It had been nearly a decade since I heard the distinctive voice greet me with a みなさん、こんにちは!

Despite how long it had been, I was immediately taken back to my high school Japanese class the second the words crossed my mind.

Photo by Leio McLaren on Unsplash

I believe it was somewhere around 2 AM on Friday.

I would love to say that I was out partying, or that I was at home playing video games in the company of close friends. The truth however, is that I was not quite finished with an overnight shift, at a job that I was still trying to figure out how I had gotten stuck in.

This was not the plan at all. I was supposed to be in Japan teaching in English.

How I ran with that thought and ended up finally taking the steps towards that dream is a story for another time. For now, I want to share with you how I spent the rest of that sleepless night once I finally got home.

Please allow me to proudly introduce Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Irasshai series.

Enter the world of global communication through Irasshai! Dr. Tim Cook, one of the nation’s best known distance learning teachers, guides learners through Japanese I and Japanese II as they begin to understand, speak, read and write the language. Tim’s style of teaching and solid instruction combine to create an enjoyable and motivating approach to learning Japanese.

-GPB Irasshai Welcome

Because I’m apprehensive to embed any of their media on my site due to legal considerations, I won’t be offended if you choose to just navigate straight to them now.

I recommend diving right into the massive instructional video library.

I can say without exaggeration that Tim Sensei is directly responsible for me ultimately heading to Japan.

Well, at least partly so. A large portion of the credit, should of course go to my high school Japanese teacher, who used Tim’s curriculum to supplement our lessons.

At the time of this post, I’m approximately four months out from my arrival date in Japan. I plan to use the Irasshai videos almost exclusively as I try to make my foundation as strong as possible prior to my departure.

As for anyone else looking to make a first genuine attempt at learning Japanese, I believe anyone can benefit greatly from this series, even in the absence of my strong nostalgic ties.

But don’t take my word for it, check out Irasshai and then come back to me.