Welcome Makoto+ Samurai Subscriber!

Member Section


Friday, November 20th, 2020

  • 11/20/20 – New Haiku by Iida Dakotsu – See Below
  • 11/20/20 – New Section: Sleep Stories | Akutagawa’s Hana
  • New Beginning Japanese Phrases Podcast/Video – Click Here
  • New Sentences for Beginners and Intermediates (see below)
  • New Nihongo no Tane Podcast/Video – Click Here [Now includes downloadable PDF and English translations]

Thank you so much for the subscription of Makoto!

Please bookmark this page. This will be where you will find the latest issue, current coupon, and other freebies included with your subscription. Use the frequently updated repetition sentences below (beginner and intermediate) to practice your pronunciation, vocabulary, reading, and listening. To manage your account, upgrade to Shogun level, or see your payment history, here the link to your account page. 

This Month’s Makoto e-Zine

Here is the newest Makoto e-Zine issue:

Click the Download button above to save all the files to your computer. Unfamiliar with Dropbox? Scroll to the bottom to learn how to download your files. Still having trouble? Click here to download a zip file of the latest issue. [Dropbox is recommended for mobile users]

The “View the Web Version” button is great for mobile viewing. 

Repetition and Shadowing [BEGINNER]

Master a sentence’s meaning, vocabulary, and pronunciation with repetition and shadowing. Listen to the sentence as many times as you can bear (it will automatically loop). Once you understand the meaning, start “shadowing” the text by mimicking (audibly) what you hear. 

11/18/2020: Which is Cheaper



Slow Speed


basu to densha to dochira no houga yasui desu ka?

bus – or – train – or -which one – is greater – cheap – ?

Which is cheaper? The bus or the train?


  • バス bus
  • と (quotation marker) [quoting バス and used to indicate a comparison: and/or]
  • 電車 train [電 (electricity); 車 (car; vehicle)]
  • と (quotation marker) [quoting 電車 and used to indicate a comparison: and/or]
  • どちらの which [どちら (which); の (modifying particle to connect with the following noun: ほう)]
  • ほう  (which) side [indicating one side of the comparison; ほう (direction; way; side)]
  • どちらのほう which one [どちら is very polite for “which”; どっち is a casual version which is used more commonly in conversations. のほう adds a softness nuance and also makes the question somewhat politer. どっちのほう (which one) can work here as well. You can also omit のほう altogether and say どちらが安いですか .]
  • が (subject marker) [marking the subject of the sentence: どっちのほう]
  • 安い cheap; inexpensive
  • です polite copula
  • か ? (question marker)[indicating question]

To see more examples of the very useful ~ほうがいい construction, click here.

Want instant access to ALL Beginner Repetition and Shadowing Sentences? Click here to upgrade to Shogun now.

Repetition and Shadowing [UPPER BEGINNER-INTERMEDIATE]

Master a sentence’s meaning, vocabulary, and pronunciation with repetition and shadowing. Listen to the sentence as many times as you can bear (it will automatically loop). Once you understand the meaning, start “shadowing” the text by mimicking (audibly) what you hear. The goal is to present a sentence with 2-3 important keywords on a trending topic currently in Japanese news.

11/18/2020: The First Bond



Slow Speed


The actor who played the original James Bond, Sean Connery, has died. He was ninety years old.


  • 初代 the original [初 (the first; used as a prefix to mean “the first –“); 代 (generation)]
  • ジェームスボンド James Bond
  • å½¹ role [の  can be used between ジェームスボンド and å½¹ (the role of James Bond; James Bond’s role), but it is not necessary in this case.)]
  • を務めた (who) played (the role) [past form of 務める (to work; to fill (a position; to act as ~)); 役を務める (to play a role); the whole phrase (初代 … 務めた) is an adjectival phrase that modifies the following noun phrase: 俳優のショーンコネリーさん (the subject of this sentence)]
  • 俳優 actor
  • の (modifying particle) [connecting the word before and after it, and here it is used to indicated one’s profession.]
  • ショーンコネリーさん  Mr. Sean Connelly [ショーンコネリー (Sean Connelly); さん (honorific suffix almost always used after a person’s name except among close friends; it doesn’t indicate gender)]
  • が subject marker [marks a subject]
  • 亡くなりました has died; passed away [from 亡くなる (to pass away; to decease); sounds more respectful than 死ぬ (to die)]
  •  90歳でした (he) was 90 years old [æ­³ (years old): でした (past form of です copula which comes after a noun or an adjective); 才 is a simple version for æ­³, but æ­³ is more appropriate than 才 for “years old”.; “~歳でした“ is often used at the end of the first paragraph about a well-known person’s death.]

Want instant access to ALL Intermediate Repetition and Shadowing sentences? Click here to upgrade to Shogun now.

This Week’s Haiku




Iida Dakotsu



 higurashi no koe no tsumazuku gogo sanji

Evening cicadas / their voices stumble / 3 o’clock in the afternoon

Vocabulary & Notes




  • ひぐらし evening cicada [learn more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanna_japonensis]
  • 声 の (cicada’s voice) stumble [声 (voice); の (used in place of が (subject marker) which is grammatically wrong normally, however this usage is employed in classical poems often)]
  • つまづく (cicada’s chirping) stumbles [つまづく (to stumble; to trip over); evening cicadas sound somewhat like, “click, click, click……” with “the clicks” going up and down in speed. The poet probably used this word to describe the sound which is very unique and unconventional. つまづく is modifying the following words (午後三時)]
  • 午後三時 3 in the afternoon [午後 (after noon; 午 (noon); 後(after)); 三時 (3 o’clock)]



One autumn day around three in the afternoon, he heard the evening cicadas seem to be stumbling in their chirping.


  • ある秋の日 on one fall day; on one day in autumn [ある (one; certain); 秋 (fall; autumn);日 (day); に (as in 秋の日に) can be omitted as this case]
  • 午後三時 3 in the afternoon [午後 (after noon); 三時 (3 o’clock)]
  • ころ around
  • ひぐらし evening cicada
  • 声 voice
  • つまづいた stumbled [from つまづく(to stumble; to trip over)]
  • ように like (cicada stumbled) [よう (appearance; appearance; manner); に (making the preceding phrase adverbial)]
  • 聞こえました sounded [from 聞こえる (to sound; can hear)]

What is the poet referring to? Could it be the stumbling at 3 PM is like a singer clearing his throat before a performance? He’s just getting started.

Or could it represent the twilight of the insect. He’s stumbling due to the lateness of the year. He doesn’t have much longer to live.

Or is it simply the poet describing the sound as he hears it?

The beauty of haiku is the reader/listener only has the 5-7-5 to work with. One can imagine different interpretations.

Iida Dakotsu (1885-1962) was a haiku poet from Yamanashi. His real name was 飯田武治 Iida Takeji, but he is commonly referred to as Dakotsu. He trained under Takahama Kyoshi.

Want instant access to ALL Haiku? Click here to upgrade to Shogun now.

Podcasts with Exclusive Content

Learn important vocabulary and breakdown an example sentence using that vocabulary word. For beginners to upper beginners. Makoto+ members get vocabulary notes and sound files.

A podcast for upper beginners to intermediates. Listen to Yumi talk about… whatever she wants to talk about. Follow along with the transcript and study the key vocabulary words. The transcript and vocabulary list is exclusive for Makoto+ members–thank you!

Sleep Stories with Exclusive Content

Web-Based Makoto Back Issues

Your subscription also includes the web version of the previous two Makoto issues. (If you were a subscriber last month and weren’t able to download the actual files, please contact us for that.)

Special Discount:

All Makoto Bundles

Normal price: $15

Special Member Discount: $5 Off

Get any of these bundles of six issues for only $10

Copy this coupon code:


And then click here, add any Makoto bundle to your cart, and then paste the coupon code at checkout.

Tongue Twisters

Tongue-twisters are called æ—©å£è¨€è‘‰ã¯ã‚„くちことば hayakuchi kotoba in Japanese. These intentionally difficult-to-articulate phrases may not only be a good way to impress your Japanese friends but perhaps they can also help with pronunciation.


Normal SPEED



tonari no kyaku wa, yoku kaki kuu kyaku da.

The passenger next to me is a passenger who eats a lot of Japanese persimmons.


Our neighbor’s guest is a guest who eats a lot of Japanese persimmons.

  • 隣 tonari – next (to); neighboring
  • 客 kyaku – guest; visitor; client; customer; passenger
  • よく yoku – a lot; often; frequently [in this case, a lot]
  • 柿 kaki – Japanese persimmon 
  • 食う kuu – to eat [can be rude; use たべる instead for “to eat”]

This Month’s Coupon

And use this exclusive coupon to receive 10% off anything at TheJapanShop.com.

This month’s 10% off coupon:


(Just click on the coupon code above to have it automatically applied at checkout)

Want instant access to ALL Tongue Twisters? Click here to upgrade to Shogun now.

Additional Content and Downloads

Click on the images below to download additional content. Each month, we will rotate freebies as a bonus and thank you for your support!

New Yokai Reader book: Mermaids with eBook formats and Sound Files

Vocabulary Lesson with Crossword Worksheet

Note About the Dropbox Links 

You will be redirected to a Dropbox folder. If you are on a mobile device, feel free to browse and open any files directly in the link above. If you are on a computer, you may want to click the “Download” button at the top right and download the zip file of everything at once.

We recommend using the PDF versions on larger screens like computers, laptops, and tablets (it just looks better), but if you have a smaller screen (your phone), either the ePub or Kindle MOBI eBook formats may be best.

Please let me know if you have any questions or problems.Thank you,Clay & Yumi

*** FAQ ***

How do I cancel?

  1. I don’t know about you, but when I sign up for a membership, how to cancel is the first piece of information I look for. 🙂 While we would prefer for you to stick around for the long term–and we will work hard to make this a much greater value than the actual cost!–we want to make cancellation as simple as possible. 
  2. CREDIT CARD: If you signed up by credit card, go to your Account Page and you should see a “cancel” link. That will stop the automatic payment. You will have access until the end of your term.
  3. PAYPAL: If you signed up by PayPal, follow these steps:
    • 1. Log in to your PayPal account. 2. Click “Profile” at the top of the page. 3. Click “My Money” then click Update beside “My preapproved payments” to find your payment. Select the payment, and then click Cancel.
  4. If you bought the annual subscription but are unhappy or can’t use it, please contact us for a refund on the unused portion. We want you to be completely happy with your membership!

I am having trouble with Firefox on my Android

  • We have reports that Firefox on Android mobile devices may not display the Japanese correctly. We are in touch with the developers, but at this moment, we recommend using Chrome instead. 

How do I make the font bigger?

  • We have plans to add dynamic features like “increase or decrease the font size” but for now, you can make the entire browser larger by pressing Control + (or Cmd + on a Mac). We are also hoping to add a “turn off/on romaji” button. 🙂

Is this different from TheJapanShop.com?

  • Yes, you will still access any purchased material (including downloads) via your TheJapanShop.com account (just email us if you have any trouble). This new Makoto+ membership site will have some downloads each month (including, of course, the newest Makoto issue), but its main feature is the web-based content which is accessible online.  

If you have any other questions, please click the “Need Help? Contact Us Here” button below. We are here to help and we would love to hear your questions, thoughts, or suggestions.