The Japanese Language
You tend to hear about how horribly difficult it is to learn Japanese. They have a spoken language, of course, and also three different writing systems. Even the spoken language itself can have differences between whether a woman or a man is speaking.
The written part includes the hiragana, a series of nearly 50 characters; katakana, another series of around 50 characters, and Kanji, the very complex ideograms of which an average Japanese person knows around 2000 or so.
I've been working on the hiragana and katakana and have found that they aren't as hard to learn as you might think. Of course there is also the Kanji to learn, verb conjugation, sentence structure, etc. so it is definitely a formidable task but not an impossible one.
I.There are some interesting things when you study the relationship of Japanese culture to its language. I've included a few of these here: Culture & Language items
II. There also many books and other materials out there to help you learn Japanese. They vary from the very basic to the extremely complex. I'm including a listing of a few of these here: Books on Japanese
III. There are also many different items that involve using cassette tapes. Some of these include a small manual and some only include liner notes. I have some of these listed here: Cassettes on Japanese
IV. Finally, there are various CD-ROM programs to help you learn Japanese. I have a number of these and each one has its own strengths but none of them are sufficient all by themselves, at least in my opinion. CD-ROMs
Japan main page
Japanese-American Internment Camps index page
Japan and World War II index page