Shashingo Teaches Japanese Vocabulary Using a Photography Video Game


Perhaps you’ve wanted to learn a new language but you don’t have the time or, like most of us, you find the traditional route dull and somewhat inefficient.

photo of people crossing road
Photo of people crossing road amidst neon lights in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Erik Eastman

For those of us that require a more immersive experience, Shashingo is here for you, promising to teach users basic Japanese vocabulary and phrases while exploring a Japanese town and learning about your surroundings via an in-game camera. Point, click, and identifying various objects is the basic premise of the game which is currently in prelaunch and slated for release on Nintendo Switch as well as PC’s Steam platform.

As players progress through the game, Shashingo makes it easy to keep track of what they have learned and uses repetition to build familiarity in addition to a variety of different exercises to reinforce learning the words and phrases. And this is no easy task, either, as Japanese consists of three writing systems that work together in coordination with Roman letters to form the bulk of text a traveler to Japan will encounter.

One particularly challenging part of learning Japanese is the memorization of complex Chinese-derived characters known as kanji. While writing kanji is an art unto itself, most Japanese people learn to recognize basic words and phrases from frequent encounters and interactions with them which is much, much easier than the traditional method of rote memorization.

As a student of Japanese since my middle school years, trust me, I know, and a product like Shashingo would have made life a lot easier (on top of a bit more fun). If you’re curious about Shashingo, you can watch a YouTube video of it at this link. Ready to take the plunge and use Shashingo to help you start (or continue) learning Japanese? Give them a preorder over on Switch or Steam.

We’d love to know your thoughts on using a camera-based video game to learn real-world vocabulary and functional phrases in a foreign language. Let us know in the comments below.

We have some other photography news you might want to check out at this link right here.


About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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