A man falls asleep on the train and wakes up in the mysterious town of Shin-Izumino, where everyone is much older than him. While he is still trying to figure out how to get back home, he runs into more and more situations that leave him thoroughly bewildered.
Length: 19 pages
This short story is a graded reader and written specifically for learners with an ‘elementary’ reading comprehension (inbetween beginner and intermediate). As such, it features only basic grammar points and uses a rather small set of vocabulary with new vocabulary explained through illustrations. As expected from the Taishukan Japanese Readers book series, this book is a great reading for the assigned level!
Reading this short story, I was reminded of the current issues revolving around Japans ageing society in a chilling way. A town full of elderly people working way past their retirement age is not too far from the reality, unfortunately.
This chilling short story is part of a graded reader set by Taishukan and the NPO Tagengo Tadoku. The volume 2 of the series includes 7 small books all of the same reading level: Besides short stories like this one, there’s also fairy tales and folklore. For example, I’ve already written about the fairy tale 「ヘンゼルとグレーテル」that is part of this very set.
The full set of physical books can be purchased for example through Amazon Japan (affiliate link).