Beginner and Intermediate Resource for Reading and Listening

Here are 2 very short stories written in Japanese (about 20-50 sentences). Click on the story titles for the links.

A little reading each day can improve all aspects of Japanese. Readers can quickly develop a feel for how Japanese is used.

I recommend listening along to the native audio while you read.

Please leave a comment if you find them useful.

あれが何? ARE WA NANI? (What is that?)

The おもしろい (OMOSHIROI/interesting) adentures of 2 cats. The heroine is いもうと(younger sister). She is supported by her おにいさん(ONIISAN/respectful term for older brother). A family of とり(TORI/birds) also play a part.

ちょっと CHOTTO (A little)

The romantic adventures at だいがく (DAIGAKU/Univeristy) of a 21 year old woman called Marina. Her day is full of different uses of the word ちょっと CHOTTO (A little). Her あさごはん (ASAGOHAN/breakfast) starts with しお(SHIO/salt). Then she is invited out for dates: ぼくとごはんたべませんか (BOKU TO GOHAN TABEMASEN KA?/Won’t you have dinner with me?)

(UPPER BEGINNER) 柴犬ディナちゃん、秋の京都へ行く SHIBAINU DINA-CHAN, AKI NO KYOUTO E IKU (A Shiba dog called Dina heads to Kyoto in Autumn)

A virtual tour of Kyoto in autumn through the eyes and ears of a shiba dog from Russia. Dina visits her 旅館 RYOKAN (traditional Japanese inn) after a long flight. In a busy day exploring the best of autum Kyoto, she sees a 舞妓 MAIKO (apprentice geisha), and visits one of the most famous sights in Kyoto, 清水寺 KIYOMIZU-DERA (Kiyomizu temple). 

(INTERMEDIATE) 吉四六さんの話 KICCHOMU-SAN NO HANASHI (The tale of Kicchomu)

Kicchomu was a joker who lived in the early 17th century in what is now Oita prefecture in eastern Kyushu. This story is when about when he is working on a river-crossing 船 FUNE (boat). A travelling 侍 SAMURAI appears armed with a 刀 KATANA (sword). There is a dispute over the crossing fee of 8文 HACHI-MON (8 Mon coins/aprroximately 200 yen). The story finishes with a funny twist.

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