Japanese Reading Section

Explore our collection of Japanese short stories, each featuring audio, romaji, and English translations. Delve into detailed sentence-by-sentence explanations along with grammar insights and related vocabulary to enhance your learning experience.

The Zen Garden Mystery

Niwa no zen no nazo


A mystery unfolds in a peaceful Zen garden, where a student of Zen Buddhism uncovers a historical puzzle or message left in the garden’s stones.

The Haiku Challenge

Haiku Charenji


A character takes on the challenge to write a haiku every day, with each poem reflecting an aspect of their daily life and inner thoughts.

A Samurai’s Dilemma in Modern Japan

Gendai Nihon ni okeru samurai no jirenma


A samurai mysteriously wakes up in present-day Japan and must navigate the complexities of modern life while adhering to the bushido code. The contrast between old and new could help students learn various cultural expressions and idiomatic usage.

The Ninja's Day Off

Ninja no Kyūjitsu


A comedic tale of a ninja who, on his day off, decides to tour modern Japan while trying to remain incognito, encountering various language mishaps along the way.

Under the Cherry Blossoms

Sakura no shita de


A romance that blooms during hanami (cherry blossom viewing) between two individuals from very different backgrounds. Their story is a metaphor for the fleeting beauty of the sakura and life's transient moments.

The Samurai's Garden

Samurai no niwa


A tale of a retired samurai who dedicates his life to creating the perfect garden. Each plant and rock placement contains historical significance and life lessons, which he shares with a young neighbor.

The Time-Traveling Kimono

Toki o koeru kimono


A story about a vintage kimono that, when worn, transports the wearer to different periods in Japanese history. The protagonist must navigate historical events and return to the present day, using N3 grammar and vocabulary related to time, history, and traditional culture.

The Haiku-Speaking Parrot

Haiku o Hanasu Ōmu


A tale of a parrot that only speaks in the form of haikus, leading its owner to unravel a mystery guided by the cryptic poems. This would introduce students to the structure of haiku and incorporate seasonal words (kigo) and cutting words (kireji).

A Samurai’s Dilemma

Samurai no Jirenma


A samurai is torn between duty and personal desires, set during the Edo period. The story would offer insight into the societal structure of the time and introduce terms related to samurai life, honor, and moral conflicts, all within the N3 level.

Ace your Japanese JLPT N5-N1 preparation.


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