Category Archives: Japan

Konnichiwa Korok: Memory #1

Welcome to the Konnichiwa Korok project! This is dedicated to analyzing how professionals at Nintendo Treehouse went about localizing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

To achieve this goal, I’ve broken down the Japanese into a translation that is as direct as possible to the original Japanese. This is then compared to the localized version of the same text and provides us insight into Treehouse’s creative process.

Note: This is not a critical analysis, but an educational one.

This post is covering the first of 23 memories (including the five from The Champions’ Ballad DLC Pack): “Subdued Ceremony.” Take a look below!




Kanji & Vocabulary:
  • 退魔 (たいま | taima) = eradication of malignant spirits
  • 剣 (つるぎ | tsurugi) = sword
  • 選ばれる (えらばれる | erabareru ) = to be elected; to be chosen
  • ハイラル (はいらる |  hairaru) = Hyrule
  • 勇者 (ゆうしゃ | yuusha) = hero
  • 選ばれし (erabareshi) is an archaism for 選ばれた (erabareta).

Hyrule’s hero chosen by the sword which repels evil…


Hero of Hyrule, chosen by the sword that seals the darkness…



Kanji & Vocabulary:
  • たゆまぬ (tayumanu) = untiring; steady; persistent
  • 努力 (どりょく | doryoku) = effort
  • 結実 (けつじつ | ketsujitsu) = fruition; being successful
  • 剣技 (けんぎ | kengi) = sword skill
  • 認め (みとめ | mitome) = approval; acceptance; recognition
  • たゆまぬ is an archaic form of たゆまない (tayumanai).
  • 結実せし (ketsujitsuseshi) is an archaic form of 結実した (ketsujitsushita). The 「し」is a declension of the Old Japanese auxiliary 「き」that indicates past tense).

That untiring effort and skill with the sword are recognized…


You have shown unflinching bravery and skill in the face of darkness and adversity.



Kanji & Vocabulary:
  • 女神 (めがみ | megami) = goddess
  • ハイリア (はいりあ | hairia) = Hylia
  • 名 (な | na) = name
  • 「〜において」 (〜nioite) = in; at; on
  • 祝福 (しゅくふく| shukufuku) = blessing
  • 授ける (さずける | sazukeru) = to grant; to award

I grant you blessings in the name of the Goddess Hylia…


And have proven yourself worthy of the blessings of the Goddess Hylia.


空を舞い 時を廻り 黄昏に染まろうとも……

Kanji & Vocabulary:
  • 空 (そら | sora) = sky
  • 舞い上げる (まい) = to soar
  • 時 (とき | toki) = time
  • 廻る (めぐる | meguru) = to go around; to return
  • 黄昏 (たそがれ | tasogare) = twilight
  • 染まる (まる | somaru) = to be tainted; to be steeped; to be infected
  • 廻る is an alternate form of 巡り.

To soar through the sky, return through time, or to be steeped in twilight…


Whether skyward bound, adrift in time, or steeped in the glowing embers of twilight…


結ばれし剣は 勇者の魂と共に……

Kanji & Vocabulary:
  • 結ばれる (むすばれる | musubareru) = to be tied together; to be wed
  • 剣 (つるぎ | tsurugi) = sword
  • 勇者 (ゆうしゃ | yuusha) = hero
  • 魂 (たましい | tamashii) = soul; spirit
  • 共に (ともに | tomoni) = both; together

Bounded together is the soul of the hero and the sword…


The sacred blade is forever bound to the soul of the Hero.


さらなる力が そなたと そして退魔の剣に宿らんことを……

Kanji & Vocabulary:
  • さらなる (saranaru) = further; even more; still more
  • 力 (ちから | chikara) = power; force; energy
  • そなた (sonata) = that person (someone close to the listener)
  • そして (soshite) = and
  • 退魔 (たいま | taima) = eradication of malignant spirits
  • 剣 (つるぎ | tsurugi) = sword
  • 宿る (やどる | yadoru) = to live; to dwell
  • こと (koto) = thing
  • があらんことを」(ga aran koto o) is a grandiose phrase. Religious characters in manga and games say this all the time.  “Xがあらんことを” is an archaic-sounding idiomatic phrase that means “I wish you X” or “May there be X”. It’s a fixed pattern used mainly by priests.

Furthermore, I wish for [this] power to remain within this person and the sword which repels evil…


We pray for your protection…and we hope that—that the two of you will grow stronger together, as one.




Kanji & Vocabulary:
  • やれやれ (yareyare) = Good grief!/Oh dear…

Oh dear…


Gee, this is uplifting…



Kanji & Vocabulary:
  • 前途多難 (ぜんとたなん | zentotanan) = grim prospects
  • みてえ(mitee) = looks like
  • みてえ is male slang for みたい (mitai).
  •  (na) is often used by men, and usually within the same age group. It’s used similarly to ね (ne), with a rising intonation, but the sound comes off as a bit rougher. It’s also used much more in casual situations than ね, which is more acceptable in a work environment. Basically, な is a way of expressing an opinion or feeling without asserting yourself too much. However, it can also be used to confirm information.

[Zelda makes] it seem like our future is grim.


She’s making it sound like we already lost.




Kanji & Vocabulary:
  • 何 (なに | nani) = what
  • 言う (う | iu) = to say

What are you talking about?


Wasn’t this your idea?


「御付の騎士任命の記念に 太古の伝説 真似てみろ」って はやし立てたの あんただろ?

Kanji & Vocabulary:
  • 御付 (おつけ | otsuke) = retainer; attendant; escort
  • 騎士 (きし | kishi) = knight
  • 任命 (にんめい | ninmei)= nomination; appointment
  • 記念 (きねん | kinen) = commemoration; celebration
  • 太古 (たいこ | taiko) = ancient times
  • 伝説 (でんせつ | densetsu) = legend
  • 真似 (まね | mane) = imitating/copying
  • はやし立てる (はやしてる | hayashitateru)= to cheer; to hype up
  • あんた (anta) = you
  • てみろ is the imperative form (rough/vulgar/male speech) of 〜てみる. This form is used when you tell people what to do strongly or when you challenge people to do something.
  • あんた is another form of あなた (anata), which means “you.” However, あんた implies looking down on someone.

Weren’t YOU the one who pushed the idea to “imitate the ancient legend to celebrate his assignment as [Zelda’s] knight escort?”


You’re the one who wanted to designate the appointed knight with all the ceremonial pomp, grandeur, and nonsense we could muster!


とはいえ 彼に対する態度に関しては あの姫と気が合いそうだよ 僕

Kanji & Vocabulary:
  • とはいえ (tohaie) = although; be as it may; though; nonetheless
  • 彼 (かれ | kare) = he/him
  • 対する (たいする | taisuru) = to face; to confront; to oppose
  • 態度 (たいど | taido) = attitude; behavior
  • 関して (かんして | kanshite)= in relation to (regarding)
  • あの (ano) = that
  • 姫 (ひめ | hime) = princess
  • 気が合い (い | kigaai) = mood; feelings + together (mutual consent)
  • 僕 (ぼく | boku) = I

Nonetheless, I feel the same as the princess regarding her [hostile] attitude about him.


And if you ask me, the whole things does seem a bit overkill. I think I’m on the same page as the princess regarding…this boy.




御ひい様にとっちゃ あいつの存在は……

Kanji & Vocabulary:
  • しょうがない (shouganai) = It can’t be helped./There’s nothing that can be done.
  • 御ひい様 (ひいさま | ohiisama) = princess
  • 「〜にとっちゃ」 (〜nitoccha) = concerning; regarding
  • あいつ (aitsu) = he; she; that guy
  • 存在 (そんざい | sonzai) = existence
  • 「〜にとっちゃ」 is a colloquial way of saying 「〜にとっては」.

It can’t be helped. For the princess, his existence seems…

Oh, give it a rest. That boy is a living reminder of her own failures.


そう コンプレックスの象徴みたいなもんだから

Kanji & Vocabulary:
  • コンプレックス (こんぷれっくす | konpurekksu) = complex (short for inferiority complex)
  • 象徴 (しょうちょう | shouchou) = symbol
  • みたい (mitai) = looks like
  • もんだから (mondakara) is used in situations where you’re giving a reason why something couldn’t be helped, usually something negative.

…symbolic of her [inferiority] complex.


Well, at least that’s how the princess sees him.


I hope you found that informative and interesting! Feel free to share with anyone who might enjoy this. Sometimes I stream myself doing these translations on Twitch. Please look forward to the next post covering Memory #2: Revali’s Flap!

GDC 2015


Another Game Developers Conference (GDC) has come and gone. As I left San Francisco, all that was left was its shell: the white Moscone Center and the yellow and orange GDC banners that still proudly hung in support of a conference that has recently transpired.

“TT4_0398” by Official GDC under CC BY 2.0.
TT4_0398” by Official GDC under CC BY 2.0.

Observing this, I experienced both sadness and happiness. I am sad that I won’t get to see friends and exchange conversations with some of the most intelligent people I know in the industry on a regular basis.  However, I am happy to see that there is a bright future for the games industry. The attendees of GDC are the people who will change the industry. Being surrounded by them at GDC greatly inspires me to do my best in chasing my dreams and ambitions.

At the end of 2014, I moved to Japan to pursue my passion. I wanted to immerse myself more into game localization, a craft I wanted to specialize in, and become proficient in the language and culture. Everything seemingly was going to plan, but, perhaps inevitably, I ran into hurdles and roadblocks during my brief time here in Japan. These moments left a bitter taste in my mouth and I found myself feeling discouraged and my confidence was wavering. I was still determined to accomplish my goal, but my morale was at an all-time low.

“TT4_0398” by Official GDC under CC BY 2.0.
General” by Official GDC under CC BY 2.0.

Luckily, GDC was right around the corner. Since I was living across the Pacific Ocean in another country, I truly wondered if I could attend GDC again this year. It was tight, but I was able to make it happen. I don’t regret it at all. Like my previous GDC experiences, this year proved to be memorable and life-changing.

This year I prioritized face-to-face meetings plus sessions and roundtables which would not be recorded and uploaded onto the GDC Vault. It was an excellent decision. I met and befriended incredibly talented people who I would love to work with in the future. I also learned so much about aspects of the industry I’ve had yet to experience. In particular, the “Acting and Talent for Games: From Indie to AAA” roundtables were my favorite events to attend. These talks explored aspects of game development that I wanted to learn the most about at GDC: localization, writing, and voice acting.

I got access to a fair amount of parties too, but the award for “GDC 2015 Best Party Attended” goes to IGN’s Indie Mixer. The IGN party was great for meeting people and getting to see many incredible indie titles. Just from observation, Spider: Rite of Shrouded Moon looked very fun. I also had my first VR experience and played Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes using the Oculus. All the games at the event looked pretty great, to be honest. While I am talking about indie games, let me plug in some titles from the GDC floor. Metamorphabet and Killer Queen, the two titles I did play, were also really fun. I must also mention Butt Sniffin’ Pugs. Yes, you heard that right. Butt Sniffin’ Pugs.

This was my third GDC, but for a second time I was invited to join the Conference Associates who are also known as the CAs.  The CA program is the best volunteer program I have ever experienced. I would not hesitate to claim it to be the best in the world. Working as a CA this year made me realize just how great this program is. It manages to bring together 400 people across a wide range of disciplines and they all work together harmoniously to run the largest event designed to inform and educate game industry professionals.


The head of the CA program must have a great sense for people, because the CAs consist of some of the most friendly, most enthusiastic, most helpful human beings I know. Not only that, the program is structured to support and include everyone. The work environment generated by the CA program is nearly utopian. Through careful observation, I think this can be credited to the established chain of service. It is one that prioritizes the attendee followed by the CAs, the CA staff, the CA head, and finally UBM. This structure and the acceptance of everyone’s opinions and ideas is, what I believe, the secret to the success of the CA program. Support from CAs does not only last during GDC, but forever. Joining the CAs is like joining a family, and I am proud and very grateful to be part of this amazing family.

Speaking of family, I am lucky enough to be joining another one. It was during GDC that I got to visit the IGN office to talk about a freelance job. I am very happy to announce that I will be working with IGN as their Japan correspondent. I’m now working with a company that I’ve been admiring, following, and reading their material since the release of the original The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask in 2000. I’ve been told it’s like being in another CA family and I cannot be more thrilled.


America I’ll miss you, but now I return to Japan reinvigorated and excited. My new life in Japan begins now.

Nintendo and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Dress Up

Being led by Japan’s most kawaii pop idol, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Nintendo’s new New 3DS is turning heads with its customizable, cutesy cover plates known as “kisekae plates.”

“Kisekae” literally means to “change clothes,” and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu uses her trademark style to make Nintendo’s message loud and clear.

It’s not just the system dressing up. Joining the party are some of Nintendo’s most iconic characters: Hipster Bowser, Leprechaun Link, His Majesty King Pikachu, and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Kirby. Seriously, who can ignore those adorable Nintendo character makeovers?


Kisekae Plates

The most recent addition to Nintendo’s portable line suffers from Nintendo’s odd, maybe somewhat unimaginative, naming conventions. However, the Japanese trailer for it definitely makes the system stand out. “きせかえちゃお” or “let’s dress up” is the coined phrase for Nintendo’s latest marketing scheme. “Kisekae” literally means to “change clothes,” and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu uses her trademark style to make Nintendo’s message loud and clear.New_Nintendo_3DS_FaceplatesThe kisekae plates are a feature exclusive to the smaller New Nintendo 3DS. LL (the XL version) owners will still have to depend on limited edition versions to get a “customized” theme. Regular New 3DS owners already have a selection of approximately 40 designs, featuring a variety of Nintendo characters and patterns, to choose from. Prices vary from 1000円 – 3000円 or $10 – $30.

Menu Themes

An intriguing, and surprisingly rarely mentioned, feature of the kisekae plates are their ability to also customize the menu interface. Regular 3DS and 3DS XL owners can also join the fray. Riding in on Nintendo’s wave of customizability  are downloadable custom themes for the menu interface for all 3DS systems.


In October 2014, a system update will add a new “Theme Shop” to the Home menu. Equipping these different themes will transform the menu background, icons, and folders. It will even change the music and sound effects!

The “New” in New Nintendo 3DS

The New Nintendo 3DS offers a ton of new features: a more powerful CPU (allowing New 3DS exclusives such as Xenoblade Chronicles), a new C-stick and two additional shoulder buttons, Micro SD card functionality, environmentally adjustable backlight, and NFC connectivity (Amiibo support). Oh, and my favorite, enhanced stereoscopic 3D which removes the dreaded “sweet spot.”

Surprisingly, out of all of these features, it is the kisekae plates which are becoming the most noteworthy new addition. More than ever before, Nintendo is allowing players to express their individuality, which is remarkably un-Japanese. Maybe this a sign of changing times in Japan or simply Nintendo’s awareness of a global audience.


There is no doubt about it, the collaboration between Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Nintendo is some of the best Nintendo marketing we’ve seen since the Wii era. It certainly caught my attention and I love those character redesigns. One day, I’m definitely going to cosplay the very dapper Leprechaun Link.