HIDDEN JAPANESE is for beginners and experienced alike.

We won’t teach you Japanese.  There are plenty of other resources for that, and we aren’t qualified anyway.  But most of those resources won’t teach you the little things that you’ll have to find by trial and error and can make your life much easier.  That’s what we’re here for.  We’ll show you the things that the others think aren’t as important, but can make all the difference.

All of this information can be found elsewhere, but it can be difficult to know what to look for.  That’s what this site is for.

We’ll be adding content as we discover more, and also based upon feedback.  Remember, Japanese is a language of discovery, not just rote memorization.

Voiced vs. Unvoiced Consonants

Ever wondered exactly why that little tenten is there, and why it seems to alter the sounds of consonants in a very specific way?


Rendaku is the alteration of unvoiced consonants to voiced consonants in jyukugo.  Turns out it follows some very specific rules.

Small ke

Sometimes you’ll see a small ケin place names.  Ever wondered why?

Pitch Accent

You’re told that pitch accent isn’t important.  And it generally isn’t.  But dontcha think it’s good to know about anyway?

Kanji Readings and Origins

There are multiple kinds of kanji, and a large number of them give you clues to their pronunciation right there in the kanji itself.

Rules for Consonant Voicing

Ever wondered why “fun” and “pun” are so specific when it comes to the suffix for “minute”?  Turns out there’s a reason for that.

Useful Words

There are some useful words that aren’t usually immediately taught in Japanese classes.  Learn these few simple words and you might be able to make just a little more sense out of Japanese media or everyday vernacular.  Caution:  Not an exhaustive list.

The Japanese Numbers

Ever been curious as to why numbers are they way they are?  Maybe we can shed a little light on that.


General tips for better Japanese pronunciation.


Some thoughts on okurigana that may help you understand what they’re for and how to think of them.


Does Japanese have contractions?  Yes!