Read Real Japanese Fiction: Short Stories by Contemporary Writers 1 free CD included
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Read Real Japanese Fiction: Short Stories by Contemporary Writers 1 free CD included

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  70 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Long-awaited by teachers and students, Read Real Japanese Fiction presents short works by six of todays most daring and provocative Japanese writers. The spellbinding world of Hiromi Kawakami; the hair-raising horror of Otsuichi; the haunting, poignant prose of Banana Yoshimoto; even the poetic word-play of Yoko Tawada whatever a readers taste, he or she is sure to find so...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 2nd 2008 by Kodansha USA
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Mar 28, 2009 Keith rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who despise pointless textbook dialogs
I think this is the best Japanese resource I've come across yet. Six actual contemporary Japanese short stories, in actual Japanese text. Finally. No bullshit textbook dialogs, no ridiculous all-hiragana children's stories. This is the real deal, but handled in such a way that it's not impenetrable for the intermediate Japanese student. There are furigana readings the first time you encounter any kanji, there are rough translations of tricky parts on the opposite page, there's a full dictionary...more
This book really whetted my appetite for getting into Japanese literature. It has a good cross-section of authors and stories. The format made it very easy to read the stories with large font with furigana over kanji and translations of most phrases on the opposite page. It also has a dictionary at the back, but I never used it as it was generally easy to guess the meaning of a word from the translation. The CD was good to listen to. The thing that I found the most helpful were the translation n...more
Irene Adler
This book is absolutely AMAZING! I couldn't recommend it more. It contains stories of all genres and all levels; no matter what type of person you are you're surely going to find something that interests you in this fantastic book! The glossary of words at the end and the bilingual translations are of great help too, especially in order to understand idioms or certain nuances which I hadn't managed to grasp even after years of learning Japanese.
Some of the texts are really difficult, but the en...more
Apr 22, 2014 Christian rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Intermediate Japanese learners
Shelves: read-in-english
The stories are short, interesting and not too difficult. On the right page is the original and on the left some translations. The only bits that are left untranslated will be easy enough to understand for the intermediate learner.

Not sure how useful the notes are. They are in a separate section of the book so reading the story and reading the notes can't be done at the same time. And there are quite a lot of those annotations (taking a good 20-25% of the book).

On the other hand, those...more
While I did not like all of the stories, that really isn't the point of this book. It's a nice introduction to contemporary Japanese fiction in a user-friendly format that helps you increase your ability to read authentic Japanese independently. I prefer this format (translations for tricky sections on a facing page with a full glossary in the back) to side-by-side translations because I think it encourages the reader to try to figure out the meaning on their own. I actually like that the glossa...more
My challenge is to read fictions in Japanese. I enjoyed reading the first short story: 神様by Hiromi Kawakami. The second and the third were too difficult for me. I gave up! While reading, I hate to interrupt myself every few words and check the attached explanation. I have decided to postpone finishing this book until I make more progress in Japanese language. ...more
Thomas Dimattia
Still the best book ever to bridge the gap between the Japanese student and the world he or she is trying to peer into.
Wish this book had existed when I was learning Japanese--but still find lots to learn from it after thirty years!
Victoria Chan
I wrote a nice review, but bloody page lost it. So here I summarise: Loved it, esp the story, 神様.
At last! A book that makes me LIKE Japanese literature!
Marcus Lira
Wow, it really is actual Japanese fiction!
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