Tech for Teach

Going Postal with Joe Tomei


JtomeiI realize that this is stretching the DMLL notion like a drum, but as teachers in the Land of Wa, there is often a lot of language learning, and just general learning to be done, and advances on the digital and the media front can make your life a lot easier.

So today, I want you to imagine you’ve gotten an address, perhaps in romaji, or worse, handwritten Japanese and you have to send a document there. Or perhaps you talk to someone over the phone and they give you an address and you have to figure out if the Ooka is 大河 or 大賀 or 相賀 or maybe even Ooga (太神, 大賀 or 大桑) This is assuming that you, unlike me, can easily tell the difference between the long and short vowels in Japanese or that your mind doesn’t drift like mine and you start thinking about this Ohka. Far easier to get the post code (yuubin bango 郵便番号)and head over to

Getting the 7 digit postcode will get almost all of the address, with the last bits (banchi and the name) a lot easier to figure out. You can also search for the postcode for a particular address and it will also, if you have an address and don’t know how to read the kanji, give you the reading in katakana. Sometimes, you get lucky and get a really obscure reading, and then have the opportunity to correct a Japanese colleague. A gift that keeps giving.

I use the site when trying to make sense of handwritten student addresses gathered at my open campus mogi jugyou. It’s really a life saver.

If you have some challenge or problem you want addressed in this column, drop me a line at and I’ll try to find something that will help you. 

Leave a Reply