Umino Nagiko is a teacher at a Japanese language school and shares through comic essays some anecdotes from her everyday teaching life while answering questions on Japanese language and culture posed in her classes.
There are both comic parts and essay parts for each chapter. When I read this first book, I mostly read it for the comic, but in book 2 I really learned to enjoy the essays as well.
The way of explaining origins of Japanese expressions, words and kanji through comic strips was really clever. While some things explained were not really necessary for my progress in Japanese, they sure were many things that I thought were good to know.
Getting to know the characters in this language school was another aspect of this book that I enjoyed a lot. Their personas are exaggerated for humor, but it wasn’t up to the point of stereotyping in my personal opinion. To be honest, I often laughed because I knew people with similar classroom attitudes and beliefs about Japan as well.
For the comic parts all the kanji have furigana, but the essay parts at the end of the chapters don’t. Some chapters can get a bit technical on the linguistics, but other chapters mostly revolve around classroom situations and are therefore easier.
I read the first two books of this series and I think I enjoyed the second one a bit more. You can get the first book here through Amazon Japan (affiliate link).
Length: 144 pages