Japanese Immersion: September week 2


I woke up this morning to hear the good news: Animal Crossing is coming for the Switch! To me, Animal Crossing is closely linked to learning Japanese: it is a game I play in Japanese, and it created an unconscious association between “Japanese” and “a fictional world I love, where the smallest acts of kindness matter and make you smile, your efforts always rewarded, where everybody is nice and where animals talk”. I started playing Animal Crossing because it was a refuge against the real world where your efforts are not always appreciated, people are not always nice and animals don’t talk.

What is funny is that I watched Animal Crossing New Leaf videos in Japanese this week. I like the channel of a YouTuber called くるみ. I like how she creates stories (she’s dating the cat ジンペイ) inside the Animal Crossing world and makes a game released 6 years before feel fresh and new.

LDP election

But of course, my Japanese immersion of this week is mainly due to reading the news. I started a one-week challenge on Monday and I have read and translated into French at least one article per day since Monday (I am updating my progress on my post).

The most important thing is that reading articles about the LDP election has become easier and easier. Articles that go into details about Abenomics are still too difficult for me, but it is more because of the economy relative terms than the Japanese level.

The general feeling I get from reading about the election in Mainichi is that they wished there were more public debates. The head of the LDP will also be the next Prime Minister, so this election concerns all Japanese citizens, not only the LDP members or sympathisers. This is why Mainichi wished there were more open debates.

One must also add that there hasn’t been an election for LDP leader/Prime Minister since 2012. There was no other candidate in 2015, so they didn’t run the election. As they have a challenger to Abe this time, they should take this opportunity to question Abe’s politics until now. I don’t think that the journal supports Ishiba, the other candidate, but they support his demand for more open debates. The presence of Ishiba is a good opportunity to do a thorough inspection of Abe’s choices.

Unfortunately, the campaign period is very short and has been shortened by two events: The earthquake in Hokkaido imposed a necessarily break of three days, and just after that, Abe went to Russia. As a consequence, there has been only one speech and press conference on Monday. The local party members vote on Wednesday (19th) so the campaign period is almost over.

Some articles even pointed out that both the Moritomo and the Kake scandal didn’t have a satisfactory ending. Ishiba wanted to use it for his campaign. His initial slogan was 「正直、公正」 but he had to drop it because it was felt as an attack on the LDP in general, it sounded like a slogan manufactured by the opposition. Also, it was a way to admit that the actual LDP is “不正直、非公正.”

Abe will certainly win with a crushing majority and it seems that local voters are not excited about the election. Mainichi also regrets that both candidates’ propositions lack concreteness and are not appealing enough to raise the interest of the citizens.

Today’s debate

With Abe’s return to Japan, the discussions resume. Today (14th) took place a big debate between the two candidates. It is broadcasted by NHK and I watched it because it interests me and of course, it will be a good listening practice.

But I ended up dozing before my TV and dreaming of the next Animal Crossing game…

To be honest, I understood nothing at all. With a lot of concentration, I could understand what they were talking about, but I could not follow what they wanted to say. I am a little disappointed because I thought that having read a lot about the campaign would allow me to understand a little the debate… I guess I need more listening practice!

If you have trouble falling asleep tonight, you can watch it:

Have a good weekend!