided to make a trip for the long weekend. The bookstore was a lot smaller than I’d expected, but I still ended up finding Shin Kanzen Master Reading N4 (they were out of Listening), and the first two volumes of Yotsubato. We also ended up taking home a bunch of unusually-flavoured junk food.

Lastly, put a few more manga onto my kindle to see if I could read them: Boku no Hero Academia (still too hard) and Medarot (doable - about as hard as Pokémon), so I’ve got a lot of reading material to go through.

Still haven’t gotten around to re-taking J-CAT. Gonna try to remember it later today.

Did half of the Chapter 2 grammar points
This Week: Finish Chapter 2 grammar

Put KKLC vocab on hold for now.
Studied 20 Kanji this week
Currently at # 294

Genki/Tobira Vocab
Working on Chapter 6 reading vocab
Mature: 2376 (+17)
Young & Learn: 290 (+13)

Read half a chapter of Medarot, and 2 NHK Easy articles this week.
Re-read Yotsubato chapter 1 with the physical copy.

More Japanesepod 101, and a day of my immersion loop.

Managed to get the second half of the Tobira chapter 2 grammar points reviewed, but I haven’t finished creating Anki cards for all of the example sentences yet, so that’s this week’s job. The new mix of Anki cards still seems to be working well. I’ve been pondering lately if, once I finish the Tobira vocab, if I should continue on with KKLC vocab, or tackle whatever is left of Core6K. I did a few spot checks, and from what I see, a lot of the recommended KKLC vocab is already in the Core6K/10K deck, so it should work. If anyone reading this has any suggestions, I’m all ears (but realistically, I’ve got a ways before I’ll even be ready for this).

Bunpro is finally working on adding the outstanding Tobira grammar points, so I’m slowly working that back into my routine. I think it’s working well doing the Tobira grammar points on Bunpro after I’ve Ankied the example sentences on my own, so I’m going to keep that up. Going slowly, adding 1 new grammar point per day.

We finished up the grammar points from Genki Chapter 18 in class and did the pair work speaking exercises. Sensei mentioned the school setting up a summer pen-pal program with an English-language school in Japan. I’m considering signing up.

Lastly, got sick this week, so still no J-CAT as I spent my evenings doing nothing.

Studied outstanding Chapter 2 grammar points, made anki cards for half.
This Week: Finish Anki cards

Studied 15 new Kanji.
Currently at #309

Genki/Tobira Vocab
Should finish Chapter 6 reading vocab this week and start on Dialogue vocab
Mature: 2383 (+7)
Young & Learn: 329 (+39)

Re-read Yotsuba Chapter 2.
Decided to get back to the graded readers, read a story from Level 2 volume 2. I want to finish up Level 2 and get to Level 3 as they’re annoying me just sitting there on my shelf.
Lastly, read 1 NHK Easy News article.

Bought another Japanesepod 101 audiobook package, but had issues with the volume.

Just one last grammar point in Tobira Chapter 2 to go, as I took one evening off and FINALLY got around to taking J-CAT. I went over my analysis of my score on the J-CAT Results thread so here’s just the basic numbers:

          March 2018     May 2019
Listening:    22          44(+22)
Vocabulary:   34          41(+ 7)
Grammar:      26          47(+21)
Reading:      42          28(-14)
Total:       124         160(+36)

Skipped class to head up to my parents’ cottage and help them put the dock in the water this weekend, and I was planning on going for a run there, but while we were working on the dock the gangplank gave way and I fell and sprained my ankle. One last class next week and we’re done for the year. I’m thinking of taking the placement exam to skip the next grade (which goes over the second half of Genki 2).

On the fitness side of things, my run distance is up to 4.5K in 37 minutes, including a 0.5K walk-break halfway through. Made it to the gym twice this week. We were planning on going for a run over the weekend, but the dock incident ruled that out. Having trouble keeping my eating in line, so I’ve been maintaining instead of losing like I’d like. Need to get back to it this week.

1 remaining grammar point in Tobira Chapter 2 to go.
Only managed to do Bunpro reviews twice.
This week: Finish last grammar point, study readings.

Got 25 done
Currently on # 334

Genki/Tobira Vocab
Working on Chapter 6 Dialogue vocab
Mature: 2421 (+29)
Young + Learn: 354 (+25)

Re-read Yotsuba Chapter 3 and read Chapter 4, and 2 NHK Easy articles

Japanesepod 101, and episode 1 of Shirokuma Cafe on Animelon. I was pleasantly surprised about this one. It’s just about the right level for me and I’m not as put off by the animal characters as I thought I’d be. There was some new vocab I had to look up, but for the most part, the grammar was doable.

I had one of those weeks where coasting was all I could bring myself to do.

Finished that last grammar point in Tobira Chapter 2, but couldn’t bring myself to tackle the reading, and didn’t do much non-textbook reading, either. I kept on top of Anki and KKLC, but other than that, I just could not be bothered to do anything.

Possibly related: had to take it easy in the gym because of last week’s ankle issue. Ran 1K on it each on Tuesday and Thursday but didn’t want to risk putting extra weight on it for squats/deadlifts/etc so I focused on upper body last week.

No class this week as the school needed the building for itself. Last class for the school year pushed off to next week.

Finished going over Tobira Grammar. Did bunpro twice.
This week: Study readings, Bunpro reviews at least 3x

Got 21 done, currently at # 355

Genki/Tobira Vocab
1 more day’s worth of Chapter 6 Dialogue vocab to go before I start on Chapter 7.
Mature: 2450 (+38)
Young & Learn: 249(-105)

Pretty much nothing.

Some Japanesepod101

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