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Shoko Mugikura is a Japanese designer based in Berlin. Alongside working on book design projects, she is running the type design studio Just Another Foundry with Tim Ahrens. Her special interest is the historical development of multi-script (Japanese and European) typography.
As a Japanese person living in Europe, I’m sometimes asked: “Japanese is a difficult language, isn’t it?”. Those asking are often surprised when my answer is a simple: “No, actually, it’s not.”.
While it is true (at least to many Westerners) that Japanese is an exotic language, when compared to learning other European languages, it may seem harder because it has has no relation to their own language. But from my own experiences of learning English and German (and also from seeing some European friends learning Japanese), I can say with confidence that learning spoken Japanese is, in fact, not so difficult.