Book Review, N4, Non-Fiction

[N4] 象(ぞう)のトンキー

This book tells the real story of Tonky, an elephant at Ueno zoo. A keeper named Shinichi takes care of Tonky during the 1920s and 1930s, but when the war eventually breaks out, he has to make a difficult decision regarding the elephant…. The tragic fates of the animals at Ueno zoo during the Second… Continue reading [N4] 象(ぞう)のトンキー

Book Review, N3, Non-Fiction

[N3] ほんとうにあったお話 1年生

At the start of each day, many schools in Japan have a time slot, in which students can freely read their own books. Today's recommendation is a book for first graders and intended to be read during this reading time. The short stories in here are - as the title suggests - based on true… Continue reading [N3] ほんとうにあったお話 1年生

Book Review, N5, Non-Fiction

[N5] どん、どん、どん

donburi is the Japanese name for a large bowl of rice where the main dish (e.g. meat or fish) is served on top. Depending on these other ingredients on top of the rice, those dishes are called different names, but all of them end in ~どん. This text written by Kondo Maiko at the Japan… Continue reading [N5] どん、どん、どん

Book Review, N3, Non-Fiction

[N3] 飯田(いいだ)くん

Iida Kunihiko was born in Manchuria in 1942, but was soon brought to Hiroshima by his mother. There he experiences and survives the atomic bombing in 1945… This story was created by the NPO 平和(へいわ)の大切(たいせつ)さを伝(つた)える日本語教材(にほんごきょうざい)をつくる会(かい) which I would translate as 'Association for the creation of Japanese language teaching materials to convey the importance of peace'.… Continue reading [N3] 飯田(いいだ)くん

Book Review, N4, Non-Fiction

[N4] お弁当(べんとう)って面白い

This non-fiction text by McPherson Tanaka Naemi is about bento - what types of bento there are, when the food culture around it emerged and how the discussions around it are also socially linked. This was very interesting to read! The reflections on social issues around bento were particularly interesting for me and I was… Continue reading [N4] お弁当(べんとう)って面白い

Book Review, Manga, N2, Non-Fiction

[N2] 日本人の知らない日本語 #I

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… Continue reading [N2] 日本人の知らない日本語 #I

Book Review, N4, Non-Fiction

[N4] 原宿(はらじゅく)のクレープ店

Around the street Takeshita Doori in Harajuku there are several popular crêpe stands, that made the area famous for this tasty treat. This article on matcha.jp provides a closer look at 3 of these shops and describes the crêpes you can buy there. Unfortunately, I'm not one for that much whipped cream, but Harajuku crepes… Continue reading [N4] 原宿(はらじゅく)のクレープ店

Book Review, N5, Non-Fiction

[N5] 日本のおもしろいカフェ

There are many interesting cafés in Japan, and many of them have some kind of gimmick! This short book by Dini Budiani introduces some Japanese café concepts that you could try out on your next visit to Japan. I miss being in Japan and going to cafés there. I enjoyed many chocolate mint frappucinos during… Continue reading [N5] 日本のおもしろいカフェ

Book Review, N4, Non-Fiction

[N4] コスプレが趣味(しゅみ)です

Here you can read a short interview with a Japanese cosplayer on the learning site Hirogaru Nihongo. She remains unnamed unfortunately. All her answers are transcribed into simple Japanese and you can watch a video of the interview with her original answers afterwards. In the end, there is also a little reading comprehension quiz. The… Continue reading [N4] コスプレが趣味(しゅみ)です