Cristy Burne


Leave a comment

Monster app for learning katakana and hiragana

Want a fun game to teach yourself hiragana or katakana?

Like monsters and manga? Check out these fun apps!

A few months back I had the pleasure of working with Jessica Perrin on Japanese language and culture workshops for Year 9s.

Jessica’s husband is also interested in Japanese and has just released two apps designed to help learners of Japanese hiragana and katakana alphabets.

Attack and whack!

Called Kana Attack (for iPad) and Kana Whack (for iPhone), they use Japanese yokai monsters, including the tanuki, kappa and more.

Players are rewarded with specialities from each Japanese prefecture and the screen backgrounds are borrowed from famous Japanese art. Plus there are flash cards, study charts, and you can hear each kana pronounced properly.

All this and cute monsters too? Yee ha! Yokai are everywhere!


Leave a comment

What colour were yōkai demons? Download colouring-in sheets

The Takeshita Demons books feature Japanese monsters and demons, called yōkai (or youkai).

Many yōkai were first drawn by Toriyama Sekien, a Japanese artist who lived in the 1700s. These colouring-in sheets feature his original drawings.

Head to the resources section of my website to download PDFs for these activities.

A kappa is a water-loving creature who keeps a bowl of water on his head. He loves to eat cucumbers, but he also drinks blood, so be careful!

A hannya is a demon who has been driven insane by jealousy and rage. Her face is marked with all the anger of other people’s souls.

Now you know a bit about them, it’s up to you to decide what colour they are!


Leave a comment

Awesome fun with Kappa and Tanuki

Kappa and Tanuki celebrate Christmas - DCcardWant to see just how ubiquitous yokai demons are in Japanese culture?

Check out the awesome tanuki and kappa animations and resources the Tokyo-Mitsubishi bank put together as part of an advertising campaign for their DC card.

The ads feature a shape-shifting tanuki and a (traditionally) blood-hungry kappa. And they’re very cute!

(I can’t imagine any Australian bank advertising their credit card using a vampire or werewolf, can you?)

But seriously, if you’re into cute, or you’re interested in Japanese culture, you should check out the animations in particular (an example here). They are super-cute and the manga-like voice bubbles are a great resource for learning Japanese.

Cherry blossum viewing with Kappa and Tanuki DC cardYou can download short movies, desktop art, icons and stationary templates.

Don’t forget to scroll through the menu at the bottom of each page for extra options.