What is "Japan-easy"?

Explore the wonders of Japan and the Japanese language!

Over the course of 24 episodes that cover useful and basic conversations, viewers will navigate from everyday Japanese life to what’s new in Japan, and see that “Japanese is easy!”

Furthermore, viewers will experience the fun world of Japanese through use of various approaches such as “Kanji-easy,” where kanji characters are easily learned through their shapes and ideas, and “Phrase-easy,” which offers useful phrases.

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Verbs like “ikimasu (go)” and “kimasu (come)” and their past tense. Explore the wonders of Japan and the Japanese language! Through basic conversations, viewers will see that "Japanese is easy!"


Key phrase: Special review

1. Noun plus “desu.”/Adjective plus “desu.”


The phrases that our good friend Detective Michael uses in the video are all ones that we've learned. Today, we have a story about Detective Michael, and it will have a lot of expressions we learned.

First, we have the noun plus “desu” expression, which we're quite familiar with by now. Let's check out the question form and negative form as well.

Michael: Sore wa shōyu rāmen desuka?
Man: Īe. Shōyu rāmen ja arimasen. Gekikara rāmen desu.

Michael uses “desu” to ask what kind of rāmen the person’s eating. In response to Michael's question, the regular here will use the negative form and answer.

Next up, let's look at the combination of “desu” with adjectives.

Michael: Oishii desuka?
Man: Totemo oishii desu.

When asking if it's tasty, take the adjective “oishii,” and add “desu” and “ka.” It's the same as with nouns. In rsponse, the man said “oishii desu,” the positive response.

2. Ano/Kono/Asoko


Next, let’s review the words “ano,” “kono,” and “asoko” used to describe position. Michael will grant his wife's wish and choose a present for her.

Michael: “Ano baggu misetekudasai.”
Shop assistant: “Kono baggu to pōchi de yoroshiidesuka?”
Shop assistant: “Pāru no nekkuresu wa asoko ni arimasu.”

Did you get how to express an item's position and talk about something you want?

“Ano” is used to point to something a little ways away from both the speaker and the listener. “Kono” is used to refer to an item that is close to the speaker. Since the pearl necklace was far from both people, the shop staff said “asoko.”

3. Noboritai desu./Ikimasenka?


Now, let's review how to express a desire and invite someone. Michael and his wife are trying to decide where to go on their date. In the scene, Michael was expressing a desire and inviting his wife.

Michael: “Boku wa Tokyō Tawā ni noboritai desu.”
Michael: “Tokyō Tawā kara yakei o mitai desu.”
Michael: “Tokyō Tawā ni ikimasenka?”

First, let's go over the expression for his desire. Take off “masu” from the verb, and add “taidesu.”
Now, let's look at the expression for inviting someone. Michael made “ikimasu” into the negative form: “ikimasen.” He then added “ka” to that and made it into the question form.

4. Phrase-easy!


You will learn useful Japanese phrases and real-life experiences relating to those phrases.

On the menu today, we have the phrase “okagesamade.”

Tea Break


This is a Japanese snack made from sweet potato.
The most common recipe is to steam sweet potato, mix in sugar while still hot, put in a rectangular mold, then cool. Other recipes include boiling the sweet potato, or adding a small amount of salt or agar.
Around 1900, a potato seller was troubled over what to do about the scrap potatoes he had, so he asked a confectioner for advice, and the two came to develop the imoyōkan.
The imoyōkan is not overly sweet and makes full use of the simple and natural flavor of sweet potato. Its great texture and taste are loved by people of all ages.

Exercises on the Net #24

Question 1

Instruction: Change the following Japanese sentences, based on the instructions in the blanks after 1a - 2c.


(are wa maikeru san no gitā desu)

That is Michael’s guitar.

  • 1a
  • (to the negative sentence)

    (are wa maikeru san no gitā ja arimasen)

  • 1b
  • (to the question sentence)

    (are wa maikeru san no gitā desu ka)

  • 1c
  • (to the question sentence, adding “or Tom’s guitar?”)

    (are wa maikeru san no gitā desu ka soretomo tomu san no gitā desu ka)

  • 1d
  • (to the past)

    (are wa maikeru san no gitā deshita)


    (nihon no rāmen wa oishī desu)

    Japanese ramen is delicious.

  • 2a
  • (to the negative sentence)

    (nihon no rāmen wa oishikunai desu)

  • 2b
  • (to the question sentence)

    (nihon no rāmen wa oishī desu ka)

  • 2b1
  • (yes to 2b)

    (hai oishī desu)

    Yes, it is delicious.

  • 2b2
  • (no to 2b)

    (īe oishikunai desu)

    No, it is not delicious.

  • 2c
  • (to the past)

    (nihon no rāmen wa oishikatta desu)

    Question 2

    Instruction: Looking at the picture, answer the following questions.

  • 1
  • テーブルtēburunoうえueniバナナbananagaありますarimasuka

    (tēburu no ue ni banana ga arimasu ka)

    Is there a banana on the table?

    (hai arimasu)

    Yes, there is.

  • 2
  • テーブルtēburunoしたshitaniねこnekogaいますimasuka

    (tēburu no shita ni neko ga imasu ka)

    Is there a cat under the table?

    (īe imasen)

    No, there isn’t.

  • 3
  • へやheyanoなかnakaniだれdaregaいますimasuka

    (heya no naka ni dare ga imasu ka)

    Who is in the room?

    (onna no ko ga imasu)

    There is a girl in the room.

    Question 3

    Instruction: Bob has just come back from her short business trip. At his office in LA, Ms. Saito, his boss, is chatting with him. Reading their conversation, answer the following questions, of course, in Japanese.


    (bobu san tōkyō wa do deshita ka)

    How was your trip to Tokyo, Bob?

    (totemo omoshirokatta desu)

    It was very interesting.

    (nani o tabemashita ka)

    What did you eat there?

    (sarada o tabemashita)

    I ate a salad.
    さいとうsaitō:え? ラーメンは? てんぷらは?

    (e) (rāmen wa) (tempura wa)

    What? Didn’t you enjoy ramen? How about tempura?

    (tabetakatta desu) (demo onaka ga itakatta desu)

    I wanted to try them, but I had a stomachache.

    (daijōbu deshita ka)

    Were you all right?

    (hai) (hoteru no kurōku ga asupurin o kuremashita)

    Yes, the cloak at the hotel gave me an aspirin.
  • 1
  • ボブbobuさんsanwaどこdokoeいきましたikimashitaka

    (bobu san wa doko e ikimashita ka)

    Where did Bob go?

    (tōkyō e ikimashita)

  • 2
  • ボブbobuさんsanwaなにnanioたべましたtabemashitaka

    (bobu san wa nani o tabemashita ka)

    What did Bob eat?

    (sarada o tabemashita)

  • 3
  • クロークkurōkuwaボブbobuさんsanniなにnanioあげましたagemashitaka

    (kurōku wa bobu san ni nani o agemashita ka)

    Where did the cloak give to Bob?

    (asupirin o agesmashita)

    Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji

    There are three kinds of letters in Japan, and a combination of the three creates meanings. You can find lots of letters around the city, so try and search for them. Hiragana and katakana are syllabaries, where one character represents a syllable.

    Read More