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Konnichiwa, mina-san!

Let's study together!

Hiragana Flashcards

Welcome to the site!  I'm Risu Gakusei.  I've been studying Japanese since 2016.  I've created this site to share my studies with my friends and the language-learning community.  I also love graphic design and digital art, so my own website felt like the best option!

After graduating high school, I lived in Japan for the summer.  I stayed in Tokyo and visited Hokkaido (the northern-most of the four main Japanese islands).  After that trip, my fate was sealed; I needed to pursue fluency in this gorgeous language!

I'm originally from Rutland, Vermont in the United States.  Currently, I am a college student with the intent of continuing on to graduate school.  My ultimate goal is to become a Foreign Language Education Professional.  I'd like to either to teach Japanese in the States or English in Japan. I am applying for study-aboard programs so I can return to Japan.


I hope you enjoy my site.  My sincerest wish is to provide support and inspiration to those who study Japanese.  Please study hard, my friends!  頑張ってください!  


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Benkyou Blog



Why do I call myself Risu Gakusei?  What does it translate to?

Risu Gakusei's Digital Hanko

Two words are present in my screen name.  The first is risu, which means squirrel.  The second is gakusei, which means student.  So there, said and done, I'm a squirrel student.

Well, the short answer is that it translates to

Squirrel Student

but there's a bit more

to it than just that. . .

A squirrel student!  りす学生だ!

Here's my picture, aren't I cute?  (No, actually I'm a real person.)

But why would I choose such an odd name?  Well I am a student, so that part is easy.  And clearly, squirrels are the superior member of the rodent family.  I mean, how can you not love such a fuzzy little cutie?  But seriously, all joking aside, I really do love animals.  So much so that I was bullied about it for years. 


I went to a rural middle and high school, and there where a good amount of students there who would hunt on the weekends.  I would visibly be uncomfortable when they'd go into detail about their trophies.  (I have nothing against hunting, I just don't want to hear the gory details.)

Add that to my eccentric personality and I was given the nickname "Squirrel Girl."  For five years of middle and high school I was stuck in homeroom with these bullies.  It seemed as if they're only goal in life was to make me feel terrible.  

I don't know what kind of men they turned out to be, I haven't had contact with them for years.  I hope they're doing well, but I'm reclaiming the title.  I don't want squirrels to be associated with that time in my life.  Now it's all about me, my ambitions, and this site that I am so proud of! 

Risu Gakusei's Digital Hanko

My Digital Hanko

I must admit, I have fallen in love with Japanese hanko.  That's why they've inspired the design of my logo!  In Japan, hanko stamps carry the name of their owner.  These are used in the same way we use our signatures in the United States.  Both individuals and organizations have their own hanko.  

My digital hanko resembles the kind used for informal situations, such as signing letters to friends.  As opposed to hanko meant for "official" use, these informal ones tend to use fun fonts and decorative elements aside from the user's name, such as animals or flowers.

So, what's my personal design mean?

Well, it is probably obvious as to why the squirrel to the right should be there!  I have used a circle for the base for two reasons. A.) It's the most common for informal hanko to be circular and B.) it shows that I am just one person wanting to engage with you.  As a general rule, organizations use squares and individuals use circles when designing a hanko.  I am not a company, I am a person who wants to be part of an online community.

The text in the hanko says risu.  Which, again, translates to squirrel.  However, I have elected to use the traditional kanji characters instead of modern Japanese script.  Squirrel is almost never written like this today!  I only chose to use these kanji since Japanese names are written this way.  I think this gives the text a more unique look. 

(I mean, c'mon, who would write 栗鼠  instead of  りす ?  Me, that's who!)

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