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How to Learn Japanese Through Fairy Tale Stories

Top 6 Japanese Fairy Tale Stories and Characters

Hi Listeners,

Do you know what the top 6 Japanese fairy tales are?

Reading short stories in Japanese is a fun way to learn the Japanese language and culture. Check out the 6 Japanese fairy tale stories below and learn must-know folk story words and phrases in Japanese!

1. Top 6 Japanese Fairy Tales

Top 6 Japanese Fairy Tales

1. Momotarō, the Peach Boy

The Japanese title is 桃太郎 (ももたろう; Momotarō). Born from a peach and raised by an old couple, Momotaro grows into a strong boy and starts fighting evil creatures. He is a symbol of bravery and humility.

2. The Crane of Gratitude

The Japanese title is 鶴の恩返し (つるのおんがえし; Tsuru no on-gaeshi). An old man frees a crane and later takes in a young woman. Behind closed doors, she turns into a crane and makes beautiful cloth out of her feathers.

3. The Rollong Rice-balls

The Japanese title is おむすびころりん (Omusubi kororin). A kind man drops his rice-ball and follows it down a hole into the mouse world. He’s rewarded, but when a mean-spirited man tries the same, he is punished.

4. The Inch-High Samurai

The Japanese title is 一寸法師 (いっすんぼうし; Issun bōshi). A boy who is only an inch tall protects a noblewoman from a demon. He’s swallowed by the demon and fights his way out from the inside.

5. The Story of Urashimatarō

The Japanese title is 浦島太郎 (うらしまたろう; Urashimatarō). A fisherman is taken to the Dragon Palace under the sea. He stays for 3 days, but when he returns to the surface, 300 years have passed.

6. Bamboo Hat for the Jizō Statuettes

The Japanese title is かさじぞう (Kasa jizō). A man goes to market to get mochi to celebrate New Year’s but gives his hats to the jizou. Later they reward his kindness.

2. Fairy Tale Characters and Words in Japanese

Here are some common fairy tale characters and words in Japanese you may come across while reading Japanese folktale stories.

Japanese Romaji Meaning
妖精 yōsei fairy
ユニコーン yunikōn unicorn
shiro castle
マジック majikku magic
魔女 majo witch
スペル superu spell
ドラゴン doragon dragon
オーガ Ōga Ogre
王様 ō-sama king
王子 ōji prince
王女 ōjo princess
昔々 mukashi mukashi once upon a time
魔法使い mahō tsukai wizard
人魚 ningyo mermaid
巨人 kyojin giant
こびと kobito dwarf
ままはは mamahaha stepmother

Check out even more fairy tale words in the video below!

Conclusion

You might not understand every single word in Japanese stories at first but try to guess what they mean in context. Illustrations will also help you understand the story. After reading it, make sure to look up the words in the dictionary and read the story a few more times. If you do that, you’ll surely get better at reading Japanese.

So what Japanese tale would you like to read first? Do you know any other fairy tale stories in Japan? Did we miss any Japanese fairy tale words? Let us know in the comments!

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The chance to speak with other people in their native tongue and the love for a culture can be all the motivation you need to learn a new language. The money on top is an added bonus, but we will tell you how this hobby can turn into a source of revenue!

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For Japanese beginners: Click here to learn the most common phrases!

1) If you have language skills beyond your colleagues who just speak English, and if your company needs those skills to open new markets or reach new customers, you are much more valuable than other employees. A lot of people are getting big raises for this reason.

2) You can make some extra money with your language skills as a teacher. You can work for yourself, give private lessons at night after school, or work on weekends. Language companies are often looking for freelancers to help with clients who are relocating. You will make more money than being a waiter/waitress or doing some baby-sitting. Alternatively, you can enjoy the comfort of teaching languages from home via Skype, even if the rates are a bit lower.

3) Take advantage of your language skills by translating documents or websites for companies or people. Interpreters and translators are among the top five fastest growing occupations!

https://media.giphy.com/media/nvHU9Q9NiMx7a/giphy.gif

FREE Japanese lesson for you: 25 Phrases you Must Know!

4) “Time is money.” If you’ve been learning the Japanese language, when traveling to Japan you will be able to optimize your stay. Having the ability to communicate will open cost effective doors: you’ll quickly find what you seek, travel faster, find the best prices…

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Welcome to Innovative Language Headquarters! Listener Visit #4

Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment!

Hi everyone, Motoko here!

Today I’d like to tell you about another listener visit we had recently. We had a JapanesePod101.com listener come to visit us in the office. This was the fourth visit for me, but I still felt nervous!

This is Matt. He was visiting from California.

I had heard that he came to Japan for a holiday. But it seems that it was more of a special trip for him, because guess what? He came here to meet his girlfriend’s parents for the first time. :o His girlfriend is Japanese, and he wanted to meet her parents. It sounded like a big event to me! But Matt kept smiling the whole time and said he was alright. I thought he was brave. :o

I guess that Peter probably felt more nervous, because he knows that it’s one of the big events for men in Japan to meet their girlfriends’ parents!

I was very happy to receive the souvenir he brought. It was popular Girl Scout cookies from the United States. One packet was chocolate mint flavor, and the other was peanut butter. I liked the peanut butter ones more than the choco mint. ;) Thanks, Matt! We all enjoyed them.

Matt, did you have a lovely time with your girlfriend and her parents? I hope so. :)

(May 2013)

イノベーティブは応援しています! オフ会4

みなさん、こんにちは。もとこです。

今回はオフ会その4についての報告です。先日、JapanesePod101.comのリスナーさんがオフィスに来ました。今回で4回目。まだまだ私は緊張していました。(笑)

こちらがマットさん。アメリカのカリフォルニアから来ました。旅行に来ると聞いていました。でも、ちょっと特別な旅行だそうです。なんと、彼女さんのご両親とはじめて会うそうです。日本人の彼女さんと一緒にいたいから、ご両親に挨拶をします。とても大変そうですよね。でもマットさんはずっとにこにこ笑って、大丈夫ですと言っていました。すごい! たぶんピーターさんのほうがどきどきしていました。
 
今回私がうれしかったのはおみやげ。マットさんはアメリカで人気があるチョコビスケットをくれました。チョコミント味とピーナッツバター味です。ちなみにピーナッツバター味のほうがミント味より好きです。マットさん、ありがとうございました。

Japanesepod101.com Tokyo Office Visit Part 2

Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment!

Hi everyone, Motoko here!

Today I’d like to tell you about another listener meetup we had.

The other day, we had two JapanesePod101.com listeners come to visit us. One was from Canada, and the other was from France. It was the second meetup for me, but I still felt nervous beforehand!

Andre from Canada, and Becher from France paid us a visit.

They met each other through their Japanese studies, and this was their first trip together – they were staying in Japan for two weeks. They told us that right before they came to the office, they had been shopping around in Akihabara, and also mentioned that they had visited Kobe, Kyoto, Osaka, and had even climbed Mt. Fuji! I’ve never climbed Mt. Fuji, by the way. I was surprised to learn that they had gotten around to it before me!

They were both very friendly, and seemed excited about coming to Japan as well as visiting the Innovative Language office. Our office is not that big, and we have a small recording booth in the corner of the room. They seemed surprised at how compact it all was.

They also mentioned how hot Japan still was even though it was September. September is the first month of fall, but it’s still quite hot in Tokyo. There were even some days where the temperature reached 30 degrees – it might be an effect of global warming.

Andre said that he would make sure that his next trip was in winter. Not a bad idea!

The Innovative Language staff will be waiting for you the next time you come to Japan!(Sep, 2012)

-

JapanesePod101.com オフ会 その2

みなさん、こんにちは。もとこです。

今回はオフ会その2についての報告です。先日、カナダとフランスからJapanesePod101.comのリスナーさんがオフィスに来てくれました。今回が2回目。それでも私はまだドキドキしていました。

こちらがカナダから来たアンドリューさんとフランスから来たベシェル さん。お二人は日本語の勉強を通じて、知り合ったそうです。今回が初めての二人旅。日本には2週間滞在したそうです。オフィスに来る前に秋葉原で買い物をしたと話していました。その前は神戸、京都、大阪などを観光して、そして富士山にも登ったそうです。ちなみに、私はまだ富士山に登ったことがありません。「先を越された!」とショックを受けました。

お二人とも気さくな方で、日本に来たのとイノベーティブのオフィスに来たのとで、とても興奮していた様子でした。イノベーティブのオフィスはあまり大きくありません。そのオフィスに小さなレコーディングスタジオもあります。そのコンパクトなオフィスに驚いていました。
そういえば、「9月なのに、まだ日本はとても暑い」とも言っていました。9月は秋の初めの月(つき)です。でも、最近は、東京の9月はまだまだ暑いんですよね。今年は30度の日もありました。温暖化の影響かもしれませんね。

アンドリューさんは「次に来るときは冬にします」と言っていました。いい考えですね。また日本に旅行に来るときにも、イノベーティブスタッフみんなで待っていますよ!
(2012年9月)

Interview in Japanese with baseball superstar Hideki Matsui (with English translation)

Baseball fans in Japan and abroad are celebrating the win of the Yankees in the World Series, and the performance of one player in particular - Japanese baseball player Hideki Matsui, who helped lead the Yankees to victory and was named MVP. Matsui, who has been playing with the Yankees for seven years, is the first Japanese player ever to receieve the honor of MVP.

Despite having been with the Yankees for seven years, Matsui still does his interviews all in Japanese. Here is one of his interviews conducted right after the Yankees amazing win with the original Japanese and an English translation.

 Hideki Matsui interview

今の気持ちは?
松井秀喜外野手「最高ですね。この日のために1年間頑張ってきたわけですから。何年もここ(ヤンキース)にいましたけど、初めてここ(WS優勝)までこれて最高です」

  Well, how do you feel now?
Matsui: It’s an awesome feeling – I worked so hard over the course of a year for this day. I’ve been here with the Yankees for several years, but this is the first time we were able to win the World Series Championship. It’s amazing.

Read the rest of this post »

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