On the border of two countries stands a monument with wild roses, where two opposing soldiers meet every day. They become friends but it’s short-lived once war breaks out between their nations.
Publisher: NPO Tadoku Supporters
Revision: 池田 あきつ
Length: 19 pages
This story was written by Ogawa Mimei, who is sometimes called the founder of modern children’s literature in Japan. I’m not sure if I’d call this story children’s literature, but it absolutely reads a lot like the more somber not-quite-fairy-tales by Hans Christian Andersen. For this version, it is retold in simple Japanese for the NPO Tagengo Tadoku’s free graded readers.
I once more really like the colourful pages in this book. With few exceptions, the artist made use of the full page to illustrate the scenes and give context for the story.
These illustrations will help you understand central vocabulary such as soldier or stone monument and there are also furigana on every kanji. The plot moves a bit unexpected and there’s a lot happening in this book, but all in all vocabulary and grammar are rather easy and I’d say this story can also be read by readers inbetween N4 and N3.
You can download this story as a pdf or listen to the narration while reading along on this site: https://tadoku.org/japanese/book/9191/#bd-look-inside