Book Review, Fiction, N5, Non-Fiction

[N5] 招き猫(まねきねこ)

You have probably seen these white and red cat figures somewhere as decoration. They generally have one paw raised or sometimes it’s moving back and forth. Also, they usually either hold a sign with calligraphic characters or it’s hanging from their collar. They are called manekineko and this book tells a legend of their possible origin.

Publisher: Taishukan
Author: 谷川たにがわ 順子よりこ
Length: 16 pages

Before we get to the legend of how a beckoning cat became such a strong symbol, the book starts with general information about the statues and figurines just as you would expect from a non-fiction text. But after the introduction the style switches into more of a folklore book.

As a graded reader by Taishukan and the NPO Tagengo Tadoku it’s very easy to read and understand at the assigned level even without a dictionary. Every page has pictures or a drawn illustration by とおの とうこ, which helps with understanding all new words in the text.

For example, you may not yet know the vocabulary for monk or servant but it really becomes quite clear through context as well.

This story about the origin of manekineko is part of a graded reader set, that also includes two level 0 stories, one more level 1 story and three level 2 stories. Besides this folklore legend, there’s also fictional stories, non-fiction and two fairy tales in the set.

In total you’ll get 7 little books perfect to gradually work your way up in difficulty from absolute beginner to an elemantary level in Japanese.

You can get the whole set e.g. through Amazon Japan (affiliate link).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s