Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography

I completely missed the trailer for Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography when it hit the scene back at E3 2021. Thankfully, with this year’s Guerilla Collective 3.0 and Wholesome Direct stream, I was able to remedy that oversight.

Whether or not this game will actually get me speaking and reading Japanese remains to be seen, but it is so darn charming that it seems to be up to the task of at least getting me started. I think I will be more than happy to meet it halfway and learn how to say skateboard or banana in Japanese.

The concept for Shashingo is perhaps best summed up by the title itself, which is the result of combining the Japanese words shashin / 写真, meaning “photograph,” and the suffix go / 語, meaning “language,” to form “the Language of Photographs.”

In Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography, you will use photography to capture pictures of items with Japanese characters all around a digital Japanese city. From signs on storefronts and advertisements in windows to seemingly innocuous street signs, the game translates pictures and words to both English and Japanese.

All of your pictures are compiled into a scrapbook so you can return to them as you attempt to learn each one. Eventually, I’m assuming, you could start to assemble them into a working understanding of the Japanese language. And each entry in your scrapbook even offers a Japanese speaker’s pronunciation, so you can develop an ear for the nuance of what feels like a pretty hard language to casually pick up (although maybe that’s just me).

Shashingo will be coming to the Nintendo Switch and Steam (and hopefully also the Steam Deck), sometime in the undetermined-yet-hopefully-not-too-distant future. In the meantime, you can check out the trailer below to get psyched at the prospect of learning Japanese through gaming!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x