小川未明童話集 - Ogawa Mimei’s Collection of Children’s Stories (Beginner Book Club)

Just a tip for anybody who is looking for a convenient way to read these on iOS:

Since these stories are freely available on Aozora, you can load them into the Manabi Reader App. It has options for showing Furigana (or not) and a single tap on a word shows the dictionary definition (I believe it uses the same definitions as Jisho). I think the app is free.

You can use the ‘Open URL’ button on the opening screen of the app to open the Aozora link and it should load the text (you can hit the bookmark icon to save it for later).

The only downside that I have found is that it sometimes parses word boundaries incorrectly (e.g. in the first story it incorrectly parses うららか as うらら・か and defines うらら to be a feminine name) so that can be a little confusing. This also causes the furigana to be occasionally incorrect.

Still, it’s a convenient way to quickly read something in Japanese. The app also has a built-in section with many more Folktales that are in the Public Domain (I often read these for practice whenever I have some spare time).


Thanks for the info! I did not know that Manabi reader can be used to read Aozora texts. Can it also display the text vertically?

I’ve used an iOS (and maybe also Android?) app called Sorari which can also be used to read Aozora texts. It can display the text vertically, and it has dictionary integration (press and drag to mark a word, then a menu will pop up from which you can look up the word) but I don’t think it can give you furigana automatically (never tried it, though).


No, sadly it doesn’t (as far as I could find). I guess that is the second downside :sweat_smile:


Welcome to our first week of reading! Please check in, start reading and enjoy! Also, you can direct your questions, comments and everything else to this thread:


Thanks for posting this tip!

I’ll be adding proper long form ebook support to Manabi Reader eventually. Some features and performance improvements needed to properly support

Currently working on a big update so any feedback is most appreciated. Focus is on general quality refinements, including importing furigana/word boundaries automatically from sources that have them already like NHK Easy or Matcha to override the machine-generated ones - this helps ensure beginner materials are accurate. Genera improvements to how it matches to dictionary lookups, especially with names (or accidental name entry matches). I’m also adding Anki export. Looking at Wanikani integration for tracking and flashcard review as the next big feature.


Hats off to all of you who read, fought and struggled through week 1! Here is week 2 which is of about the same length:


Here’s another tip for iOS users. Maybe all of you already know this, but I just discovered it, so I thought I would share it. If you read these stories on Aozora and you use Safari, then activating the Reader View (via the AA button in the address bar) immensely increases the readability in my opinion. The normal Aozora view makes the Kanji smaller than the Kana around them (at least on my device it does) and I really hate that. The reader view has normal sized Kanji (still with furigana above them; and better line breaks, of course). (Sorry if I’m being too excited about this :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:.)

edit: it does take away the section headers, though (eg. in the week 3 story, but those are only numbers)

edit 2: increasing the font size (can be done via the same menu) has the same effect and preserves the section headers


Hello and welcome to week 3!

This week we’ll ramp up our reading speed a little bit, going from 5 pages to 8 pages. Just hang in there, you can do it, and you’ll get used to it in no time! :muscle:

Edit: Oops, I did not mean to reply to you directly @wiersm :sweat_smile:
But welcome to week 3 anyways!


Haha, I thought I was getting some personal encouragement, but I’ll try to hang in there anyway. I’m not sure I’ll get used to it in no time though, because this week was quite a bit of work to translate again :sweat_smile:


I actually want to address everybody, so that includes you as well! :hugs:

I hope I can post some grammar stuff tomorrow, maybe that will ease your pain a little bit…


how long is ‘no time’ exactly … in minutes on Earth :wink: haha

some of us are dying!!!


Thanks @NicoleRauch . Cross-posting from the 多読 thread.

I will join for Week 3 with 眠い町. I had a look at the text and I like it :slight_smile: .

But I have to admit, there are some tricky bits in the text and it might take a while to get used to 小川先生’s writing style :sweat_smile:


Unfortunately, I was out of my Japanese study routine in the last couple of months, so I fell behind with the book clubs too. I just took my review and lesson piles under control, so I’m joining this book club now with the 3rd chapter, and planning to catch up this week!


Looks like I started a little late and am kind of slow with reading, because I overanalyze the text, but I will try to push tomorrow and on Friday to hopefully get through the story :slight_smile: .

I added some vocab items to the spreadsheet and extra notes for existing items. Hope they help!


Here is week 4!
This week’s reading is a very nice story in my opinion, but it’s a bit heavy on the side of polite speech (keigo) - don’t get too worked up on it, it’s not as hard as it may seem. I will try to write down some explanations tomorrow or so - in case y’all haven’t already covered everything through Q&A by then!


Finally(!) I’ve caught up to the group :smiley: I was ill in bed the first 10 days of the book club so I’ve been reading the three first chapters since then to catch up. Just wanted to drop a line and give a massive thanks to everyone who organises this and to all posts (@NicoleRauch your breakdowns and grammar explanations are excellent), they have helped a lot! Also first time reading without furigana and having the Word-document available is a tremendous help in looking up unknown kanji (thank you @AmomentOfMusic).

I still have some uncertainties of some parts of the text. If/when I get time hopefully I’ll write some questions from the previous weeks. And oh, the book is great! Really good pick :blush:


Welcome to week 5!
This week brings another story of 8 pages, so it’s about the same amount as last week. And there is still hope that we won’t experience the same amount of polite speech again :wink:

Last week we had 27 avid readers which is amazing! Please keep it up and post your questions in the thread :slight_smile:


Hell yeah! Grammar and Tobira can wait :smiley: :smiley:

To understand the split here a little better, Week 6 would be us reading the entirety of 金の輪 + half of the next story, correct? I think I will give the Golden Wheel a try now, because I might not have time next week :slight_smile: .


Whoops, totally forgot to get back to you, sorry!!

I think it will be more like the entirety of 金の輪 plus one third of the next story, but yes, that’s the plan. I will read that second story this afternoon in order to find a good spot where we can take a break.

On an unrelated note, somebody asked in one of the threads what time these stories are from. I could not find the original question any more :sweat_smile: but here’s the answer in the hope that the person will see it here:
If you click on the Aozora links in the OP and scroll all the way to the bottom, you will see some editorial remarks on the story. The interesting bit is 初出 (first appearance). It will list the name of the book the story first appeared in (I think :grin:) plus the year and month it appeared. For example, for the story from week 5 this is:


So the story will soon be 100 years old :exploding_head:
I think you can be extra proud for managing to read such old texts :+1:

Speaking of which, if you asked a question at some point but did not get an answer and are still wondering, please feel free to ask again in the respective week’s thread - we don’t intend to ignore you, but at least I definitely cannot keep track of the sheer mass of questions and answers that are floating around…


No problemo! :slight_smile:

I in the end still didn’t manage to finish reading the Golden Wheel and populating the sheet even though I planned to, whoops!

We’ll take a break wherever you think is best :smiley: