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勝元’s日本語初ビデオだよコノヤロー/Khatzumoto Japanese Video Debut


Look…ok?…It was late; we were talking; the camera’s on; I have strange quirks and gestures from my childhood (“Mommy loves you! It’s not your fault!”). Then 龍 is all “come on, dawg…I don’t have any make-up on, don’t put me in the video”, so then I cut him out, and there’s no background music and you have no idea how long it took just to make this one sucky video but I’ll keep improving and now you can stop asking me whether I can actually speak Japanese the end.

And now…I’m going to go eat fruit.

And yes, this counts as “Khatzumoto: The Movie”. There! Are you feeling anticlimactic now? “Khatzumoto: The Grainy 8-Minute One-Cut YouTube Video”. The joy…

  46 comments for “勝元’s日本語初ビデオだよコノヤロー/Khatzumoto Japanese Video Debut

  1. Juz
    January 28, 2009 at 22:42

    Great video.

  2. January 28, 2009 at 22:57

    I’m going to wager that the “he’s full of sh*t” line of counterarguments is now pretty effectively shot down. Should have done this like a year ago, man, when the site launched 🙂

  3. デイビッド
    January 28, 2009 at 23:35

    This is pretty inspirational, considering that it’s something to look forward to. 🙂 Thanks Khatzumoto.

  4. 鎳克
    January 29, 2009 at 00:42

    Long time reader, first time commenter.

    Your ownage of Japanese and language learning itself is incredible.

    I’d like to make a video request: AJAT in Canto on Youtube.

  5. gabaine
    January 29, 2009 at 16:52

    Hello 勝元さん!
    It’s awesome! すごい!リラックスしているところが、よいですねー
    I’m Japanese and a part-time English teacher in high school. I believe that passion and curiosity are the key to the success of language learning, and also using fun materials is very important to keep you motivated. However, in Japan, still very old fashioned grammar oriented approach is the main stream. sigh… I encourage my students to read lots of materials such as picture books, books for children, manga, anime, magazines…
    May I introduce your site in my blog? 私のブログでこのビデオ、紹介させてもらってもいいですか?

  6. khatzumoto
    January 29, 2009 at 17:19



    >in Japan, still very old fashioned grammar oriented approach is the main stream.

    全然OKですよ。許可取らなくても大丈夫です。寧ろ、紹介して欲しいと言う感じですね(知名度が上がりますから( ̄ー ̄)ニヤリ)。


  7. Tabi
    January 29, 2009 at 18:38

    I just want to express my respect. Prior to this video I could already take it that you’re a man of compassion and love towards self-learning, but… well this video is a breeze. It shows that immersion, time well spend and compassion contribute to acquiring a language on a level equal to native.

    Well ‘level’ sounds like BS to me, but I guess you know what I mean. The viewer can see that you ‘are’ the language, meaning you just use it as it is, raw and simple. I loved this video and am looking forward to more.


  8. Anonymous
    January 29, 2009 at 21:17

    Cool video.
    Heh, you even do the “ee, sou, aah” stuff Japanese do while listening.
    You could probably get more attention on the interwebs if you make more videos, even if you are merely reiterating the content of the articles on this site. Some no like-y to read-y.

    BTW, I’ve been doing RTK for about 17 days now and it is so pharking awesome. It’s like a game now.

  9. adshap8
    January 30, 2009 at 02:41





  10. Maya
    January 30, 2009 at 05:54

    Hey Khatz, quick question… how come you said you were an otaku (if I heard/understood correctly)? I thought that word had a negative connotation in Japan, à la 35 year old loser fat guy who lives in his parents’ basement… ? :S

    • Daniel
      December 28, 2010 at 17:28

      He said,”anime otaku”<- someone that likes anime. 😛
      hehe, also that would a stereotype. A majority of 'otaku' aren't old fat guys.
      Here are some otakus. (badly subtitled vid)

  11. ganban
    January 30, 2009 at 07:07

    Maya>35 year old loser fat guy who lives in his parents’ basement

    I’m 25!!!!!

  12. ganban
    January 30, 2009 at 07:13


    Nice video blog, khatz. Appreciate all your effort.

  13. Mark
    January 31, 2009 at 09:10


    Absolutely fantastic! Now we can all really hear the benefits of AJATT.



  14. Gav
    January 31, 2009 at 11:21

    I never doubted you.

  15. January 31, 2009 at 13:25

    People say you speak in simple sentences and that Stephen Krashen has cooties. But they suck, so…

    What I’m curious about, how does your Japanese compare now to when it did right after you moved to Japan?

  16. February 6, 2009 at 08:58

    I am enjoying this approach to Japanese far more than old-style learning although I’m still at the suck stage. My wife, however, is a Japanese teacher and highly sceptical of your methods. I’d even go so far as to say opposed to them!

    I played the video for her and she complained that it was “pub talking” and gives no indication of your ability to speak “proper” Japanese. So while I’m impressed, she remains unconvinced.


    • December 28, 2010 at 07:27

      Japanese people have no clue what is difficult for English speakers. Really, with just a lot of book study, I think anyone can learn grammatically correct Japanese by memorizing sentence patterns from textbooks. ‘pub talking’ in a natural way — that’s the hard part. I’m in awe.

    • Daniel
      December 28, 2010 at 11:35

      how did she learn Japanese? Pure Immersion.

    • endote
      November 9, 2011 at 03:53

      From what I gather, it is pub talking.
      He’s just chatting with his friends in his, or someone’s room.
      It’s not like he’s stood there in a shirt and tie making a presentation to a company.

      If anything,it shows how he can use the correct Japanese depending on the situation.

  17. qklilx
    February 6, 2009 at 12:40

    While I’m entirely impressed at the ease with which you speak Japanese, I think this only shows one side. You’re certainly able to handle yourself 100% naturally in a casual situation like that, but I’d like to see you speak more formally. I know you passed a job interview and whatnot, but I’d like to actually HEAR you use that Japanese. That way everybody could see both sides of your abilities. It will enhance the evidence that your method works, you know? 😀

    • Jason
      December 28, 2010 at 06:50

      Do you use “extra-formal” English in Job interviews??

      You speak polite yeah…but most of it is still casual talk.

      • endote
        October 9, 2012 at 07:30

        Have you never heard of kei-go??

  18. slucido
    February 7, 2009 at 02:35

    Do you need more evidence?
    If people don’t want to believe, no evidence will be enough

  19. Hashiriya
    February 7, 2009 at 15:42

    i had my japanese girlfriend listen to you… she said you sound slightly like a gaijin but she can tell you are fluent 😉

    • Gigi
      October 9, 2013 at 14:30

      Did u have her listen to him without looking at the video? Sometimes when someone *knows* someone is a language learner later in life they are anticipating foreignness, including foreign sounds.

  20. Jonathan
    February 9, 2009 at 15:35


    That’s too bad. Sounds like she’s unwilling to be persuaded in any case.

  21. February 9, 2009 at 18:11


    Yes but then again extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    She has taught many different types of student and so has a pretty clear idea of “the right way to learn Japanese”.

    So while the method makes sense to me, it makes no sense to her at all. Hopefully I will eventually provide a counter-example for her but until then Khatz is my best chance of scoring a few points 🙂

  22. Jonathan
    February 10, 2009 at 05:21

    Well, until she shows you a student who learned to speak fluent, near-native, “proper” Japanese by memorizing grammar and vocab lists, I say you have just as much right to be skeptical of her methods as she does of yours. Meanwhile, you have the counterexamples of people like Khatz, Steve Kaufmann, and the Antimoon guys, not to mention every child in the world who has ever learned a first language (which they do by getting massive input and imitating those who are already fluent, this being the Cliff’s Notes of AJATT).

  23. February 14, 2009 at 01:01


    I don”t think you will find any orthodox teacher claiming that one can become native-level or even just excellent simply by memorising and practicing grammar and vocab.

    I also assume you are not claiming that the only people who have ever achieved native-level speech are those who followed “the method” and that having a teacher who teaches grammar and vocab is a guarantee of not.reaching it.

    The problem is that any of my wife’s students or students of other teachers who reach a high level of Japanese, almost certainly do it by switching whilly or partially to the “Khatz method” after getting good enough. That is, after learning lots of grammar etc they go live in Japan and their further improvement comes from immersion and input.

    So the real question is, can you get to the level where orthodox teaching considers immersion to be the next best step simply by input.and imitation.

    I hope so.

    You say I have the examples of Khatz, Kaufmann and Antimoon but that’s the point, I don’t have those examples. I have their claims (well Antimoon’s written English is great, I assume his spoken English is too but my wife cannot judge whether someone’s Engllish is native-level). I don’t have video of Khatz or Kaufman speaking Japanese “convincingly “.

    I should also point out that I’m not demanding such evidence either. Khatz is not here to perform for our amusement or settle marital arguments.

    I should dig out the link to the guy from NZ on youtube who did the same thing. Maybe he’s good enough and speaking “the right kind” of Japanese.

    Even then it’s still anecdotal evidence vs a vast industry and literature.

  24. February 21, 2009 at 07:35

    I think some people wanted to hear Mr. Khatzumoto speak like me, or perhaps even more refined, with liberal quotes from well remembered literature.
    And where as this video is somewhat anticlimatic, I think I prefer it to what might have been a cold speech read from note cards.

  25. マッカ
    July 7, 2009 at 22:59

    Thought I’d share a little success story:
    I’ve been learning Japanese at middle and high school for 5 years, with tutoring for 4 of those years. I went to Japan for a month on an exchange in January this year, and that extremely improved my listening abilities. However, although I knew a ton of grammar and vocab, it hadn’t come together yet, I still couldn’t listen to or read native material. I found RTK1 accidentally on the net, and completed that just a few weeks ago. I found this site 1 week ago through a ‘Reviewing the Kanji’ forum, I’d just finished RTK1 and had a big schedule planned for a heavily english involved Japanese learning schedule. However, 1 week before the school holidays I found this site, and after heavily reading for 1 night, ripped up the schedule I had only just made, downloaded some Japanese podcasts, opened up my box of unread Manga I bought in Japan, and started the Japanese madness (so to speak).
    1 week ago, I could barely understand this video. 1 week after, after reading a heck load of manga, a heck load of SRS reviews of sentences and practically 24-hour listening, I watched this video again for the first time since last week and understood practically every part of it. There is no doubt that this is due to complete Japanese saturation. I’ve made more progress in one week than I could have hoped to in 6 months of my old schedule. I’ve even started to try and stop using my English dictionary, and look up every word in ‘goo jisho’, before resorting to my english dict. 日本人なので、いつも日本語だ。Fluency here I come!

  26. god
    December 26, 2010 at 22:32

    Lol, 6 months ago I understood about 20-30% of what you just said. Now, I understand 90%+. Thanks Khatz, your the man.

    ありがとう、Khatz. AJATTの方法は私にとても便利でしょう。20%から90%までになるのはすごい嬉しいですかな。もう6月は100%だな? ;)

  27. December 28, 2010 at 05:51

    What’s he saying around 3:01

    にじゅうらい(nakama bla bla blah)わ? I’m totally lost here.

    What is so funny at 3:30? Is this nervous laughter? なっし? なっし?  I’m just confused, probably. I never get humor in Japanese.

    Actually, this might be an entertaining regular feature of the website. Just blab randomly in Japanese, and then we can poke at it frame by frame and try to analyze exactly what was said.

    • Daniel
      December 28, 2010 at 11:29

      You need to listen to more Japanese :P. He says in romaji,”ore you kangaite”. You kind of wont get it for a while but it doesn’t mean anything so he says “意味は無し、無し。”

    • Anonymous
      December 29, 2010 at 07:28


      He’s saying that [his audience] is more interested in learning the type of conversational Japanese that 20-somethings like he and his friend use [rather than formal Japanese from a textbook].

      As you probably understand already, the conversation between him and his friend is very casual, and he jumps into this ultra-formal speech just as a joke. His friend plays along a bit and then Khatz says 「俺を考えて」(which could have some meaning but doesn’t make any sense contextually here), bursts into laughter and starts saying 「意味なし、意味なし」. In this context I would translate that as, “Forget it–I’m just screwing around.”

      • December 29, 2010 at 09:17

        yeah, I figured it was 謙譲語 from the orimasu. And I get it. Once I see the kanji, everything locks in my brain. It is so weird.

        Ack.  一応求めて   — Now I gotta’ listen to this again.

      • Daniel
        December 29, 2010 at 10:18

        Yeah, I haven’t actually watched this video for around 2 months :P, so I just re-watched it and understood everything. Guess I’m getting better (>_<).
        From context there could be so many different translations to,"意味なし".

  28. December 28, 2010 at 12:01

    Thanks. Yeah, I don’t understand spoken Japanese. At least not without going through it slowly. Weird thing, after I read what you wrote, I can totally hear the 若者

    Okay, so it’s something like.

    Like since he was 20 years old.


    Then the other guy.




    So the joke is just that oreyoukangaete is strange, I guess.

  29. Anonymous
    December 29, 2010 at 07:16


    I’ve been studying Japanese for a very long time, have worked in Japan in an all-Japanese environment, passed 1-kyuu years ago, and attended graduate school in Japan, taking all my classes in Japanese. I’m rarely impressed by the Japanese skills of other foreigners.

    But your Japanese _is_ impressive. I look forward to more videos!

  30. Tim
    January 23, 2011 at 00:51

    “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”

    Speaking 日本語 isn’t extraordinary. I know 100 million people who can do that! (^O^)/

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