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Japanese Plus: See Japan through Video Game Characters with Tomohiro Sasaki

Advanced Japanese language learners were given the opportunity to discover the secrets behind the success of some of Japan’s most popular computer game characters in a special two-day Japanese Plus course at the Japan Foundation on February 11th and 12th 2014.

The course was run by Tomohiro Sasaki, a theatre director and former video game planner / scenario writer, with particular expertise in character design. Conducting the course entirely in Japanese, Sasaki-sensei introduced the basics behind creating an appealing character, including their external appearance and personality, and the many different kinds of characters one may encounter in game scenarios. His lectures also gave lots of insight into traditional and modern Japanese culture, and key words in Japanese associated with character creation. Participants particularly enjoyed the chance to display their linguistic skills, artistic talents and creativity by creating their own characters and presenting them to the class!

It was very interesting,” commented Andrew Niewiarowski, a regular attendee of Japanese Plus. “The level of Japanese was pitched very well – not too easy, not too difficult.”

Another participant commented, “Even though I know nothing about games/anime, it was interesting to learn about that part of Japanese culture. It was fun to design our own characters.”

Sasaki-sensei’s book about character design, 『ゲームシナリオの書き方』, is available to loan from the Japan Foundation London Library.

We’d like to thank all participants for taking part in Japanese Plus, and Sasaki-sensei for his fascinating and highly entertaining lectures. We really hope to see even more participants at our next Japanese Plus course!

To learn more about Japanese Plus, please click here.