Japanese Demystified: Book Review

Japanese Demystified

I recently picked up a copy of Japanese Demystified from my local library. I had been holding off from ordering the book because the cover looked like it was going to be dummy’s guide to the Japanese language.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Frustrations with Japanese Sentences

For a while now I’ve been concerned over how to construct complex Japanese sentences. I know how to put together simple sentences where there is one object or subject and it is marked with a Japanese particle. What left me scratching my head was when it came to putting together a longer sentence that had several things going on. For example, how to say something like: “Between bread and rice, which do you eat more often?”

Thankfully, Japanese Demystified does a great job of breaking down some of the most complex sentence structures.

What’s Inside

The book is a 20 course study guide that includes several quizzes and four section-ending tests. Going from simple to complex, the book is laid out like a complete self-study course.

Along with the tests and quizzes, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to practice your pronunciation and writing as you move through the chapters.

Here’s some of the standout features that I particularly enjoyed:

  • Structured learning pace – the book moves along at a reasonable pace and never dumps a huge list of words or phrases on you at once.
  • A whole slew of sentence joining phrases – you’ll learn to join sentences with expressions similar to because of that or in addition.
  • Plain form Japanese – Although you usually can’t go wrong with using polite form Japanese, it’s nice to know how to change verbs into their plain form and where they go depending on their location in the sentence.
  • Section ending tests – For the self-study student, the section ending tests are wonderful. Here you’ll be able to gauge your progress and whether you can go on the next section or have to go back for more review.
  • Using honorifics – Chapter 20 wraps things up with a section completely devoted to the use of honorifics. It’s great way for teaching yourself some formal Japanese.


I’ve yet to come across a better book for teaching complicated Japanese grammar and sentence construction. Author Eriko Sato has done a marvelous job of breaking down Japanese into easily understandable chunks.

I’ll definitely be picking up a copy of Japanese Demystified as a reference and self-study guide. The best thing about it is that it’s dirt cheap at $14.93.

4 Responses to “Japanese Demystified: Book Review”

  1. Over the holidays...let's restart Japanese  on April 14th, 2011

    […] bought the book Japanese Demystified which I find particularly well designed. I discovered this series “demystified” when I […]

  2. nilo  on July 23rd, 2011


    Good day!I just want to know if where can i possibly buy this book here in japan?i dont have a credit card so i am hoping ti buy it in person here..Hope to here from you..thanks in advance..Godbless..

  3. shockerz  on March 27th, 2012

    I’m starting to learn Japanese and was searching reviews about this book on whether it worth my money or not. Thanks for your review! I’m getting it soon :D

  4. Travis  on March 28th, 2012

    Great to hear shockerz. I hope it helps :)

Leave a Reply