My Fave Japanese YouTubers + some YouTube Vocab
I was introduced to Japanese YouTube and J-Vloggers through a friend and I watched a lot of videos when I was first learning Japanese. I do admit that I couldn’t understand EVERYTHING but YouTubers tend to repeat themselves often and you can see what they’re doing so you pick up a lot.
It’s important to distinguish J-Vloggers from Japanese Youtubers.
J-Vlogger is a term that usually refers to foreigners living in Japan who vlog regularly. Simon and Martina, Taylor R, Sharla, Micaela, Rachel & Jun, VenusAngelic, and Mimei are all J-vloggers. Their channels are mostly in English and they speak very little Japanese in their videos. Mimei actually does a lot of her videos in Japanese now but I wouldn’t recommend learning Japanese from her because she isn’t a native speaker. Her content is still really cute though.
Japanese Youtubers are usually native Japanese content creators. Their videos are all in Japanese usually with subtitles created by the community. They usually belong to the big partner group UUM but there are a few independents like PDR.
This is a great channel for beginners. @uni-venture mentioned him in her own post about this as Just Duncan. He’s a British-Japanese ハフwho spent much of his childhood in England but now currently lives in Japan with his wife and their cats. He speaks in Japanese in most of his videos with an even pace and simple videos. All of his videos are subtitled in English. He’s pretty unusual for a Japanese Youtuber because he isn’t attached to a major partner company and he mostly makes sarcastic joke videos and vlogs. He often talks about Convenience store customers and things that annoy him.
PDS is PDR’s younger brother Dante. Dante was much younger when the family moved back to Japan so he speaks no English and all of his videos are completely in Japanese. Only a few of them are subtitled in English (mostly older videos that Duncan subbed for him when they both still lived at home) and he speaks a lot faster. Despite his speed, Dante tends to repeat himself more often or use captions to emphasize words he’s using. For example I learned the word 交ぜる from one of his videos. Mostly he sits in his house and screams while doing something unnecessary like turning himself into a water balloon or fucking up one of his coffee tables. Occasionally he also make 20 minute long videos of himself trying to win something from a UFO catcher (claw machine) and throwing away like $35 in change. He is also a bodybuilder? So he occasionally makes videos about his fitness, but most of the time you would never know that because he does things like eat 100 Umaibo or deep fry an entire watermelon.
If you want to know how to use the particle ね you should really watch his videos.
Hajime is probably the most difficult of these YouTubers. He talks FAST and his words often are kind of slurrred to together. But I think his videos are often translated by the community and he repeats himself a lot so you can learn lots of stuff from him. He does a lot of dumb stuff like Dante. His videos include drinking too much of a drink that is meant to inflate your stomach to curb your appetite, making slime alone and nearly spilling it on the floor, and covering an entire room in those heat pads that you can stick to your skin. He also does some science-y videos sometimes. He’s a pretty big YouTube celebrity in Japan so his videos are usually a lot of fun.
If you want to learn how to use the phrase やばい！his videos are the best.
Yuka is kind of a legend. She’s a little Japanese woman who eats a LOT of food. The nice thing about her is that she eats pretty normally and unlike YouTubers who do this for the weird factor, she like legitimately enjoys everything she eats. She will like eat the entire Mister Donuts holiday menu and take time between don’t to discuss how fluffy the dough is and how refreshingly light the glaze is and so on. All of her videos are translated by the community. The translations are pretty good except the regular translator always translates 美味しい to Oishii which is not helpful and is really kind of annoying. In all honesty, Yuka is my life goals. Like she is my fave of all time. If my job could be to just eat like this girl, I would be living a dream.
If you want to learn how to talk about how you can’t handle spicy food, Yuka’s your girl.
I used to watch him all the time but now I really don’t? He is one of the biggest Japanese Youtubers who got famous for beatboxing. He often beatboxes in his videos and even has a video where he beatboxed for Ariana Grande when she was on tour in Japan. He mostly does like food and snack reviews where he gives a review at the end. Most of his videos have been subtitled in Japanese so that you can read while you watch if you want. I don’t know he’s really not my favorite tbh…
So this isn’t really a Youtuber. This is an idol group with an audience of middle aged men and young girls. However, Morning Musume is one of few Japanese music groups that has its music videos available to view in the United States and all of their music videos have English and Japanese subtitles which is very rare. If yo ucan get past the cheesy costumes and the general idolness of their videos, you can learn A LOT from them. Remember to keep in mind that the Japanese you’ll learn will be a little bit more awkward than vlog-style Japanese because it will come from song lyrics. To be completely honest though, I love muting their videos and playing like hip-hop and rap underneath of them because they match up shockingly well.
So this is technically more of a J-vlog channel but whatever. So this channel has actually ended but it’s the channel of Grace and Ryosuke, an international couple. Most of their videos are travel videos in English but some of them are cooking videos done entirely in Japanese with subtitles. Ryosuke is really good and speaks slowly in simple sentences so you can see what he’s making and hear him talk about it. He tries to do the videos with time constraints but doesn’t always do that. Their other videos are good too for culture lessons and general information about living in Japan.
So in all honesty, you probably won’t learn anything from him at all but I put him on here because I love his stuff. He, like many male Japanese Youtubers, is just like the master of pure idiocy. His channel is mostly him messing with his sister and making videos with quick, sudden jump cuts and loud slapping noises. He talks way too fast but he uses a lot of subtitles so you’ll get something. Eiji lives in the suburbs somewhere with his sister, grandparents, and parents and frequently just messes with all of them. Occasionally he purchases expensive cuts of beef, pours himself a couple of glasses of Mugicha (barley tea, god’s gift to mankind) and feasts alone in his kitchen. I just find him really entertaining I don’t know.
I think the lesson with him is to find things that make you want to learn Japanese. I don’t quite completely understand all of the humor in his videos but I really want to so I study Japanese.
AskJapanese – Interviews by Cathy Cat
Mahoto – He eats giant cicadas once a year
JPCMHD – Commercials usually in one to two week intervals