John rides the bus everyday. One day, he meets an old lady who sees his fashionably ripped jeans and expresses comical pity for him, unaware that the distressed look is intentional. Another day, John falls asleep in the bus and misses his stop. As a result, he arrives late to school.






This book is a great quick read, and I highly recommend it for Japanese 110 students. There is not a lot of text, and the illustrations really make the context clear. There is a solid amount of Katakana, with the Hiragana aids written above, so it is good practice for that.  The story line was entertaining, and perfect for the holiday season!




Comprehension of these short funny stories was pretty tough going for me. If other 2nd Years want a challenge, then I recommend this; but it’s probably better suited to 3rd Years. That being said, I only selected three of them this time around (there are many many short stories in this collection), so if you read any of the others, let me know what you think!



This book is extremely easy! Because the vocabulary and kanji was easy to read, you won’t need a dictionary. I thought 「にわにわに?」was funnier than 「笑い話」. I didn’t expect the story to be this way. I thought that the woman lost her cat or something. I also enjoy the artwork. I recommend this book!


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This book starts with a brief explanation of rakugo, before moving on to tell three short stories that might be found in a rakugo performance. I’d thought that I would only read one and put it down for the day, but ended up reading all three. Even without the performer telling them, they’re still entertaining. It’s not the easiest of reads, but I’d still recommend it to someone who was looking for a laugh.




Okay, so I know that the last book I reviewed was also a light-hearted children’s manga, but I still recommend this one too. Once again, the fact that it’s aimed at children means that it’s easy to follow even if you don’t understand every word. This has more of an ongoing story, but it’s still cute and not very serious, which is nice. Chi does have a tendency towards baby-talk, which can be a little confusing at times, but on the whole it’s still understandable and a fun read.



I was quite excited to find out that this manga is (probably loosely) based on the life of a real nineteenth century English explorer, Isabella Bird. It tells the story of her travels across Japan with her interpreter Itou. I think there is a strong theme of respecting cultural differences.

I understood most of the book thanks to the pictures, but the vocabulary is pretty tough and there were definitely some jokes that I didn’t understand. Even so, I think it would be a fun read for my fourth year classmates.




I enjoyed this book! The story way fun and lighthearted and funny, but the sentences were very short and simple. It wasn’t very difficult, but I almost didn’t notice how fast and easy it was since the problem facing our police officer was so comical. Give it a try!




I would recommend this book. The story was light, silly, a bit unrealistic, but overall enjoyable. The sentences were a good length, and there were quite a few new vocabulary words that are easy enough to figure out from context if you don’t want to look them up. Give it a shot!