Merry Christmas / Happy Festivus and All Other Holidays This Season

^In the flesh. Or if you don’t feel like admitting to yourself for whatever reason that the one pictured above is Kafka Fuura, think of that person as the one who writes for her/him/it. Also that piece of paper I’m holding up – psychic paper. Yeah. (嘘です).

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “useless/aimless” post. Here goes!

So, Happy Holidays! Maybe I should have worn a Santa hat, but I’m not very festive.

I don’t know. I really don’t have much to say, but first of all I’d just like to thank everyone for their continued support. I was a little bit of a mess (nocturnal class-skipping hikikomori for starters) when I first decided to post “Siren” on livejournal (the first song translation I had done I felt confident about; and yeah I spent six months on livejournal before moving to wordpress). Back then I didn’t really know if anyone was looking at my stuff and I didn’t really care, now I’ve got a load of work and expectations to fill. I mean, because of you all I’ve built up something I can be proud of. I’m nearing 600 song translations (not to mention the various other stuff I did) in three years. That’s ridiculous. Now I’m not saying that’s ridiculous because I’m saying “Hey, look – I’m awesome aren’t I?” I’m saying that’s ridiculous because that’s totally beyond me. There’s no way I could have done that – I hardly believe it myself… so it means that you all must have done it, or rather pushed me to do it, I could have never have done it without a constant drive. I broke through the boundaries of my University’s Japanese department and made translating my thing because of all the amazing things I found about about the Japanese language through translating lyrics and later, stories. If you’ll believe me, I made Bs in Japanese before I started all of this. I’ve become a product of this site. I wrote the site and the site rewrote me.

You know, the other day I got an email from someone saying I had inspired them. I’m not sure if you can imagine how that feels and I’m not sure I can describe it. I’m still blown away by the very thought.

While I’m thanking all of you in general I would like to specifically thank those who have donated. When I first set up donations I was truly in financial straits and those few people who donated then actually helped me eat a little better from time to time so really guys, thanks a ton – you know who you are. Everyone else who has donated (since I’ve come back up from the metaphorical sea floor), you’ve really made me feel like what I’m doing is worthwhile and that means millions to me (you are also quite few in number so, feel special guys).

2012 still pretty much looks like a blank slate for me, which is a bit scary. You find out by the time you’re 22 that at that post-graduation-real-world-stage if you haven’t got the next 3-5 years or so planned out you’re a lower class citizen for it. I might be going to work in Japan, I might be going to graduate school for a degree in translating, I might fail at all my ventures and have to slave away to keep refueling my savings (I never want that to hit bottom ever again; I like eating…). I’m thinking I want to write more in general and thinking I want to read more in general and translate longer pieces of work, and dabble more in professionalism in regards to all of that, but I don’t see myself abandoning this site. At least not for another year. I’m actually constantly wondering what more I can do with it. Part of me wants to get a reading circle going, part of me wants the site to have more guides and tips on learning Japanese or on translating in general, part of me wants a community contributor pool for translating things – but free wordpress has a lot of limitations, I really don’t know how much anyone is interested in any of that, some of my ideas for projects are a little more bold in stepping right on that copyright infringement line/issue, and a lot of things would only be practical if I had about 10x as many viewers as I do now. (I don’t have a great ground to compare to, but I consider my visitor stats to be pretty modest). So I wanted to ask – what do you all think?

Maybe I itch for change too much? Perhaps it’s a ghost of that innovative spirit that was with me in Electrical Engineering (and which was most of the reason I quit it, ironically).

Back to thanking people. More as a response out of respect rather than fearing the letter of the law, I could have all my images and all my lyrics translations and short story translations and doujinshi translations and whatnot stripped from my site at the request of the original authors. Japan is rather more lax about copyright (implicitly) than the United States is, but in Japan there is no such thing as a fair use clause (this is why has so few images), and honestly I can’t imagine any organized body giving a crap about the time or effort I’ve spent on anything. So, I was, especially in the beginning, afraid that someone would come and tell me to take something down. Instead I had a few artists follow me on twitter and say how cool it was that I was translating their lyrics. RD himself, the lyricist I respect the most out of anyone, told me how thrilled he was that I was translating his songs (and I always feel infinitely bad that I can’t do those songs more justice). One day, I hope to have a legitimate license to translate something, but until then I’m riding on everyone’s graces. ( – and if I won the lottery or something there are so many people that I owe, so many…)

If everything goes according to plan, hopefully you’ll see some original stuff written by me. I hope that it won’t be awful, and I hope that at least a few of you will find it interesting. Whenever I write, it tends to veer towards the phantasmagorical, Touhou is sort of phantasmagorical – yeah I’m not going to promise anything – everything I write might be awful but that’s for the future to decide. (Not me!)

I feel like I’m sharing a lot today (my image too!) so I’ll go ahead and share my 2012 resolutions:

・Write every single day, either in English or Japanese.
・Study for the Kanji Kentei (日本漢字能力検定試験) (level 3 or 2).
・Live in Japan for a minimum of 3 months or have plans for 1+ years by the end of 2012.
・Have at least one draft of a story that is theoretically ready to publish.
・Bring Student Debt < $10,000
・Collaborate with someone on a project
・Order no more than 6 figures + 1 per 6 volumes of Light Novels read (Visual Novel==2 LNs).
  ^I'm not addicted I swear
・750+ translation posts or 1000+ total posts.
・Complete a 50+ hour class visual novel. (probably something by nitro+ or Umineko)
・Participate in NaNoWriMo (participating means 20k+ words by the end)
・Finish 4 LN/Novel series.
・Attend an "event" (I've never yet once in my life been to an anime convention).

It'll be a busy year ahead.

I'm looking forward to ranting to myself and (hopefully) entertaining you all as well.

Thank you.

PS: Don't forget to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special Today!!!

  1. Happy Holidays, have a good one.

  2. Merry Christmas! I’ve done some translation work myself (chapters 338 to 366 of Pocket Monsters Special, a.k.a. Pokemon Adventures, based on Chinese translations and referencing a summary of the original Japanese, and a bit of Jigoku Sensei Nube). What you have done here is amazing. You provided me with a clearer understanding of what some of my favorite Touhou songs are about, and thanks also for the much needed cultural info to go along with them! I’d say I learned more about the Japanese language and culture from your work than from my 7 weeks of Introduction to Japanese Language at my university, which I failed last year OTL (I’ll be retaking it in May next year, where it will be a 14-week course).
    Once more, keep up the good work! You’re very much appreciated among most of my Touhou buddies!

  3. :D awesome! Kaf’s picture!
    Thats a really nice story and I wish you the best of lucks <3
    Thank you so much for your hard work ; v ; I wish I could donate but I dont have a Paypal/ i dont have money at all!
    I will donate whenever I get the chance though! <3

  4. … ok, since I listen to Yuyoyuppe (who according to some, sounds very uke) I am allowed to say YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL… and now I am jealous of you =__=

    But other than that, have a nice end-of-year time! … I would donate, but I don’t have Paypal (nor credit card… being 15 makes is suffering.)

    … and note to self: I should make a schedule to ACTUALLY LEARN JAPANESE… but oh well, hope you had/have nice holidays!

  5. メリークリスマス、ハッピフェスティバス、などの。カフカフーラさんはこのサイトに日本語をたくさん学んだことはすごいと思います。サイトでぼくもたくさん学んでいるけど同じ物じゃないね。カフカフーラさんのように勉強物をよく探しています。で、学ぶや英訳のtipsはさんこうだろうと思いますけどリーディングサークルもいい。分かりません。どちらもいいでしょう。
    Also, lol psychic paper. (I haven’t the faintest what that would be in Japanese) Your awesome handwriting also leaves me in despair.

    • thatfpsguy
    • December 25th, 2011

    I’ve putting it off for too long, you’ll have to forgive me, it’s just that I too have some debts. But, worry not. I will be making a donation soon enough. And, I will try to learn japanese, too. It’s gonna be difficult for me because I’m going into it with the wrong mindset (“what are these graphics and symbols? how can anyone understand them?” kind of thing), but I’ll make it work anyway.

    I hope your new year’s resolution becomes true at it’s fullest (and finest).

    • Xav56
    • December 25th, 2011

    Kafka you’re sexy :3

    Merry Christmas and Happy holidays too ! Thank you for your hard work : D

    • Zesan
    • December 25th, 2011

    You are the ****ing man, and I’m happy you translate so much great stuff. I’d have a huge request list if possible.

    • Brian
    • December 25th, 2011

    If you ever decide to do NaNoWriMo, you might as well start laying the early foundation many months in advance (even now if you’re ambitious enough). I learned the hard way that not having a set outline for what you want to write will guarantee failure. Either way it will be a fun learning experience for yourself, regardless of outcome.

    And thank you for your hard work, as well.

    • Yaren
    • December 26th, 2011

    hahahahaha make fun of me or don’t think bad… always tough u where a girl X). but aniways… u are inspiring, thats true!! some people want to have the dedication and the knowledge to tralstate and even know what the artist wanted to give to the lectors/listeners (depend, if its music or a novel).

    keep the awesome work… slry!! u are awesome!! i might glady to donate and inspiring you to traslate more.. or at least make ur food more delicius or pay ur school debts XP… one day when i get the money maybe.. but thats a great part of you!! you are doing everything here for nothing on exchange!! the pasion u have to traslate and understand u are reflecting it here on ur works, srly u have a great future!!

    • JupiterCobalt
    • December 26th, 2011

    So hey!
    I just found your site here by chance, and want to say I’m very impressed with all you do. I can’t donate money, unfortunately, because I’m rather strapped for cash myself, heh. But I wanted to say you have another reader here who enjoys the work you do and finds you great personally!
    A day late, but Merry Christmas; and Good luck!

    • Nijiru
    • December 26th, 2011

    You look oddly like someone from my university. Which is weird because I doubt you live in Alberta. :P
    Anyway, keep up the awesome!

    • xXSupanoobXx
    • December 27th, 2011

    Well, belated Merry-ah whatever I don’t celebrate Christmas so, what the heck man.

    There’s so much I have to thank you for. Not just the lyrics, but also for providing me the best (in my opinion) sort of Japanese guide for me, giving me the slight “headstart” in my short stint in Japan even though I know next to no Kanji. Three weeks after starting official basic Japanese lessons, I think I’m in a relatively good position to attempt to translate Voice to English, albeit with some extensive dictionary usage.

    But I digress. You’ve been doing a wonderful job so far, and I’m pretty sure all us lyrics hunters will thank you for it. Just keep doing what you’re doing, maybe one day a random somebody will ask to make a collab website focused on translating songs.

  6. Belated Happy Holidays to you as well. ;v;

    I just discovered this place and I’m really happy because it’s difficult for me to keep up with all this Touhou stuff. So, thank you for translating and providing info on things. ;v; Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    I’ll be rooting for yooou. (づ。◕‿‿◕。)づ

    • Grooven
    • January 2nd, 2012

    I wanted to make a special note to thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication! It is great to know you are willing to translate so many songs for so many fans! You have brought songs I love to a new light so I can appreciate than more than I originally did!

    Thank you once more for being so awesome ^-^b from one of your friends around the world!

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