Zoals velen in mijn richting ontstond mijn interesse in Japan al op jonge leeftijd onder invloed van het zogenaamde Cool Japan: de verspreiding en globalisatie van Japanse popcultuur (muziek, televisie, games, enzovoort) die toen geleidelijk aan al doorsijpelde in onze nationale media. Het zou zelfs een interesse worden die zodanig groeide dat ik er jaren later mijn studiekeuze door liet... Continue →

[Updated 2019] Rikaichan, and it’s Chrome variant Rikaikun, have already been widely established as incredibly helpful tools for reading Japanese online. Nevertheless, one major function remained missing still: a seamless integration with Anki for efficient vocabulary mining. A recent extension of the original Rikaichan, aptly named Rikaisama (it’s a pun!), adds several new features including... Continue →

Those who know me well might accuse me of preaching popular memorization tool Anki as a revolution in studying, and they wouldn’t be that far off. Over the past year I’ve extensively integrated this software in my studies, with (to me personally) remarkable results in both productivity and academic grades. There are however, some pitfalls for the casual user to take heed of, and getting the... Continue →

Due to my studies I (will) often use Japanese in my blog. As I gave some thought to typography and readability, I found the default appearance of Japanese text to be in stark contrast with the rest of my design.1 To target specifically Japanese text, I wrote a small Markdown-Python extension for use in static blog generators as Jekyll and Pelican (or pretty much anything that utilizes... Continue →

Earlier this year I, alongside several other second year Japanology students at my university, participated in a small “tell an interesting story” speech contest organised by Kobe University. This week we were informed the videorecordings of these had been uploaded on the contest’s website and were available for all to watch2. My story is a classic “awkward Japanese language mix-up” anecdote... Continue →

After a long, stressful first semester exam-period, I spent my brief time off traveling to two completely opposite places I’ve been wanting to visit for a very long time: Rome, Italy and Iceland: one of the coldest winter destinations I could imagine, but a place of stunning natural beauty. Over the past years, Iceland has gained somewhat of a reputation for its hipster population and... Continue →

After a long, stressful first semester exam-period, I spent my brief time off traveling to two completely opposite places I’ve been wanting to visit for a very long time: Iceland and the historic city of Rome, Italy, cradle of one of the greatest civilisations ever. As a kind of early valentine, my girlfriend and I decided on this 4-day city trip to recharge our batteries and spent some much... Continue →

Footnotes are a classic staple in any writer’s toolbox and allows them to, in an unobtrusive way, citate sources or display additional information not directly related to the original argument. Yet I feel online footnotes, through the way they’re often implemented imitating printed media footnotes, come over quite counterintuitive by forcing the interested reader to disrupt his reading flow,... Continue →

Earlier this year, me and a couple of friends decided on a summer roadtrip throughout the Deep South, the most southern states of the USA. As we have a shared history of playing in bands or writing music together, we thought it cool to purchase some second-hand instruments and travel through the most musically relevant of the USA states. This short blog covers our 3-week itinerary, with plenty... Continue →

I’ve been thinking on maintaining a blog for a while now and had already stacked up a pile of writings ready to post. A long summer break allowed me enough free time to sit down and get started on the technicalities; a process a bit more complicated as initially expected but worth it in the long run. This blog serves not as a tutorial on making one with Pelican (I’ll get to that eventually),... Continue →