Essential Japanese: The Mental Model, Guide Released

Japanese Complete is delighted to announce the release of an essentials guide for Japanese, absolutely free.

This guide is available free of charge for educational purposes and is not to be reprinted without permission.

Download at https://japanesecomplete.com/guide

Korgi knows you will master the Japanese mental model in no time.

What’s in the guide?

Table of Contents

Designed to give beginners an edge in conquering the Japanese mental model, the Essential Japanese guide by Japanese Complete covers the basics for nouns, verbs, sentence structure, and more.

Sample Pages

This is the first release of the free guide and we plan to include more useful information as times goes on. You can see the Future Work section at the end if you’re interested on where we’re headed. Please e-mail us with suggestions for the guide and corrections if you find any. If the free tier is this good, just think how good the actual application is.

Hakujo wants to let you know that we believe in you! You can master Japanese!

Download at https://japanesecomplete.com/guide

Consider getting a monthly subscription to the interactive online ninja training grounds for Japanese at Japanese Complete

The Best Tool for Learning Japanese

We’re creating a fully-fledged tool for mastering Japanese.

Full Dialogues with Audio

Master Japanese by listening along to the expertly crafted dialogues with our Audio Reading Tutor. Click to listen along and have the relevant text sections highlighted. Check out the Japanese-Complete-English ™ and the English Translation, which you can quickly toggle between to crank up the volume on exposure and absorption.

Hiragana and Katakana Identification & Listening

Learn the Hiragana and Katakana by listening and identifying the correct glyphs. Use our beautiful Iroha syllabary and song to memorize the fundamental symbols of Japanese quickly and with fun like never before.

Native-Level Storytime

Get your ears wet.

(animation) of the Audio Reading Tutor [which plays the audio alongside in the actual application]

Listen along to stories of varying difficulties and get a feel for native-level Japanese speed and delivery. Hone your listening and comprehension abilities from the very beginning with our cornucopia of resources.

Drills: Hone and Polish

(animation) Drills help you hone in on the grammar you just learned from the lessons and dialogues.

Learn Japanese from thorough explanations crafted by experienced language teachers and polylingual scholars. Get immediate feedback on our drills and quizzes which help you understand how each particle and part of speech functions in isolation, so when you see it later you know.

Frequency Based Curriculum

The Japanese Complete curriculum is based on frequency. We teach the kanji according to their frequency distribution in the most comprehensive modern-day corpus available for Japanese (2011 BCCWJ).

Our curriculum teaches grammar, kanji, and verbs according to their frequency in real modern-day Japanese (including online Japanese like message boards, films, media, poetry, scholarly articles, and more). It’s an interactive textbook with resources, mnemonics, tips, tricks, and tactics to keep you engaged and inspired on your learning adventure to mastery.

Kanji Mnemonics and Calligraphy Stroke Order

Kanji are taught using etymological origins and clever mnemonics. The stroke order is taught and there’s even a way for one to check their kanji drawing in the character-recognition box. It’s not at all picky about stroke order, but it does help with memory and understanding. Being picky and disciplined with stroke order is up to you as the learner. It’s important to have proper stroke order if you wish to do beautiful calligraphy one day. Usually there’s good reason for the order, and if you imagine ink dripping down the wall like thick goopy paint it makes sense that some sequences would be better than others for drawing in blocks.

Kanji in English Context ™

Learn Kanji with a method specially devised for Japanese Complete in 2019, Kanji in English Context! See how kanji can mask some words partially and learn how they can be used to approximate a wide array of meanings. Kanji in English Context is your ticket to speedy and native-level comprehension of Japanese as fast, effectively, and efficiently as humanly possible.

“How to Say”

Check out “How to Say” and give our team of language experts a new question to ask!

“How to Say”

Early etymological character origins for “to arrive” 来 comes from an indicator / stand-in for collision point / center of a circle of arrows.

Bunsetsu Jars

Grammar explanations in Japanese Complete follow our simplified rubric that keeps the richness of Japanese near while avoiding many of the common stumbles and learning pitfalls when starting out. Initially, many courses overcomplicate things and include too much too ambitiously in the beginning. We stress frequency-based introduction to glyphs and words, as well as thorough practice so that identification becomes reflexive and second nature, step-by-step.

You can start learning Japanese for free with our free guide to Japanese Essentials, The Mental Model


Why study a foreign language?

  • Makes you smarter and keeps your brain healthy.
  • Builds bridges to new worlds, realms, and cultures unknown.
  • Enables a whole new perspective and way of organizing your thoughts.
  • Increases self-confidence in self-investment activities.

We’ve spent the last two years devising and implementing a curriculum for new learners to quickly traverse the path to fluency. We’re releasing new material every week. Please support us and please tell your friends about Japanese Complete.

Get a subscription to Japanese Complete today and begin your path to mastery.


More Japanese = More Brain

Learning a new language makes you smarter (in some specific ways).

While these benefits are not exclusive to learning Japanese, because Japanese grammar is almost perfectly inverted to English grammar it’s likely that the benefits of second language acquisition are maximized.

  • Resist the onset of dementia entirely [1]
  • Solve whole classes of puzzles more swiftly [1]
  • Recognize and adapt to new information and new situations more swiftly [1]
  • “A heightened ability to monitor your environment” [1]
  • Make more rational decisions [2]
  • Improve your English (read: mother tongue) prowess and felicity [2]
  • Neuroplasticity (staves off brain aging) [3]
  • Increased Brain Gray Matter Density [3, 5]
  • Increased Brain White Matter Integrity [3]
  • Second language experience induces brain changes that can be found in children, young adults, and the elderly, and can occur rapidly with short-term language training. [3]
  • Procedural Memory and Conflict Monitoring (regions of the brain) increased in volume and density. [3]
  • Overall better situational awareness. [1, 3, 5]
  • Second language learning is a “Good way to keep the brain in shape” [0]

…Second language experience-induced brain changes, including increased gray matter (GM) density and white matter (WM) integrity, can be found in children, young adults, and the elderly; can occur rapidly with short-term language learning or training; and are sensitive to age, age of acquisition, proficiency or performance level, language-specific characteristics, and individual differences. [5]

“Language learning keeps the brain in shape.” 2012 Lund University

[3] Pushing the Limits of Neuroplasticity by Adult Language Acquisition (2017)
[3] Pushing the Limits of Neuroplasticity by Adult Language Acquisition (2017)

Gray Matter Density increases and White Matter Integrity increases thanks to language learning.

Increased Gray Matter Density and White Matter Integrity for age-appropriate language learning (even just a short duration) [5].
[3] Pushing the Limits of Neuroplasticity by Adult Language Acquisition (2017)

In praise of “age-appropriate input” [4]

(Age in Learning and Teaching Grammar)

Hosoda saw that increased gray matter and white matter density was maintained and kept by learners who stuck with language learning over time. Learners who had not kept up with “maintenance” lost the neuroplastic benefits gradually.

Short-burst language training with great frequency increases gray matter density and white matter integrity. For people who stop doing the language training, a year later their levels are back to pre-training levels. If you stick with the training and continue maintenance, the benefits continue to stick around.

Regions that show increased GM density/volume or CT according to a number of studies with group comparisons of
bilinguals versus monolinguals. Regions labeled with ** in the legend indicate bilateral GM; otherwise localized in the left
hemisphere or medial section. Further, structural increases in the specific regions are shown to be correlated with
behavioral tasks or variables: (þ): positive correlation with a task or variable; (¡): negative correlation with a task or
variable. These brain-behavior correlations are based on the following studies:
1 Abutalebi et al., (2012); 2 Abutalebi et al., (2014); 3 Klein et al., (2013); 4 Mechelli et al., (2004); 5 Ressel et al., (2012); 6 Pliatsikas et al., (2013); 7 Zou et al., (2012). [From citation 5 below ]

Various research is gathered here from within the last 20 years to show the overall consensus that brain density and volume are positively affected by language learning. Take for example this excerpt that explains how the functional networks each required for different aspects of language are tethered together, resulting in better neural connectivity:

[6] supports the brain scans that show better density and cross-linking between relevant functional parts of a language learner’s brain.
From the article indicated by [0] below
Early kanji from the etymological origins for Self 自

Invest in yourself by studying a new language today!

With over 90 lessons already available and growing every month, Japanese Complete is your ticket to fluent comprehension of Japanese, get a subscription today and begin your path to mastery.

Works Cited

[0] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121008082953.htm

[1] “Why Bilinguals Are Smarter” New York Times (US) http://www.cabrillo.edu/~ogarcia/Benefits%20of%20Bilingualism%20-%20NYT.pdf

[2] “Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism.” Telegraph (UK) https://www.sandiegounified.org/schools/sites/default/files_link/schools/files/Domain/18742/WORLD%20LANGUAGES%20Benefits%20of%20bilingualismarticle.pdf

[3] (Pushing) the Limits of Neuroplasticity Induced by Adult Language Acquisition https://books.google.com/books?id=EL92DwAAQBAJ&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&lpg=PA29&dq=language%20learning%20benefits&pg=PA29#v=onepage&q&f=false

[4] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/9781118784235.eelt0106

[5] https://sites.psu.edu/kaitlynlitcofsky/files/2017/02/Legault_Cortex_2014-pbpadj.pdf

[6] https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Angela_Grant3/publication/275043884_Second_Language_Learning_Success_Revealed_by_Brain_Networks/links/5d8b98c1a6fdcc255499dc39/Second-Language-Learning-Success-Revealed-by-Brain-Networks.pdf

Audio Reading Tutor, New Story Arrives

We’ve added a new story to the Japanese Complete lessons library to help learners quickly assimilate spoken and written Japanese in tandem. You can listen along to the whole dialogue in one go, or click on each sentence to listen to how it sounds.

In addition, we have a method we devised specifically for unparalleled celerity in learning assimilation, Japanese-Complete-English or Student Language:

And finally we offer a thorough English translation of the story to help learners begin to see the correlated sequence for fluent Japanese and English translation and interpretation.

It’s quite a delight to listen to the dialogue over and over again with the aide of the Japanese-Complete-English (Student Language) and the English translation nearby, it improves recognition and assimilation rate substantially. In theory, the nonconscious mind is accepting Japanese more readily as it is blending with familiar language structures.

You can get access to the new stories and more by getting a monthly subscription to Japanese Complete. Invest in yourself and your brain by mastering a new language with Japanese Complete.

Herons by Hokusai

Introducing “How to Say”

At Japanese Complete we are striving to invent the future, and sometimes that requires using tried-and-true solid foundations of the past.

We are introducing How to Say, our new “search engine” for how to say anything in Japanese.

When you search for a new term, we add the term to a wishlist. Someone on our team will handcraft a result page for this query.

It’s kinda like made-to-order search results. Granted, there is a delay between when you ask for it and when it shows up, on the order of 1000-2000min instead of 1000ns like google, so we have a long way to go before it’s fully automatic and fast.

Scholars subscribed to Japanese Complete have priority access for questions, so their requested results get created first.

Red Fox Resting, enjoying search results being hand-crafted for him.
Resting Red Sleeping Stump Relaxing Fox Tree

Updated 777 Kanji List

Greetings everyone! We updated our Triple 7 Kanji list, and it’s looking more beautiful than ever.

With 777 kanji one has 90% coverage of Kanji in the wild!


The Japanese Complete curriculum is arranged according to frequency analysis done by a research team in 2011 on the Balanced Contemporary Corpus of Written Japanese (BCCWJ).

Feb 2020 Features Video Released

Master Japanese with Japanese Complete! In our features video we show some of the powerful tools already available for Japanese language learners. Built with ingenuity and efficiency in mind, Japanese Complete will take you All. The. Way.

Get a subscription today at Japanese Complete

Katakana Listening Tool Available

Now at Japanese Complete, subscribers get access to the Hiragana and Katakana listening tools.

Katakana was created around the same time as the Hiragana as an alternative script, like cursive in English. However, Katakana was allocated to special use for loanwords and foreign names in 1962. Works before then, such as works from 1950, can be entirely Katakana instead of Hiragana.

We’ve also revamped our quizzes to be less strict, and are rolling out new lessons with fresh material all the time.

Try out Japanese Complete for a limited time for $2/day.

Get a monthly subscription and begin your path to mastery of Japanese, using proven techniques developed by polylingual language experts.

Audio Reading Tutor

(It’s like Karaoke for reading Japanese!)

Trying to practice your listening comprehension of native Japanese?

Japanese Complete is rolling out Audio Reading Tutor that reads the phrases out aloud and highlights them in sequence. It’s like karaoke for reading!

The new reading tutor helps you pair quality Japanese written classics with native pronunciation and reading.

For a limited time you can still try out Japanese Complete for $2/day

Don’t just learn Japanese, start your road to mastery with Japanese Complete.

An early form of the kanji for “bow” as in “bow and arrow” — in its modern form it means “pull”