photo by Sarah Palfreyman Photography. DO NOT USE this picture without permission.

Both of my parents are natives of Japan but I have lived most of my life in the United States. My parents worked hard to teach me the Japanese language as I was growing up, and as an adult, I’m coming to realize what an amazing blessing it is to be bilingual. It opens doors of friendship, gives me volunteer and work opportunities, helps me connect with my relatives and ancestors, and helps me be a more open-minded human being.

I am now a mother with children of my own, married to someone who does not speak Japanese. I want my children to be bilingual but I cannot do it on my own. As I have made it a priority to teach my children Japanese, I have found wonderful community and internet resources to help me with this goal. I started this blog as a place to organize the resources I find both for myself and for others who may be in a similar situation. Being a former elementary school teacher and ESL tutor, I have a passion and knack for finding educational materials on the web and in the community.

I hope this blog, Hiragana Mama, will be a place where parents like me can find resources for teaching their children and youth Japanese. I think it will also be a great resource for any student of the Japanese language. I hope it will be a fun place to visit where we can share ideas, encourage each other, and learn something new each day.


illustration of our family by Banene. DO NOT USE without permission.

Published Articles:

1) Aug. 2011 “Is Raising Bilingual Children Worth the Costs?” at InCultureParent (made the Top 10).

2) Jan. 2012 “Ten Things I Love About Raising My Half-Japanese Children” at MomsRising.

64 Responses to “About”

  1. Ai January 7, 2011 at 4:24 PM #

    Hi there,

    Thank you for your comment on my blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I was born in Japanese and English is my 2nd language. I married to a Canadian guy who speaks some Japanese. We have a daughter and we want her to speak Japanese but it is hard. She used to speak only Japanese but since she started her preschool, she mainly speaks English. She understands my Japanese 100 % but respond to me in English. I try to go back to Japan once a year and when I do that usually her Japanese gets much better but we could not go back to Japan last year and so she speaks English more and more. We are hoping to go back to Japan this summer so she starts speaking Japanese since my parents and relatives do not speak English.

    Good luck with teaching your daughter Japanese. You have a great role model (your parents!) so I am sure you will do great. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope I can give my daughter a gift of being bilingal too.

    • Hiragana Mama January 8, 2011 at 9:04 PM #

      That’s how I was… I spoke Japanese very fluently until I began attending school. After that, English was my language of choice. I wish it wasn’t so far/expensive to visit Japan- I would love to take my kids. Good luck to the both of us! ใŒใ‚“ใฐใ‚ใ†ใญใ€‚

  2. ใจใ‚‚ May 20, 2011 at 1:46 AM #

    I was born and raised in Los Angeles and married an ใ‚ขใƒกใƒชใ‚ซไบบใ€‚My parents worked so hard to teach my siblings and I Japanese and put us in Japanese school every saturday for 9 years. Your website is just what I have been looking for!ใ€€ๅ››ๆญณใจไธ€ๆญณใฎๅญไพ›ไบŒไบบใซใฉใ†ใ‚„ใฃใฆๆ—ฅๆœฌ่ชžใ‚’ๆ—ฉใใ‹ใ‚‰ๆ•™ใˆใŸใ‚‰ใ„ใ„ใ‹ๅ›ฐใฃใฆใฆๆฏŽๆ—ฅใฎใ‚ˆใ†ใซใ‚คใƒณใ‚ฟใƒใƒƒใƒˆใ‚’ๆŽขใ—ใ„ใŸใƒžใƒžใงใ™ใ€‚hiraganamamaใซๅ‡บไผšใฃใฆๅฌ‰ใ—ใ„ใงใ™๏ผI will be letting all of my ๆ—ฅๆœฌ่ชžใƒผ่‹ฑ่ชž speaking friends know of your website. ใ‚ใ‚ŠใŒใจใ†ใ€‚ ใŒใ‚“ใฐใ‚Šใพใ—ใ‚‡ใ†ใญใ€‚ ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hiragana Mama May 20, 2011 at 7:13 AM #

      Thanks for your kind comment!! I know there are a lot of us (bilingual parents) out there in the world, but definitely not enough resources for us. ใ†ใ‚“ใ€ใŒใ‚“ใฐใ‚Šใพใ—ใ‚‡ใ†๏ผ

  3. Kim Steadman June 16, 2011 at 4:30 PM #

    I have 2 boys attending Yujin Gakuen, Japanese Immersion School. in Eugene, OR. I have a will be 1rst grader and a will be 5th grader. I am trying my hardest to find children books in Japanese online so they have reading material for the summer. My goodness it has been so hard..Your blog has me hoping there is hope..I am so afraid they will loose all that they have learned…Great job on the blog.

    • Hiragana Mama June 16, 2011 at 4:43 PM #

      Thanks so much Kim! I am jealous you have a Japanese Immersion School near you. Does the school have a library where you can check books out for the summer (our Japanese school does). If you are willing to fork over the money, you can buy books from amazon.jp and have them shipped internationally. Good luck to you! I know, it is soooo hard! Your kids are lucky to have a motivated parent like you.

      PS Be sure to check back tomorrow morning for a little giveaway… I think you might like it!

  4. Jane June 17, 2011 at 5:33 PM #

    Thank you very much for your interesting blogs and extensive resource page (it is what I am looking for). I have one question, may be you can help me? Me and my son (2yo) learning Chinse for quite some time. But I was always facinated by Japanese and I really would like to learn it as well. But I do not know when it is the right moment to start. I read a lot of articles in Internet with the conclusion that it is better not to start Japanese until you are fluent in Chinese (I am not a native speaker of Chinese and I am not fluent in it) because you can mix both languages.
    What do you think about it?

    • Hiragana Mama June 17, 2011 at 7:32 PM #

      Hmmm… I’m not sure if I am the best person to ask. My opinion is, if you are not fluent in Chinese or Japanese, really focus on just one first. Good luck!

    • Joanne July 8, 2011 at 1:57 AM #

      Chinese and Japanese languages are very different eventhough they may seems to share some similarities in meaning when written in kanji. It does not make it easier to learn Japanese language after you mastered your Chinese language and vice verse. Both languages (in my personal viewpoint) open you to a whole, new world of cultural riches. It really depends on your personal objective for learning the language and if there is sufficient opportunity for interaction in that language. Enjoy!!

      • Zuna August 12, 2011 at 11:06 AM #

        Hi Jane,

        About your hesitation to learn Japanese because of not learning Chinese, I can say that the most important thing is your motivation. I have two friends who are native Chinese. One has past Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level 1 (the highest) less than 4 years and he said learning Mandarin is very helpful especially when you learn kanji (Chinese characters that have been adopted in Japanese). Another one, she is also native Chinese, but she almost failed at Japanese during her first semester studying it at University. From what I see, I can say that it’s all about whether you want to give your best and never give up because I myself am bad at Chinese *really bad* but I am still studying Japanese until now even though I often stumble when I learn how to remember the kanji and its meanings. Believe me, there are many of people who aren’t good at Chinese like you and I, but they don’t give up easily and achieve their dream. So good luck for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Irene Tomoe Cooper June 22, 2011 at 10:15 AM #

    What a lovely blog! My mother is Japanese and my late father was American. My mother only spoke to my brother and me in Japanese, and my father spoke to us only in English. We went to American school and had ๅฎถๅบญๆ•™ๅธซ come twice a week to teach us Japanese from when we were 8 until we graduated high school. While growing up it was confusing sometimes as I only spoke Japanese at one point and only English at another time. Being bilingual has opened up so many doors for me, I really encourage parents to help their children from a young age to learn both (or more) languages as well as learn the cultures of the parents. I am going to share this blog to others as I thought it was so lovely. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hiragana Mama June 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM #

      Thank you Irene! I hope I can do as good of a job as your parents did. They really went the extra mile having a tutor come to your home. It really is a blessing to be bilingual.

  6. Joanne July 8, 2011 at 11:03 AM #

    It’s definitely a blessing to be bilingual, I have benefited from it. Yet it is an uphill task for both the parent and child. I am now working hard to teach my little girl and hope one day she will be able to master the languages well. Thank you for the great blog.

  7. aame July 28, 2011 at 7:51 PM #

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and commenting so that I could find u and ur lovely blog ๐Ÿ™‚ Ur efforts to teach ur kid Japanese is very commendable…It’s not an easy job but would definitely help in future ๐Ÿ™‚

    I guess ur blog would aid me in learning Japanese for my JLPT in a fun way too ๐Ÿ˜‰

    It’s really nice to know u !!! Cheers !

    • Hiragana Mama August 12, 2011 at 1:10 PM #

      Thanks! Good luck to you!

  8. B October 17, 2011 at 11:08 PM #

    Autumn is here! Mushrooms, hot pot ใชในใ€chestnutsๆ —ใ€sweet potato picking field trips ใ‚ตใƒ„ใƒžใ‚คใƒขใปใ‚Š and more!!!

    HOpe you have a wonderful Halloween.

    Most kids here wear costumes and have parties.

    Most people who have foreign friends try to have parties w/them.

    For me, I become suddenly popular during this season.

    Friends come outta the woodwork suddenly having the time to say hello and chat…and slowwwwly edge in the topic “hey whatcha doin for halloween? can we join?”

    then….i see their motive and say “nothing special” even though of course we are throwing a big party! I am a nice person usually but i hate hate hate hate hate being used. and it has happened a lot in japan. getting used just for my native english!

    people in condos here go trick or treating. it is fun and safe

    like collect 3 bucks from each family, buy candies w/it and trick or treat one evening.

    and not only candies. rice crackers and snacks b/c some moms do not want their kids teeth to rot out, ha ha.

    ๐Ÿ™‚ keep up the japanese ้ ‘ๅผตใ‚Œ๏ผ

    i recommend you watch nice jdramas. they are fun!


  9. L. November 3, 2011 at 8:02 AM #

    Discovered your blog recently and totally fell in love with it. ^^ Wanted to send you some words of encouragement to continue this wonderful and helpful resource. I love all the printables that I can find here, up until now I only knew KF Studio which I absolutely adore for the cute learn sheets for kids. haha. I’ve been wanting to learn Japanese for… a very long time already but never started to seriously learn it from the scratch. I know how to read Hiragana and some Kanji as well, but when it comes to Katakana, I don’t know why I can’t memorize these at all. lol ^O^;; The same to Romaji. Whenever I see those I’m like… @__@ all confused. I watch a lot of Japanese dramas and I’m starting to understand short dialogues when the content isn’t too complicated e.g. everyday sentences but not so when it comes to forensic terms. lol

    Best wishes and please keep up with the great work!

  10. Emi Nagaki November 21, 2011 at 4:42 PM #

    I love your blog! Thank you. My father is Japanese and my mother is German. My husband is American so my sons are quarter Japanese. I found your blog as I was researching on how to teach Japanese to my sons. I am looking forward to more from you!

    • Hiragana Mama November 21, 2011 at 5:06 PM #

      I’ll do my best to keep posting useful things on my blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. sharon taki December 6, 2011 at 6:44 PM #

    I love this site. Thank you for your hard work in making this. We live in Australia and my son is half Japanese. You have giving me so many ideas. We are very grateful.

    • Hiragana Mama December 6, 2011 at 7:17 PM #

      Thank you for your kind comment! I’m glad my blog could be of some help. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. bradmaloney December 8, 2011 at 8:41 AM #

    Very cool. My friend is bilingual and is about to have a baby and she finds herself in the same situation of what language to focus on. She’s living in Japan, but plans to teach them all English so they don’t have to go through the troubles of learning and endless study like she did.่‰ฒใ€…้ ‘ๅผตใฃใฆใญ๏ผ

  13. Debbie January 24, 2012 at 3:01 PM #

    Hiragana Mama, Love your site. I’m a Sansei, with two college age kids. I just came back from Japan after spending 17 days on a missions trip. Caring for survivors in temporary housing in Ichinoseki Prefecture (Kesennuma) Knowing that I was going I started going to Adult Japanese school on Saturday mornings for 3-1/2 hrs. Whew! So much to learn. But, I’m so glad I did. Are the books on your site written in Hiragana? I truly need reading material in Hiragana. Blessings

    • Hiragana Mama January 25, 2012 at 8:43 AM #

      Wow, thanks for your volunteer work in Japan! That’s really admirable, as well as your willingness to study Japanese beforehand.

      Some of the books are Japanese, others are in English. If you read the book descriptions, you should be able to tell which is which.

  14. Arandom Pasir February 6, 2012 at 11:45 PM #

    Hey, I’m a 15 year old canadian student, and I’ve gotten to the point in education in which they stop ‘teaching’ and start making you memorize things that were taught 4 years prior.

    Not to let education interfere with my learning, as Mark Twain so elequently describes the idea, I have started self-learning a variety of interesting things, such as science, art, programming, and other languages. I must admit that I only know english, but my family is dutch immigrated and I therefore have exposure to other cultures.

    Anyways, in my self teaching, I have found that a dictionary (kotoba! or wakan are excellent electronic ones) and understanding of particles conjugations are all you need to start learning.

    When it comes to kids, they learn in a less logical manner and are quite adept at memorizing, so it’s important to squeeze as much in as possible, and ensure the kids have reason to keep it memorized.

    If you really want a kid to practice something, introduce it as a game, they always enjoy it ^_^ I can’t wait until I go to university; I’ll actually learn all the things I enjoy, and afterwards, I might be able to travel to Nihon and enjoy a different culture. Ah, that will be an awesome day.

    After I can understand written japanese, I’ll be learning dutch; it’s the easiest language for english speakers to learn, as well as my heritage ^_^ I love how learning things like languages open up so many possibilities to experience life, rather than be bolted down. O_O; wow, I’d better cut my wall of text right here… ใ‚ใ‚ŠใŒใจใ†

  15. Mary @ The World Is A Book February 24, 2012 at 1:52 AM #

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and I’m glad to be visiting yours. What a great effort and gift you will be giving your kids. My husband and I are both Filipino but sadly we have not made much of an effort to make our kids bilingual. They are immersed in the culture but need a lot of help with the language. It’s a bit harder when he and I can’t quite speak it fluently anymore.
    I took Japanese for two years in high school and continued in college for a few months but have forgotten most of it. Your site is a great resource.

    • Hiragana Mama February 24, 2012 at 8:13 AM #

      From looking at your blog, I thought your children were half-Japanese ๐Ÿ™‚ I wish I could travel the world as extensively as you! YOU are giving your kids a great gift.

  16. Megumi Rinaldi April 25, 2012 at 6:23 PM #


    I came across your site whilst looking for some Hiragana charts, and was glad to see that there is a small community of folks like me out there! I am a first generation Japanese American living in New York (where I was born and raised), now raising a half-Japanese daughter, with my husband who speaks no Japanese. My daughter is now 3 1/2, close to being truly bilingual, thanks to very generous and patient teachers at her Japanese preschool program which she attends 3x/week, and some serious effort on my part at home. I’m near fluent in Japanese (most people can’t tell I was raised outside of Japan until I have a random lapse in vocabulary!) but culturally very American, which makes it challenging. Also, in “real life,” I’m finding that most of the Japanese women I know are either native Japanese or Japanese Americans who don’t speak a lot of Japanese. Not a lot in between. There is just so few of use around, I think.

    The one thing I wanted to share with everyone out there is that while it’s challenging to teach a child Japanese in an English-dominant setting, I’m finding that being a bilingual yourself is actually quite helpful. Now that I can hold conversations with my daughter, sometimes I’ll even help her along by quickly explaining it to her English – whether it’s new vocabulary or some funny nuanced type of thing — for instance, why Japanese call green traffic lights blue, that sort of thing. Or, I can even explain it in Japanese to her having had the experience of being confused myself as a child. Overall, I feel like I have more empathy and therefore am a more effective teacher. This is what I’m telling myself so I don’t give up! Bilingualism is truly a gift, and with all the scientific research now showing that learning multiple languages does in fact make you smarter – it’s all worth it.

    Anyway, your site is definitely booked marked and I’ll be visiting often. I’d love to hear more about your day to day experiences with your kids — in addition to providing resources. Thanks again for all your efforts!

    • Hiragana Mama April 25, 2012 at 7:19 PM #

      Thank you so much for such great comments, and nice to “meet” you! It sounds like you are doing an even better job than I am helping your daughter become bilingual. I am jealous of the 3x a week Japanese preschool program.

      What a great observation that being bilingual yourself helps your children become bilingual… it’s true! My parents and I often had squabbles due to our “language barrier” (Japanese was their dominant language, and mine was English), not to mention all the cultural aspects of American life they had a hard time relating to, but as someone who understands both cultures equally well, we can definitely have more empathy.

      I hope you will share more wisdom with us in the future! I will make more of an effort to blog about our day to day experiences.

  17. Zoey Robinson April 30, 2012 at 9:49 PM #

    I really would LOVE to learn Japanese, but I don’t know where to begin. I can’t find a teacher anywhere, and online courses such as Rosetta Stone are too expensive. Please, what do I need to do? Can this site help me get started on learning how to become fluent in the Japanese language?

    • Hiragana Mama May 1, 2012 at 7:45 AM #

      I think you have to try all kids of things to learn Japanese… it is a hard language to learn as an adult, but it can be done ๐Ÿ™‚ My website is a good resource but probably not THE answer for learning Japanese. If you are serious about learning the language, I recommend finding a native Japanese speaking teacher (sounds like you can’t though). There’s a lot of free lessons on YouTube if money is the issue. Learn hiragana, listen to a lot of Japanese, learn the grammar, … good luck!

    • Cathy Towns May 16, 2012 at 5:08 PM #

      I am also trying to learn Japanese without paying much. Keep looking around websites and try a little bit of everything. Everything that you try you will learn a little something. Youtube videos, free websites like these (http://www.learn-japanese.info/), (http://123japanese.com/) This one has some lessons for free, but is a very good way to hear native speaking. ( http://www.japanesepod101.com/). Also, if you don’t want to pay to learn, use your public library system.

  18. 9symphony9 August 19, 2012 at 8:07 PM #

    Hello from New York. I like learning new languages. I am learning Japanese and Spanish right now.

    I am learning hiragana. I have Human Japanese software. It is really good.

  19. Mariko September 10, 2012 at 10:46 PM #

    hello! I live in Japan and I speak Japanese.I have a daugther and she speaks Japanese.I want my daugher speak English. I think it is opposite.But it is same that wishing our children learnig another language.So I want to help you and help me each other!
    ใ“ใ‚“ใซใกใฏใ€‚็งใฏๆ—ฅๆœฌใซใ™ใฟๆ—ฅๆœฌ่ชžใ‚’ใฏใชใ—ใพใ™ใ€‚ใ‚€ใ™ใ‚ใ‚‚ใซๆ—ฅๆœฌ่ชžใ‚’ใฏใชใ—ใพใ™ใ€‚็งใฏใ‚€ใ™ใ‚ใซ่‹ฑ่ชžใŒใฏใชใ›ใ‚‹ใ‚ˆใ†ใซใชใฃใฆใปใ—ใ„ใงใ™ใ€‚ใ“ใ‚Œใฏใฏใ‚“ใŸใ„ใงใ™ใญใ€‚ใงใ‚‚ใปใ‹ใฎใ“ใจใฐใ‚’ใพใชใ‚“ใงใปใ—ใ„ใจใ„ใ†ใฎใฏใŠใชใ˜ใญใŒใ„ใงใ™ใ€‚ใ ใ‹ใ‚‰ใŠใŸใŒใ„ใŸใ™ใ‘ใ‚ใˆใŸใ‚‰ใ„ใ„ใงใ™ใญใ€‚

    • Hiragana Mama September 11, 2012 at 6:18 PM #

      ่‹ฑ่ชžใจใฆใ‚‚ไธŠๆ‰‹ใงใ™ใญใ€‚ใŒใ‚“ใฐใฃใฆใญ๏ผIf you go to my “Links” page, you’ll find some resources for teaching your children English. My favorite is starfall.com. (https://hiraganamama.wordpress.com/links/)

  20. ใ‚ธใƒงใ‚คใ‚น October 28, 2012 at 2:08 PM #

    I am a Japanese teacher in the U.S. and I found your website while searching for pictures of Japanese Yen to use with my students. I love your site! There is some great information and your links are very useful! I will come back often to get more information.

    • Hiragana Mama October 30, 2012 at 7:16 AM #

      I’m glad you’re finding it useful ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Ligaya Andrews November 8, 2012 at 11:35 AM #

    Hello! I lived in Okinawa from the age of 9 to 17. My parents were stationed there while in the Air Force. I never thought I would learn the Japanese language while I was there. On the DODDS schools on base you had to take a Japanese Culture class from 1st grade to 6th grade. After that, you have the option to take it as a language class. They teach you using flash cards that would show the Hiragana or Katakana on a picture that was familiar to us. For example: A flashcard would show a picture of a key. The Hiragana ใ was written over the key. Another flashcard would show a picture of a girl. In her hair would be the Hiragana ใ— to get you to say “She” for the japanese sound of ใ—. I wish I could find these flashcards because they worked so well for all of us that attended. It was mostly fun and games that helped me learn. Sometimes, the Sensei would give out candy for correct answers. That motivation technique will always work with me! Also, watching Japanese shows helped immensely. I can read, write Hiragana, Katakana and some Kanji. I can speak, but not fluent. When I left Okinawa, I didn’t continue my studies. Now my daughters, ages 7 and 4, are interested in learning a language. I am glad I stumbled across your blog while I was looking for Hiragana books and toys.

    • Hiragana Mama November 8, 2012 at 1:03 PM #

      Those flashcards sounds great! Candy would definitely be a motivation for me, especially if it was Japanese candy ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you found my blog!

  22. Corinne November 15, 2012 at 8:48 PM #

    Dear Hiragana Mama,
    I just started self-teaching myself japanese and my house is full of cute printed hiragana training sheets, colored crayons, and especially me singing words all over the place (and probably being a bit annoying to others).
    No kid here, but your resources are very useful and your blog lovely and interesting.
    So I’ll keep following. Thanks for all the time you put into this!

    • Hiragana Mama November 15, 2012 at 10:10 PM #

      Corinne, thank you for your kind comment, and I am glad you are enjoying my posts! I’ m sorry I am not posting as regularly lately… life has just gotten busy. But please visit again!

  23. ApplePi November 22, 2012 at 3:44 AM #

    It’s such a challenge to speak only Japanese to our 2-year old. She hears so much English everywhere! TV Japan helps with Anpanman and Maruko-chan.

    The iPad mini looks really tempting for its kid friendly size and price… your blog is proving invaluable in finding ๆ—ฅๆœฌ่ชž resources. I hope you get your iPad soon!

    We also have a few month’s worth of Benesse ใ—ใพใ˜ใ‚ DVDs which are really good, but they’re expensive and only available in Japan.

    If you want a fun video resources for your young one, look at “pocoyojapan” on YouTube. 2-year old children LOVE it. It’s originally a Britain/Spain show, but there’s a Japanese version as well.


    • Hiragana Mama November 22, 2012 at 10:04 AM #

      Your Japanese is great! Yes, it IS a challenge to teach them a foreign language, especially when they start going to school and hear English most of the day. Otagai ganbaroune!

  24. Aila no mama December 12, 2012 at 7:37 PM #

    I was born in Japan, raised in Canada. My parents naturally spoke japanese to me growing up and I took japanese classes in high school and college. I am now raising my 16 month old daughter with her American father who does not speak japanese. I catch myself speaking to her in English but I’m going to make an effort to speak Japanese around her. When she visits with her grandparents, they speak to her in japanese and she seems to understand. She has also started to like some of the childrens’ programming on TV Japan.

    We are going on a trip to Tokyo in February and I am very excited for her first time in Japan. It will be DH’s first time as well.

    • Hiragana Mama December 12, 2012 at 10:04 PM #

      Aila no mama, thank you for your comment, you guys sound just like us ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Jenny January 21, 2013 at 6:45 PM #

    I am SOOOO thrilled to have stumbled upon your website! I am a new “follower” of your blog and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all the links and resources for teaching children Japanese. We are not Japanese, but our family is planning to move to Japan this year to be missionaries, and I am trying to prepare my children (ages 4 and 6) as much as I can teaching them some of the language and culture. Your website is like a goldmine. Thank you for your blog!

    • Hiragana Mama January 21, 2013 at 7:01 PM #

      Thank YOU for the kind comment!! Good luck with learning the language and your missionary work.

  26. fuyuashFuyu Asha February 24, 2013 at 10:06 PM #

    ใ‹ใ‚ใ„ใ„ blog name!

  27. Mita April 9, 2013 at 8:06 AM #


  28. Jessica May 30, 2013 at 5:05 PM #

    I’m so glad I found this blog. My husband and I both lived in Japan for about 2 years (before we were married, that’s where we met). We’re both “so white it’s blinding” but we got to be relatively fluent while we were over there, conversationally speaking of course.

    It’s been nearly 4 years since then and my Japanese is terrible now, but we’re expecting our first child and it’s renewed my desire to improve my language as well as teach him (or her). But of course I don’t want my child learning only the terrible Japanese I still have. This blog is amazing!

  29. Summer Brown Lewis January 2, 2014 at 2:23 AM #

    Hiragana Mama,
    I think we went to BYU together! I have lived in Japan for 3.5 years now, but I still speak basically nothing. My husband served his mission in Fukuoka and we are back here now because he teaches Math at an American military base high school in Yokosuka. We have three kids, and I always feel terrible that they don’t speak any Japanese. Yochien are too expensive. I’m so glad I’ve found your site because we made a New Year’s goal to learn more Japanese!

    • Hiragana Mama January 2, 2014 at 9:05 PM #

      Hi Summer! Yes, I remember you ๐Ÿ™‚ What a small world! I wish I could trade places and live in Japan for a few years. Good luck learning Japanese this year… it is hard but kids pick it up surprisingly quickly!

  30. cristyburne February 7, 2014 at 9:46 PM #

    Hello Hiragana Mama!

    Iโ€™ve just nominated your blog for Liebster award. If youโ€™d like to participate I have a list of questions on this page, but if not, please just take this as a compliment ๐Ÿ™‚ http://cristyburne.com/2014/02/08/liebster-awards-discover-new-blogs/

    Thanks for all the great reading!

  31. April February 16, 2014 at 8:06 AM #

    I just stumbled across your blog and am excited to explore it more!

    My grandparents were both missionaries to Japan, and met and got married in Karuizawa. They raised their children, including my mother, in Tokyo. My mom married my dad during college in the US and they moved to Tokyo, where they raised my brother and me. Now I’ve come back to Japan with my husband, whom I met in college as well, and we are raising our two little boys here in Tokyo. They are the fourth generation of my family (all white Americans) to live here!

    My mother and I grew up bilingual. My father had to study, but also has worked all these years in a Japanese environment, so he is now fluent as well. My husband is not, and we both work in an English-speaking international school. As a result, I’ve gotten in the habit of speaking English to my kids all the time… at home, at school, with family, with friends, etc.

    I want them to learn Japanese! What a waste to live here and not speak the language. Looking forward to seeing what resources you have that can help us. Thanks for your hard work!

    • Hiragana Mama February 16, 2014 at 3:43 PM #

      Thank you for sharing your story! Definitely, definitely, take advantage of this opportunity and have your kids learn another language ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Nyasha July 10, 2014 at 4:21 PM #

    Hi there, the picture of your family is really cute! This is a really nice blog you have here. I like your posts ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you will also check out my blog, I write about Asian popculture and video games. My recent post is in Japanese and I’d love for you to take a look at it if you could: http://www.nynyonline.co.uk/%E6%9C%80%E8%BF%91%E5%BF%99%E3%81%97%E3%81%99%E3%81%8E%E3%81%BE%E3%81%99-4/

  33. Caitlyn March 12, 2015 at 2:45 AM #

    How to say ” i am the second child of my parents ” in hiragana ? Thank you.


  1. Nihongo for the Homeschool | The Little Blue Notebook - December 29, 2013

    […] bother with purchasing their pdf downloads. You can get tons of free printables at Hiragana Mama. She has practice sheets for Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.ย  Or you might try the Aiuebu site that […]

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