Perfect for beginning and upper beginning students of Japanese. This affordable Japanese reader contains four complete stories of a clever and mischievous young man, Hikoichi. Get FREE MP3s of the stories read by a native Japanese speaker. Listen while reading. The link to the MP3s is found on the last page. Read--in Japanese--how the wise and young Hikoichi shows his smarts with these four short stories in Japanese. Yes, you can read real Japanese—even if you are just starting out in Japanese. • All Japanese have furigana (printed version) and romaji for those starting out. • Four full traditional Japanese stories about Hikoichi. • Every sentence is broken down word-for-word and with explanation of the grammar. • The full story in Japanese only (without the running gloss) is also provided so you can practice reading without interruption. • Finally, we have included a simple and mostly literal English translation for you to check your understanding (Don’t cheat! Work through the Japanese first!). • Download the FREE MP3s to listen while you study. The first story has the lord of the castle testing Hikoichi in a Solomon-esque question—which young lord is the true young lord? The second story shows choosing the first and most favorable isn't always best. In the end, only Hikoichi can enjoy the cherry blossoms. The third story is about a mysterious, but living umbrella. Some things are just too good to be true. We wrap things up with Hikoichi’s encounter with a Tengu—a mythical creature whose straw raincoat renders its wearer invisible. While beginners to Japanese can get a lot from this, hiragana knowledge is required. Finally, we invite the reader to contact us with questions or requests for future Japanese readers. You will find our personal email addresses in the book. To your Japanese!
Clay Boutwell and his wife Yumi are the authors of several top ten books on learning Japanese, including: Hiragana, the Basics of Japanese, and Hikoichi, the first in their Japanese Reader Collection series. They currently have seventeen titles and are slowly adding more readers and study guides as ebooks and paperbacks.
Their company also produces software for mobile devices (iPhone, Windows 8, and Android) as well as downloadable readers and lessons for PCs and Macs.