Let's Learn Japanese is a video-based Japanese language study course for English
speakers produced by The Japan Foundation.
The two seasons (Series I and Series II) were originally aired on television at a rate of one episode per day, with each episode consisting of two lessons. Text books which complement the series were also available; these contained vocabulary lists, explanations of grammar, transcriptions of scenes from within the programme, and cultural information about Japan. Both seasons used a drama called Yan and the Japanese People for instruction. This drama consisted of scenes which focus on the experiences of a young man named Yan (played by Nick Muhrin), a foreigner living and working in Japan.
Series one of "Let's Learn Japanese" was made in 1984 and 1985. It was presented by Mary Althaus and featured a number of skits, featuring Mine-san (Yusuke Mine), Sugihara-san (Miki Sugihara), and Kaihô-san (Hiroyuki Kaihô), which were designed to help the viewer memorize, and practice the use of, new words and grammatical structures. The series also followed the story of Yan's new life in Japan working as an architect.
Series two was created in 1995 - 10 years after the end of the first series - and was presented by Tae Umino. The skits were performed by Andò-san, Koyanagi-san and Kodama-san. In this series the story of Yan is continued, only this time it is much darker and more interesting. Yan's heart is torn asunder by the young lady he had a crush on in series one, and he goes to Niigata to drown his sorrows in the wild winter Sea of Japan.