なぜ?どうして?Finished! (But open for post-bookclub discussions)


Welcome to the なぜ?どうして?せかいはふしぎ 2年生 Reading Group!

If your Japanese is beginner level, you want to read a real book, and you like learning about the world, this is the place for you!


There are a number of books in the series, and perhaps we’ll read them all! But we are starting with this volume, designed for second year school kids, available on Amazon.jp here, CD Japan here, and eBookJapan here.

The group will begin on November 1st, 2018 and start on page 10 (skipping the table of contents etc). We will read at a pace of just one page per day (with 4 pages current at any one time), finishing on page 141 on March 12th, 2019.

Readers of e-books will probably not have page numbers that correspond to those of the physical books, so please follow along as best you can by simply seeing which sentences are currently under discussion. The group will have a regular pace and after time the pacing will be clear and easy to follow.

This group is ideal for beginners and anyone new to reading in Japanese, and questions from beginners are vitally important. No question is stupid. But of course the group is open to all and will very much rely on the kindness and help of more advanced readers!

As with other reading groups, please try to stay on topic and stay with the pace of the group. The pages currently being read will appear in the thread title. And, once we’ve started, please ensure you put the page number at the top of each post if you can.

Hoping to see lots of people here on November the 1st!

Reading Schedule

Reading Date Jump To Discussion
Section one - food - page 10 November 1st to November 27th, 2018 link
Section two - countries - page 37 November 28th to December 11th, 2018 link
Section three - animals - page 51 December 12th to January 18th, 2019 link
Section four - lifestyles - page 89 January 19th to March 11th, 2019 link
Post-bookclub discussions March 12th onwards link


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Hi Marcus! Sorry for not keeping up with にゃんにゃん but some of the 2-page/day readings took a brutally long time. I’ve had a squiz at images of pages of this book via the amazon link (cheers for that) and it definitely looks easier, and at the pace of only one page a day I think I will be able to keep up this time. We can’t access non-Australian amazon sites from Oz, so I’ll have to have a look around to get my hands on a copy…

EDIT: I have found and ordered a copy.


Thank you so much Rowena! And I agree… にゃんにゃん was very hard to keep up with at times, especially towards the end. This book is miles and miles easier and I’ve set a pace that pretty much anyone can maintain. Or, being a collection of little essays, people can just drop in and out when they have time! I hope you can get hold of a copy!

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@marcusp You might want to also add a link to the ebook for those interested.



Nice one! Thank you!

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Aye, the eternal wisdom of our government requiring foreign companies to collect taxes on their behalf. Maybe try Kinokuniya? It’s listed as “out of stock”, but they might be able to supply you with a copy.

I’m a little bit tempted to join in…


My deleted post was a link to Kinokuniya, removed the moment I tried to add it to my cart and it said out of stock…:disappointed:. Will contact them if you think they could still supply, cheers.


I couldn’t say for sure. They’ve found books for me in the past, though. Guess they know people who know people.


This sounds fun! I haven’t joined a reading group so far because I thought I couldn’t keep up. But I’m ready to take the jump! Will probably buy it as an ebook.


Eeeeeee, so excited! Downloading Ebook Japan without a translator is a TRIP, though. I just kinda clicked through the instructions, read what I could in katakana, and crossed my fingers. Took an embarrassing 30 seconds or so of thinking it was broken before I remembered that it goes right to left. XD

Now I have to have some self-restraint from trying to read it myself until November!


This looks awesome! I’m dying to get some reading practice even at my low level and this seems like just the ticket. Looking forward to it!


Should be interesting to give this a try. I wanted to do “Nyan Nyan” (no kana on this pc) but didn’t get a book right away and starting late with my Japanese reading level being what it is (infinitesimal) was too overwhelming to try to play catch up.


eeeeeee - I just ordered the book! This will be my first WK book club adventure; I’m so excited! I love Japanese elementary educational materials and the pace sounds totally doable!


Crawling out of the shadows to say I’m in! Even the beginner’s reading club seemed a bit too intimidating for me but this looks way on my level and the pace sounds totally doable. Can’t wait!


I’ve added the reading schedule to the opening post but am not very confident when it comes to maths (all those dates and page numbers!). Could someone who is good at this kind of thing check it for me please?

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Im gonna try this even at my low. See how far i can get. lol


Aww, does this mean you won’t be continuing with the detective books? They looked fun…

This is a cool idea though ^^

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Ok just purchased the ebook, not sure I’ll understand anything at all but I’m totally in… Those vertical rows of characters look so intimidating tho… :persevere:


I’ve just discovered this series a few days ago and started reading another book for grade 1, the one that describes different things like why we feel hungry (chapter 1), why the fart comes out (chapter 2) and why the poop smells bad (chapter 3). (I haven’t read the other topics yet.) So far it looks very easy comparing to にゃんにゃん, which I unfortunately had to give up in the middle but hope to return to it later. I’ll gladly participate in reading the grade 2 book in November.


I’m in. This looks like fun and doable for me. Hopefully, I can get some more kanji under my belt before we start, though.

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