How to decide the theme of the diary, what to be careful when writing a Japanese diary

In this article, I will introduce how to decide the theme of the diary and what to be careful when writing a Japanese diary. If you haven’t started writing a diary yet, please read and refer before you start.

How to set a theme of a Japanese diary

First of all, there are some points to note when deciding the theme of a Japanese diary.

View other people’s diary

The important thing when deciding on a theme for a Japanese diary is to read and refer to the diary written by others at first. You can look it up online or in a book. In learning Japanese, it is important to efficiently acquire the learning methods of others. Of course, originality is important, but without some basic knowledge, it can be difficult to get started. So, by looking at the Japanese diary written by others or the learning method of the Japanese diary, it is important that you keep a successful image such as, “this seems to be something I can do myself”, or “this is something I can continue”. Note here that if you look at the completed version too much, you may lose motivation with thinking “I can’t do this”. But it doesn’t have to be at all. Actually, when I first wrote a Japanese diary, I could only write a few simple Japanese words, and I was surprised at my lack of Japanese ability. This will definitely grow if you keep trying. The task of writing a diary in Japanese is the most necessary thing for continuity and is the essence of learning Japanese. Continuity is the most attractive thing that can be obtained from a Japanese diary.


What kind of theme and contents to write is also one of the points to think about.

In the beginning, it’s good to decide on a fixed content.

・ Weather of the day
・ Physical condition of the day
・ Meal of the day
・ Movement of the day
・ The main event that happened that day
・ Details of the event
・ Impression of the day

Try to choose three topics from the above and write them each time. You may wonder, does it make sense to write such a simple thing? However, conversation in Japanese values great importance to small talk in this way. It’s very common to share stories about weather or meal, etc. in conversations. You will be able to learn the basics of Japanese by being able to explain simple everyday things in a Japanese diary.

5 points of writing a diary in Japanese

Next, I will summarize the points to be aware of when writing a Japanese diary.

Not too long

First of all, let’s not write too much with the amount of sentences we write. The reason is that if you write too much, it is unlikely to continue. Whenever I started doing anything, I would be very motivated, and write a lot at first, but eventually stop writing. That’s a common thing to happen. The most important thing in Japanese diary is continuation. Rather than writing a lot of Japanese for a few days, your Japanese ability will improve dramatically if you continue for as short as half a year or one year. Try to continue as long as you can by writing comfortably.

Not too difficult

Next, let’s be careful not to make the contents too difficult. For example, what about “Today we discussed constitutional amendment in class.” Probably, if you don’t look it up, you won’t get an appropriate expression. Of course, by incorporating such highly specialized stories, you may be able to gain strength. However, it will be much more useful for conversation if you will be able to explain everyday events. Of course, it’s not writing a diary just for conversations, but writing too much content that is too difficult from the beginning can be a factor that can end up in failure.


One of the great benefits of writing a Japanese diary is that you can learn the correct grammar. However, simply writing blindly will not improve your grammar. It is recommended to set rules and then write. For example, for this week’s diary, make a rule to always put a sentence that includes honorifics. If it’s difficult, you don’t have to force it, but you can’t actually output a grammar that you don’t understand well. You probably won’t write a sentence of honorifics unless you understand it. This will remain incomprehensible forever. Alternatively, it is also effective to refer to the grammar book, input it, and then output it to the diary.

The first thing to be aware of are tenses. This is also very important in actual communication. Obviously, in the diary, we will describe the events that have already happened, so basically we will use the past tense. However, when expressing daily habits, for example, “Even though I don’t eat ramen so often, I ate it with my friend” etc., there will be times when you use the present tense, the future tense, or the perfect tense. These tenses are the most important in communication. First of all, it is a good idea to be able to appropriately communicate with these tenses.


The next point about words is that you should be aware of the context when using them. For example, if you want to write something like “I made a mistake at work today and my boss got angry”, if you look up “boss” in the dictionary, some words such as senior and superior will come up. However, in reality, we don’t use senior or superior on a daily basis to describe your boss at work. Usually, you will often use boss or supervisor. In this way, if you simply look up the dictionary and use it as it is, you will not be able to acquire natural expressions. In this case, be sure to look it up and choose a word. When searching, put each word in Google etc. as “boss senior superior” and search as it is. The Japanese websites or Japanese of each website will explain the differences in each nuance. This is a very painstaking task, but the benefit of a Japanese diary is that you can output while investigating. You don’t have to worry too much about these small nuances in every word, but it’s a good idea to actively research what you are curious about or what is ambiguous to find the correct nuance.


Finally, there are some points regarding review. It’s a waste to write a diary and leave it as it is, so don’t do it. The contents of the diary you wrote will be a valuable source of review. Let’s decide the review routine in advance. For example, be sure to review and read aloud the contents of the diary written the day before, and then write the diary of the day. Or at the end of the week, be sure to read back the week’s diary and read it aloud. Or, if you find a mistake or a better expression at that time, you can correct it.

Recommend app — Interchao

Interchao is a free, interactive language learning application for Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean learners. Your journal entry will be read and marked by native speakers. Let’s mark others’ diary as a native teacher as a return!




Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


Interchao is a free, interactive language learning application.