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What were terakoya?

Terakoya (寺子屋 terako-ya, literally temple schools, private elementary schools) were private educational institutions that taught the children of Japanese commoners during the Edo period. Their main focus was reading and writing, and unlike other centers of education that taught basic skills for everyday life, the terakoya offered a higher level of education. Through the system of terakoya and han schools, the Japanese population achieved a high degree of literacy by the end of the Edo period.

You can learn more about the terakoya here, here, and here.

What is the terakoya?

DaiWEEB aims to offer a language learning platform for the 21st Century, where, as in the terakoya of history, students of the Japanese language can achieve higher levels of reading proficiency. To achieve this goal, we provide compelling input in a comprehensible format.

Specifically the platform:

  • Makes interesting stories from a broad range of genres available to enjoy.
  • Provides Japanese subtitles to read while listening to the Japanese audio.
  • Includes furigana reading aids to assist with unfamiliar or difficult kanji.
  • Uses an English reference subtitle track to clarify any misunderstandings of the Japanese dialog
  • Integrates a dictionary to easily lookup definitions of unknown and interesting words or phrases.

Who is this site for?

People who love anime and want to learn Japanese. In short, YOU!

Is there a user manual?

Why yes, yes, there is.

What browsers are supported?

Officially, we support the most recent version of:

All features should work on all platforms (Android, IOS, Linux, Mac, Windows) using either of these browsers. If you are experiencing problems please update your browser to the most recent version first, and if the problem persists, contact tech support to file a bug report.

We can not support, nor ensure all features work in either MS Edge or Safari but we do test that videos play and subtitles display correctly in these browsers.

Sadly, Internet Explorer lacks core features that are required for modern multimedia web applications and as such will not work correctly with the platform.

Do I need to create an account to use the website?


The first episode of every series and all of the extras (opening/ending theme songs, music videos, etc.) can be watched without an account. This gives you a chance to evaluate the platform, the website, the community and decide if it is something you wish to participate in.

And you do want to participate, don’t you?

Is a valid Facebook/Google/email address required?

Most certainly not.

You can create an account with just a username and a password. The email field is optional and we do not verify the address. Sharing your email with us is for those users who wish to prevent getting locked out of their account in the event they lose their password.

Social logins (Facebook/Google) are provided as a convenience for those who do not wish to keep track of yet another username/password combo.

How much does it cost to create an account?

Nothing. It’s free.

No monthly subscription fees, no token fund raising schemes, no click-bait advertisements, no premium user memberships. Nor do we collect user data to sell to third parties.

The DaiWEEB organization, and its implementation of the terakoya, is a not-for-profit educational use learning platform. We are neither a commercial enterprise nor an entertainment venue, and as such none of our activities are revenue generating.

Can you learn Japanese from anime?

If you love anime (and you do love anime, don’t you?), then it’s a wonderful way to learn Japanese. If you dislike anime, you might not find it so useful.

But I heard… [and there is a lot out there on the internet on the evils of using anime to learn Japanese]

Second language acquisition is a broad subject and there are conflicting opinions/hypotheses on how language is acquired. Now that the blog is up and running we look forward to a spirited discussion on ways to use native materials to learn a foreign language.

I am a beginner, what videos can you suggest?

Anything is suitable provided you find it enjoyable and compelling.

That aside, Shirokuma Cafe and Usagi Drop are often recommended for beginners.

Can I request a (series, song, movie, drama, etc…)?

Most definitely.

How can I thank you?

Tell your friends about us! Sharing is caring!

And if you really, really, really want to thank us, start a YouTube channel/vlog/blog and share your language learning journey in detail. We would love to cheer on your progress!

How can I help?

Use the service as it was intended: find something you love and start learning. Then suggest corrections! Help make the platform better for the next person in line behind you.