Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to Help Japan

It's been a couple of weeks now since the great Tohoku earthquake and all the hardships that followed. While I strongly believe Japan will recover from this, there is still so much that needs to be done. I've donated what I could, but I would like to continue to do as much as I can for the relief effort. I'd also like to let you know of some ways that YOU can help.

I've created a new email address where you can reach me about these efforts in helping Japan: If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please send me an email about it!

1. Donate

The first big way you can help is the rather obvious option of donating money. Do your research to find the charity you’re most comfortable with, or maybe send smaller amounts to multiple charities to "cover your bases."

I personally donated to the Red Cross. You can donate at, or you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation that will automatically be added to your phone bill.

This website also has a list of charities with ratings if you want to do some more research:

2. Buy stuff

If you don't want to just give money away, there are a lot of ways for you to buy things with the proceeds being donated to Japan. You may see this kind of thing all over the place, but I’ll be giving you two different resources over at Livejournal. If you don’t have an account there, the site is normally used for blogging but also has some great communities.


At this community, people are auctioning off a ton of different stuff - anything from food, to jewelry, to books, to clothes, to art… There is SO much stuff over there. Bid for something that interests you in the next few days, and at the end of this month, if you win, you pay for it by making a donation to Japan (I believe you can make it to the charity of your choice as long as you provide proof).


This community is usually all about the boy band Arashi, and a lot of the fundraising going on there is fan-related. The "Garage Sale" part of the fundraising is very similar to what Help_Japan is doing: people are offering things such as CDs, magazines, pamphlets. However, this time it's no an auction, so it’s basically first-come, first-serve. Also, instead of having to donate the money yourself to a charity, you simply have to send it to the Paypal of the Arashi_On community and they will take care of it for you. They had a poll to decide which organization they would send the money too, and the charity for this month is Direct Relief International, but I think the charity will change each month (and you have a voice in deciding this.)

Aside from the Garage Sale, what people are also offering are things like fanart, fanfiction, graphics, icons, little hand-made goods, etc. While a lot of these fan-made things are centered around Arashi, this is not a requirement. Many people are offering to make stuff from different fandoms, original characters, etc., and it’s all mostly on a request basis.

I myself have made a post to this community and am offering art. I'm taking requests on any kind of fanart or original characters, I'm pretty flexible. No nudity or anything though, please :) These will be pencil drawings that I will scan and send to you digitally, but nothing colored and no digital art, since that is definitely not my forte.

Aside from simple drawings, I could also do short comics or something, and this leads to another idea. If you’re using Heisig’s method to remember kanji, you might have trouble coming up with little stories for some of them and maybe some visuals would help you. Let me know which kanji is giving you trouble and I can draw out a little comic for you to illustrate that kanji and help you to remember it.

This can extend beyond kanji. If you want any kind of lesson, I could help you with your English, Japanese, and French... (let me know if there's anything else I could help you with). I can type up a lesson for you, or maybe make some kind of illustration to help you learn. I'm considering setting something up on Edufire and teach something there, probably in one-on-one tutoring form. Let me know if that would interest you as well.

Finally, if you watch my Youtube channel and would like to see me make a video on a particular language or culture topic, let me know, and you could "sponsor" that video. I could do a lesson-type video, a review of something, etc. So request the video, sponsor it through a donation, and I would give you credit for sponsoring that video.

While all of this extends way past Arashi I'll stick to doing it through the Arashi_on Livejournal community for now. This will keep things simpler, especially since I don't know whether anyone will be interested in any of this. If you don’t have a Livejournal account but are still interested in this, do let me know, and I'll see about making other arrangements through my own Paypal account.

Go check out my LJ post for more specific information on the artwork, and take a look at my DeviantArt account as well - I haven't posted anything there in forever, but if gives you a good idea of what my art looks like. Pricing will range depending on what you’d like, from about $1~$10, or whatever you're willing to give. Send me an email at for requests or any questions.

3. Sell stuff

Aside from spending money through donations or buying things, you can also sell your own stuff on the above websites (or through any other fashion). So if you’re really strapped for money, why not donate your stuff or your talents? Let me know if you’re doing anything like that – I might be interested, and I could help spread the word.

4. Support

Finally, there are plenty of ways to help without giving anything up at all in the form of support. Here a few shoutouts to other Youtubers who are doing their part and letting you know of other ways to help.

One thing that’s huge is a new channel, partners4japan. Youtube granted this partner channel specifically for the relief fund, and you’ll see videos from all of your favorite j-vloggers over there and other guests. All of the money that is raised through that Youtube partnership will be sent to the relief fund, and the more subscribers, views, favorites, likes, etc. they have, the more money they will make. It doesn’t cost you anything and there’s a lot of interesting content, so go support them!

Other Youtubers have been really great as well. Nigahiga posted a video in which he donated $600, Michelle Phan made a makeup tutorial, and if it gets a million views, she’ll donate $1000, and plenty of other Youtubers have been doing similar drives. It's awesome to see the Youtube community being so great in supporting this cause, so please go support those kinds of efforts yourself. Keep your eyes open and spread the word about that kind of stuff; there are plenty of ways to help out with very little effort.

While monetary benefits are the most important way to help right now, general support to those victims in Japan is still wonderful. Messages of support can give hope and lift peoples' spirits, so stay positive and keep Japan in your well-wishes. Victor at the Gimmeabreakman channel called out for us to make paper cranes and send pictures or video responses as messages of hope, which he will eventually compile. Here is my submission - go make your own crane to spread a message of hope and encouragement.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Tweet Log 17 (January)

Continuing my story through tweets... start at the beginning here.

Go back to part 16.
Go forward to part 18.



Here's a cool, super detailed little model of Osaka-jo

Blog Post: CultureQuirk - Looking Back and to the Future!

A nice view of Osaka from the top of Osaka-jo.

白いクリスマス | Lang-8 #lang8

Another great view from the top of Osaka-jo~

Blog Post: Tweet Log 13 (September)

Made pasta carbonara according to @runnyrunny999 's recipe! 美味しかった!

Randomly started to watch Cardcaptor Sakura! So nostalgic...

懐かしいアニメ | Lang-8 #lang8

This was my lunch today! I love sushi...

I feel like studying kanji has spoiled me XD I'm so used to making little stories, and I'm not sure how to do that when studying vocab...

Remembering the *kanji* of each vocab is okay, it's just remembering the pronunciation that I'm struggling with...

I'm randomly watching bits of Nodame Cantabile. Forgot how much I love it <3 so impressed with how the actors did all the music stuff O.o

Made a small update to the blog - now you can easily move forwards and backwards through the tweet logs.

Blog Post: Motivation Ideas - Song Puzzle Learn Japanese *while* motivating yourself to learn Japanese XD

Back in town and started school... Need to get back in the groove, another rough semester ahead!

In other news, I should have my first Youtube vids up starting tomorrow! :D

Just got like eight different Arashi CD's! Soooo happy!! Thank you so much @maru887 for getting them to me :D

First YOUTUBE vid~! Introduction vlog :D

Just got back from watching Gantz! Loved it but did NOT love the dubs, can't wait to see it in Japanese!!

Being able to see the live interview with Nino and Kenichi though made me sooo happy~

GANTZ | Lang-8 #lang8

Youtube update: Introduction in Japanese! 自己紹介 (日本語)

Youtubeの自己紹介! | Lang-8 #lang8

Youtube update: Introduction (French/Francais) My last intro vid, this time in my native tongue :)

Blog Post: Youtube!

Golden crane on the wall. This was taken from the balcony at the top of Osaka-jo~

Youtube update: Basics of Reading Japanese

Wrapping up the Osako-jo pics with a nice picture of the entire castle.

Blog Post: Basics of Reading Japanese

So I go to practice some vocab on And hear they're closing down... That reeeally sucks :(

Just finished rewatching Zettai Kareshi... I just can't help but tear up at the ending ><

Just filmed my next video - I had to draw some stuff for this one XD wheeee~ Still need to edit, hope to upload it by Monday :)

Will be posting up a new video tomorrow! I would like it to keep it a weekly thing, hopefully wont get too busy to do that *crosses fingers*

Blog Post: Tweet Log 14 (October)

Youtube update: Heisig's Method for Learning Japanese Includes illustrated examples!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hardships in Japan

The past week has been difficult. It's been hard simply hearing and watching what's been going on in Japan, trying to reach friends and constantly reading tweets and watching the news. I've been lucky - I've heard back from virtually everyone that I know in Japan, and they and there families are safe. I can't even imagine how scary and devastating it must be for those who are living there and are affected by the hardships.

I've taken some time to worry, to mourn, to pray. And while I won't stop thinking about Japan, it's also time to take action. Like I've mentioned in the video, I've donated money and can only continue to help with the relief fund and reestablish a level of normalcy.

One thing I want to keep doing is continue to create content. If you check my Youtube channels, I've been updating those, and I plan to really catch up with my blog over the next several days. I feel it is our responsibility to press on with our daily lives, and if I can keep helping to entertain and even educate people, then I feel I'm doing my job.

In addition to that, I do plan on putting forth more efforts towards the relief fund. If you follow my QuirkyLife channel you'll have a preview of that, but my main channel update for the coming week will be all about that :) So stay tuned!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Here's a video I made in Japanese (with English subs) about the awesome language-learning resource, Lang-8. Enjoy!

By the way, a huuuge thank you to Lang-8 for putting this vid on their Facebook fanpage!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tweet Log 16 (December)

Continuing my story through tweets... start at the beginning here.

Go back to part 15.


I now realize how good my jpn friends are at enunciating - I met a girl from Osaka yesterday who spoke to me naturally and I was lost o.o

Blog Post: Motivation ideas - Jigsaw puzzles!

A few more days until finals are over, then I do plan to get back in the groove of things :3

Wow, how long has it been since I tweeted? Final exams went fine, but I'm going to Belgium today! Busy busy!

Blog Post: Tweet Log 12 (August)

At the airport! Happy to have a bit of internet ^^ Here's hoping I'll be able to blog from Belgium~ If nothing else, I'll be back on the 1st

Made it to Belgium! Exhausted and not enjoying the weather, but at least the snow's pretty :)

Ahhh the snow is such a hassle! But I can't wait to put up these pictures of our White Christmas :D

I'm stuffed! Can't wait to put up pictures of Christmas dinner as well... part 2 tomorrow! Happy Holidays~ :D

Yeesh! While I planned to do lots of kanji SRS whlie in Belgium, the little time I have I've been spending on jigsaw puzzles... >.>

BUT at least I can listen to Japanese music while I do puzzles right? Better than nothing :P

A suit of armor in Osaka-jo! Pardon the glare of the flash XD

Blog Post: Winter Wonderland~ Come see pics of snow and food! Sending this from Belgium :D

Made it back home from Belgium! Just in time for the New Years~ Except it feels like 1AM for me and I have to stay up another 6 hours ;_;