Adam Evanko is the creative mind behind the Gaijinhunter YouTube account where he’s built up over 280,000 subscribers. He’s also an incredibly lucid communicator and diligent student. We discuss his early time studying Japanese, his work at McDonald’s and a hotel in Japan, and how a job at a translation company helped prepare him for a career in video game production:
- Had you studied Japanese before you moved to Japan?
- Once you were in Japan, were you taking classes or doing self-study?
- Did you have any strategies to help you with the reading section of the JLPT?
- Were there any big milestones in terms of a first game, manga, or novel you completed in Japanese?
- 漢字検定 (Kanji kentei – Kanji aptitude test)
- What were your job hunting strategies in Japan? Are there any strategies you would recommend people looking for work?
- Did McDonald’s or the hotel where you worked have any guidance for 敬語 (keigo, polite speech)? How did you learn 敬語?
- What was your experience like as a translation project manager?
- The word my coworker helped me learn was 必殺技 (hissatsuwaza, special move), not whatever it is I said on the pod.
- Did you do any coding, writing, or game creation when you were growing up?
- What is it like to work as a video game producer? What advice would you give people interested going into video game production?
- What drew you to Monster Hunter and what has kept you interested for so long?
- What was it about Monster Hunter: World that took the series to an international level?
- What are you excited to see in Iceborne?
- Do you think anything about Monster Hunter reflects Japanese culture or values?
- How has it been to raise a daughter in Japan? Did you make a conscious effort to include her in your gaming? Do you monitor screen time?
At the top, I talk about being mindful of the difficulty of your Japanese study – sometimes you need to actively choose to do difficult things when you study Japanese.