japanese children books

Celebrating Girl’s Day, Then and Now

Contributed by Debbi Michiko Florence, Author

For generations, March 3 has been a special day in Japan, when families pray for good health and happiness for their daughters. It’s called Girl’s Day or Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival). The dolls, handed down from mother to eldest daughter, represent the imperial court and are thought to bring good luck.

As a child, born and raised in California, Girl’s Day meant special time with my mom and little sister. Following tradition, our mother would set up the ceramic dolls dressed in silk with miniature accessories on a platform. We’d eat mochi (sweet rice cakes) and take pictures with the doll display. Sometimes Mom would dress us in kimonos. When I grew older, we expanded the tradition: I invited my girlfriends from elementary school to celebrate with us. We ate cake and played games, much like a birthday party. When I got married, Mom gave me her dolls.

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anonymous asked:

Do you know any app for Japanese children books? Or where to find children books to read!

I don’t know of an app, but you can order children’s books online or at BookOff (but I don’t think there are many Bookoff locations outside of Japan….?) 

Here’s some websites with children’s stories on it:



I also have a ton of Japanese children’s books just sitting in my car, so if you want some hard copies, message me again and I can send them to you for the price of shipping or s/t. 

EDIT: There’s also an app called “PIBO - Japanese picture books.“ All the stories are written in hiragana & katakana with illustration and it also reads for you so you can make sure your pronunciation is right! Thanks aonatsu!

anonymous asked:

I have just started to learn Japanese and I think I need more reading practice. Can I use a Japanese manga to practice reading?

Since you mentioned that you have just started learning Japanese, we would not recommend you to use manga for your reading practice. Why? Because most manga contain a lot of kanji without furigana (reading), lots of slang, and complicated grammar structure. So you might (will, actually…) end up confused and depressed. But a manga is a good practice if you have finished learning N3 material though!

What then is a good reading practice for beginner in Japanese?

Most people would say Japanese children books! And this is not wrong, since it is indeed easy to be read. But what children book do you need to buy? Despite the high price, most of the books are very slim, with very little kanjis, and you don’t even know the content until you bought it!

So here’s some specific books we recommend. We think that every beginner Japanese learner need to have atleast 1 of this book.


Can you guess what is this? Yes, it’s a Ghibli movie book!

Here’s the link to get the Ghibli’s books which image you can see below :
Howl’s Moving Castle
Spirited Away


But why, you asked? Here’s the reason:
A. It’s thick and cost almost the same to 10-20 page japanese children book! How thick ? Depending on the story, around 150 - 180+. And that’s not it, it is also a full color book! Filled with best scenes from each movies.

Common 10 - 20 page children books will cost about the same as ghibli movie books due to the illustration cost. But Ghibli use the image from their movies so they are able to press the price.

B. There is a big chance that if you want to learn Japanese, you also like a few Ghibli movies. Reading what you love will give you more motivation. And it also a good book as a collection! Have we mentioned that it is a hard cover? Look at this gorgeous character introduction and famous scene of Spirited away!

C. SIMPLE SENTENCE STRUCTURES (but not too simple for beginner) and KANJI + FURIGANA ! You absolutely need furigana to search the meaning of kanji in dictionary. And that’s not all! The font is big and clear. Have we mentioned that the book is quite large? About F4 size but a bit wider.

There is no reason for not having this book as your beginner’s Japanese reading practice. Be sure to buy the correct one though. They are also provided in English version, which are okay for collection but not okay for Japanese reading practice (lol)…

If you’re not a Ghibli lover and don’t know any of the movie. We would suggest Spirited Away . It’s one of the most famous Ghibli story with a very interesting world and a deep meaning behind it. Click here to check out the movie review and see the trailer.


In summary, if you’re looking for a Japanese book for beginner reading practice, Ghibli’s movie books are perfect!

Here’s the link to get them below:
Tonari no Totoro
Ponyo by the Cliff
Princess Mononoke part 1  
Princess Mononoke part 2 (continuation)
Kiki Delivery Service
Laputa Castle in the sky
The wind rises (Kaze Tachinu)
The Tale of Princess Kaguya
•  Nausicaa part 1
•  Nausicaa part 2 (continuation)


Happy learning! 。゚✶ฺ.ヽ(*´∀`*)ノ.✶゚ฺ。