I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wanted to read an eerie, gripping story that goes beyond the usual “happily-ever-after.” I am not that good with scary stories, but this book had just enough scary elements to keep me on the edge of my seat without making me want to put it down. There are a decent number of kanji, but the illustrations and dialogue make the plot pretty easy to follow, so I think an advanced second-year Japanese student could read and enjoy it.
I would recommend this series to anyone who want to know more about Japanese culture and Japanese daily life, and who want to experience a “culture shock” maybe. The vocabularies and expressions are easy and with the pictures I think first-year student can understand it easily.
寿司 talks about the history of sushi. It explores how sushi became a national dish for Japan. Not only that, it also touches upon how there is a variety of sushi and how one can make sushi conveniently at home.
女の子 starts out a little sad actually. The story is about a lonely girl who is trying to adjust to her new life in the city. She doesn’t talk much throughout the story, but you can tell that she is a character with many insights to the world.
I would recommend both of these books. Starting out in level 0, I never expected myself to be able to transition so smoothly when I started reading these two books. The kanji were not so difficult at all although you may have to look up some of the characters. The pictures made it easier for me to understand the stories. Both books are children friendly and have happy endings. If you’re thinking about making a jump from level 0 on the Japanese Graded Reader series, I would recommend you to consider these choices since the length of both stories are neither overwhelming or underwhelming.
As a second year Japanese student, I find the honorific language particularly difficult to remember. I usually confuse honorific words with humble expression and vice versa. It is always easy to remember that in Japanese, you should upgrade your partner (the person you are speaking to) while lowering yourself. However, the verbs are all irregular and thus easy to be mixed together, at least for me.
Therefore, I recommend this book because of three reasons
- It is a manga, so it will be interesting to read. Besides, as a manga, it has a lot of pictures. If you find it difficult to understand the text, the pictures will help you a lot to guess the content. You, therefore, don’t need to have a dictionary on hand immediately to assist with the book. I have more motivation to open the book as it is not a boring textbook, full of long sentences or difficult kanji.
- The characters are very cute and story lines are very funny! You will laugh a lot with Maruko-chan! Honorific language will become easier if you can learn it the way Maruko does!
- There are not many difficult kanji as it is a book aimed at children. There is also furigana along with kanji to help you.
While I am still reading the book as I have just recently discovered it, I recommend it to anyone who learnt honorific languages before as it will make more sense. Yet, if you are a first-year student eager to prepare for next year, I guess you can also try it out of curiosity. It is a great book to check out as it is way too cute and helful!
P/S: If you love Maruko-chan, you can meet her in anime series too!
These two stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa are really philosophical.
鼻 is about an old monk with a very long nose. He worries about his nose all the time but doesn’t want others to know about his worries, so he pretends not to care. The story ends up to be funny and satirical, as the old monk manages to shorten his nose but then decides that he wants the long nose back. Every one of us in real life is similar to the old monk, because we all care too much about other people’s opinions sometimes. If we let go such burden, our life will be much more easier.
蜘蛛の糸 is about a sinner who has done only one good thing when he was alive: he once chose not to step on a spider. The sinner is then given a chance to leave the hell by climbing up the thread of a spider’s web. When he almost gets to heaven, he saw other sinners climbing up as well and got very angry. As a result, the thread breaks and he sends himself back to hell again. The sinner is selfish, he hates to see other people leaving the hell even though that doesn’t affect his own chance to get out. Such selfishness is not uncommon in daily life, and this story should serve to give us some warnings.
The language is not hard and the stories are very intriguing. I would recommend this book to first and second year Japanese students.
This manga is so good that I would like to recommend it to everyone I meet, but it can be a bit tricky to understand at times because of the lack of furigana. I think 3rd and 4th year students would be able to understand it enough to really enjoy it. It’s not your typical manga, but that’s what makes it enjoyable: you only start to predict what will happen after you really get to know the characters Buddha and Jesus and how they relate to each other and the world at large. Everyone who can read it should definitely give it a try.
Doraemon was the first manga I read when I was in primary school. My Mom is very strict in book selection so it is rare that a manga can survive her censorship.
This series is really amazing. It tells a story of a cat-like robot coming from the 22nd century to help a clumsy student, Nobita. More than a robot, Doraemon has become a family member in Nobita’s family. He calls Nobita’s parents as Mom and Dad. He lives together with the family, in the same room with Nobita. He shares every moment in life with the family. Not to mention that, Doraemon uses his amazing and futuristic equipment to rescue Nobita again and again whenever the clumsy but kind Nobita gets into trouble.
Doraemon becomes close with not only Nobita as they live together but also the kids in Nobita’s neighborhood: Suneo, Takeshi and Shizuka. Together, the group has experienced a lot of adventure from travelling back in time to getting lost in fantasy world.
Doraemon is my childhood. Therefore, when I come across the book in the bookshelf, I was very thrilled. Since it is a manga, the language used is informal and easy to understand. It does not contain many Kanji and always has Furigana to help you. It is suitable for all level of Japanese readers. Especially if you struggle with daily conversation like me, I highly recommend the book!
I’m so happy that now I can read my favorite manga in its original language! Come join Doraemon and me in this journey back in time!
I would recommend this book for third year and forth year readers. Kanji readings are always provided, but the language is quite native and hard to understand.
I would recommend this book to people who love Christmas. There are many kanji in this book but they are not very difficult, so I think a 2nd year Japanese student can understand it.