How to Understand Japanese Verbs: Groups, Exceptions, Forms, Conjugations, and Verb Particles

Learn Japanese VerbsNavigation bar: Click on a Subject Title below to Jump to that section of this post.
Particles Dictionary Form て形 た形 ない形

Group I Dictionary Form for Group I て形 for Group I た形 for Group I ない形 for Group I

Group II Dictionary Form for Group II て形 for Group II た形 for Group II ない形 for Group II

Group III Dictionary Form for Group III て形 for Group III た形 for Group III ない形 for Group III

Group I

First of all, in Japanese verbs are categorized into three groups. My understanding is that they are categorized by the consonant before ます. Group I verbs have a character ending in “I” before ます. That means い、き、ぎ、び、り、ち、み、し、and に. There is only one に verb which is しに which means to die. It is not included in the Minna No Nihongo book though.

I have arranged the Group I verbs taught in Minna No Nihongo Elementary Japanese I by the character before ます:

いいます (Say)
あいます (meet)
かいます (buy)
すいます (smoke)
あらいます (Wash)
うたいます (sing)
おもいます (think)
つかいます (use)
はらいます (pay)
ならいます (learn)
もらいます (receive)
てつだいます (help (with a task))
いきます (go)
おきます (Put)
かきます (Write, draw, paint)
ききます (hear, listen, ask (someone))
はきます (Wear, put on (clothes, shoes))
ひきます (play (instrument), pull)
つきます (arrive)
あるきます (Walk)
うごきます (move, work )
はたらきま (work)
もっていきます (take something)
つれていきます (take (someone))
ぬぎます (take off (clothes, shoes))
いそぎます (hurry)
およぎます (swim)
あります (have, exist, be (inanimate), be held (an event), take place)
いります (need, require)
うります (sell)
きります (cut, slice)
ふります (rain)
なります (Become)
のります (ride, get on (train))
しります (get to know)
とります (take, pass, grow old)
おくります (escort, go with)
おわります (finish)
かえります (go home, return)
かかります (take, cost)
つくります (make, produce)
かぶります (put/wear on my head)
さわります (Touch)
すわります (sit down)
とまります (stay (somewhere))
わかります (understand)
わたります (Cross over (a bridge/road))
のぼります (Climb, go up)
まがります (turn (to the right), bend)
はいります (enter (a place), take (a bath))
がんばります (do one’s best)
かします (lend)
けします (turn off)
おします (push, press)
だします (take out, hand in, send)
かえします (give back, return)
おろします (withdraw)
なおします (repair, correct)
なくします (lose)
はなします (speak, talk)
まわします (turn, rotate, spin, revolve, turn round, wander around)
おもいだします (remember, recollect)
かちます (win)
まちます (wait)
もちます (hold)
たちます (stand up)
やくにたちます (be useful/helpful)
すみます (be going to live)
のみます (drink, take (medicine))
よみます (read)
やすみます (Rest, take a holiday, take a day off)
あそびます (enjoy oneself, play)
よびます (Call)

Here is Japanese Verbs Group I Organized List Lined Up

Group II

Group II verbs have a character ending in “E” before ます. That means: え、け、げ、め、れ、べ、て、で、ね、and せ. However, with Group II has some います、きます、びます、ります,  and みます verbs should be in Group I because they are IMASU verbs, but they are our first EXCEPTION. The significance of the grouping lies in conjugating them into different forms.

Here is a list of the verbs in Group II that are taught in Minna No Nihongo Elementary Japanese Book I:

います (exist, be (animate), have (a child), stay, be (somewhere))
おしえます (teach, tell (something))
むかえます (go to meet, Welcome)
のりかえます change, Transfer (trains))
きます (put on (clothes))
おきます (get up, wake up)
できます (be able to, can)
みます (see, look at, watch)
でます (change, come out, go out (of someplace))
ねます (sleep, go to bed)
あけます (open)
かけます (make (a phone call), put on (glasses))
まけます (lose, be beaten)
つけます (turn on)
きをつけます (pay attention, be careful, take care)
でかけます (go out)
あげます (Give me)
あびます (take (a shower))
しらべます (check, investigate)
たべます (eat)
いれます (Put in, insert)
うまれます (be born)
つかれます (get tired)
わすれます (Forget)
かえます (change)
たります (be enough, be sufficient)
かります (borrow)
くれます (Give (me))
しめます (close/shut)
とめます (graduate (from University), stop, park)
やめます (quit, retire, stop, give up)
あつめます (collect, gather)
はじめます (start, begin)
すてます (discard, throw away)
みせます (show)

In order to remember which verbs ending in います, きます, びます, or ります which should be in group one but aren’t; remember that You GET UP, TAKE A SHOWER, BORROW a towel, PUT ON A SHIRT, ARE ABLE TO catch your train, GET OFF THE TRAIN, and be glad to BE ALIVE because you can SEE that you have ENOUGH to make you happy  and you can remember the verbs that don’t end in E but are in group two Knowing this will help you to remember which “I”ます verbs do not follow the conjugation rules for group I.
おきます (get up, wake up)
あびます (take (a shower))
かります (borrow)
きます (put on (clothes))
できます (be able to, can)
おります (get off (a train))
います (exist, be (animate), have (a child), stay, be (somewhere))

みます (see, look at, watch)
たります (be enough, be sufficient)

Group III

Group III verbs are mainly します verbs with only a couple きます exception verbs. The verb きます, as well as つれてきます and もってきます, are in Group III. That is a fairly easy exception to remember. To remember that つれてきます and もってきます are in Group III and not つれてきます and もってきます (which mean to take someone/something), remember that きます means to come, and when you are asked to COME somewhere you BRING someone/something with you, but いきます means to go and when you GO (or leave somewhere) you TAKE someone/something with you. きます verbs are in group I.  Group III verbs included in the Minna No Nihongo Elementary Japanese Book are:
あんないします (show around, show the way)
うんてんします (drive)
かいものします (go shopping)
きます (come)
けっこんします (marry, get married)
けんがくします (visit a place to study it, tour)
けんきゅうします (research)
コピーします (copy)
さんぽします (take a walk)
ざんぎゅうします (work overtime)
します (do, play, put on a tie)
しゅうりします (repair)
しゅっちょうします (go on a business trip)
しょうかいします (introduce)
しょくじします (have a meal, dine, eat)
しんぱいします (worry)
せつめいします (explain)
せんたくします (wash (clothes), do laundry )
そうじします (clean)
つれてきます (bring (someone))
でんわします (use phone (call))
べんきょうします (study)
もってきます (bring (something))
よやくします (reserve, book)
りゅうがくします (study abroad)

To remember which します verbs are exceptions and are in Group I rather than Group III, REMEMBER to PUSH the button to make a WITHDRAW and TURN the automatic withdrawal OFF so that you can TAKE OUT the money you need to RETURN to your friend who you LENT money to and who you hardly ever TALK to but are making an attempt to REPAIR your relationship with them before you LOSE them as a friend. Remembering these verbs will help you to know that these verbs follow the conjugation rules for Group I.
おもいだします (remember, recollect)
おします (push, press)
おろします (withdraw)
まわします (turn, rotate, spin, revolve, turn around, wander around)
だします (take out, hand in, send)
けします (turn off)
かえします (give back, return)
かします (lend)
はなします (speak, talk)
なおします (repair, correct)
なくします (lose)

Forms & Conjugation

Now for the fun part.

Dictionary Form

also known as 辞書形(じしょけ), is used before the expression ことができます(to be able to) as well as before ことです(when the verb is the last word in a sentence) and before まえに when something is dome before something else. Here is a helpful course to help review the list of verbs in Dictionary Form. Dictionary form conjugation for

Group I

is that the all of the “I”s before ます are turned into “U”s. That means い becomes う、き becomes く、ぎ becomes ぐ、び becomes ぶ、りbecomes る、ち becomes つ、み becomes む、し becomes す、and に becomes ぬ. Remember that certain “I”ます verbs are in group II and do not follow this rule. Click here to review the list of exception verbs in Group II.
あう meet
あそぶ enjoy oneself, play
あらう Wash
ある have, exist, be (inanimate), be held (an event), take place
あるく Walk
いう Say
いく go
いそぐ hurry
いる need, require
うごく move, work
うたう sing
うる sell
おく Put
おくる escort, go with
おす push, press
おもいだす remember, recollect
おもう think
およぐ swim
おろす withdraw
おわる finish
かう buy
かえす give back, return
かえる go home, return
かかる take, cost
かく Write, draw, paint
かす lend
かつ win
かぶる put/wear on my head
がんばる do one’s best
きく hear, listen, ask (someone)
きる cut, slice
けす turn off
さわる Touch
しる get to know
すう smoke
すむ be going to live
すわる sit down
だす take out, hand in, send
たつ stand up
つかう use
つく arrive
つくる make, produce
つれていく take (someone)
てつだう help (with a task)
とまる stay (somewhere)
とる take, pass, grow old
なおす repair, correct
なくす lose
ならう learn
なる Become
ぬぐ take off (clothes, shoes)
のぼる Climb, go up
のむ drink, take (medicine)
のる ride, get on (train)
はいる enter (a place), take (a bath)
はく Wear, put on (clothes, shoes)
はたらく work
はなす speak, talk
はらう pay
ひく play (instrument), pull
ふる rain
まがる turn (to the right), bend
まつ wait
まわす turn, rotate, spin, revolve, turn around, wander around
もつ hold
もっていく take something
もらう receive
やくにたつ be useful/helpful
やすむ Rest, take a holiday, take a day off
よぶ Call
よむ read
わかる understand
わたる Crossover (a bridge/road)

The conjugation for Dictionary Form for verbs in

Group II

works by removing ます and adding る. Remember that there are certain “I”ます verbs in group II. Click here to review the list of exception verbs in Group II.
あける open
あげる Give me
あつめる collect, gather
あびる take (a shower)
いる exist, be (animate), have (a child), stay, be (somewhere)
いれる Put in, insert
うまれる be born
おきる get up, wake up
おしえる teach, tell (something)
おぼえる memorize
おりる get off (a train)
かえる change
かける make (a phone call), put on (glasses)
かりる borrow
かんがえる think, consider
きる put on (clothes)
きをつける pay attention, be careful, take care
くれる Give (me)
しめる close/shut
しらべる check, investigate
すてる discard, throw away
たべる eat
たりる be enough, be sufficient
つかれる get tired
つける turn on
でかける go out
できる be able to, can
でる change, come out
でる go out (of someplace)
とめる graduate (from University), stop, park
ねる sleep, go to bed
のりかえる change, Transfer (trains)
はじめる start, begin
まける lose, be beaten
みせる show
みる see, look at, watch
むかえる go to meet, Welcome
やめる quit, retire, stop, give up
わすれる Forget

The conjugation of Dictionary Form for verbs in

Group III

is a combination of the Dictionary Form conjugation of group one (し becomes す and き becomes く) and る is added on the end. Remember that not all します verbs are in Group III, some are in Group I. Review which します verbs are in Group I.
あんないする show around, show the way
うんてんする drive
かいものする go shopping
くる come
けっこんする marry, get married
けんがくする visit a place to study it, tour
けんきゅうする research
コピーする copy
さんぽする take a walk
ざんぎょうする work overtime
する do, play, put on a tie
しゅうりする repair
しゅっちょうする go on a business trip
しょうかいする introduce
しょくじする have a meal, dine, eat
しんぱいする worry
せつめいする explain
せんたくする wash (clothes), do laundry
そうじする clean
つれてくる bring (someone)
でんわする use phone (call)
べんきょうする study
もってくる bring (something)
よやくする reserve, book
りゅうがくする study abroad


is used as a command alone or before phrases like: もいいです, ください, はいけません, います, and にいます. て form is also used to list actions in order of completion separated by commas and ending with a verb in ます form to indicate either present/future completion or past completion. (In order to list actions done in general, た形 is used in conjunction with り and ending in います). Here is a helpful tool to help you review and memorize the list of て形 verbs.

て form conjugation for

Group I

has the most rules and is probably the most complex. ち、り、い become っ (a small つ) with a て on the end. き becomes い except for the EXCEPTION of いきます where the き becomes a っ (a small つ) both with て on the end. for ぎ the ten-ten (“) move onto the て so it becomes いで. み、び, に become んで. and します verbs simply have the ます removed and a て added. Here is a little song to help remember the て form conjugation rules for Group I

あって meet
あそんで enjoy oneself, play
あらって Wash
あって have, exist, be (inanimate), be held (an event), take place
あるいて Walk
いって Say
いって go
いそいで hurry
いって need, require
うごいて move, work
うたって sing
うって sell
おいて Put
おくって escort, go with
おして push, press
おもいだして remember, recollect
おもって think
およいで swim
おろして withdraw
おわって finish
かって buy
かえして give back, return
かえって go home, return
かかって take, cost
かいて Write, draw, paint
かして lend
かって win
かぶって put/wear on my head
がんばって do one’s best
きいて hear, listen, ask (someone)
きって cut, slice
けして turn off
さわって Touch
しって get to know
すって smoke
すんで be going to live
すわって sit down
だして take out, hand in, send
たって stand up
つかって use
ついて arrive
つくって make, produce
つれていって take (someone)
てつだって help (with a task)
とまって stay (somewhere)
とって take, pass, grow old
なおして repair, correct
なくして lose
ならって learn
なって Become
ぬいで take off (clothes, shoes)
のぼって Climb, go up
のんで drink, take (medicine)
のって ride, get on (train)
はいって enter (a place), take (a bath)
はいて Wear, put on (clothes, shoes)
はたらいて work
はなして speak, talk
はらって pay
ひいて play (instrument), pull
ふって rain
まがって turn (to the right), bend
まって wait
まわして turn, rotate, spin, revolve, turn around, wander around
もって hold
もっていって take something
もらって receive
やくにたって be useful/helpful
やすんで Rest, take a holiday, take a day off
よんで Call
よんで read
わかって understand
わたって Cross over (a bridge/road)

て形 for Group II

is simple: the ます removed and a て is added.
あけて open
あげて Give me
あつめて collect, gather
あびて take (a shower)
いて exist, be (animate), have (a child), stay, be (somewhere)
いれて Put in, insert
うまれて be born
おきて get up, wake up
おしえて teach, tell (something)
おぼえて memorize
おりて get off (a train)
かえて change
かけて make (a phone call), put on (glasses)
かりて borrow
かんがえて think, consider
きて put on (clothes)
きをつけて pay attention, be careful, take care
くれて Give (me)
しめて close/shut
しらべて check, investigate
すてて discard, throw away
たべて eat
たりて be enough, be sufficient
つかれて get tired
つけて turn on
でかけて go out
できて be able to, can
でて change, come out
でて go out (of someplace)
とめて graduate (from University), stop, park
ねて sleep, go to bed
のりかえて change, Transfer (trains)
はじめて start, begin
まけて lose, be beaten
みせて show
みて see, look at, watch
むかえて go to meet, Welcome
やめて quit, retire, stop, give up
わすれて Forget

て形 for Group III

also simply has the ます removed and a て is added. Just like in Group I します becomes して and the きます verbs become きて.
あんないして show around, show the way
うんてんして drive
かいものして go shopping
きて come
けっこんして marry, get married
けんがくして visit a place to study it, tour
けんきゅうして research
コピーして copy
さんぽして take a walk
ざんぎゅうして work overtime
して do, play, put on a tie
しゅうりして repair
しゅっちょうして go on a business trip
しょうかいして introduce
しょくじして have a meal, dine, eat
しんぱいして worry
せつめいして explain
せんたくして wash (clothes), do laundry
そうじして clean
つれてきて bring (someone)
でんわして use phone (call)
べんきょうして study
もってきて bring (something)
よやくして reserve, book
りゅうがくして study abroad


can be thought of as the た in ました when translating formal speech into informal (ふつう体/ふつう形) speech. た形 is used before the expression たことがあります to express having done something in general. た形 is used before り to express in general a list of things that were done with します at the end to indicate that there are other small things that were done as well. When listing actions done in た形, it is not correct to state actions that are done every day (like eating or sleeping). (When listing actions in order of completion, て形 is used). Also be sure to not get た形 confused with たいです (to want) or たくない (to not want) where the root of the verb is attached rather than conjugated into た形. For verbs in Group II and III it will be the same either way, but for Group I verbs it is very important.

Study た形 list of verbs included in Minna No Nihongo book I.

The conjugation for

た形 for Group I

(and both other groups as well) is identical to て形 except that た is used instead of て (and だ instead of で). ち、り、い become っ (a small つ) and た is added on the end. き becomes い except for the EXCEPTION of いきます where the き becomes a っ (a small つ) both with た on the end. for ぎ the ten-ten (“) move onto the た so it becomes いだ. み、び, に become んだ. and します verbs simply have the ます removed and a た added.
あった meet
あそんだ enjoy oneself, play
あらった Wash
あった have, exist, be (inanimate), be held (an event), take place
あるいた Walk
いった Say
いった go
いそいだ hurry
いった need, require
うごいた move, work
うたった sing
うった sell
おいた Put
おくった escort, go with
おした push, press
おもいだした remember, recollect
おもった think
およいだ swim
おろした withdraw
おわった finish
かった buy
かえした give back, return
かえった go home, return
かかった take, cost
かいた Write, draw, paint
かした lend
かった win
かぶった put/wear on my head
がんばった do one’s best
きいた hear, listen, ask (someone)
きった cut, slice
けした turn off
さわった Touch
しった get to know
すった smoke
すんだ be going to live
すわった sit down
だした take out, hand in, send
たった stand up
つかった use
ついた arrive
つくった make, produce
つれていった take (someone)
てつだった help (with a task)
とまった stay (somewhere)
とった take, pass, grow old
なおした repair, correct
なくした lose
ならった learn
なった Become
ぬいだ take off (clothes, shoes)
のぼった Climb, go up
のんだ drink, take (medicine)
のった ride, get on (train)
はいった enter (a place), take (a bath)
はいた Wear, put on (clothes, shoes)
はたらいた work
はなした speak, talk
はらった pay
ひいた play (instrument), pull
ふった rain
まがった turn (to the right), bend
まった wait
まわした turn, rotate, spin, revolve, turn around, wander around
もった hold
もったいった take something
もらった receive
やくにたった be useful/helpful
やすんだ Rest, take a holiday, take a day off
よんだ Call
よんだ read
わかった understand
わたった Cross over (a bridge/road)

Group II

conjugation for た form is also identical to て form except that た is used instead of て. ます is removed and た is added.
あけた open
あげた Give me
あつめた collect, gather
あびた take (a shower)
いた exist, be (animate), have (a child), stay, be (somewhere)
いれた Put in, insert
うまれた be born
おきた get up, wake up
おしえた teach, tell (something)
おぼえた memorize
おりた get off (a train)
かえた change
かけた make (a phone call), put on (glasses)
かりた borrow
かんがえた think, consider
きた put on (clothes)
きをつけた pay attention, be careful, take care
くれた Give (me)
しめた close/shut
しらべた check, investigate
すてた discard, throw away
たべた eat
たりた be enough, be sufficient
つかれた get tired
つけた turn on
でかけた go out
できた be able to, can
でた change, come out
でた go out (of someplace)
とめた graduate (from University), stop, park
ねた sleep, go to bed
のりかえた change, Transfer (trains)
はじめた start, begin
まけた lose, be beaten
みせた show
みた see, look at, watch
むかえた go to meet, Welcome
やめた quit, retire, stop, give up
わすれた Forget

Conjugation of

た形 for Group III

verbs is also identical to て form except that た is used instead of て. します becomes した and きます becomes きた.
あんないした show around, show the way
うんてんした drive
かいものした go shopping
きた come
けっこんした marry, get married
けんがくした visit a place to study it, tour
けんきゅうした research
コピーした copy
さんぽした take a walk
ざんぎゅうした work overtime
した do, play, put on a tie
しゅうりした repair
しゅっちょうした go on a business trip
しょうかいした introduce
しょくじした have a meal, dine, eat
しんぱいした worry
せつめいした explain
せんたくした wash (clothes), do laundry
そうじした clean
つれてきた bring (someone)
でんわした use phone (call)
べんきょうした study
もってきた bring (something)
よやくした reserve, book
りゅうがくした study abroad


is the NEGATIVE verb form used in expressions such as ないでください(please DO NOT), なければなりません(to have to), なくてもいいです (NOT (good) – don’t do). Study NA form conjugations

ない形 for Group I

verb conjugation into ない form is similar to Dictionary form except that the “I”s before ます are turned into “A”s. Except that い instead of becoming a straight up “あ” it becomes わ instead、and き becomes か、ぎ becomes が、び becomes ば、りbecomes ら、ち becomes た、み becomes ま、し becomes さ、and に becomes な. Make sure to know what “I”ます verbs are in group II and are not conjugated the same for ない形.
あわない meet
あそばない enjoy oneself, play
あらわない Wash
あらない have, exist, be (inanimate), be held (an event), take place
あるかない Walk
いわない Say
いかない go
いそがない hurry
いらない need, require
うごかない move, work
うたわない sing
うらない sell
おかない Put
おくらない escort, go with
おさない push, press
おもいださない remember, recollect
おもわない think
およがない swim
おろさない withdraw
おわらない finish
かわない buy
かえさない give back, return
かえらない go home, return
かからない take, cost
かかない Write, draw, paint
かさない lend
かたない win
かぶらない put/wear on my head
がんばらない do one’s best
きかない hear, listen, ask (someone)
きらない cut, slice
けさない turn off
さわらない Touch
しらない get to know
すわない smoke
すまない be going to live
すわらない sit down
ださない take out, hand in, send
たたない stand up
つかわない use
つかない arrive
つくらない make, produce
つれていかない take (someone)
てつだわない help (with a task)
とまらない stay (somewhere)
とらない take, pass, grow old
なおさない repair, correct
なくさない lose
ならわない learn
ならない Become
ぬがない take off (clothes, shoes)
のぼらない Climb, go up
のまない drink, take (medicine)
のらない ride, get on (train)
はいらない enter (a place), take (a bath)
はかない Wear, put on (clothes, shoes)
はたらかない work
はなさない speak, talk
はらわない pay
ひかない play (instrument), pull
ふらない rain
まがらない turn (to the right), bend
またない wait
まわさない turn, rotate, spin, revolve, turn round, wander around
もたない hold
もっていかない take something
もらわない receive
やくにたたない be useful/helpful
やすまない Rest, take a holiday, take a day off
よばない Call
よまない read
わからない understand
わたらない Cross over (a bridge/road)

ない形 for Group II

な form is like Dictionary Form as well. ます is removed and な is added.
おりない get off (a train)
かえない change
かけない make (a phone call), put on (glasses)
かりない borrow
かんがえない think, consider
きない put on (clothes)
きをつけない pay attention, be careful, take care
くれない Give (me)
しめない close/shut
しらべない check, investigate
すてない discard, throw away
たべない eat
たりない be enough, be sufficient
つかれない get tired
つけない turn on
でかけない go out
できない be able to, can
でない change, come out
でない go out (of someplace)
とめない graduate (from University), stop, park
ねない sleep, go to bed
のりかえない change, Transfer (trains)
はじめない start, begin
まけない lose, be beaten
みせない show
みない see, look at, watch
むかえない go to meet, Welcome
やめない quit, retire, stop, give up
わすれない Forget

Conjugation of verbs into な形 for verbs in

ない形 for Group III

is just like dictionary form as well. ます is removed and な is added. します becomes しな and きます becomes きな. Make sure you remember which します verbs are in Group I.
あんないしない show around, show the way
うんてんしない drive
かいものしない go shopping
こない come
けっこんしない marry, get married
けんがくしない visit a place to study it, tour
けんきゅうしない research
コピーしない copy
さんぽしない take a walk
ざんぎょうしない work overtime
しない do, play, put on a tie
しゅうりしない repair
しゅっちょうしない go on a business trip
しょうかいしない introduce
しょくじしない have a meal, dine, eat
しんぱいしない worry
せつめいしない explain
せんたくしない wash (clothes), do laundry
そうじしない clean
つれてこない bring (someone)
でんわしない use phone (call)
べんきょうしない study
もってこない bring (something)
よやくしない reserve, book
りゅうがくしない study abroad

For the expression に(い)きます as well as ましょう, verbs in ます form simply have the ます removed which is called PLAIN form.

Verb Particles

で = at
に = to / on / in
と = with
Here is a list of verbs with specific particles other than the typical を:
あいます (meet) に
います(stay, be (somewhere)) に
はいります (enter (a place), take (a bath)) に
ききます (ask (someone)) に
さわります (Touch) に
とまります (stay (somewhere)) に
のります (ride, get on (train)) に
いきます (go) へ
まがります (turn (to the right), bend) へ
あります (have, exist, be (inanimate), be held (an event), take place) が
いります (need, require) が
できます (be able to, can) が
でます (change, come out) が
ふります (rain) が
います (exist, be (animate), have (a child)) が
でます (change, come out) が

Here is a course to practice matching a noun and particle with the correct verb. There are some examples with を if an example was given for the verb.

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Japanese Application: Why Study Japanese?

So I wrote this while filling out the forms for, and later I found out they only wanted a paragraph of why I wanted to study Japanese in Japan. Of course my wife told me while filling hers out. But I guess it sort of reinforced the reasons and maybe brought out a few more that I wasn’t totally conscious of. Either way, it took me 5 hours to do this, and I still told Go! Go! Nihon to fix their system, because a little black box was suppose to show up to tell me all this. But whatever I guess right? Here it is. My reasons for wanting to learn Japanese!

-Nathan Scheer

Why I want to go to Fukuoka JapanWhy Do I Want to Study Japanese in Japan?

The reason I’m learning Japanese is to follow a feeling I got when I started researching and looking into the Japanese culture when I was 15 years old, and from that, it’s grew to something that I could have never predicted. I started to learn the language after learning a bit more about Japan’s history back when I was in 9th grade. Then my friend at the time introduced me to his neighbor who was an older Japanese woman. She came over to the USA after WWII, her name was Mika and she would sit there with us for hours and tell us about Japan and what it was like, teach us words and sayings and some of the etiquette in Japan.

She gave me my first Japanese book, which was an old beat up red grammar book that her husband had used in WWII while he was there. Then another friend of mine at the time had an Aunt that grew up in Japan so I got more exposure to the Japanese language and the history and from there I kept bumping into friends and family who were either from Japan or worked in Japan. Then my friend with the Aunt from Japan told me that his big brother was moving to Japan to teach English, so I got to speak a lot with him, furthering my interest.

I then ended up going to a technical school after 11th grade and ended up getting my GED because I wanted to get out of High School and start college. I ended up going to Red Rocks Community College here in Colorado (when I was 19) and I ended up taking a conversation Japanese course while I was there. I ended up in a very bad car accident near the end of the semester and could not finish my classes to pass. Afterwards, I got caught up working in construction for many years after to pay for bills so I didn’t go back to school.

I ended up moving out when I was 21 and my room mates at that time were also interested in Japan, so I started getting back into it. But, since I never had real guidance I never got very far with the language part. I managed to make it through half of the first level of Rosetta Stone, but I never could really get into it and fully understand what I was saying. When I look back on it understanding more Japanese particles, I certainly could see myself being able to go further, but I never have been a fan of Rosetta Stone. Which I note on my Japanese blog at:

I did eventually run into a freeware software by Denton Hewgill called Kanji Gold. I quickly learned the first level of Kanji (It does not teach Kun or Onyami though so I only learned to recognize the characters). Since about I was 16 I’ve had this program on my desktop of my computer to dabble with from time to time. I feel I’ll be able to move more through this program when I have a bit more support to also understand how to say the words and to work with them more. To date I know level 1 fluently, level 2 semi well and level 3 not so well.. from there, I have not moved past it any further.

Level 1: 80 Kanji characters (know them all)

Level 2: 160 Kanji characters (150)

Level 3: 200 Kanji characters (40-50)

6 years ago I met my now wife, and she help me revitalize that feeling I had about Japan many years ago when I was a teenager, she help me believe that it was still possible to go to school and learn Japanese and because of that this goal of mine to study and live in Japan is starting to merge with many aspects of my business, my philanthropy projects, and my personal growth goals.

So now I feel perhaps it’s ‘guuzen’ that the feelings I felt as kid and what I’m doing now are starting to making itself known, and is the reason it’s come full circle to why I’m now applying for school in Japan. About 2 years into my relationship with my now wife we started to get really involved in Japan and Japanese. We started to look up other ways to learn Japanese and that’s where we found several different sites: (where I first learn hiragana and katakana) (mostly goes over info to help pass the JLTP – great site) (learned about this from his book series “Japanese from Zero”) (studied a bit from them, don’t care too much for it though).

We then bought close to $1,000 in text books and other material to find what would work best for us. From there, we’ve gone through more of the websites then the books.

But these are my favorite text books and books:

Hajimete no Nihongo, Japanese the Manga Way, Japanese from Zero, Genki and The Japanese Particle Workbook.


personal reason to go to JapanFor my personal/selfish reason for learning Japanese:

I want to have friends and associates from Japan. I want to be that weird family in the USA who speaks to each other in Japanese. I want to see the world through different lenses and from different perspectives. I want to be that person who says they want to go to Japan and ACTUALLY do it! I know that by experiencing new ways of living, understanding life in Japan can benefit not only myself, I can benefit my family, my society and the world at large. I think my main goal here is to become more compassionate and understanding of others and how people live, and be able to meld and respect other traditions and ways of being.

I’m also interested in attending many of the festivals celebrated in Japan, Japanese art, religious studies, the history of yokai all the way to minyo folk music and dance, and honestly I keep finding more and more reasons I want to learn Japanese and visit Japan every time I get time to research more about the culture.

Perhaps it’s the hero’s journey in me, but I feel by taking on this course of action I’m opening myself to something much bigger then what I currently have or would have if I simply let this dream die.

My business goals:

I run a successful digital marketing business (SEO / Search Engine Optimization) online. I’ve helped local companies get listed on Google, Bing and Yahoo for 3 years. I’ve marketed my own offers successfully online for over 8 years I own While I was already interested in Japanese a long while ago, I’m becoming more and more interested in Japanese SEO (digital marketing). Being the 3rd most users of the internet in the world I see a HUGE opportunity to help local Japanese businesses take advantage of the internet to get their products out to the world or the local market, and I tend to want to help businesses that can make people’s lives better. I’m also in a mentor group for SEO online marketing (as you can’t learn it in any school/college in the world – at least correctly), I’ve run into a few people who are actually from Fukuoka, Japan in the mentor group, and it would be wonderful to do joint ventures with them in the future when I’m able to look over a Japanese website and know what to do to help it gain more exposure on Google, Bing and Yahoo.

I’m also connected to hemp growers here in Colorado (to be specific Follium Bioscience –, and they would like for me to possibly be able to communicate with prefectures/legally operated hemp farms in Japan to see if we can possibly learn a few things from each other. This is a side goal, and is not at all a major reason I’m learning Japanese, but in a way it does lead into my philanthropy goals a bit as you’ll read later about farming methods I wish to explore a bit deeper.

My Philanthropy goals:

When I started my business Health & Economics of America LLC 8 so years ago I created it to more so be in service of humanity then just a paycheck. I wanted to learn how to create self-sustaining communities, I wanted to help people heal from illnesses, I wanted to learn to become an energy healer of sorts, but not in a fringe scientist type of way, I wanted to learn methods of healing the world that ACTUALLY do help and have scientific studies to back it up. I actually performed a personal meditative ritual to help me plan and attract life situations that could help me reach these goals, and I’ve gotten more opportunities than I could have imagined at this point, and a lot of these goals keep pushing me to learn and live in Japan.

Over the many years a lot of very interesting things have occurred. First thing that occurred soon after creating my life plan/goals was that I got super sick one year after dealing with a death on a job site I was working on. I was sick for over a year, then I ended up getting sick of being sick and soon afterward I attracted/found a situation where I was able to be mentored by people like:

Kevin Trudeau – Marketer, Author and Researcher
Dr. Leonard Coldwell – Highest cancer cure rate in the world 92.3% out of 35,000 patients
The Morters – created a treatment called B.E.S.T (Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique, which evolved from the practice of Chiropractic care). I was mentored by many other doctors, entrepreneurs and scientists which eventually lead me to the cure for myself, which I’ll explain a little bit later.

Because of that mentor group I ended up meeting a man named Robert Miller. This man in a nut shell summed up the self-sustaining communities plan/goal I saw in my meditative/planning ritual so much to letter that the hair stood straight up on my head (in a good way!) as I walked into his office and saw everything he was doing. For over 7 years I’ve been a friend of his and have helped him with his initiative as much as I possibly have been able to (online and offline). He has met with the President of Mexico and Vice President of Vietnam to try to help push this initiative even further. Vietnam ended up having to cancel the community plans because of inflation in their country (or that’s what I remember him saying), but the President of Mexico has been slowly working with him to create this community, they have had land donated to them and this is a REAL opportunity for it to happen. is his website it’s called “Our Family Orphan Communities”.

Here is his book he wrote: “Poverty My Teacher: Sustainable Communities”

Here is his other website: my wife and I have done a bit of work on this site for him over the years.

finding ways to help the people and the planetBut to move forward, there was one very interesting piece of information I ended up stumbling upon while researching more about the Fukuoka prefecture that led into another reason to come to Japan. I stumbled upon a man named Masanobu Fukuoka, and I saw he is was a ‘Do Nothing’ farmer that published several books and traveled around the world helping tribes to cities increase their food production and to end desertification in their area. The more I learned about him, the more I saw the opportunity to help Robert and his communities.

This did not surprise me when I saw it though as I feel like life is taking me for a ride and showing me what I need to know to accomplish the goals I’ve set out to accomplish, and this became just another reason to go to Japan to learn Japanese; I want to speak to more people about this that are and have done it. The process of ending dangerous methods of growing food that compromises not only the food itself but the land and people is something that interests me greatly for many many reasons. Robert Miller owns a few of Masanobu Fukuoka’s books, but he still needs people who are practicing this form of farming to talk to, to be able to implement it into the communities properly over time. Which again would be another reason for me to know Japanese, to be able to help ease any language barriers with this.

I find this information about Fukuoka-san really resonated with me because while I was in that mentorship group I also ended up finding a Dr. Peter Petropolis here in Colorado who helped cure me of my sickness by helping me fast with proper foods and with herbs. I then started to understand more why people were getting sick because of food, and since then I’ve been a constant researcher of food and illnesses, and I’ve been getting more and more into the Japanese diet and how to use it prevent disease and to cure it, so I’m very interested in learning more about Japanese food and being able to use my knowledge of traditional Japanese food to help others (which leads to my desire to become more of a Japanese styled chef for my own personal reasons). This is the reason Fukuoka-san is so important to me and what I’d like to do with his work by passing it more easily to others who can take it and REALLY use it in everyday life, by being able to communicate with those who are practicing this technique!

I also ended up attracting a woman who stumbled upon a healing device called the ‘Life Vessel’ (now called the ‘Energy Genesis’). This ‘fringe’ like healing device had me very skeptical for quite awhile when I first ran into the information and the device, but the more I’ve been dealing with Gail Lynn from (a now client of mine) the more I’m finding that this healing technology could have a very precious place in Japan over time, as it continues to keep surprising health care practitioners and the scientists who are researching this device. It’s showing it has the capacity to eliminate not only heavy metals from the body, but also radiation. This could very well be something that could help a lot people effected by increased levels of radiation from the accident in Fukushima and any other place in Japan.

Bringing Healing to Those who need it in Japan for radiationOf course this has huge benefit to the world, but I saw that my going to Japan could be helpful to certain people. This goal of mine is not something that would happen immediately, I would want to meet up with alternative and traditional health care professionals in Japan and possibly help them get a hold of this technology and see where it goes from there, so it’s more so to introduce the technology only and hope that it’s beneficial and is able to help people in need.

So to wind this down, I’d like to say, I could reach further into why I want to go to school in Japan. But I think if this doesn’t say it, I’m not sure what would. I absolutely love the idea of being able to speak Japanese, people call it one of the hardest languages in the world to learn and I want to prove to friends and family you can do whatever you set your mind to. When I started going to school as a kid I was considered ‘slow’ and ‘had trouble learning’. I was then stuck into a program called ‘Special Education’, from there they thought I wasn’t going to make anything of my life, in fact they said it to my face while I was in school all the way up until 11th grade (which is why I got my GED). I ended up continuing my education on my own and through mentors. I’m by nature a researcher, and because of that I’ve managed to continue learning new things since I left High School.

So yes, learning Japanese in Japan is for my own personal/selfish reasons, but I guess in the end, my desires and goals just so happen to be beneficial to a lot of people in the world and the magic that was set for me to do this continues to guide and push my limits. I can have, do or be anything I want, and learning Japanese is something that is going to help continue to prove that to myself, because I truly believe anyone is capable of miraculous things, and what a better way to teach that then to do it? All the while benefiting many people trying to do good in the world!

Thank you for your consideration,

Nathan Joseph Scheer

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