Keeping yourself motivated while studying Japanese isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. Your highs feel good but your lows can feel absolutely awful. If you are going to motivate yourself, you might as well choose a Japanese source, so it also counts as study time.
Ken Honda is a very popular motivational speaker in Japan who has written some books that I’ve really enjoyed reading over the past several years. I thought I would share some of the great stuff he has put out.
Self-Help Books are great for immersion
I’ve always liked Japanese motivational self-help books and have used them a lot in immersion. Even if you had never thought about looking at this genre before, there are a few reasons that they make for good studying:
1. They are easy to read..
2. The language is usually pretty basic.
3. The themes are simple and easy to relate to.
4. They are more conversational than not.
5. Books are divided into many digestible parts, and those parts are subdivided even further. If you can’t concentrate on long Japanese that never seems to end this may be a major boon to you.
6. You can start and stop reading at any time, in any amount.
7. They are slightly repetitive (motivational talk follows similar patterns), and this reinforces language like a built in SRS system.
When you find an author you like, it’s great to be able to have a wide selection to choose from. Ken Honda currently has 71 books, so no shortage there. Here is the full list. His major topics are about finding happiness and meaning with your life, finding a job that you are good at and like doing, enjoying the path to financial freedom, and discussing important things to do at your current age.
These are some of his books that I’ve read.
My favorites of the above are
- 大好きなことをやって生きよう! (Live by doing what you love)
- 読むだけで心がラクになる22の言葉 (22 things that will put you at ease just by reading them).
- 30代にしておきたい17のこと (17 things to do in your 30s)
If you aren’t looking for books right now, but still want to get some motivation from him, Audible Japan has a bunch of his work in audio format. He also has a podcast series, and if you happen to live in Japan, you can even attend one of his seminars. Finally, there is always YouTube, where you can see some of his interviews and other content.
If you like this type of material give it a try. Maybe it’ll bring you a smile and improve your Japanese at the same time.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.