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on 11 November 2014
Great! I am almost finished the first story and was so happy with it that I bought the original book that the story was contained in. Love the way an audio CD is present with this. It helps me improve my Japanese pronunciation because I know I am pronouncing it right by listening to the native speaker. The translations are very loose, so it forces you to work through the Japanese. For example the subject may be present in a sentence in the Japanese, but it might be omitted from the translations. If the translations are read on their own, the stories would not make sense. Some people say this is not for beginners, but as a beginner I am learning a lot of new words and phrases from the book. I did have to consult the dictionary at the back many times, but once I kept re-reading the pages, the words stuck in my brain. とても嬉しいです。ありがとうございました
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on 21 August 2008
Reading kids books in Japanese is fun for a while (and useful as a study aid). However, after a while you feel the need to read something with a little more depth. Real adult literature, however, lacks furigana and often contains some perplexing phrases.
Reading Real Japanese solves all those problems. I prefer this to the Japanese Literature reader, because it features more contemporary language. (the latter uses out of copyright texts featuring lots of archaic Japanese.)
I recommend this book for intermediate and above level students (JPLT level 2) If you are a lower level student, I recommend importing kids books from Amazon Japans site (it even lets u browse the site in English).
I often read Japanese translations of books that I had read as a child, because it made comprehension much easier.
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on 6 August 2011
Really diverse collection of interesting japanese stories -japanese on the right, english on the left. You would want to have the kana alphabet down to take advantage of this book, so beginners should stay clear for the while. There is a useful japanese dictionary at the back for any word you didn't understand, and a in-depth notes section that explains some phrases or words that can't be translated literally. Really helpful and enjoyable book for anyone dedicated to the japanese language. The stories themselves are beautifully written. Don't worry about not knowing much kanji, the kanji are translated on the left pages.
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on 23 November 2010
For intermediate and even reasonably competent Japanese language speakers this is a fantastic book. As the intro says there is a gap between tedious language textbooks and actual or real Japanese literature, and this book is a great filler. May be hard for beginners as the translations are not exact and assumes basic grammer and vocab knowledge - which is great for getting the (generally speaking) slightly lazy, native english speaker student to read a bit better and also a bit harder texts than they usually would. Very enjoyable read and the voice on CD is very clear and accessible.
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on 9 March 2009
I have been studying Japanese for a total of three years now, including one year spend at a University in Japan, so I would not judge my Japanese to be too awful. However, this book really had me struggling. There were large amounts of words that were new to me and regularly the translations were quite vague, so I had to hunt for my kanji dictionary despite the word list at the end of each section if I wanted to make a comprehensive list of new vocabulary for later revision.

Some of the grammar and sentence structure were also very challenging and I found a few of the stories so obscure, that it made me doubt my understanding of the text: A good example of this was the bear that happily started chatting away or the fact that side characters were only referenced by a distinctive characteristic mentioned previously, which lead to an "umbrella" commenting on something which "glasses" responded to.

I am sure someone with the appropriate Japanese level might quite enjoy the book, as it is well written and the stories are quite interesting overall. I would only recommend it though if the reader in question can already comprehend Japanese children's books with ease and has a firm grasp of kanji. Sadly that reader was not me.
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on 7 February 2016
The content is very good and ideal for someone at/approaching intermediate level and looking to kick on. Unfortunately the physical product itself it flawed - specifically, the manner in which the CD wallet is secured to the book. The opening to remove the CD is flush against the page to which it is firmly glued and requires you to either pull away the top part to access it or cut it out. I chose the former and in doing so I unfortunately got some glue on the CD. I managed to clean it sufficiently to make it work but it was touch and go. For its companion book I chose to cut the page out (there is nothing on it) before removing the CD . This is not what I expect for any product that is accompanied by a CD - disappointing.

In short: contents = excellent; physical product = sub-optimal.
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on 18 November 2008
Easy to use with interesting short stories. As above, recommended for intermediate or higher students of Japanese, but definitely good for a first time foray into story-type text. The along-side translation is comprehensive but is not a word by word translation of the text, and so there is some onus on the reader to pick through the Japanese to fully comprehend. Good price and each story is a comfortable size- you could get through one quite quickly, or use for group work- we're currently covering half a story in a hour. Moreover, it's famous writers work, and many of the stories are fascinating and a good read in themselves. There's even a vocabulary list and grammar review in the back if you're feeling particularly scholarly. Give it a go!
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on 19 February 2015
Well-resourced book for students starting out to read authentic modern Japanese literature. There is a dictionary at the back, notes on points of potential difficulty, a CD with recordings of the stories, and a bit of translation to help readers. This book is useful for readers at a lot of levels.
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on 29 October 2013
I can listen to the books when doing menial tasks at work and sit and try to read/translate the books when I am at home. Brilliant!
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on 26 April 2016
Couldn't wait for my parcel of Japanese books, but at last they arrived! These books are great!
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