There’s this pretty neat monthly magazine published in New York called Chopsticks NY. If you live in or immediately around New York City, you may have seen these copies lying around in Japanese stores, restaurants, and now over 100 street boxes throughout the city. The best part? They’re free. And they’re in English!
For those who don’t live anywhere near NY, you can check out this cool mag in their online site.
One of their interesting sections is their Japanese Language Lessons where they explain particles, verbs, and phrases. I’ve been to a lot of Learn Japanese sites and Chopsticks NY is one of the better ones out there from all it’s useful explanations, examples, and easy-to-navigate pages.
Speaking of learning Japanese, they’re apparently changing the JLPT or Japanese Language Proficiency Test from a 4-level test to a 5 level test. They’re squeezing in a test in between the current Level 2 and Level 3. Formerly, for a Level 3 test, you needed to know around 300 kanji and 1,500 words which was a big leap when you take the Level 2 test which required about 1,000 kanji and 6,000 words. The new Level 3 test is a nice medium between the two for those interested in knowing their proficiency.
Another interesting part I found in their current April Edition is their article about personal chopsticks or My Hashi as they are called. They detail some pretty interesting personalized chopsticks from “chopsticks housed in a portable case, chopsticks that can be disassembled, and chopsticks that are retractable or can be folded”. There are apparently even light sabers and “Samurai Japanese Swords” chopsticks, with a picture of the former in the site – and yeah, they really do look like light sabers! If you would like your own light saber chopsticks (and pretty cool anime, manga, and american figurines), they’re available at Kotobukiya. You can pre-order your own set of 2 for $20. One set is the Yoda and Luke Skywalker set with blue and green light sabers and the other is the Darth Vader and Yoda set with red and green-colored chopsticks. I have my own chopsticks but these a pretty damn coooooool!
Let me know if you get your own set and be sure to check out Chopsticks NY every month for some neat Japanese-related news.