Making The Most Out Of Mixi

Making the most out of mixi

Mixi.  The language study haven for Japanese learners.  If you’ve never heard of it, you need to sign up right now before you even start reading the next sentence.  If you have used it in the past, are you using it to its full potential?  Consider it your master sword.

What makes Mixi so great is it puts the live Japanese world right at your fingertips.  Were you trying silly old Japanese/English language exchanges to practice your Japanese before?  Don’t ever do that again.

The main power of Mixi is finding new Japanese friends who are just dying to talk to you in Japanese.  There are 4 ranks to consider when doing this.  First click on the コミュニティ (community) button near the top.  Then do the following:

___________________________
Rank 4: English Reliant

Insert the search term “English”.  You will get a lot of results of groups like “EnglishとJapanese 英会話交換”,”☆English⇔Japanese☆”, and “Japanese-English Meet up.”

This rank is okay if you are still nervous to talk to people in Japanese.  These groups contain people who probably speak a good amount of English and want a language exchange.  Do not expect to get much Japanese practice out of this.

Rank 3: Weening off of English

Insert the search term “外国人.”  Results will look like:

外国人の友達を作りたい
外国人とお友達になろう会
外国人と遊ぼうよ♪♪
外国人のマイミク募集中
外国人の友達作らないかい?

In these groups, respond to posts that are in English.  They will be along the lines of “I want to make friends with foreigners, please message me!”  Because these posts are in English, expect the people to want to speak a lot of English, hence the same problem in rank 4.  However, because these groups are  more along the lines of “Let’s make friends with foreigners,” there English probably isn’t that good, and you’ll be able to get in some Japanese.

Rank 2: Japanese With Free Reign

Insert the same search term “外国人” and access the same groups as rank 3.  The difference is you seek the posts that say “外国人の友達が欲しい!でも日本語しか話せないけど・・・” (I want some foreigner friends, but I only speak Japanese) or “外国人と友達になりたい。英語はあまり分からない”. (I want to be friends with foreigners but I don’t understand much English.”  The best is no mention of language or English at all.

As you can probably guess, these are people who don’t really care about learning English, but just want to have foreigner friends.  For the most part, your conversations will be in Japanese, with occasionally some minor English, or at least an interest in English.

Rank 1: Pure Japanese Ownage

Insert the search term “Skype”.  You’ll get results such as “Skype me!スカイプやってます” or “SkyMix!! mixiでSkype(スカイプ)”

Why is this the top rank?  These are people who don’t care about foreign language and don’t care that you are a foreigner.  They just want people to talk to.  About anything, and at all times of the day or night.  Many of these people are lonely, and just want someone to talk to.  Of course all posts and conversations will be all in Japanese.
_______________________

Getting Friends

Now that you know your way around the communities you want to access, you’ve got to actually make contact.  There are 2 methods of doing this.

1.  Contact directly

This is pretty simple.  Just respond to their posts.  Either send them a direct message, or send them a friend request.  Or do what I do, and send them a nice message in a friend request.  99% of the time, you will get a response (usually within 5 minutes due to the excitement they have.)

2.  Make your own post on any of the communities above.

This is the way to get a lot of friends at once with not much work.  Write a post in Japanese that you are from (insert country), you speak some Japanese, you like (insert hobby), and you want to make some friends.  Expect to receive a lot of friend requests from one post.

Talking On Skype

Once you are friends with these people (exchange a few messages), suggest you talk on Skype.  If you met these people from one of the skype communities, this is very simple and you can be talking immediately.

Mixi Etiquette

Mixi is not Facebook.  Do not treat it like it.  Don’t be concerned with accepting every single person that friend requests you.  Don’t be concerned with talking to complete strangers.  Yes, there are some crazy people on Mixi, but who cares.  And even with that, I fully recommend that you put up your picture on your profile.  While most Japanese Mixi users do not, it will get you many more friend requests and people will be more interested in talking with you.

No go out and use this powerful weapon.

(Video: finding Mixi for the first time)

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Adam Shapiro

Adam Shapiro

(Adshap) - Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading wild and thrilling (at least he thinks so) information about Japan and the Japanese language to the rest of the world.

Comments

Making The Most Out Of Mixi — 42 Comments

  1. The only problem is that you can’t join Mixi if you don’t already have a japanese mobile phone adress…

    • You actually can join Mixi without a Japanese phone.
      When you sign up, use an .edu email address. They seem to have banned addresses from sites that let any old person sign up and get an .edu email address, so you’ll have to use one from someone who is actually a college student or whatnot. If you don’t have one, get a friend to help you.
      Once you’ve signed up and confirmed your .edu email address, you can change your profile to use a normal gmail email address or anything else as your login. If you borrowed the .edu email address from a friend or something, they can have their email address back and use it to sign someone else up, that way.

      That’s how I was able to register from Missouri :3 As far as I know, it still works.

      • worked for me too last winter :D

        i use a gmail address with it now, but i had to sign up with my .edu address originally

      • would be cool…if i had an .edu addy to use. unfortunately I do not. been too long since i had a univ. address. :(

        • I have an edu address, so I can try to sign up a person or two with it, if they can’t find another way to register.
          If you want to email me at my non-edu email, which is “togijoji at gmail dot com”, I’ll see if I can register with my edu and then transfer the account to your email address. If anyone is still reading this. >__>
          Let’s see what happens~

  2. Yeah, I really wish I could sign up for Mixi, but I can’t without a Japanese phone address.

    Really want to use it, too.

  3. Just made a mixi! I was actually avoiding it for quite some time. I decided, I too will make the most of it and try to find a sign language partner through it. Or maybe it’ll be how I find a sign language circle when I move to Japan. It’s nice that I can finally add my friends from Japan onto my mixi. Even my husband’s mother has a mixi and now I can read her blog entries. So nice.

    I’m very thankful I can understand mixi’s Japanese. For those who are struggling, I suggest turning your facebook into Japanese as a start, as well as other websites like google. It’ll teach you some internet Japanese while you still have that muscle memory of where things are.

  4. Alright I made one with an .edu, yay.

    Problem is I could send messages, friend requests for like a few days, and now for some reason it says the function is temporarily disabled. Been like that for a few days. ):

  5. Is the Skype part required to be able to use Mixi to the fullest, or can you still get a lot out of it using just text-based communication? For legal/privacy/safety reasons, I can’t use video chat… (and I think I borked my laptop’s built-in webcam when I was reghacking to make certain programs behave themselves)

    Also, for the .edu email requirement, do they accept any college email (community colleges, for example), or only university-level ones?

    • You can still make great use out of Mixi without Skype. Just make sure to make a lot of friends, exchange messages, make posts, comment on friend’s posts, joint communities, etc. Everything you would do on Facebook except this is the Japanese world.

      And yes I do believe any college or university e-mail works fine. As long as the e-mail address ends in .edu.

    • It’s also maybe worth noting that you can use Skype just for voice chat, without any kind of video. I even have it installed on my phone, so it works kind of like making a phonecall.

      If your edu email address happens not to work, I can help you sign up ^^

      • Yeah, I’m gonna need help. When my college switched to Gmail servers (still keeping the %collegename%.edu domain), they purged the accounts of recent graduates, and I graduated in June >_<

      • I saw a post where you offered to help people in need of edu address.
        I need in order to register with Mixi.
        I will change email in the profile as soon as the registration is activated.
        Please let me know if you can help.
        Thank you

  6. Can anyone help me out. I have a .edu address but it is .edu.au and hence mixi is not giving me the happy feeling I should be getting. I go through all the steps but the last one it wants me to put in a Japanese phones email address as an authentication step

    Someone mentioned they had an edu address they could use?

    • Sorry about that… Top-level domains are weird like that.

      And I just realized it’s been three months since I graduated college… hope my .edu email still works. *does pingback check since it auto-forwards to my Comcast email* …くそ。 I’m gonna need to borrow an address too…

  7. I try to join the community but its says this I’m 17
    Unfortunately, the mixi “community” service under the age of 18 who subscribe to mobile filtering is not available.

  8. Anyone willing to change their address over to a pc one now that you are registered and let me send the completion of my setup to your now available address?

    Then we can change that address to a pc one and you can have your original address back.

  9. I made a post in one of the Skype communities and it got deleted. I then read through the instructions at the top of the topic and it said partner recruiting prohibited!?!

  10. I’m going to give this a try, I know that I definitely need to get my speaking skills up and running. I’m heading into the 3 year mark this upcoming September and I have to get my speaking up and running. Once that gets good, I’m pretty much fluent in Japanese (not including writing but I know what it will take for me to get that to an advanced level).

    Thanks for the post, it’s really helping me out.

  11. I have an .edu address but I still can’t register because they want a Japanese mobile address. Is there anyway to get around this? There is no option to put in my .edu address.

  12. Anyone here who could help me to get a Mixi account?? I’ve already tried to register there with a .edu mail, and many others with no success…. they always ask me for a japanese mobile cell phone mail…. :(

  13. Mixi obviously requires a japanese cellphone number… .edu won’t work theres no option for that. we COULD pay for one. or we can try to find a way to bypass it or finally. isn’t there another site to make it easier? one who doesn’t hate foreigners and isn’t likely to within the year IP ban foreigners?

    • If there is a way, no one’s found it yet. Tried making an account today (used my Comcast email just to see if it would accept it, and it did), got all the way through profile creation, and then it dropped the cellphone-email brick wall on me. One of my Japanese friends has an account, but since a particular email address can only be associated with one account at a time (pretty standard behavior for any site with user accounts), and Mixi always requires an account to have two emails linked to it (one of which must be a phone), if she let me use her phone to sign up, she wouldn’t be able to use her own account until she got a new address. (Or Mixi would just explode in my face and leave her unaffected…)

  14. Does mixi have some regulation about exchanging skype info? I’ve had a few messages deleted and they sent me this email:

    いつも mixi をご利用いただき、ありがとうございます。
    mixi運営事務局です。

    この度、お客様が mixi のメッセージに投稿された内容を確認した結果、
    以下のような行為が見受けられましたので、お客様の投稿を削除いたしました。

    ・面識のない異性と直接会おうとする行為
    ・面識のない異性と電話やメールなど mixi 以外の連絡手段でやり取りをしようとする行為
    ・その他、面識のない異性との出会いを希望していると mixi が判断する行為

    なお、面識の有無につきましては、メッセージ内容を総合的に判断させていただきます。

    mixi では、利用規約で禁止事項を定めております。
    利用規約に違反する行為を繰り返し行う場合には、お客様の mixi のご利用を
    制限したり、停止する場合があります。

    mixi では、メッセージの送信時にお客様の同意を得て、メッセージの内容を確認する場合がございます。

    突然のご連絡となりますが、ご理解、ご協力のほどよろしくお願いいたします。

    ご不明な点がございましたら、お気軽にお問い合わせください。
    今後とも mixi をどうぞよろしくお願いいたします。

    • Yea, Mixi has been getting stricter recently.

      It refers to the ban on trying to meet in person people on Mixi of the opposite sex (who you don’t know in real life), or trying to talk with them on the phone or e-mail outside of Mixi. Strange rule right? They sometimes send this message.

      But the Skype communities are still up with people exchanging their IDs. I think you just have to be careful in your Mixi messages. But if you contact them directly on their Skype ID it should be fine.

      • Yea pretty strange..
        It seems like I only get the warning when trying to exchange skype details with someone who is not a friend on mixi though.. If you are already マイミク it seems fine..

  15. Hello!
    I need some help….I sent some requests to my Japanese friends on mixi…..many accepted it but others not yet…..and I wanna send requests to others friends but can’t and appears this message ” 一時的に機能を制限させていただきます。自動的に解除されるまでお待ちください ” and I also can’t send messages to my “friends” Why ? What can I do ? I already waited 10 days….

    thanks!

    • Usually you get that message if you send too many friend requests in a short period of time. However, it is supposed to go away within a day or so. I’m not really sure what else you could do except either directly e-mail the help contact on the site, or create a new account (if that is an option). Mixi is strict in stupid ways sometimes.

      • Thanks for the reply.
        I have only 160 friends….before I had 1000 friends…
        This is my second time that I made an account….it’s about 20 days that I can’t send any request…..maybe they block me ? so I can’t send any request forever ? usually it should go away in few hours or a day…but is 20 days and still can’t send any request :(

        • That’s the reason right there. You have too many friends. They are very strict when it comes to to friend requests and contacting people you don’t know. You can’t go on friend request sprees or their automated software will catch it and consider it spam or a violation of their terms of use.

          Not really sure what options you have except start a new account and slowly make friends.

  16. Hello,
    I have just begun learning Japanese a week ago and this article made me interested in getting a Japanese friend.
    I plan now to register on this site in August 2013( summer holidays), but I don´t know if my Japanese is good enough to write understandable sentences until then. My plan was to learn the 2000 RTK Kanjis (15-20 Kanji per day), getting through Genki 1+2, making a little Immersion and putting as much sentences in Anki as time permits. Since my English is also not that good ( I am German) I can omit the language exchange (Rank 4).
    My question now is: Is that enough to write understandable sentences and read the ones from my partner? If not, can you suggest what I should additionally do to reach my goal?

    Thanks
    Chris

    • I would wait till you finish rtk and the genki books before making friends on mixi. Without comprehension and writing ability, it is hard to create Japanese friendships.

  17. No friends in Japan, and no cell number. Help? Also the page is entirely in Japanese so i’m lost, google translating the page is sucking

    • I registered in mixi two weeks ago or so. I can say that a cell phone is not actually needed, at least in the case that you are using an .edu e-mail address.

      I will however caution you that if the fact that the mixi menus are in Japanese is still a big problem for you, you may not yet be at a level where you can gain much from using mixi….

  18. I haven’t tried to get an .edu email yet to see if that works, but I’ve been joining various chatrooms on http://chat.chat-w.com and at least made a couple of japanese facebook friends so far, and tried my very poor wings at chatting, which is difficult as hell but really fun to do in-between all the anki reviews and so on.

    It made me remember how I learned english (which isn’t my mother tongue) when I was young, which just sort of happened on it’s own. Aside from all the exposure to english TV and music, the learning curve started accelerating a lot from the day I joined my first chatroom, which was when Diablo 1 was released and I started using the battle.net chat (in 1996 I believe).

  19. I think this is a really good idea! I’ve been trying to make some Japanese friends through the likes of italki.com, but so far I’ve had no luck.

    Would anyone with an .edu email be kind enough to give me a hand with registration? Any help would be really appreciated!

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