Matthew and his Japanese-themed sneakers

Apr 26, 2023
United States
Matthew Photo

Japanese culture is highly appreciated by millions of people worldwide. And while most students find motivation to learn Japanese in watching Anime or thinking about their next holiday trip to Tokyo or Kyoto, Matthew-san helps himself to stay motivated by buying really cool Japanese-themed sneakers for every year his continues learning the language - pretty cool! -.

What motivated you to start learning Japanese?

I’d always been interested in Japanese culture but never seriously started studying it until the initial COVID lockdown. I wanted to do something every day that would keep my brain sharp.

Was it a hard decision to get started learning Japanese? (any doubts or constraints)

Wasn’t a hard decision to start, but I wondered if I’d stick with it. I tried taking it once in college and it didn’t work out well for me then. Luckily since starting, I’ve only gotten more interested, so here I am at day 860 and still going.

How long have you been learning Japanese for?

860 days lol.

What is the most challenging thing about learning Japanese?

Keeping conjugations straight, especially when they begin building on each other.

What have you enjoyed the most while learning Japanese?

Getting to know my teachers and being exposed to lots more Japanese media/culture than I ever had before. It’s just super fun to be able to talk and understand someone in a different language.

How do you keep motivated to continue learning?

Every year streak that I hit, I buy another Japanese-themed sneaker. I’m a huge sneakerhead and sneakers and streetwear are really popular in Japan.

What advice would you give to people who would like to learn Japanese but haven’t started?

Stick with it, even when it’s hard. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of progress. Things that seem insanely hard now will eventually become automatic.

Are you planning to live or work in Japan in the future?

I wish, but probably not - oh, no :( -.

What is your favorite thing about Japan? (food, anime, history, etc.)

Japan’s similar love affair with sneaker culture. And now I love anime, which I’d never watched prior to starting to study.

Why did you choose to learn Japanese with Japademy?

Did a trial lesson with Kanami-sensei and was hooked.

Would you recommend Japademy to other people interested in learning Japanese? (yes or no, why?)

Absolutely. The structured courses are good intros, and the one-on-one teaching is approachable, fun, and so, so very necessary. If you never actually start trying to talk to people and interact, it will all stay very academic and detached. I’m super introverted. The idea of doing Zoom/Skype calls was so intimidating, but I knew I’d never do it if I didn’t force myself to, and I’m so glad I did. Lean in!

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